5 Tips for Designing a High Converting Website Pop Up (Plus 4 Bonus Conversion Tactics)

It’s no secret, website pop ups have changed the way online businesses engage, interact, and convert their visitors. Whether you like them or not, they are incredibly effective, especially when used right. Still, many marketers are missing the boat when using pop ups on their website. In this article, we’ll cover the key elements of a high converting website pop up and how you can pop up conversions with a few simple tweaks.

What a website visitor wants

Before we jump into the fun stuff, we have to look at things from the website visitor’s perspective. Here’s a short list of things to consider from a visitor’s point of view.

  • They expect something of value
  • They are hit with marketing messages and pop ups daily
  • They are visual creatures
  • They have short attention spans
  • They are human

How can we market to them in a way that is unique, provides value, and ultimately, effective?

What you want as a marketer

As a marketer, your needs are different than those of a website visitor. Here’s a list of things that I value as a marketer and I’m guessing, if you’re reading this article, you have a similar list to mine.

  • You want a high converting pop up
  • You want to make a good first impression
  • You want qualified leads
  • You don’t want to damage your website experience
  • You want more opportunities for conversions

Key Elements of a High Converting Website Pop Up

What if I told you that you could design your website pop ups to cater to your visitor’s needs while also fulfilling your marketing needs? You definitely can and it’s not rocket science. After considering the marketer’s and visitor’s points of view, here are the key elements of high converting website pop ups. This is the last list (possibly) that I’ll put in front of you.

  • Branding and Design
  • Actionable and Relevant Headline
  • Highlight your offering
  • Clear CTA Copy
  • 3 Form Fields or Less

Pop Up Branding and Design

It’s in your best interest to invest some time in designing a pop up that grabs attention, represents your brand, and matches your website design. I could throw out the obvious “it just looks better” argument, but there’s much more to it.

As mentioned earlier, consumers see pop ups daily and the vast majority of them look something like this.

While I’m all for using pop ups to convert visitors, the truth of the matter is that these are far less effective and they are conditioning people to ignore the marketing message because they all look exactly the same.

Design and branding is your opportunity to stand out from the other guys and engage a visitor with something that will actually grab their attention and get them to convert. A well designed pop up will stand out, convert at a higher percentage, and won’t damage the website experience or brand perception. Here are a couple of examples that really stand out from the pack of mediocre pop ups.

Simple, distinctive email pop up from Greetabl

Effective gated content pop up from Momentum Mag

Actionable and Relevant Headlines

“Join our Newsletter” just doesn’t cut it anymore. That’s a statement that implies benefit to you, the business, and absolutely no benefit to the visitor. I’m not bashing newsletters because I know they can provide value to subscribers, but you must craft a headline that clearly states what value the subscriber would receive. Is it a discount? An e-book? If you don’t have an added incentive, let your visitors know why your newsletter is of value.

 

Highlight Your Offering

This is an extension of your headline. Your headline should grab attention and display value while the pop up copy persuades the visitor to take further action. Here’s a great example from Evo.

Remember, we’re dealing with short attention spans so be clear and concise when describing your offering. This copy should tell visitors what value they will receive, what action they need to take to receive the benefit (email opt in, social follow, no action at all), and when they will receive the benefit ( monthly newsletter, instant coupon code, email containing e-book to download, etc.)

 

Clear CTA Copy

Consistency in your marketing message is key for a high converting pop up. This applies to your call-to-action (CTA) button. Again, don’t be generic and please, do not use a CTA labeled “submit.”

Be clear, spur action, and show some personality if possible. A CTA i used recently was “Get My Free E-Book.” It clearly states what will occur when a visitor completes the form and presses the button. Here’s a list of words to use within pop ups and CTA’s.

  • Now
  • Quick
  • Fast
  • Hurry
  • Rapidly
  • Instant
  • Get
  • Approaching
  • Close
  • Never
  • Seconds
  • Again
  • Over

 

Three Form Fields or Less

We want to eliminate barriers that prevent visitors from actually converting within a pop up. One major barrier is the number of form fields. If you’re presenting a pop up to a first time visitor, the goal is to get a conversion. For this reason, just ask for an email. Email capture provides the greatest benefit to your business and it should be your main focus when using pop ups.

