How to reduce returns with product photos?
Most of the world's population likes to shop online. It's like online shopping has become a part of their lives. This has benefitted e-commerce businesses a lot. Though their sales are high and they have a good profit, they are facing losses too. Returns are one of the issues which are affecting these businesses. There are many reasons why people make returns. These include inappropriate product catalogues, faulty products, delivery of wrong products, unmet expectations, etc.
It's always said that a picture describes something better than words. But what if these pictures do not express things well? Online shopping becomes a frustrating experience if the product photos lack information or details. Therefore, e-commerce stores should make a detailed and attractive product catalogue to reduce returns.
In this article, we'll discuss how a poor-quality product catalogue affects return rates and what are some ways to improve it.
What is the product catalogue?
A product catalogue is marketing material that comprises significant information about the products. This information includes description, features, colour, size, price, customers' reviews, weight, etc. It enables marketing managers to display product details in systematic order and helps shoppers to make the right purchase decision. Product catalogues are used by multiple business users like distributors, sales teams, managers, field marketers and buyers. Thus, a catalogue makes it easier for you to present your products comprehensively.
Importance of product catalogue
Below are the reasons why an e-commerce store must have a product catalogue.
1) Help gathering information
It is not easy to remember features and technical information about the products. But presenting product details in one place helps customers to know more about the product. Publishing catalogues on your websites lets buyers make purchase decisions independently without any sales representatives' interference.
2) Reduced conversion rates
With product catalogues, e-commerce retailers can provide product details from one place. This results in effective conversations between the customers and salespersons. Customers can see the products, make a decision and buy them. These catalogues lead to better engagement and improve conversion rates.
3) Improves customers' experience
When you provide customers with a web page or a PDF enclosed with product information and images, it enhances customers' experience. The catalogues also save a lot of time as customers can use their time searching for product details. Hence, marketers should create product catalogues that match their customers' needs.
4) Lessen training effort
Earlier, e-commerce store owners used to train retailers, salespersons, etc., so that they could give product descriptions properly. But having a product catalogue reduces this training effort. E-commerce retailers can digitally present their product information without human intervention.
5) Effortless product selling
The main responsibility of sales representatives is to sell products. The product catalogues help them to share product details with customers and enhance sales. It also saves them a lot of time so that they can focus on making effective business decisions.
The effect of poor-quality product photos on return rates
An old idiom says the first impression is the last impression. This same applies to e-commerce businesses too. Product photos play a major role in online marketing. Consumers make purchase decisions after seeing these photos and product descriptions. But representing your brand with 2D images or poor-quality images may lead to certain issues like returns and negative feedback.
Nowadays, customers want the exact product that they see on your website. If they don't find the product good, they request a return. Because of poor-quality product photos, return rates are getting higher. This also leads to a reduction in e-commerce businesses' sales and revenues. E-commerce businesses have to understand that an unattractive product catalogue will lead to a loss of customers, decrement in sales and an increment in return rates. But you don't have to worry now. The section below will guide you to create an attractive product catalogue.
Ways to reduce returns with product photos
Here are some amazing ways that you can use to reduce rates with catalogue photography.
1) Add high-quality product photos
Gone are the days when people used low-pixel cameras to capture product images. Technology is booming, and many high-pixel cameras are being developed. Marketing managers must use these cameras to show high-quality product photos. These photos will give customers a sense of clarity on how a product will look. High-quality photos will enable them to purchase items wisely, which will lead to a decrement in return rates.
2) Use a dummy model for your product
It is very important to know what a product will look like in reality. If you are an apparel or accessory e-commerce store owner, then you should use dummies or models to display your product. This will help customers to know how the item will look on them. These dummies will help to present features of the product such as size, length, draping, etc. Using models and dummies will create a positive impact on buyers and maximise the profit.
3) Show all your product's angle
Customers feel frustrated when there are not enough photos of the products they like. Despite this, they still buy the product and return it if they don't like it. So to avoid this issue, online sellers must upload product photos from all angles. Through these photos, customers will get a realistic understanding of the product. They'll feel like they are holding the products in their hands.
4) Highlight your product's close up
It is the e-commerce store owner's responsibility to show every small detail of their products. Posting close-up pictures of the products will enable customers to know what exactly they are buying. For instance, a close-up image of a cloth will let them know about the weaving, the type of fabric used, etc. This tactic not only increases sales but also leads to lesser return requests. Therefore, you must publish close-up product photos from different angles on your website.
5) Show your product's professional look
Online marketers must hire professionals or influencers to showcase their products' professional looks. They should do a photoshoot outdoors and in studios with lighting. This will help shoppers to differentiate between expectation and reality. Presenting these types of photos will assist them in deciding whether the product is good for them or not. By this, you can prevent e-commerce returns.
6) Interactive 3D spin of the product
E-commerce retailers can use 3D images of the products to show their features. Customers are easily attracted by these types of images. These pictures will allow them to view the product from every angle and get a close-up view of it. Not only this, the method will help you increase customer traffic on your website. The 3D product photos will enable buyers to make a purchase decision judiciously. Hence, online sellers can easily manage returns.
7) Update your customers about new product photos
Every e-commerce business owner is advised to keep their websites updated. If you are launching a new product, changing the colour, logo or any other detail of your product, update it on your website. This will help customers to know what new items or goods you are selling and what changes you have made to older products. Keeping your customers up-to-date will assist you in solving many return issues.
8) Avoid retouching images
Unnecessary changes or retouching of images is one of the reasons for e-commerce returns. Changing colours, adding sharpness or increasing contrast changes the real essence of the image. If you upload the contrasted photos and customers don't find the product the same as shown in the photograph, then they'll definitely return the product. Thus, sales representatives must avoid polishing images and post real product photos.
9) Crowdsourcing photos
Return rates can be reduced by crowdsourcing photos. Online retailers should post pictures of the customers with the products. This will help other shoppers to know how the product works in real life. Also, they will become more confident while buying the products. You should make a separate section for this purpose so that your customers can easily find these photos. Crowdsourcing product photos will engage them around your brand.
10) Show the texture of your product
Buying products like clothes from e-commerce stores becomes difficult as we cannot touch them. Without touching, customers cannot tell about the quality or texture of the product. Due to this, the return rates get higher. Hence, with product photos, online merchants should meet this drawback. Create photos with filters or contrasting lights to show the texture of the product. You can also change the angles or backgrounds for the same.
11) Display the exact product colour
Shoppers buy what they see in e-commerce stores. If the product doesn't turn out to be the same, they place a return for it. So, to avoid this situation, online marketers are advised to show the exact colour of the product in the photos. As consumers shop online on various devices such as laptops, smartphones, etc., you should try to present the true colour of the product on all types of screens.
12) Use infographics
Though improving product photos reduce returns in e-commerce, infographics are important too. We know that words can change the mindset of people. Therefore, you can combine images with words to grab your customers' attention. With these infographics, you can easily convey the features of your products so that customers can understand them clearly.
It is said that what words can't explain, a picture does. In this blog, we have discussed many tips to improve your product catalogue. These tips have proved to be very helpful. As e-commerce is changing and evolving, it is very important to make a place in this never-ending race. By acquiring these tips, you can make your old customers stay, bring in new ones, increase sales and, most importantly, reduce return rates.