Internet shopping is convenient, but customers can’t get the same experience online that they can in a store. Instead, you need to provide images to help them fully understand what your products are.
But as an ecommerce retailer, it can be difficult to find images that give customers a real idea of what to expect. If you just use Google to find photos of a product, sometimes your competitors’ sites are the only places that have the right images. So where do they get those images?
So I decided to write about this important issue when it comes to e‑commerce: how to deal with out of stock products. At first let me show you a few ways online stores deal with out of stock items, all of them more or less wrong of course: The Fine Print. Many e‑commerce sites just show the product page almost unchanged. Getty Images is a top source of editorial and stock photos, and for good reason: with more than 80 million still images and over 50,000 stock film footage, it has one of the widest and highest-quality collections around. Pricing: Single image downloads start at $175 per download. Image packs start at $150 per download. ECommerce 1.2 and Stock Photo Update The latest round of eCommerce features are here with the release of eCommerce 1.2 along with an expanded stock photo library. These updates add greater depth and flexibility to the eCommerce experience and should help you build out an even stronger online store. E commerce stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images Information technology glyph icon set with IT network system, global internet, data center, communication, web site, social media, seo business, e-commerce, support, computer and mobile device sign. High quality Ecommerce images, illustrations, vectors perfectly priced to fit your project’s budget from Bigstock. Browse millions of royalty-free photographs and illustrations from talented photographers and artists around the globe, available for almost any purpose.
Call 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist about your ecommerce site, or keep reading to learn how ecommerce companies get images for their products.
Option 1: Photos directly from manufacturers
The first option ecommerce companies (or “vendors”) have for images is to get them directly from a product’s manufacturer.
This option works for almost every third-party ecommerce retailer since it’s in the manufacturer’s best interest to supply as much information as possible to their vendors. With all that information, the vendor can make more sales, and both the manufacturer and the vendor can earn more revenue.
If, for some reason, an ecommerce site can’t get images sent to them, they can always look through the manufacturer’s website to find images as well.
An ecommerce company might also track down an image in a manufacturer’s catalog and scan it into a digital format.
Regardless of the medium, these are all ways that an ecommerce company can get proper product images from a manufacturer.
Option 2: In-house photography
Sometimes, a manufacturer won’t have any images of their products. The most common reason this happens is that the manufacturer has created a brand new product and an ecommerce company has first dibs on initial sales through a contract.
That means it may be up to the ecommerce company to photograph and touch-up product images before placing them on their site.
This typically involves the manufacturer shipping the physical product to the ecommerce company. Then, a team will have to stage and photograph the product themselves.
Afterward, the manufacturer may allow the product to enter the ecommerce company’s inventory or request the product to be returned. Either way, the ecommerce company has the photos it needs.
It’s also common in this kind of arrangement for the manufacturer to request to use the photos after they’re processed. If they’re the first photos anyone has taken of a new product, the manufacturer may share the images with all of their vendors for more sales.
Option 3: Finding the product in stores and photographing it
On rare occasions, it’s possible that a manufacturer doesn’t have any photos of its products on hand. This could be for any number of reasons, including mass outsourcing of image responsibilities, introducing new documentation systems aren’t compatible with old systems, and a variety of other technical, contractual, or legal obligations.
In this case, the ecommerce company may have to fend for itself and actually find the product in a physical store or buy it elsewhere for photography purposes.
This isn’t exactly fair — and it’s definitely not a desired outcome — but sometimes circumstances require extra effort and expense to get the job done.
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Generally, ecommerce companies won’t put up too much of a fight in this situation since it’s essentially a short-term investment.
The ecommerce company buys the product, photographs it, and then they can resell it. Plus, they have all the photos they need to sell more, so the product’s expense should pay for itself after one or two sales.
And while an ecommerce company shouldn’t do that for every product in its inventory, one every now and again won’t hurt.
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Option 4: Composite imaging
At times, a manufacturer may create a new product that’s a combination of two older products or only has a minor difference from other products in its catalog.
In that case, an ecommerce company may not want to request product images or the physical product to photograph — they may have a photo manipulation expert who can make an accurate image that works for sales purposes.
Creating this kind of image could take a matter of minutes, and it’s far preferable to shipping products if the manufacturer doesn’t have photographs at the ready.