If you must ask for more information, don’t go over three fields. Anything over this and it appears to be too much work in the eyes of the visitor. This lowers your chance of converting that visitor. Also, make sure the information you’re asking for is relevant to your marketing and the visitor. For example, if you’re selling shoes, ask for a shoe size so you can deliver more relevant marketing emails.

 

A Note on Mobile Pop Ups

Mobile traffic is different and therefore should be treated differently. This change the way you design and write copy for mobile pop ups. A few things to consider: use less text, bigger font size, and blatantly showcase your offering.

In addition to this, Google has recently updated their policies regarding mobile pop ups. In short, Google does not want you to present a pop up to visitors immediately after they click through from a Google search result. Besides that restriction, you are free to use mobile pop ups on your website! Here’s an article that provides a full breakdown of Google’s policy update and best practices for mobile pop ups.

 

Bonus: Give these conversion tactics a try

2 Step Pop Ups

2 step pop ups use micro-commitments to drive visitors to convert. Micro-commitments are small actions that you ask visitors to perform leading up to a bigger conversion step. In this case, the higher conversion step would be an email opt-in or purchase.

Simply pose a question like “Want a discount?” Then provide two calls to action: one that is a “Yes” response and another that is a “No” response. This presents visitors with a decision that they must make. When an individual selects a “Yes” response, they are psychologically inclined to behave consistently with the “Yes” commitment. It’s not a sure thing but the visitor is much more likely to stay on the same path and convert. Using an a/b test, this ecommerce business discovered that pop up conversions increased by 104% when using a two step pop up!

Cheeky Opt-Out Text

Using some negativity may actually help conversion rates. Try using some clever opt-out text to give your visitors a fear of missing out on some value. Here are two variations of the same pop up. One has a basic close button and the other has a close button with some cheeky text. The one with cheeky text outperformed the other variation in email opt ins by 15.51% and sales conversion by 217%.

Full Screen Pop Ups

If the goal is to interrupt the visit and bring full attention to your pop up, a full screen pop up could be your best bet. This conversion tactic can be very effective, especially when implemented at the right times. Consider using a full screen takeover with exit pop ups and cart abandonment pop ups to ensure that your message will not be overlooked.

Countdown Timer

Creating urgency during a website visit is an excellent way to drive action. A simple way to do this is to use a countdown timer within your pop up. This timer could be the amount of time left to engage with the offer. It could also be used to let shoppers know how much time is left during a current sale. Here’s more info on how to create urgency on your website.

Create a High Converting Pop Up Today!

Now that you have some direction on how to optimize your pop ups for conversion, it’s time to implement some changes! Making a few simple tweaks to your website pop ups can drastically increase conversion rates and the design process can actually be quite fun.

For additional design inspiration, here’s 10 more examples of pop up designs and why they work

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3 No-Cost eCommerce Marketing Strategies to Increase Conversions to your New Shopify Store

Have you ever clicked on a Facebook ad and dropped on an unfamiliar site with an unknown brand? If the product’s common enough (like jewelry, toothbrushes, or sunglasses), would you prefer an unknown brand over the rest?

I don’t think so.

Driving traffic to your site doesn’t make sense if it does not have enough reputation to unlock conversions. Otherwise, you’re pouring water into a leaky bucket.

In short, paid ads won’t solve your traction problem. Reputation, social proof, and authority does.

So how do you create a reputable site that gets conversions? How do you set your site up in that your paid ads spend isn’t wasted? If you’re a new Shopify store, how do you set this up with your startup budget?

That’s what I’ll teach you in this article.

There are three main ways you can get a high-converting, reputable site at little to no cost:

  1. Build referral traffic and social proof via reviews
  2. Borrow reputation & build more referral traffic via Instagram marketing
  3. Build more leads & trust with free guides

 

Just a heads-up: this is going to be a long post, so buckle up! 🙂

 

First Strategy: Build referral traffic via reviews

Testimonials and reviews are proven to influence the purchase decision of 77.3% of visitors. Without prominent reviews on the site, you may have already lost that many customers!

