Before the age of the internet, the critical moment for marketers was known as the First Moment of Truth, or FMOT. This is the first few seconds when a potential customer sees a product on the shelf. Through packaging and placement, marketers have the opportunity to connect with the buyer on a practical or emotional level.
With the rise of the internet, the new FMOT became known as the Zero Moment of Truth, or ZMOT. The ZMOT is a new phenomenon which happens when a potential customer has any contact with your product or service. This might be through a social media post, on your website, or in an online review. The potential for the ZMOT is a lot wider when compared to the FMOT, but one thing is certain. Photography is likely to be a key factor.
If the customer can’t pick up and experience your product or service in person, you need to create the construct to give them the next best experience. And research has shown that the quality of your product imagery is likely to have a huge impact on your conversion rates.
People want to see what they are buying, and there’s no shortage of examples of retailers that have increased their conversions by improving their product photography.
Take Due Maternity as an example. This retailer specialises in clothes for pregnant women and wanted to try something bold with their imagery. They added a simple function that allowed customers to see a 360-degree view of the clothing and generated a 27 percent increase in conversions.
It isn’t only online retailers which can benefit from imagery. Studies have shown that conversion rates on B2B sites also benefit from strong photography. Using A/B testing, Highrise, a CRM developed by Basecamp tested conversion rates for one of their key landing pages. While long-form content increased conversions by 37.5%, shortening the content and adding a large customer image increased conversion rates by an impressive 102.5%.
What can we take from this? People like to see themselves on your website.
So, how can you make product imagery work for you? It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, there are plenty of simple ways you can improve your website imagery and enjoy higher conversion rates.
Show and tell
When selling services, such as storage space, it’s important to provide visual examples of what the customer is getting. Reassure the visitor that they are on the right track by backing up their journey with visual examples of precisely the thing they are looking for.
Magenta Storage manages this perfectly with their homepage image of a young couple moving house. Already, the customer knows they are in the right place if they are looking for personal self-storage.
Imagery can go beyond photography to include things like icons. Now Storage takes a different approach to helping customers choose the right storage unit size by offering helpful icons to represent storage size needs. When selling obscure services, images are your friend.
Tell a story
Some industries might not seem very visual. This is often the case with professional services, but this doesn’t mean you can’t offer compelling imagery and a great story.
Take Middlemarch Environmental, for example. Dealing with environmental surveys might not seem altogether visual, but when you visit their website, you’re confronted with a friendly-looking badger. The placement of this woodland creature isn’t an accident. His inquisitive snout leads the eye up to the phone number and “get a quote” button.
This is a popular trick used by website designers to draw your attention to specific items they want to stand out. By using images of people or animals on key sections of your site, you can direct the viewer’s eye to things you want them to see.
Evoke the senses
When it comes to the food industry, strong imagery is key. Even if you aren’t selling food directly to consumers, B2B companies can make the most of strong food imagery. Independent catering contractor ABM is the perfect example of this in practice.
They aren’t selling one particular dish or even a menu, but by using images of fresh ingredients it helps to defy the expectations of catering as being mass produced rather than artisanal.
What the images tell’s you is that the food is fresh and prepared with quality ingredients. Evoking the senses in this way is a popular way to tap into the emotional side of decision making.
Avoid stock photography
Commissioning a photographer is naturally the best way to go if you want to capture the spirit of your business. However, if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, there are free options you can choose. Just make sure you don’t go for the cheesy stock images. You know the ones we’re talking about!
There are so many places you can grab free, high-quality images that will look authentic and help tell a story on your website. If you do decide to use stock photography, use something that connects to your brand and make sure if follows the principles outlined above. You’ll find plenty of royalty-free images on sites such as Unsplash, Pexels and Pixabay.
In an increasingly visual world, getting your image right online is essential. If you’re struggling to put your best foot forward and make an impact, get in touch with our friendly team to find out how we can make your brand stand out online.