For the last decade, we have heard analysts say that eCommerce takeover of the retail and services markets was eminent, but the projections always left this supposed takeover to 2025 or 2030. No one expected people around the world would be ushered indoors and they all would become frequent shoppers of the digital marketplace.
Tomorrow is Now Today
2020 has radically changed the eCommerce landscape. In 2019, less than 20% of transactions occurred online and now, online is the only path.
Online shopping has doubled and continues to increase since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. 42.2% of the world population shops online in 2020, with a market size of over 3.2 billion people worldwide, according to Invesp
For many small businesses and startups, you now have to manage the (daunting?) task of developing your digital media presence, your website, your social media, and then the bread crumbs that lead people to these resources.
Photography and video are essential to building your branding in this new virtual and increasingly crowded market.
58% of marketers state that using visuals is the most important form of content for a brand, according to a study published in the Social Media Examiner — Michael A. Stelzner
We get it —taking your own photos instead of hiring a photographer seems like an obvious cost-cutting opportunity. However, before pulling out that red marker and smashing delete on that Excel spreadsheet, let us make a case for why photography should actually be a priority expenditure—an essential expenditure—for your business to sustain itself and grow in the digital age.
Here are some of the benefits of pro photography for your business
Professional photography communicates success and fosters trust with clients by creating a professional and compelling brand
Not only do professional photographers create higher quality content for your business, but they also provide valuable creative direction
Professional visual media is multipurpose and can be reused across your digital platforms
Professional photography provides customers with an organic impression of products that they previously would have bought in-person
Visual media allows you to constantly adapt to trends and capitalize on customers' changing interest
Just as professional photography adds legitimacy to your brand and efficacy to your marketing strategy, videography does the same—with the enhanced storytelling capability of video.
Shane Barker, a marketing strategist & digital branding instructor at UCLA , further stated:
“The importance of videos can’t be understated. Videos can help you explain and showcase your products better than images ever can. You should consider adding videos of your products in your eCommerce store.”
See it before you buy it
In this increasingly digital world, businesses need to develop digital alternatives to the experiences customers previously had in-person.
Your website's product photography should simultaneously set clear expectations of the product (excluding confusing elements, removing accessories that may not be provided, etc.) and help the customer visualize use cases through creative and engaging product placement.
In studies of Amazon marketplace sellers, there was a clear connection between sales and the photo quality present on the sellers' product pages. Sellers that used pro photography saw 4x higher rates of purchase than sellers of similar products who had amateur product photography.
This study also showed that the descriptions are becoming less important for customers to understand a product, while photos are becoming the primary deciding factor.
Big Commerce found that 78% of online shoppers wanted visual media to bring products to life and place strong emphasis on video as a vehicle for product purchase decisions.
Marketing is essential to business growth and should be a focus of small businesses as they grow. With thoughtful planning, your brand can find affordable photography that propels your brand and message forward.
Case in Point: Lily Pulitzer
But first—an example of the potential of a successful digital campaign focused on the benefits of pro photography
Lily Pulitzer, the fashion brand now known for its colorful and chic floral prints, previously utilized low-quality visual media and simple product placement photos to promote their online business. Their media team was seeing lackluster results in their online store, so they decided to invest in professional photography for their website.
They created a marketing campaign using simple collages that contextualized their vibrant prints with the lifestyle that inspired them and the sartorial process of creating them. Overall, the shoot was not high cost by marketing campaign standards, but it was effective through inspired creative direction, product placement, and professional photography.
The result, through this one campaign alone, was an increase in website traffic 49 times over the previous month and over a 300% increase in their conversion rate (a person making a sale) through their website. The team isolated release variables and continued to test small changes to only their visual media and found similar results — visual media drives engagement and the decision to purchase in their site visitors.
Lily Pulitzer is just one case study among the 1000s of businesses leveraging digital content to maintain and grow their consumer base. If your business isn't already a case study, it's time you became one. Contact Clicke today to learn how.
Clicke is your partner for finding local photographers to create and provide content for your visual media strategy.
With a bespoke approach to every client, we leverage our close relationships with local photographers to provide local, professional photography solutions to every business at every stage of digital marketing.