To get initial reviews for your site, you’ll need to do email outreach to lifestyle bloggers.

For this example, we’re going to imagine ourselves as an owner of a paleo bar e-commerce store. To acquire reviews through email outreach, this is what you need to do:

Step 1: Search & Take Note of paleo-related reviews in your search engine of choice

Below, you’ll see a list of paleo blogs that actively do reviews. Open all the tabs and take note of their domain names.

Now here are the domains I’ve found, and the names associated for each:

 

If you’re a new eCommerce store, go for up-and-coming bloggers before targeting the established ones.

To find these folks, look at the 2nd or 3rd pages of the search results then get domains & names of the bloggers.

Now that we have a handy list of data, how do we turn this into contactable information?

Step 2: Get an Email from the Site (If Available)

For some sites, you can usually find the emails in the “About” section of the site. For example, Burton’s Bakes’ email is right there in the “Work With Me” section:

But most of the time, the email can’t be found. Or it could be as generic as “contact@domainname.com.” What do you do then?

What you can do is to generate email address combinations from your list of names and domains.

Step 3: Generate Email Addresses from your List

To generate these email addresses, go to Email Generator IO and add the First Name, Surname, and Domain from the data we generated in step one.

Clicking on “Generate” will return a rather large list of potential emails. Remove everything that’s not a business domain.

Now let’s ensure that we’re using the right email.

Step 4: Validate Email Addresses from your List

To 2 tools you can use to verify your email list:

  1. Email Checker NET is a free, single-use email validation tool; and
  2. Bulk Email Checker NET is a paid, multi-use email validation tool. This is the best validation tool that I’ve seen so far.

For the bulk checker, all you need to do is to copy and paste your generated email in a separate .txt file and upload it into the software. Then you’ll see a blue button to start the validation process.

After a few minutes (sometimes hours if you have thousands of generated emails), you should have personal emails that you can now use for your outreach.

Step 5: Prepare a thoughtful Email

Please note that “outreach” does not mean “broadcast.” Too many bloggers get a lot of manufactured stuff that looks like this:

Hey,

I recently saw your website in the XXXXX directory, and I wanted to know if you’re currently accepting product reviews.

My product’s been reviewed In YYYY and ZZZZ and I’m looking to expand my audience a bit.

If you’re interested I’m happy to send over the product to you.

Best,
(Name)

 

Ugh. Remember that you’re optimizing for traffic & sales, not for productivity. Show them that they’re special to you (which they are!) and that you really care!

A good email would look something like this (an example for emailing Paleohacks):

Hi Casey,

LOVE your paleo bar table comparing six products over at http://blog.paleohacks.com/paleo-protein-bars/. Saved me a lot of time!

I’m emailing you because you might be interested to know that I’ve created a paleo bar with less fat% than any of the list that you’ve shared.

Wanted to know if you’re willing to try it out? Happy to give it to you for free in exchange for feedback 🙂

Cheers,
Your Name

What I like about this is approach is that:

  1. The language is not dry. There’s a lot of emotion in the email (i.e. there’s the word “love” at the start and an expression of relief in “saved me a lot of time”).
  2. You’re offering something new, different, and compelling (i.e. you’re showing off the fact that you have an even lower fat% paleo bar)/
  3. It’s not overly self-promotional. Instead of asking for a review, you’re asking for feedback. Since it’s a lower commitment response, you’re making it easier for them to say yes. Besides, if they like your product, they’ll leave a review anyway!

 

Most people stop with one batch of emails. Remember that this is a marketing strategy and thus email outreach should be done consistently.

And to become consistent, you need a solid pipeline. Here’s how:

Step 6: Have a Solid Weekly Pipeline of Emails

To create a pipeline, first sign up for a free account at Trello.

Then create five lists: “Leads”, “Contacted”, “Follow Up”, “Scheduled”, “Done”.

Here’s how it looks like for me:

Put every email you generate in the “leads” column. Then slide the card to the right as you pass through every stage. When you’ve finally closed a deal, move it to “Done”!

Now that you have a system for creating referral traffic that converts (thanks to blog reviews), I’ll teach you how to build a system for creating Instagram traffic.

