How to increase online sales with photography

The exceptional prevalence of online commerce is undeniable at this point. It is convenient, fun, and open 24/7. Yet there is one pain point hampering its growth. Online, customers are not able to touch, smell, or try on the product they are buying. With no storefronts or dressing rooms, end-users can only interact with the photograph. Subsequently, the answer for how to increase online sales is: optimize your online photography. Investing in professional photography will not only increase your sales but even the average order value (AOV). 

How to increase online sales with photography and what results do the industry leaders see when they invest in professional photos? Read on to find out.

Industry breakdown: How professional photography translates to a sales increase

The way people spend their money is undergoing a massive change. Digital-first businesses are gaining popularity among customers by providing unparalleled convenience and accessibility. It should come as no surprise that, e.g., the food delivery market has more than tripled since 2017. The same goes for eCommerce, which will account for almost 25% of all retail sales by 2025.

We have collected data that depicts how much of the increase in (online) sales can be attributed to professional photography.

Food delivery

Going through the photos of the dishes is the preferred way to read the restaurant's menu. Words can hardly stimulate the appetite in the way pictures can. Food delivery services must ensure hungry users will be drooling when they are deciding what they will have for dinner.

When comparing dishes with and without photos, Deliveroo reported a 24% increase in orders after they have uploaded photos on restaurant's menu. Additionally, their competitor Grubhub has seen up to 70% more orders after doing the same. To take it even further, a study from DoorDash suggests that high-quality photos increase sales by an additional 15% compared to the DIY ones.

Grocery delivery

Grocery delivery must be one of the newest and most exciting online niches at the moment. With its market value expected to hit $117b by 2023, the competition in the niche is enormous. Since we could not find any grocery-delivery-specific studies, we will eyeball the broader eCommerce stats.

90% of Etsy shoppers get influenced by the quality of the images. To reaffirm this fact, 83% of the consumers participating in eMarketer's poll stated the photo is the most decisive factor in their buying process. As for the difference quality makes in sales, eBay noted a 5% increase in orders when sellers used professional photos instead of DIY ones. 

Grocery delivery platforms must rely on professional photography when selling premium products.

Online rental

As with eCommerce, it is hard to imagine someone booking accommodation without reviewing the photos first. The written description is insufficient when users are choosing a temporary place they will call their home. Let us check some industry benchmarks.

Airbnb's listings that invested in photography registered a 20% increase in incoming bookings. The same increase occurred in a case study done by A more substantial number comes from HousingAnywhere. They noted that pro photography increases the number of bookings by a staggering 50%.

Real estate

The real estate buyer journey always crosses into the analog world. That means measuring the direct effect of photography on sales increase becomes a heavy task. But since 97% of property buyers use the internet for their search, we can see how does photography assists the sales process.

89% of home buyers stated that photos are the number one feature they are seeking on real estate listings. Furthermore, the latest study by NAR ranked photos, virtual tours, and videos as the top three assets every online listing needs for a successful sale. It is also important to pay attention to what type of visuals are being used. For example, properties that use aerial imagery are 68% more likely to sell than those without it. An even more striking number, 20% of potential buyers will ignore the listing if it does not include a graphical floorplan.

4 photography tips for brands trying to understand how to increase online sales 

It should be clear by now that investing in professional photography is step one in boosting your sales. And now for step two: improving the usage of photography. Here are four tips that every brand should follow:

  • Focus on mobile. Mobile-first has been a buzzword since 2016 when mobile overtook desktop for the first time. The consumer journey now starts on the smartphone, and you need to ensure the images look fantastic on smaller screens. At the same time, optimize the photos to reduce the page load time.
  • Use interactive formats. As mentioned earlier, the downside of digital is the absence of feel and touch. To counter that, use interactive formats such as 360° video or photography that simulate that experience. 130% of young people are more likely to book accommodation over a virtual tour. Furthermore, eCommerce items with 360° photos see a 22% increase in sales.
  • Avoid stock images. It is tempting to use a stock image on your landing page. Your customers will find it discouraging since stock images are used and reused by multiple businesses. That means that by using stock, you risk using the same photo as your competitor. As buyers demand more brand authenticity, do not risk customer churn rate increase. Stand out and use professional photography!
  • Optimize photography processes. From booking a photographer to the final upload - the journey of professional photography can be stressful. To avoid being lost in the process, begin with the strategy. Define the stakeholders, determine roles and responsibilities, and map out and streamline the process. You can avoid this daunting task by partnering with a third-party service. Doing that will give you more time to focus on your core business.

Outsource photography to boost your business

Outsourcing professional photography is the simplest way to make sure everything runs smoothly. It is simpler, cost-effective, and more reliable than creating the process in-house. Start improving your conversion rates and sales with the photography your brand deserves. 

Contact us to learn more about our solution that lets you book professional photoshoots and get the final result delivered to you within 48 hours.