Your Website is your Shop Window
It should be obvious but you would be suprised at how many people fail to look at their website in this way. The internet is your global high street, surfers are your passing trade and your website is your shop window. It is vitally important when considering developing a site to put yourself in the position of a potential customer staring through that window. What do you want them to see?
In fact it is more than just the window especially if you are an eCommerce site selling products online. It is in fact the shelves in the shop with your products laid out for the customer to peruse. If you are selling a service, then it is the main information point and marketing tool to answer all the potential customer’s queries and hopefully persuade them you are offering what they need.
An obvious problem with selling physical products online is that the potential customer can’t physically see or handle the product. Also they can’t grab a sales person and get specific questions answered. To be successful you really need some excellent photography to show off your stock. Preferably several images from different angles. It is also best if these are on a neutral background (white is the king) with diffuse lighting.
If you approach it right it is possible to get good results yourself with a modest outlay for equipment. There are many guides on product photography on the internet, including how to make homemade reflectors and studio setups.
If you don’t want to tackle it yourself, you need to make sure any manufacturer images you get hold of are of a good enough standard otherwise you will really need to hire a professional. Make sure they have a portfolio of product photography that you can look through and always talk to your website designer and get their opinion on if the photography will fit with your planned design. Product photography can be expensive, but it is a worthwhile investment if you want to actually sell anything.
Along with the photos you will also need to provide as much information as possible including technical (dimensions, specifications etc…) and a good descriptive text.