Second Strategy: Borrow reputation & build social media traffic via Instagram marketing

Product placements Instagram is another source of high converting traffic. The principle here is simple: everyone looks toward someone for fashion inspiration, health tips, comedy, etc.

For instance, MeUndies has built their entire company via Instagram influencers.

Now let’s walk through how you can create product placements through influencer partnerships

https://www.shopify.com.au/blog/14288561-how-to-build-a-massive-following-on-instagram

Step 1: Use the right hashtags

While I agree that hashtags don’t work for Facebook and Twitter; it’s golden for Instagram. If you think about it, influencers mainly use hashtags to get their profiles discovered. Otherwise, there’s no other way to increase their follower count.

Regarding hashtag quality, the best solution that I’ve seen is HashMe, which is a mobile app. If you don’t like switching between your phone and laptop, All Hashtag is the best next thing.

Begin by entering a seed keyword to start your research. We’re still using our paleo bar ecommerce store as an example.

You’ll get a list of 30 hashtags:

Then go through these hashtags one by one to find influencers.

Step 2: Create a list of your influencers

Note your influencers’ names, handles, locations, follower counts, types of posts, and their personal descriptions.

Going through the types of posts is especially important because it helps you determine if the influencer has a consistent brand voice with yours.

For example, if your paleo brand caters more to men and has a casual & approachable brand, then someone like Dave (@happynettleboy) will make a lot of sense for you.

If your paleo brand is positioned more towards fitness junkies, Camilla (@coach_camilla) makes a lot more sense.

The location’s also there if your brand has geographic constraints.

Step 3: Reach out and recruit them as an ambassador

When reaching out, be careful not to sound as transactional as your earlier outreach to webmasters. You’d want to transform these influencers into long-term brand ambassadors.

These ambassadors will get a unique referral link, and they’ll get credit when someone purchases. Based on the number of purchases that they generated, they will be classified under Ambassador tiers with specific perks/gifts.

Here are some examples for paleo bar case:

  • 10 sales generated: Free pack of paleo bars
  • 25 sales generated: Two free paleo books of your choice
  • 50 sales generated: Free ticket to the Paleo F(x) conference
  • 100 sales generated: Free trip for two to Bali
  • 200 sales generated: Marketing support for the ambassador’s projects

 

Beyond that, you should create a community for your ambassadors:

  • Invitation to Secret Facebook Group: brand ambassadors get to connect with each other

 

To track this, you can use affiliate tracking software like Tapfiliate.

Remember, apart from revenue generation, you should also create a tight-knit community of like-minded influencers who feel that they’re part of something bigger.

Third Strategy: Rank higher with Linkable Assets

If you execute the first two strategies well, you have not only driven immediate traffic to your site. You’re also setting yourself up for long-term search rankings increase.

Why? That’s because you’re increasing backlinks through other people’s blogs, and you’re increasing social signals by getting influencers to link back to you. The key factor to SEO is mainly to get authoritative sites to link back to you – and that’s how you can do it while getting short-term results!

Now let’s boost your rankings more by creating “linkable assets.” What this means is that you should create content that’s so good that it gets linked by other sites.

For eCommerce, this could mean comprehensive guides.

The best example of an eCommerce store that does this is Right Channel Radios. They have this immense learning center that has a guide for CB Radios for the following:

  • CB Radios for Pickup Trucks
  • CB Radios for Jeeps
  • CB Radio Fundamentals
  • etc

 

Not only do they make helpful content (and hence generates links), their content also allows them to own a particular keyword (CB Radios in this example). If you google CB Radios, you can take a guess on who’s the #1 CB Radios eCommerce store in the results.

Now I know that you’re like most eCommerce store founders: you LOATHE writing. That’s completely fine. We won’t go through keyword strategies here. What’s important is that you get started as a new eCommerce owner.

With that context in mind, here’s a simple and practical process to create compelling & comprehensive content:

Step 1: Research and find existing content online.

You don’t have to overthink this!

 

To know what content will work, first, go to either Buzzsumo or Epicbeat. This allows you to find content that is frequently shared online.

