Creating convincing product listings that present your customers with all the information they need right at the point of purchase is the most essential factor for any successful ecommerce business. It's vital to make the most of each interaction with your customers by designing a shopping experience that builds purchase momentum.
This is where the addition of lifestyle imagery to product pages can give your customers the confidence they need to convert. Lifestyle images invite customers to visualise the product in their home or hands, bringing a level of personalisation that nudges them towards ‘add to cart’.
Many consumers respond more favourably to products promoted in lifestyle images because they appear more authentic and trustworthy as opposed to products in a commercial setting. Adding lifestyle context to your item also helps your customer better visualise the size, use and placement of their next purchase and reduces the risk of returns.
Lifestyle product photography is when an item is placed within a scene that adds context to its functions, benefits and users.
This placement communicates important information such as how the product will look, feel, and work in real-life situations. It also adds important cultural context to the people who will be using it and demonstrates to them how the product is suited to their demographic.
Digital audiences move fast and skim information so visually communicating through photo and video content is an effective way to show customers how your product complements their lifestyle.
When shopping online, customers are dependent on product images to gauge product quality and determine if it is suitable for their needs.
Traditional ecommerce photos on white backdrops show customers what an item looks like from the front and back but doesn't provide any additional information. This is why using lifestyle settings to add visual context is so important. Adding context to your product allows potential customers to see your products in action and understand key attributes at a glance.
Most retail sites and ecommerce platforms allow several gallery images per product listing and each of them has an important role to play in shaping first impressions and influencing purchase decisions. Here is an overview of the different types of lifestyle visuals you can use to educate your customers on the characteristics and value of your product.
Photographing your product within an environment where it’s intended to be used or stored helps your customer imagine themselves using it. It also helps them visualise how the item might fit or look within the space of their home.
Lifestyle images featuring people are an effective way to add warmth to your brand and evoke an emotional response in your customers. Building a connection with your audience encourages conversions as [95% of purchase decisions are driven by emotions](https://www.inc.com/logan-chierotti/harvard-professor-says-95-of-purchasing-decisions-are-subconscious.html#:~:text=Emotion is what really drives,are incapable of making decisions.).
It is important for brands to be relatable, using authentic style imagery where real people and families use and enjoy your product is ultimately perceived as more trustworthy. This type of lifestyle content presents an unfiltered view of products which balances customer expectations and increases their confidence to purchase.
Learn more about how authentic content can have a powerful impact on your digital performance.
Customers usually conduct research prior to purchasing to determine whether the product they are considering will best serve the purpose they are buying it for. By using lifestyle images to focus on specific product attributes and details you’ll be able to address any questions they might have had prior to purchase. This information is presented to them right at the point of purchase meaning they are less likely to leave your site to compare products and more likely to check out!
If your product is inside a box, has multiple components or a unique formula it is vital to show your viewers what to expect inside. If you have a food, beverage or beauty product you can depict the contents of your item through dispensing or serving it in an image. Unboxing photos and videos are also a popular way to demonstrate to your audience what they will be receiving once they own your product.
You may be familiar with the term 'in-situ' which means in situation and describes the scene in which a product is being used. It's a popular way for brands to add important context about an item and how it is used in everyday life.
With in-situ images, the product isn't always the hero of the shot and it is often smaller in the frame allowing space for people or places to help tell the story.
As well as adding meaningful context, showing your product in use is a functional way to illustrate to customers how the product works or when and where to use it.
One of the most common reasons for product returns is inaccurate depictions of the product size. Unlike brick-and-mortar stores, your customers cannot hold the product in hand to determine its accurate size when shopping online. Lifestyle images that show the product in frame with other recognisable items are a clever way to visually communicate how big or small the product is.
Brands using ecommerce platforms catering to specific markets can drive a deeper connection with customers by using images that represents their locality. Over 70% of consumers say they expect brands to deliver some kind of personalised experience. Incorporating local environments and people for each product listing helps users more easily relate to your item and visualise themselves using it.
As we've discussed, lifestyle product photography is a crucial element in ecommerce image galleries. They aren't just useful on product pages and can be integrated across advertising campaigns, social media platforms and across ecommerce websites. Here are some placements and examples you can implement lifestyle photos online:
The hero image is the oversized banner image at the top of your ecommerce profile. Using lifestyle photos here adds important context about your brand and customers.
Gallery images are a set of images that support your main image, most retail sites allow you to use up to 7 additional images. These gallery images convey key information about your item and often contain text or graphics to add more detail.
A shop landing page is the first page that visitors see when visiting an ecommerce website or profile. It’s specifically designed to add context to your brand through visual storytelling.
Retail media advertisements are purchased ad spaces displayed in online markets or ecommerce platforms such as Amazon and Lazada. These ads help brands stand out on the crowded digital shelf and connect with consumers right at the point of purchase.
For a more comprehensive guide to ecommerce imagery, read this article.
The goal of lifestyle product photography is to capture the product in a true-to-life setting or in its natural context. This way, you’re able to create more authentic imagery that is ultimately more convincing for your audience because they know what to expect.
While you can produce your own lifestyle images, the time and resources that it takes to scale up production in multiple markets can be costly. In today’s digital world, many ecommerce businesses are collaborating with content creators or using third-party creative platforms to streamline production.
Platforms like Creatively Squared partner with content creators who are experienced in creating professional yet authentic content in many markets worldwide. This global reach makes it simple for brands to create locally relevant content for different market segments in one hit.
Creatively Squared has experience in producing lifestyle imagery for ecommerce with many of the world's biggest brands across many verticals. If you'd like to find out how to create convincing product listings that stand out online we'd love to chat with you. Simply book a call with us to learn more about how we can help your brand.
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