10 reasons your business needs 360-degree product photos.
Updated: May 18, 2019
1. More people will buy your products!
It’s a proven fact that 360 product images compel people to commit to checkout on average 55% more often when compared to regular product imagery. That’s across almost all industries! Being able to view the item from almost every angle gives the buyer immediate confidence in the product and allows them to build a robust mental image for how and when it will be used. Whether you are a fledgling web-store trying to convert sales, or you’re an eCommerce giant, an additional 55% turnover is hard to turn down!
2. Fewer people will return your products.
This is a big one. 360 degree product photography lets you see every facet of an item before purchase. When customers make their decision, it is just as important that they commit to not buying the product if the product is not right for them. Why is that… Surely more people buying products is better? Well, not necessarily. If fewer people who are going to return your item buy the product, that means less time spent on customer service. It also means whoever does buy is extremely likely to only return that product if it is broken, damaged or otherwise unfit for purpose. All of this means one thing – an increased profit margin.
Using 360 product imagery that customers can move and zoom with their mouse or finger has been shown to reduce after sale returns by over 48%
3. It’s cheaper than traditional product photography.
"What?! Surely that can't be true?" I hear you cry. Well, it is. There are several reasons for this, but the main two are actually quite simple to explain. Firstly, traditional product photography often includes models, props and scenery in order to make the product more appealing. 360 product photographs achieve this naturally by being interactive and allowing the user to feel more in touch with the product, without all the expensive extras. Secondly (and largely due to the first point), there was a spate of wannabees making 360 photographs with their mobile phones when the technology first emerged. It was exciting and seemingly easy, so they cropped up everywhere and drove market prices down. There is absolutely no comparison in quality compared to professional 360 photographs, but luckily for you the streak of interest crashed the cost of service, and it's stayed there!
4. It’s a step closer to being able to actually hold and inspect the product
The world as we know it is changing at an incredible rate. In the palm of your hand you carry a device that is more powerful than the largest computer 30 years ago, with access to trillions of information gateways 24/7. Oh, it also takes selfies and allows you to do your shopping too. But this isn't the end, it's just the beginning. The real kicker is that how we interact with these devices and one another is changing. Virtual reality is now a stark reality, and the future of shopping will not involve flat images, that much is clear. The only benefit of traditional shopping over online shopping is that you can reach out, touch, inspect and manipulate. Virtual isles and shelves are just round the corner, and they will not be stocking flat images...
5. People don’t like reading long “product features” paragraphs.
When viewing something you want to purchase, you want the broad essential information quickly and then a further, deeper dive into the details if you're still interested. But in a world that promotes instant gratification, consumers are more likely to glaze over after the first paragraph than they are to keep reading all the benefits of the product on hand. In some cases information can often be more confusing than descriptive. That's why we use product pictures in the first place, and if a picture truly does equal 1000 words, then 360 product photography is the equivalent of 72,000! Almost all consumer questions involving the item are answered before the user even scrolls to the description due the inherent interactive nature of the image.
6. 360 images can be moved, panned, zoomed and manipulated.
Alright, so this one might seem like a "no brainer". If you haven't yet seen a 360 product image in all its interactive glory you'll undoubtedly find one sewn into the fabric of this article wherever it is shared. Go check one out, and you'll immediately see how intuitive it is to the user. But it goes a step further than this... Objects can fly in and connect so the user can see how they interact. Macro photography can allow you to zoom right in to see the clarity of a diamond, or the workmanship on a piece of art. Remember that this is photography, not just a 3D generated image. You'll be seeing the actual product you'll be getting in all its glory, and with all its flaws.
7. Image hotspots add a whole other dimension to your product images.
Image hotspots are a thing of beauty for any online seller or company wanting to give detailed product information. In short, a hotspot can be assigned to a certain area of an image as it's rotated, so that hovering over or clicking the hotspot will show additional specific information to it. Imagine for example a 360 product image of a mountain bike. Hotspots can be assigned to individual bikes parts such as the brakes, gears and front forks. As the user rotates the image the hotspot will be highlighted ready for interactive clicking and advantages and features displayed. Congratulations if you're already using this feature because you now have a tireless ace sales person working 24 hours a day selling your product, and they never forget the details.
8. You get the still images too.
You may not realise it, but 360 product images are made up of up to 72 (sometimes more in special cases) individual product images strung seamlessly together. If you ask your provider for the individual images, you can use them for after market advertising campaigns and further manipulation. What's more, instead of replacing still images that can still be very useful on your website (think of pages with lots of thumbnails and pages loading on mobile phones) you can use them in conjunction with 360 imagery to speed up the user experience and lead them toward your new 360 content. Why pay separately for professional flat images when you can have them and a 360 image for less?
9. You're future proofing your business.
In case you missed the last 25 years somehow, the world of shopping has rapidly changed. But to think that it will stop here would be a mistake. The jump to online shopping has only opened up more possibilities, and word on the cyber street is virtual stores will be the future. A virtual store will be like browsing any regular store, walking up and down isles or through departments - but all from the comfort of your own home. So why does this matter? Well, 360 product photography will fit right in. The ability it pick up and inspect a virtual product will inevitably become a thing of normality. Wouldn't it be nice if you already had the images somehow....
10. It adds a completely new dimension to your marketing strategy.
If you're a company that advertises on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or even LinkedIn, then you'll know that your image and ad-copy need to be on point in order to cut through the competition and get maximum engagement. The chief "stop and look" factor is always the image or video, then the headline, then the main copy. Setting yourself apart can be tricky, especially if you only have stock product images to use in your advertising campaigns. Video would be a wonderful touch, but can carry price tags that run into the thousands for single 30-second clips. Enter spinning product images! Eye catching, different, interesting and most importantly they beckon the customer in towards your header and copy far more than still imagery.
If you read through the rest of this article then you'll already know that if you're serious about selling online then investing in 360 product images is a must. If you didn't come to that conclusion or skipped ahead then here's the bottom line: 360 degree product photographs are cheaper, superior, and will likely bring you significantly more return than traditional product or stock photographs. A reputable partner will also be able to advise on the best course of action regarding quality, implementation, and marketing these wonderful tools to your customers. If all that isn't enough for you, then the addition of hotspots, product interaction and super zoom technology surely will. It's like having a sales person on hand 24 hours a day who always has the right answers!
Looking for a good place to start?
Try www.product-360.com . They have some great examples, a good price list, and you can ship your products to their studio. They can even fly to you anywhere in the world. Easy.