To get that content, enter the seed keyword where you want to get some sample content:

Take the content which has the highest number of shares:

Step 2: Extract the Content Template from these Highly-Shared Articles

Now you should infer or extract the content template from these proven benchmarks.

For this article from the Poliquin Group:

  • Introduction: Share the benefits on why the Paleo Lifestyle has become popular
  • Detailed Findings: Share facts that support your claimed benefits
  • Action Steps: Share 10 tips on how your reader can get started with the Paleo lifestyle

 

For this article from the New Zealand Herald:

  • Introduction: Share the outcome of one person after adopting a Paleo Diet (e.g. shed 55kgs)
  • Quotes from Previous Life: Use quotes from your interview to display the eating habits the person had and the consequences for having those habits
  • Quotes from the beginning of her transformation: Share how her habit changes were not instant and instead, it’s a product of incremental changes (i.e. first removed processed food, then fresh whole foods, then regular workouts, and then created a blog for accountability)
  • Quotes about her current progress: Show how much progress that the person has had while showing a realistic update.

 

Just from doing that exercise, you now have two content templates that you can use: 1) for creating “X tips” articles and 2) a case study article.

Step 3: Draft, Proofread, and Publish

Based on my experience of writing a lot of content, the most difficult part is always knowing what to write. If you force yourself to structure your content in a way that we did for Steps 1 and 2, the content creation process will be a lot easier for you.

Conclusion

If you made it this far, congratulations! And thank you!

To recap, the intent for doing all of this activity is to strengthen your reputation (reviews), increase social proof (Instagram influencers), and improve Google search rankings (through content).

For each of these marketing objectives, I’ve given you some systems above that you can start using today.

Good luck, and start driving traffic that converts!

 

Bio

Kenn Costales is the Founder of Growth Hacker Kit, which is an eCommerce Marketing Agency that helps online stores grow their traffic and sales. If you want to improve the revenue & ROI of your paid acquisition campaigns (Facebook, AdWords, Amazon), he does Free Audits here.

 

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The Importance of Shopper Loyalty and Loyalty Programs

Shopper loyalty has huge benefits. There’s no doubt about it. However with so many ways to build shopper loyalty: rewards, coupons, loyalty programs, customer satisfaction programs, etc, it’s often hard to get started. There are no silver bullets, but as a Shopify merchant, there are many tools to help get started on building customer loyalty, and the benefits that can come from it are not to be missed.

(more…)

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How to Increase your Sales with Better Product Photos

This is a guest post by Holly. Holly is the founder of Pixc, an on demand image editing company. She has a passion for eCommerce and design. When she is not working, she loves travelling and drinking a good coffee.

High quality product photos are the key to increasing your online sales. It’s not just about taking flawless shots — you need to optimize your images for eCommerce so that they showcase your products in the best possible way and give your store a professional look. In this guide, I’ll show you how to set up your shooting space, prepare your camera, and make your photos retail-ready so that you can take photos that really sell your products. Let’s go!

Part 1: Set up your shooting space

Set up a white backdrop

For professional-looking product shots, you should shoot against a white backdrop as it’ll reflect light onto your product. The best kind of backdrop is a photography sweep, which is where the vertical surface curves down and seamlessly transitions into the horizontal surface.

2 (1)

You can use any white material as your sweep, though my personal favourite is white wrapping paper because it’s slightly more reflective than other surfaces. The tricky part is standing it up. If you’re photographing smaller products, a shooting table is an all-in-one solution. It doesn’t take up much space and it’s easy to re-position. You can buy one online or easily make your own — just nail two scraps of wood to an old square table, and clamp your sweep to the top of the planks.

 

shooting-table

If you’re shooting larger products, you can buy a sweep and stand online, which will save you the hassle of setting up if you plan on shooting regularly. Otherwise, you can use disposable hooks or duct tape to fix your sweep to a wall, or improvise and drape it over some furniture.

 

Use natural lighting

You can take high quality product photos that convert without forking out a huge sum of money for artificial lighting. That being said, artificial lighting does take a lot of skill to be able to use properly, so unless you’re willing to invest the time and money, it’s not really worth it.

