How to Set Up Your Online Store

Step 2: Imagery

By November 15, 2019 March 16th, 2020 No Comments
Use imagery to make a better e-commerce store

How’s it going with your online store? Are you making meaningful connections with your customers? You can find our earlier articles in this series about the first step,  Message: Why your message is so important to the design of your website, and how to begin to discover and clarify your message.

Now for Step 2: How to use imagery to connect with your customers.

Your business is solving a problem for your customers! The job for your website is to connect with your customer clearly and directly about how you’re going to do that! You now know how to do that with your words. Hooray! Next up, make a great visual first impression!

Did you know you have less than 15 seconds to capture the attention of your potential customers?

Here are some simple tips about imagery on your website. The overall goal here is to help you get noticed. Ideally, you want to do that by keeping everything smooth and consistent and easy on the eyes!

Use quality images.

This makes all the difference in connecting with potential customers! Here again, Consumers are savvy. And they are also cautious. High quality and truthful shots of your product from all kinds of angles helps build trust in your product and your brand.

Use good lighting and a good camera and be consistent across your brand with all of your products.

Give your potential customers as many pics as you can!  Want to look like an absolute boss? Have a professional take these pics and edit them for consistency for you!

Use lifestyle photography. This is photography that connects with the vibe of your customer and showing your products in situ so they can insert themselves and imagine using your product. Again, this builds trust.  It shows that you know your customer and that you understand them! (More on this here – article about message) Gather things that tell the story of your product as told within the life of your customer and include them in some of your product photos. This will build connection without having to use any words at all,  and customers love it!


This site is a great example of both great professional shots that show all of the important details as well as awesome lifestyle shots!

If your product is a service rather than a physical product, the idea is the same: choose imagery for your website that connects with the vibe of your customers so they can imagine themselves using your service.  Think about what kind of images your customers will relate to. How can you show that you understand them and build trust?

You can have a professional shoot these kinds of images as well, but there are also many great images to be found on sites like and  Just be sure you’re buying the right size/quality and that they’re approved for use for your application!

In the case where your product is a service, it might actually be YOU that your customer will relate to.  Get some great shots of yourself taken! Your face will go a long way in building trust and connection!

Video. You might want to consider using video to add to your repertoire of images that show off your product!  There’s nothing like video to show your product in use and in action.

Video can also be used to grab attention on your home page as a background or slider but we highly recommend using restraint here as these can sometimes bog down the loading time of your site and get in the way of simplicity.

Video can be used effectively to demonstrate your product or describe your service (this is another way for your audience to get to know and trust you). You can also use video to share testimonials of happy past customers.

Again, be really conscious of quality here. A badly shot video, or one in the wrong spot on the page can annoy site visitors and can bring down the overall quality of your site, or worse, potential customers leave immediately before even discovering what you have to offer!

Balance.  Now that you’ve got thoughtful, high quality images consider the balance between images and content.  People don’t like to read long paragraphs of text online as much as they like to look at beautiful pictures! But don’t overstuff your website with large images either. Whitespace helps the eyes “breathe” and gives space so the important things will shine (and register to the brain!). Don’t be just another noisy place on the internet… keep it simple and be smooth, consistent and easy on the eyes!

Quality, thoughtful images that support your message will make an impact on the success of your online store!  If you’re not also a part-time photographer, this is definitely one of those places we’d recommend teaming up with a professional. There’s certainly an investment cost here, but in our opinion it’s totally worth it! Choose a photographer that gets your vision and understands your customer!

Here’s to using great imagery to help you get noticed, keep everything consistent, and beautiful so you can sell more stuff with less hassle! How do you find engaging imagery for your site? Let us know in the comments below!