How To Use Images and Product Descriptions on Your E-Commerce Website


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When running an e-commerce business, you want to do everything you can to encourage visitors to purchase your products. You can employ many strategies to attract more customers, and adding high-quality images and product descriptions is among the most important.

Whether you’re new to the e-commerce world or looking to take your established business to the next level, the right strategy regarding your imagery and product descriptions is essential.

Key takeaways:

  • Images improve your UX (user experience) because humans are visual creatures.
  • Images make your UX easier to follow.
  • Images and product descriptions are great for engagement and sales.

How Using Images and Product Descriptions Enhances Your UX

When you own and operate an e-commerce website, your primary concerns are ensuring it loads quickly, looks great, and is easy to navigate. Consumers shopping online have countless options to consider, which is why it’s so integral to your business that you stand out from the rest.

Once you encourage someone to visit your website, ensure their UX is as strong and satisfying as possible so they don’t browse away to another site.

Images improve your UX because humans are visual creatures

Using images is a proven way to help keep visitors browsing your website and even increase their chances of making a purchase. Humans are very visual in almost every aspect of life. Seeing the products under consideration makes it much easier for most people to make an informed decision about what to buy and whether or not their money will be well spent on a quality item.

Images make your UX easier to follow

Images on a website help break up text and make it easier to find what your visitors are searching for. No matter what type of site someone browses, featuring nothing but words makes the page flow frustrating to follow.

This is especially true for an e-commerce website, where images give your customers a stronger idea of what the products you offer look like, in addition to making the overall visual layout more pleasing.

Images and product descriptions are great for engagement and sales

Product descriptions are also crucial to include because a well-written one gives the reader clearer insight into what the product is, how it works, and why they should buy it using only a few lines of text.

When done right, these descriptions serve as an effective sales pitch to help visitors make their purchasing decisions within what could very well be a matter of seconds.

Screenshot of an ecommerce site selling socks.
Source: Squarespace

How To Create Great E-commerce Product Images

Each product you offer needs to be unique, but you should generally follow these tips and tricks to ensure you’re getting the most out of the product images on your website:

  • High-resolution images: Always use high-resolution images. Remember that users could be accessing your e-commerce website from large monitors. If your product looks pixilated, they’re much less likely to purchase it.
  • Keep the background white: In most cases, you want to keep the background of the image white. While there are exceptions to this rule, they aren’t common. The white background sets the focus on the product and looks good on any screen.
  • Display the product on a person, if possible: If your product is used on or by people, consider having at least one of the available images include a person interacting with the product. For example, if you’re selling sunglasses, show them on a model’s face to get the best effect.
  • Avoid cluttered images: Make sure your images don’t include any clutter. The focus should be on the product itself. Having multiple other items in the shot ― even just in the background ― can be very distracting.
  • Consider showing the product from all angles: Add images of your product from multiple angles so that potential customers can see what they’re buying. You can either add a series of pictures from each angle or create one 360-degree photo that allows the customer to rotate the image around all the different axes so they can see the product in greater detail.
  • Make sure the product is prominent: You don’t want your product to only be one part of an overall image. When someone looks at the picture you’re using, they should immediately identify the product they’re considering.
  • Show multiple product options: If your product comes in different colorways, make this clear in your images. For example, if you sell one pair of shoes with five color options, allow your visitors to easily scroll through images of each one.
  • Allow users to zoom: Good e-commerce platforms typically have a built-in feature that allows visitors to zoom in and out on images. Make sure you have this option enabled so that customers can get a close look at your products.

It isn’t enough to use a picture of your product on your e-commerce website. Use the best possible image quality to yield the results you’re seeking.

Keep in mind that these tips and tricks aren’t strict rules that apply to every single situation. Each product is unique, and every e-commerce website is, too. The most important thing is to make sure that your product looks as appealing as it can so that visitors want to make that purchase.

New order popup in an ecommerce site.
Source: GoDaddy

Where To Find Stock Images for Your Products

Some of the best options for finding stock images include the following:

While pictures of the actual product that you’re selling are the ultimate ideal, that isn’t always necessary. If you need images for categories of products or pictures of similar items to what you’re selling, stock images can be a viable option.

Stock images are typically going to be both high quality and readily available, which makes them a great way to get the pictures you need for your site.

There are many different websites that provide you with access to stock images. Some of them offer completely free photos, while others charge you for each image you want to use. The premium stock image providers generally have a greater selection of top-notch quality photos. has evaluated dozens of different stock photo providers and reviewed them for our readers. Click to read all about the best stock image providers.

What Should You Do Next?

If you already have an e-commerce website set up, you want to evaluate each of your product pages closely. If you’re already using images, make sure that they’re of the highest quality and positioned in a way that encourages visitors to buy.

Do the same thing with the product descriptions. Start testing different strategies involving your images and product descriptions to see which ones perform the best.

If you haven’t yet set up an e-commerce website, you’ll want to do that right away. Find the best e-commerce platform that allows you to easily add and edit images and product descriptions on all of your pages.

Many dedicated e-commerce platforms already include web hosting. If you choose one that doesn’t, make sure you also have the best hosting solution in place to ensure visitors get fast response times when browsing your products.

FAQs About Images and Product Descriptions

Who owns the rights to stock images?

Most stock image websites, particularly those that either charge a subscription fee or per image you download, include the license to use a picture in the price. You’ll need to pay close attention, however, as some free sites and certain stock images on paid sites may have restrictions stating that the picture you’re interested in using may not be available for commercial use. Others may require royalty payments.

If you’re confused about the rights to a particular stock photo, either ask the host site or the photographer if it’s available for commercial purposes. Never take an image and use it without permission when you’re unsure about the licensing specifics. You may find yourself on the receiving end of a lawsuit, fines, and bad PR (public relations).

How do I write a product description?

The best product descriptions are quick and to the point — anything more than a few sentences risks losing your customers’ interest. Make sure to include all the following information when writing out a product description:

  • Features
  • Benefits
  • Size (or size range)
  • Shape
  • Color options
  • Plot summary, medium, and genre (if selling media)

If you’re able to place everything your visitors need to know about a product in an easily-scannable bulleted list, all the better. This provides them with the fastest overview possible and makes the browsing and purchasing process go even faster.

For some brands, storytelling is part of the selling process. With handmade items, secondhand, and vintage items especially, your target audience may love hearing anecdotes about the creation process, or where their potential purchases have traveled throughout their existence.

In cases like this, certainly do invest more than a few sentences in the product description! Just make sure to place it after the general summary for your customers who may be in a bit of a hurry and want to come back later to learn more.

Are product descriptions good for SEO?

Product descriptions are more than just good for your SEO (search engine optimization) — they’re crucial. Customers searching for specific items are more likely to find exactly what they’re looking for if you include the right keywords.

That’s why your product descriptions need to provide as much detail as possible. If you’re not familiar with SEO, then someone on your team or an outside resource should look over the data regarding what keywords your visitors use to find your site, as well as other ways they may be searching for similar products.

This will help you better tailor your product descriptions to maximize your visibility in search engines.

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