Natural lighting is the easy and affordable option, and will also return great results. The key is to use it indirectly, so opt for a spot indoors by a window rather than outside. If you’re getting an overexposed product or can see harsh shadows, it means your lighting is too bright. Just diffuse it by covering the window with a white sheet or some white paper; this will ‘soften’ the light source.

diffused-window (1)

In terms of positioning, the window should never be behind or in front of the camera. For best results, the light source should hit the product from either the left or right of the product. In a perfect world, you’d have windows directly opposite each other, hitting the product from both sides.

However, if you’ve only got one window, you’ll find that the lighting will be unevenly distributed across the product due to the fact that it’s coming in from one side only. You can balance this out by placing a fill light on the other side of the product, to bounce the light back.

If you look at the photos below, it’s easy to see that the right one has been shot with a reflector, as the shadows on the chair’s underside aren’t as noticeable.

before-after-reflector

The simple solution is to buy a reflector online. They’re cheap and designed for exactly this purpose. However, if you’re not going to shoot frequently, grab a piece of cardboard and cover it with some aluminium foil, and it’ll have the same effect.

sweep

Part 2: Prepare your camera

Use a tripod or smartphone mount

Nothing will scare off your customers more than a blurry photo, so make sure you steady your camera. Invest in a tripod or smartphone mount and you won’t be disappointed!

tripod

This is especially important if you’re going to shoot with a slow shutter speed, or if your product has a lot of intricate detail. Plus, your hands will be free to move the product around, and your framing will be consistent across all your shots.

Use a self-timer

Even if you’ve steadied your camera, pressing down on the shutter or tapping the capture button on a touch screen applies a bit of pressure to the camera. Using a self-timer will allow for your camera to restabilize itself and help you produce track-sharp photos.

A timer as short as 2-seconds will suffice.

Part 3: Make your photos retail-ready

Remove the background

eBay has found that listings with better product photos are 5% more likely to sell, so take the time to optimize your images for eCommerce. Nothing says professional product photography like a clean white background. It’s clean, simple, and will draw attention to your products, which will lead to higher conversion rates.

white-background

You can use an online automatic background removal tool or Adobe Photoshop’s magic wand and quick selection tools, but nothing will give you a cleaner and better cut than the pen tool in Photoshop.

Start by opening your image in Photoshop and selecting the pen tool. Place an anchor point anywhere along the edge of your product, and work your way around the product until your clipping path is complete.

The clipping path is straight by default, but you can manipulate the shape of the line. When you click to place an anchor point, simply hold down the mouse and drag it — you’ll see ‘bezier handles’ appear and moving them around will bend your line. This video will give you a better idea of how they work; you’ll need to practice to get the hang of it.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSdov7nVYdo

Once your path is complete, hit ‘Selection’ at the top, and you’ll see a selection line appear around your product.At the top of the Photoshop window, click Select > Inverse. The selection line will then appear around the background. Press delete and you’re done!

Quick tip: If you want to save the image with a transparent background, save it as a PNG or PSD file. JPGs don’t support transparency, so saving it as a JPG file will automatically add a white background to the product.

Avoid over-editing

If a purchased product doesn’t meet your customer’s expectations, they’ll most likely ask for their money back and/or never shop on your site again. What good are product photos that sell that leave your customers angry and disappointed?  

Save the fancy filters for Instagram and ensure that you represent your product as accurately as possible. Limit the editing to a few minor brightness and contrast adjustments. If you’re Photoshop-savvy, use the ‘Levels’ feature as it’ll give you more control over the way lighting is distributed.

levels-adjustments

If you find that the colours are a little off, you can also adjust the colour balance of the photo to match what the product looks like in real life.

Consistency is key

What good are high converting product photos if they don’t look great together? Professional-looking product shots won’t sell your products as effectively if your website looks messy and disorganised. Whether we realise it or not, consistency and ‘evenness’ are aesthetically pleasing.

All your product images should be the same size, and each product should take up the same amount of canvas space (around 90%). The easiest way to do this is to create a template and apply it to all your images.