It may not be a literal photograph of an item, but doctored images can still authentically show what an item looks like while saving money for both manufacturers and ecommerce companies.
Option 5: Schematic drawings
Finally, on exceptionally rare occasions, it’s possible that a manufacturer doesn’t have any photos, inventory, or composite possibilities for an ecommerce company to show.
If that happens, an ecommerce company may have no choice but to show an item’s schematic drawings so shoppers can at least have an idea about what they’re buying.
This isn’t the outcome that most ecommerce companies want. But sometimes, you just have to make do with what you have, and you may not have much.
These images don’t usually apply to big-seller products — more often than not, they’re used to show replacement parts, accessories, inserts, plugins, or other non-standard add-ons.
If an ecommerce company uses these drawings, they probably won’t keep them on the site for very long. They’ll almost always look for other ways to get an accurate photograph to their customers as quickly as possible.
Still, a drawing is better than nothing.
WebFX knows how to get product images for ecommerce companies
At WebFX, we have an experienced team of ecommerce experts who know how to get everything you could need to get your ecommerce store up and running. Whether you want product photos, descriptions, categories, or other listings, we can make it happen.
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An integral part of designing your online store is sourcing high-quality images which are related to your ecommerce business. It’s critical that your store looks professional– it’ll build brand authority and show that you’re running a serious ecommerce business. If you don’t currently have the resources to source your own high-quality images then you’ll need to take advantage of stock image websites. We’ve created this article to break down the top stock image websites which you can use when sourcing images for your ecommerce store. We’ve also included free stock image websites on our list to make life easier if you’re starting your ecommerce store on a budget.
- Free Stock Image Sites
- Premium Stock Image Websites
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What is a Stock Image Website?
A stock image website is an extremely valuable resource, not only for ecommerce entrepreneurs, but for people across the globe who are interested in design. Stock image websites contain an extensive library of high-quality images, graphics, and often videos, which you’re free to use.
The majority of images which you can source from stock image websites are royalty free, which means that you can use them anywhere without having to credit anybody. When you use stock images you can also edit them to your likening and even distribute them in marketing campaigns — they’re perfect for ecommerce entrepreneurs.
When you’re searching for stock images you’ll need to choose between two different options; free stock image websites and premium stock image websites. Both premium and free stock image websites have advantages and disadvantages which you’ll need to take into consideration when you’re sourcing images for your ecommerce business. We’ve highlighted the key points to consider when you’re choosing which option is the best fit for your business.
Free Stock Image Sites
If you’re an ecommerce entrepreneur who is running your online store with a relatively low budget then it’s critical that you avoid unnecessary expenses. If you’re faced with the choice between spending some of your budget on stock images or growing your business with marketing campaigns, you’ll need to prioritize the latter.
Free stock image sites offer a wide range of images and graphics which you can use without any charge– they’re invaluable for ecommerce entrepreneurs who are working with a tight budget. They don’t have a colossal library of images, like premium stock image websites do, but you’ll certainly be able to find high-quality images which fit your ecommerce store’s design. We’ve listed the top 5 free stock image sites for ecommerce entrepreneurs below:
Shopify Burst is a free stock image website that is primarily aimed at entrepreneurs. The website is clean, with a modern design, making searching for stock images a simple task. Shopify Burst’s best feature for ecommerce entrepreneurs is their ‘Business Ideas’ section. In this section you’ll be able to view categories of images which are dedicated towards specific types of ecommerce stores, like yoga products, or enamel pins. This free stock image website will give you plenty of choices for images related to your niche and even give you ideas for new products.
Pexels has a wealth of high-quality stock images available which cover a wide spectrum of topics. The search function is what really makes Pexels stand out from the crowd– it’s simple to use and has multiple useful parameters which make it one of the easiest free stock image sites to use. Their library of images contains plenty of aesthetically pleasing images, most of which are stunning landscape photos, so they could be ideal for the backdrop of your ecommerce store.
Unsplash is another essential free stock image site for ecommerce entrepreneurs. Unsplash are constantly updating their database, adding 10 royalty-free photographs every 10 days. The images which you can find on their website are of the highest-quality and would fit into any part of an ecommerce store, or any marketing campaigns which you create. The downside to Unsplash is that their search function is relatively limited, meaning that it can be difficult at times to find what you’re searching for.
