It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

OK so it may only be October but Christmas is fast approaching, and for many business owners it can be the busiest time of year!

In a world where customers are spending less and less time on the high street, it’s essential that retailers present their products beautifully online. The idea here is to do more than show your product to the customer. Your website, social media profiles, eBay and Etsy listings are your online shop window - they need to create an entire customer experience. Striking images that are clear and aligned to your brand will help you stand out from the crowd (for the right reasons of course!)

Most businesses have already made the move to Instagram, with many small online businesses reporting up to 80% of their business coming from this under-utilised platform; the story behind their success? Remember that Instagram is a very image-heavy channel, as people look at your profile they will be presented with an overview of your posts and spending some time to creating a board that is pleasing to the eye can pay dividends.

Indeed, a picture can paint a thousand words - ensuring your product is photographed (and edited), by a professional should be considered an investment rather than an expense as it will give you some great digital assets that align to your brand. This is especially important when you are selling luxury or lifestyle solutions.

Consider if you were comparing two teapots: One photographed in ambient lighting, arranged on a beautiful oak table, alongside baked goods and a sprig of holly; the other, poorly focused on a dark worktop with poor lighting and dirty marks or reflections.

With a marginal difference in cost which one would you pick?

The basic default for the human brain is for us to be aspirational, we look for beauty and order and what suits the lifestyle we aspire to. Hence luxury brands spend a good deal on image photography – imagine here the exotic photoshoots on location etc. The short fact is, whether you’re selling handcrafted Christmas decorations or second-hand clothes on eBay, it’s crucial to make sure your products are presented at their best (and you do not need to spend a fortune to do this).

 In the build-up to Christmas customers are inundated with products available for purchase: the perfect stocking filler, a thoughtful gift for mother, the solution to the dreaded Secret Santa gift for the boss. To stand out online it’s crucial to present your products in the best light (and under the best lens)…

Here’s an early Christmas gift for budding photographers; my top tips to ensure your products really stand out:

1.    Show your customer what they want to see! It may sound obvious, but if you’re selling handmade, high-quality clothing you need close-ups to give your audience an insight into the detail and finish of the material, the stitching, etc.

2.    Be consistent! Bright, colourful images evoke a completely different feel to black and white photography. Make sure whichever you opt for represents your brand.

3.    Ensure your background is clean, clear and doesn’t distract from your product

4.    Make sure the lighting is good, your product needs to be seen in the best light (literally!)

5.    If you’re not comfortable with what you’ve created, hire a professional! The return on investment for well-photographed products should not be underestimated. Great quality, professionally edited product shots, are certainly worth a day’s fee (especially when you balance the charges against how much time you would waste attempting to do these yourself).

 If you’d like to have a chat about your business’s needs, I’m always happy to have a coffee so please do get in touch.