Start by picking the size you want all your images to be. The best size for a product photo is around 1200-1600px on the longest side. This is large enough to use across social media without stretching the image, and also allows for an effective zoom function.

zoom-function

Note that the image you upload to your store is known as the ‘base image’ and it’s resized and scaled to the various image templates across your store. The way a zoom function works is that it actually just shows you the base image, so the image at its original size. For an effective zoom function, you need a base image that’s significantly larger than all your image templates to give the viewer the impression that they’re ‘zooming’ in.

You should also think about the shape of your products before deciding on your dimensions. If you’re selling products that are longer vertically, you’ll want a portrait template, otherwise you’ll have a lot of blank empty space on the sides. Similarly, if you’re selling products that wider horizontally, you should opt for a landscape template to avoid unnecessary extra spacing on the top and bottom.

landscape-template

portrait-template

If you have a combination of the two, play it safe and go for a square template. In general, square templates are the most practical as they work for all social media and eCommerce platforms.

Once you’ve decided on the size you want, create a blank file in Photoshop with those dimensions. The idea is to paste each product into the template, resize it, and save it as a new file.

For perfectly aligned product images, use Photoshop guides to help you resize your product. Create guides at 50% horizontally and vertically to help you identify the centre point. Next, create a border at anywhere between 85% to 95%, depending on how much white space you want around the product (keep in mind that you’ll also have padding between the images on your site or the selling platform you use).

apply-template-3

Use these lines to help you resize the product – keep dragging the diagonal corners inwards and repositioning the product into the centre until either the top and bottom or left and right sides of the product JUST touch the guidelines.

You should never make the product larger than the original photo. Stretching the product will reduce the quality of the photo and pixelate the image. If your product is too small for the template, you’ll need to adjust the template. It’ll still be consistent with your other product images if you keep it in the same ratio and keep the guidelines in the same position.

You could essentially crop or adjust the ‘canvas size’ in Photoshop, but this won’t allow you to achieve perfectly aligned photos. If you look at the two rows of earrings below, the top one was created using a template, and the bottom one wasn’t. Even if you’re not the type of person that organises their wardrobe by colour, I’m sure you’ll agree that the top one looks much better!apply-template

apply-template-2

Keep the file size small

We all get a little impatient when browsing the internet, and online shoppers are no different. Did you know that 47% of users expect a webpage to load in under 2 seconds? Seeing as 40% will abandon a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load, you’re going to need images small in file size to ensure that you have a speedy site.

To clarify, image size refers to the width x height of an image, whereas file size refers to the amount of storage space the file will take up (KB, MB, GB etc.). High converting product images are large in image size (as mentioned above) but simultaneously low in file size. Naturally, larger image size = larger file size, but there are ways to compress images without significantly reducing the quality of your photos.

My favourite way is to use the ‘save for web’ function on Photoshop. Open your file, go to File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy…)and a dialogue box should appear. Saving the file at a quality level of 60 (the default setting) will bump the file size down to below a megabyte, which is perfect for eCommerce, without decreasing the image size and without noticeably reducing the quality of the photo.

If you look at the two images below, the earrings on the left were saved as a regular JPG at a quality level of 12 (maximum). The earrings on the right were saved as web JPGs at a quality level of 60 (high). The compressed image is a little less saturated, but other than that it’s still a high quality photo that won’t slow down your site.

earrings-resolution

Provide multiple photos

Remember that your customers can’t see or touch your products, so to really increase your sales, you need to help visitors to your store really visualise what the products look like. The easiest way to do this is to provide multiple product images.

Start with the hero image, which is the one one that represents the listing. This image should feature the entire product from an angle that clearly showcases what it is. In most cases, this will just be a front-on shot, but there are exceptions — shoes are usually photographed from the side, plates from above, and chairs from a 45 degree angle. The easiest way to determine what’s best for your product is see what other stores selling the same type of product are selling.

After that, you should include photos from multiple angles to really showcase the product.

multiple-angles

So there you have it! A complete guide on how to get high-converting, traffic-driving images! Grab your camera, nail your setup, shoot your products, and optimize them for eCommerce. If you have any questions or tips of your own, make sure you reach out in the comments!

 

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