If you’re an ecommerce entrepreneur with a strong eye for design then you’ll find that StockSnap.io is one of the best free stock image sites on our list. StockSnap.io’s content library includes an extensive bank of photos which cover most aspects of design. We recommend this free stock image website specifically for ecommerce entrepreneurs who are selling clothes, as it features lots of aspirational images which will attest to your target audience. You’ll also find free stock images for commercial use on this website.
Gratisography is a free stock image website which was created by Ryan McGuire, an artist and designer. This free stock image site has plenty of royalty-free images which were all taken by Ryan, so the images are truly unique. You can use the content from this website to make your online store stand out from the crowd. Ecommerce entrepreneurs can also use Gratisography to find free stock images for commercial use.
Ecommerce 1.2 And Stock Photo Update 2019
Premium Stock Image Websites
Ecommerce 1.2 And Stock Photo Update Software
Premium stock image websites generally offer images which are of a higher quality than those which you can find on a free stock image website. However, these higher quality images come at a price. If you find an image which you’d like to source on a premium stock image website then you’ll need to purchase the image, or the license for the image, for a substantial amount of money. As these images cost money they’re much more exclusive, which means that you’ll be able to make your ecommerce store stand out from the crowd. Here’s an overview of the best premium stock image websites which you can use to source images from:
EyeEm is a unique premium stock photography website– they’ve built a strong community around people buying and selling photographs. On the EyeEm marketplace you’ll find photographs which have been uploaded by other users. If you find an image which you’re interested in using then you can easily buy the full rights, which means you now own the image. Once you’re in possession of the rights you can use the images for your ecommerce business however you want. This premium stock image website excels because it was founded by entrepreneurs who are passionate about design and is fueled by a community of like-minded people working together.
Shutterstock is one of the most successful premium stock image websites. Their image library boasts millions of royalty free stock photos, illustrations, and graphics. They’re constantly working to ensure that their library is filled with the highest quality content possible. Every day Shutterstock add ten thousand new high-resolution images, which means that you’ll be spoilt for choice if you use this platform. Shutterstock’s images can be expensive if you purchase them individually, but they’re more affordable if you purchase any of their bundles. Shutterstock’s built-in photo editing tool is what makes this premium stock image website stand out from the crowd. You can purchase an image, edit, and resize the image all without leaving their website– it’s perfect for ecommerce entrepreneurs who aren’t proficient with photo editing.
iStockPhoto is one of the longest running premium stock image sites. It was originally founded in 1999 and has been at the forefront of design ever since. iStockPhoto has an intuitive search function which enables users to find images quickly and easily. Even if you aren’t technically proficient you’ll be able to access iStockPhoto’s wealth of images, graphics, video, and audio. This stock image website’s pricing plan is amongst the most expensive on this list, but you’ll be paying for high-quality images which you can use for your store. They also have a unique reverse search function, which enables you to check if any of the images you’re interested in have been used by other ecommerce businesses.
Fotolia has one of the largest libraries of content out of the premium stock image websites on our list. You’ll find millions of royalty-free images which you can gain access to for a relatively cheap price. The website has an intuitive design which is easy to navigate around. Fotolia has also incorporated a ‘collections’ system into their website, which is great for ecommerce entrepreneurs. The collections which are available are named core, infinite, and instant. Their core and infinite collections include images which are tailored to desktop use, whereas their instant collection features images which are tailored to mobile users. This is a great feature for ecommerce entrepreneurs who are optimizing their store for mobile.
BigStockPhoto provides users with an easy and enjoyable experience when they’re browsing the website. There are simple drop down menus and clearly defined categories which allow you find the images you’re looking for. Although these premium stock images are on the more expensive side, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth in high-quality visual content.
Conclusion: It’s Time To Start Sourcing Images
Now you know various different stock image websites which you can source images from, it’s time to nail the design of your ecommerce store. Remember, you aren’t limited to using just one of these resources, you should take advantage of all of them.
To take your ecommerce store’s design to the next level you should create a unique logo which is related to your niche. We’ve created an article with the top 10 online logo makers to help you along your way.
If you have any questions related to stock image websites, or designing your store in general, let us know in the comments section– we’re happy to help!
Want to Learn More?
Is there anything else you’d like to know more about and wish was included in this article? Let us know in the comments below!