At a time when most companies have switched to eCommerce and consumers have to make choices based on what they see on the web, the selection of relevant, high-quality visuals is a key for success. Why, you ask? Because, according to a much-cited statistic, 63% of people believe that photographs are more important than product descriptions, and 53% say that they pay more attention to images than ratings or reviews.
What this means is that a business that devotes time to the scrupulous selection of visual content could be more appealing to consumers online, and will likely increase conversion rates as a result. To help you out with that, we’ve created a checklist of seven types of visuals every eCommerce company needs.
What visuals should I choose when creating a website, designing product packaging, or running a seasonal campaign?
1. Images from your brand identity system
Visuals you need: logo, other elements of a brand identity system: iconography, typography, color palette, and more.
Whether you plan to start a new company or would like to raise an existing one to a new level, creating a brand book (or kit) with a system of cohesive elements is a must. The first things to decide on are your logo and color palette. They will allow you to stand out from competitors and make your brand recognizable in the market.
And don’t forget to choose one or two complementary fonts to be used by designers, copywriters, and other team members when communicating with clients online. In addition to visual elements, your brand book should include a description of your company’s positioning; it should specify the tone of voice to use for both textual and visual communication with your audience.
Recently, we updated the Depositphotos brand identity. You can draw inspiration and find insights on the topic in our thematic case study.
2. Illustrations and other visual elements for website design
Visuals you need: product imagery that includes 3D rendering with exploded and cutaway views, infographics, website hero images, visual elements for smooth navigation, review illustrations, images to illustrate blog posts (including editorial content), customizable online “ready-to-try-on” product renders, how-to videos.
Once you have decided on your brand identity and positioning, you can proceed with creating or updating your website. Because contemporary audiences are inundated with information, it is extremely important to make your website not only user-friendly but also visually appealing.
Stats show that emotional reactions are 3,000 times quicker than rational reactions. Thus, if you want to influence the decision-making of your audience, you should do your best to communicate with your clients using relatable, emotive, and authentic images on your website.
When putting together your brand book, you can start by choosing an impressive website hero image and putting your designers to work creating custom 3D renders or cutaway views of your product. You should also remember that it is important to make the navigation through your website smooth and interactive. To some extent, this can be achieved with the help of visual elements like arrows, tooltips, and buttons.
If you have more resources, another great investment would be to create how-to videos and online ready-to-try-on product renders that could accelerate your audience’s decision-making and help you convert more quickly.
3. Email marketing materials
Visuals you need: email templates that include headers, a content grid, buttons, and icons, visuals – like product images – to illustrate and reinforce your message.
Do you plan to emotionally connect with your audience in 2021? Running thematic email marketing campaigns can help you with that.
Choose one or more types of email chains that are often used in retail. They are registration, order and delivery details, upselling and personalized offers, seasonal sales, and newsletters.
There are several ways you can work on email marketing materials. You can ask your in-house or freelance designer to create them from scratch or you can search on stock libraries like Depositphotos to find a variety of mock-ups that can be easily customized and used by your email marketing team when running campaigns.
The choice of visuals to illustrate your emails is also key. The right images can help you engage the emotions of your audience and achieve your goal of establishing an emotional connection with your clients this year.
4. Vectors or illustrations to enhance unique product packaging
Visuals you need: packaging design that includes custom shipping boxes or product wrapping, greeting cards that you add to your product pack.
If you’re still wondering whether you should invest your resources into designing custom product packaging, spend some time surfing Instagram accounts or Youtube channels of famous bloggers. You’ll quickly notice that “unboxing” has become a major trend in recent years, and these thematic videos instantly gather millions of views. This Samsung Galaxy Fold Unboxing video with 22 million views is just one example.
The reason for the popularity of unboxing is that it is a substantial point of contact with a client. Aesthetically pleasing, unusual, or unexpected product packaging provides your audience a unique experience with your brand that is highly valued. Pleasing packaging allows you to better convert potential clients into existing ones, as well as make existing ones loyal to your brand. And most importantly, you can use stock images to design unique product packaging or a gift card.
Here are some more examples of amazing product packaging from famous brands:
Nike Air packaging concept by Scholz & Friend
boxes for Thelma’s cookies by Saturday Mfg
H&M gift boxes by Linn Gustafsson
5. Visuals for ads on different platforms
Visuals you need: platform-specific visuals for Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, etc.
Today, the choice of formats and visuals for advertising is determined by the platform on which you plan to run a campaign. For instance, Facebook has a large variety of formats (Feed Ads, Carousel Ads, In-stream Video Ads, Marketplace Ads, and so on), and they differ from the ones that are available on Youtube. To help you sort things out, here are the advertising guidelines by Facebook and Instagram, as well as for YouTube. Another useful tool is Crello – a graphic design editor that features over 50 thousand ready-to-use templates that you can customize, download, and use for your social media ads, posts, and other promo materials.
You can also advertise your products on third-party platforms. These could be apps in the App Store and Google Play Market that are free to users but are monetized by their creators through ad placements. In this case, popular images formats are banners, interstitials, offerwalls, native ads, and others.
6. Content for your social media presence
Visuals you need: cover and profile pictures for your brand’s profile, platform-specific visuals such as shoppable product posts, Stories, YouTube videos, and more, user-generated content, unboxing videos for different platforms.
In addition to different formats of ads on social media, your brand will definitely need visual content to support its social media presence. Depending on your objectives, you can share aesthetically pleasing images with catchy captions like on the Depositphotos Instagram account, or you can start selling your products with shoppable posts (Instagram Feed), shoppable pins (Pinterest), business tags (Instagram Stories), and so on.
To save time and money, you can opt for UGC (user-generated content) that you can get by creating holiday-marketing campaigns that encourage your clients to take pictures of your products and tag you on social media. In return – and with the aim to generate more content – you can offer them some deals or perks from your brand. Later, you can repurpose this content to share it on social media and illustrate blog articles on your website or guest posts on third-party platforms.
7. Offline campaigns
Visuals you need: images for brochures and printed materials, brand wall designs for events, indoor and outdoor advertising images, interior design elements (pop-up store cases).
Despite the world’s rapid digitalization during the last year, running offline ads and campaigns is still relevant for some audiences. What this means is that even eCommerce brands should have offline points of contact with their customers, like ads, interior design elements, or printed handouts.
Let’s take a closer look at each kind of image you might need for offline communication with your audience. For instance, to design brochures, printed materials, and indoor and outdoor ads, you should look for ready-to-use mock-ups, as well as photos or illustrations with people. This approach will allow you to save time but also to address your target audience with relatable concepts.
To design brand walls, you can search for seamless patterns that can be customized according to your brand identity. Interior design elements can also be created using thematic stock images that you can discover when searching curated collections on Depositphotos.
Although choosing perfect images might seem like a time-consuming and daunting task, you should always keep in mind that it will very likely pay off in the long run. In a world where visual learners prevail, investing in relevant, high-quality content can be a win-win strategy for you and your clients. When seeing relatable imagery that evokes emotions, they will be able to make decisions more quickly and you will get a chance to establish a community of brand advocates who appreciate your products as well as the way you communicate with them.