Whether you’re a startup bakery that sells goods to new cafe owners or an established supplier that deals with large-sized restaurants, there’s one thing we all want to achieve. That’s better sales.
Without sales, your business can't survive. Luckily, there are plenty of good strategies and tools that can help bring in more customer orders and increase revenue. Among them is setting up a digital product catalogue.
Digital catalogues are publications that show all the products you sell, together with their descriptions and prices. Unlike printed versions, they are much cheaper, can quickly be viewed on laptops or handheld devices, they are easy to share and you can make sure they are always up to date.
Even better, with the right tool you can actually show individualised product ranges and prices to each customer. This lets you create bespoke deals and offers, without the high production costs.
Keep in mind, however, that not all digital catalogues are created equally. Or perhaps we should say, not all digital catalogues are executed equally. What is absolutely crucial to your product showcasing success is beautiful images of your products. This is often the biggest downfall of businesses setting up a digital or print catalogue. They spend time, effort, and plenty of money coming up with a catalogue but don’t pay attention to the importance of adding professional-looking product photos.
Why are great product photos important?
Beautiful product images are powerful. Not only do they give people a clear view of the goods they are about to buy, but they can transform an average pastry into a mouthwatering addition to the cafe cabinet. In a digital catalogue, these images will be the first thing a retailer sees, thus, if you have good product photography, it have a big influence on a customer’s decision.
According to MDG Advertising, 67% of e-commerce shoppers say the quality of a product photo is “very important” in choosing and buying an item. The study also shows that online store customers believe good product photos are more important than product descriptions, product-specific information, and ratings and reviews.
See the full infographic here.
The reason behind such high statistics is that we humans are easily drawn towards images. In biological terms, the brain is better able to understand the meaning of an image, with less effort. It has even been shown that 90% of information transmitted to our brain is visual and we can process it 60,000 times faster compared to text. More than that, 40% of people respond better to visual information than text. And in the age of instagram, you're competing against a lot of great imagery.
How can great images help you increase sales?
Given that professional-looking product images capture attention, they lure more customers. And of course, more customers mean more potential sales. If you add clear, high quality, and appetising images with the right amount of detail to your digital catalogue or to any publication, people will be more willing to browse through your listings and even place an order.
A study by Menu Cover Depot, revealed that:
Adding a photograph to a restaurant menu can increase sales of an item by as much as 30%.
At Ordermentum, we have found that our customers are reporting a 3-5% increase in sales when adding images to their digital catalogues.
According to Joe Malone of Rumble Coffee Roasters, there has been a huge increase in cross-sells and up-sells of products:
We can already see an upwards spike in customers purchasing additional accessories at the same time as making their regular order,” Joe says.
“Everyone shops with their eyes and if they can see the AeroPress, chai, panela or hot chocolate products and add them to their purchase list, it saves them making additional orders and us doing separate deliveries. Encouraging add-ons is not always addressed in a conversation, but we can see our customers prefer it via the app. We’ve even seen our T-shirt sales increase. Who would have thought?”
So, how do you take great product images?
Hiring a professional photographer is the best way to guarantee you get beautifully shot product images. But if you don’t have the funds or the time to look for one, you can choose to take the photos on your own. Just make sure to keep these factors in mind:
Ensure that your product images are unique and of high quality. Remember, nobody wants to see unclear, blurry or too dark product photos. If you will be doing an in-house shoot, make sure there is enough lighting to give your products better exposure. Natural light in the morning always looks best. Another good lighting tip is to hold up a large white piece of paper on the darker side - it will reflect the natural light for a more professional look.
2. Background / Surroundings
This might sound very basic, but what is around your product actually matters. You have to make sure the background or the surroundings won’t divert the focus of the customer from the real subject. Let’s use this product image from Arte Coffee as an example. There may be other food included in the image but it doesn't detract from the main product.
Make your product images look consistent across your catalogue. If you have decided to use a white background for one item, apply it to all of them. Not only will it make your digital catalogue look neat, it will also make it look professional. Check out these product images from Luxe Bakery’s website:
If you have products that are very similar, an absolute cardinal sin is to use the same photo for all of them. Even if they are only slight variations (increased quantities, for example) take photos of the same product from a few different angles to mix it up, rather than repeating the same image.
While a professional photographer is ideal, you can get great results if you use a DSLR camera yourself or even an iPhone (especially an iPhone 7), if you get the lighting and staging right. An iPhone photoshoot is definitely a thousand times better than an empty catalogue or simply repeating your company logo for each product image!
In 2017 there’s no good excuse for you not having beautiful product photos in your digital catalogue. Adding them will give your customers a better understanding of your products and can help you make a sale. The results? A clear spike in revenue, of course.
For more business advice from Ordermentum, click here to check out our resource library.
Our insights team is made up of passionate writers, researchers, chefs, baristas, web developers, tech gurus, our Founders, and even an accountant. We keep a pulse on the Food & Beverage industry to bring you insights and research to help our industry trade smarter.