5 Steps to Optimize E-Commerce Imagery
“A picture is worth a thousand words”
A human being is a visual creature; we churn out essence from a picture better than a description. A complex idea can be simplified with the use of the right image. Visuals are powerful and they are going to dominate the future of E-commerce.
An e-commerce website is a virtual real estate of a company where they showcase their various products to evoke the need for utilization by its visual appeal. Your visitor is not at the brick and mortar store where they can pick up the product of their choice and feel it, so an image has to be powerful enough to convey the spirit of your brand and promote its mission.
Retention and conversion of a user are highly dependent on how optimized your images are and how you make most of the user attention span.
According to Statista, retail e-commerce sales in India are expected to grow substantially from 16 billion USD in 2016 to over 45 billion USD in 2021. About 329.1 million people are estimated to buy goods and services online by 2020.
Product imagery is often neglected by the owners, they focus more on keywords, descriptions etc. The average attention span of a user is 9 seconds; if your image is not optimized then it’ll increase the bounce rate of your website thus hampering conversion and sales. Therefore, to combat this issue and for efficient decision making of users, an e-commerce website should be visually optimized.
Steps for optimizing your E-commerce Images
Images are everything in E-commerce websites, the experience of a visitor and their buying journey should be smooth and enjoyable. Image optimization is a very important parameter to get your page ranked higher in SERP as Google crawlers have become smarter. The struggle of being in the top of the list is real but thanks to tools and practices that help us in achieving it. To provide visitors with revolutionary experience, you have to follow these steps:
- Use compression tools for speed optimization
In this vast world of E-commerce with gazillions of options, attention is a delicate thing, if your pages are taking forever to load then visitors won’t take a second to navigate from your page to your competitor’s page. The best load time is 3 seconds and if your page fails to adhere to that then it will impact your sales. The probability of bounce rate increases with your page load time.
Always use tools like Optimizillia, Trimage, JPEG mini and RIOT (Radical Image Optimization Tool) etc for compressing your images in JPEG and PNG formats and make your website more user-friendly.
- Use keyword optimized Alt tags and file names
To make your images more relevant to the google crawlers, it is important to use ALT tags with targeted keywords that explain the function of the images. Google doesn’t read images; it only scans the metadata provided.
For instance, if you want to upload a product image of a chair, you would give the chair the product name as its file name i.e. H.O.F Student chair- Priviya, it describes the functions of the product. After that, you should always edit the Alt text to provide better descriptions for crawlers and in this case, the alt text should be “HOF Ergonomic Student Chair”, describing product, picture and function of it. Image file names and alt texts can be tailored to improve organic page rankings
- High-Quality product images.
Product image should be clear, high quality, non-grainy and of appropriate size. It is the medium of creating that first image and you can’t afford to lose at that. It should give them an idea about how it would suit their utility.
It is important to show a product being used, it gives a context to the users and will be a good selling point. It is advisable to have all the images in the same size and different angles. It should also have zoom functionality to showcase the items in a more realistic and detailed way. You can also make the most of user-generated images and add them on your website and social media too and make your customers, a part of your brand community.
- Choose the Right file format
In this tech-driven marketing era, one should know the basics of image format to choose for their webpage for conversion and retention. You must be familiar with the most fundamental types of file formats i.e. JPEG or JPG, GIF and PNG, but you might not know which file type will work best for your website.
Let’s get acquainted with the pros and cons of the same.
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts group) or JPG: JPEGs are the most acceptable file type of images on the website, they mix blue, red and green light allowing for the display of millions of colours. JPEG images are standard on websites for they easily get compressed without giving away the quality, it allows decent quality even with the low file size. For an E-commerce website, JPEG is your best bet, because you don’t compromise on the quality of the image to its size so it doesn’t hamper your page load time.
GIF (Graphic Interchange Format): GIFs are in trend today and people enjoy conveying their messages on Social media using them. They are compressed versions of images and videos, but they only allow 256 colours to display in the image. It’s not the best choice for images of various colours. It can be used only in animation, thumbnails or icons, images with limited colours like the company’s logo.
PNG (Portable Network Graphics)PNG is a newer concept than JPEG and GIFs, they are usually high in quality than JPEG but have a larger file size. There are two types of PNG files i.e. PNG 8 and PNG 24.
PNG 8 is a smaller file that allows for the same 256 colours that GIFs do.
PNG 24 is a format where millions of colours can be displayed, this format can be used when quality is more important than file size.
- A/B testing
Keep evaluating and monitoring your image interactions by continuously testing your images. Consumer behaviour changes with every trend that dominates the market so you should be able to read them and make changes in your website accordingly.
Image Optimization is a sure-fire way to engage visitors, help them navigate easily on the website and drive sales. Keep challenging your ways to provide your visitors with a unique experience, make your images generate results and sustainable growth of your brand. Learn the behavioural patterns and offer users with the desired visuals.