How Product Images Influence Seasonal Shopping

How Product Images Influence Seasonal Shopping

Images create a powerful connection with consumers. Santa’s rosy cheeks bring back memories of holidays past. Colors connect us to various events, such as red and green for Christmas, brown and orange for Thanksgiving  or pastels for Easter. Companies have a chance to influence seasonal shopping through their use of images.

McKinsey recently surveyed 2,095 American shoppers to figure out the biggest challenges of the upcoming holiday season. Around 40% of consumers plan to shop earlier this year due to concerns over supply chain issues. You must tap into their nostalgia for the holidays before the season really begins. 

How can product images influence seasonal shopping? Use them to set a mood and pull customers into an experience. Here are the things to focus on if you want to use images to grab new clients and encourage current ones to spend more earlier. Cover photo by Matt Moloney via StockSnap.

1. Know Your Brand Personality

Before you create the first product image, you should know your style as a brand. What persona do you wish to show the world? If your company is young, hip and fun, then the images may have bright colors and fun scenes. 

Take the time to lay out some guidelines for the types of images you wish to share for your brand image. Any photo that doesn’t meet those guidelines gets thrown out. 

2. Create Eye-Catching Displays

There are many advantages to creating holiday-themed retail displays, including grabbing customer attention. An excellent display increases annual sales for stores by showing consumers how different items work together. 

Even if your store is 100% online, you can still set up a beautiful display and photograph it for your website. Show your users how they can combine different products for the perfect gift or holiday display in their home. 

3. Choose the Right Colors

The colors you use for your product images matter even more during the holiday season. It might be tempting to add a red overlay or green things up, but you want to be careful if any product images are true to the item’s color.

For those shopping online, they can’t see the item in person. Their only indicator of the actual hues is your image. Leave off the filters and don’t enhance things that aren’t actually there.

One way you can add in some holiday spirit is by creating a display with some greenery around the edge of the photo composition or a small decoration of some sort. Set the item under a Christmas tree so it looks like an unwrapped gift. 

4. Consider Composition

You can write the most glowing product description in the history of e-commerce, but some users won’t take the time to read it. The more you can say with your product images, the better. Think about the different uses of the product. How can you show them through the images you share?

Take the item apart to show the inner workings. Utilize video or 360-degree views to give the user more insight into the product’s size and functionality. 

5. Go Mobile Friendly

According to Statista, 54.8% of internet traffic is mobile. If your images don’t size appropriately for smaller screens, you risk losing a big percentage of holiday sales. Take the time to see how they translate on smartphones.

You should also give users the ability to blow smaller images up to full screen size so they can see details. Consider adding zoom features as well. 

mobile optimized shopping experience

Photo: Kristin Hardwick

6. Influence Cross-Selling

One way you can make a big impact on your revenue during the holidays is by creating cross-selling images. One example would be a clothing site where the product is a holiday dress. 

Share an image of a model wearing the dress, but also pair it with shoes, a handbag and jewelry. Some people will buy the entire outfit giving you upsells you didn’t initially plan on. 

7. Display Different Angles

A lot of people complete their seasonal shopping online to avoid crowds and the time involved in going to various stores. However, you can’t pick an item up and look at it on a website or social media. It’s your job to show them products from all angles.

Think about what you’d want to look at if you were shopping. Probably any on/off buttons. You should share images of the item straight on, from the top, bottom and sides. At the same time, make sure the images flatter the product.


8. Fix Lighting Issues

One of the biggest problems with product images can be in the lighting. Harsh shadows and faded out hues keep the photograph from looking its best. Make sure you use filtered light. Enlist the help of a professional photographer if needed to make sure you use the right camera settings and illuminate things properly.

Smaller items may appear better inside a lightbox. You can eliminate lighting issues. While you can fix some things in edits, other lighting issues change the appearance so much that the image will be unusable. 

Find the Right Order

What order should you place product images in for maximum impact? If you’re selling a dog collar, the first image might show the collar on a white background. Next, you’d show the pattern up close and perhaps the clasp and how it works. Finally, show an image of a cute puppy wearing the collar and how it looks on.

Finding the right order for your images might be almost as important as the photos themselves. Influencing seasonal shopping requires thinking through the way people process information and in what order. If something isn’t working, move pictures around until the page clicks for your users and your sales soar.

Related: Top 20 Direct-to-Consumer Brands on YouTube

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