Contact Holly on Twitter: @hollyccc

Get access to the Shopify post about images: https://www.shopify.com/guides/product-photography

Websites mentioned by Holly: www.mvmtwatches.com & www.thewodlife.com.au



Intro:         00:00      Welcome to the winning was Shopify podcast, the podcast that will teach you to take your Shopify store and turn it into an automated sales machine with the latest marketing, email, sales and social media advice, strategies and tips from experts without the fluff. Your host, Caroline Balinska, the founder of just asked Parker Dot com, the only small marketing task agency for Shopify owners with over 10 years experience in marketing, manufacturing, design, and ecommerce. She shares her knowledge and interviews the experts to help you in your journey to success. Now, here’s your host, Caroline Berlinski.

Caroline:    00:38    Hi everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. I’m really excited today because I have a wonderful guest who I’ve been wanting to interview for a while. It’s all about images today. Anyone who watches any of my staff sees new live, knows how I’m very passionate about how important your images are on your website. So today I have a cad you on the line. She is from Pixc.com and that is spelled P I X C dot com and Holly actually will give us some information about the importance of photos on your website. So, so great information. About Pixc is that I’ve had a look at a website and on the front home page it says ecommerce photo editing done. You pixies the easiest way to get your product images edited without additional resources. So I’m really excited to have Holly here. The reviews on Shopify are amazing. If you do not have this app and you need to go and download it, you get your first hundred and 50 images for free.

Caroline:      01:38   The reviews are five is 922 reviews that are five, so just tells you how amazing these API’s. So like I said, I’m really excited to have Holly here. She’s going to give us so much information today. So Holly. Hi, how are you?

Holly:  Great to have you here. Thanks so much for having me today. Wonderful. Like I said, I’m so glad to have you here. It is such a passionate area for me when it comes to helping people with their ecommerce stores, is that I find that more than 50 percent of people with Shopify stores don’t understand the importance of images. So I think that you can tell us a lot about that, but let’s start off with you telling us who you are, what you do, and tell us a bit more about Pixc. Yeah, sure. So I started Pixc when I was living in regional Australia.

Holly:           02:24  I’m the founder and CEO, so I like to say chief everything officer because I do a lot of the stuff in the business. But I started in Australia and I started it because I was building Shopify stores and I found that everybody has terrible, terrible photos and I was trying to sell their products but I was unable to sell them because I am terrible content. So I decided I wanted to create an APP. Actually it started out just as a simple ordering site where you can upload your photos, have them edited and the background removed, cropped and resized. So they would your Shopify template and return to you within 24 hours. Um, and now we’ve built out two apps in the Shopify APP store, the retail ready photos and the photo array size up. So one automatically resizes your photos and one is done by designers.

Holly:           03:14    And we edit and remove the background and add, I mean if you have closing, we’ll do ghost images. If you want reflections, depending on what you want on your images will do that and deliver it within 24 hours. Wow. Fantastic. So what you say is exactly the same thing that I get passionate about. So I think anyone listening who is starting a Shopify store or is not getting sales, they need to understand that this is very, very important. That images do make a huge difference to your business. Massive difference. I mean it’s really interesting that people sort of don’t take note of it, but they don’t realize that when you walk into a physical retail store, the one thing you do is you didn’t read the description, you pick up the product and you look at it and you look at it from the front and the back in the side and you touch it. And so you need to recreate that experience in images online essentially.

Caroline:        04:00    What a great way of explaining that. I’ve never heard it said like that. Holy. And that is amazing because I always tell people the importance of images, but you are exactly right. You walk into a store, you’re not reading anything, you’re actually touching it. So it’s very, very true. And so I wanted to ask you, when it comes to great images, do you see from the feedback you’ve been getting, have you heard any statistics on, you know, the difference between a website that had great images? Oh, you said you started off working on websites. So did you see the changes from sales data from having great images compared to not having great images?

Holly:            Yes. So our customers have told us that they’ve seen an increase from 10 to 20 percent in sales conversions, um, which is massive for ecommerce stores.

Holly:           04:50   But I guess it really depends on your customer and your style of business, just because I’ve seen such a variation. So there isn’t one size fits all. But in terms of the image quality at, they’ve definitely seen an increasing 10 to 20 percent based on having good product images, which is essentially showing what the product is. And it also actually, it’s not just conversion at reduces their return rate, I don’t have an exact stat on return rate, but it reduces the return, right, because people don’t question the product when they receive it. So going back to what I was saying about, you know, making sure that image looks exactly like the product as if it was in a shop, you know, you don’t want to disappoint your customers when the product arrives that they have and then they realize actually these dress has the back of NATO, so they send it back or they shoe hasn’t gotten a lead the bottom and they wanted them to lead the soul of the show and they only realize once the product arrives. So that’s where the image step comes in in terms of conversions.

Caroline:     05:52   Wow. Yeah. That’s so true about returns. I didn’t think of it from that point of view that I always talk about just having great images, but you ride with the returns the amount of times I’ve purchased online. And then afterwards thought, oh my God, that wasn’t shown in the image. So yeah, return. Right. Which is a huge problem. If you have a drop shipping shop, because drop shipping and trying to return those things is always a pain. It’s not like you’re bringing it back to your own warehouse, so I think you’ve got to drop shipping store. That is very important for you. Can you tell us where people can source better images? I think that there’s a lot of people listening going, okay, then then how do I get the images?

Holly:         06:38     So I think it’s really, really important to take your own photos. So many people, whether you’re drop shipping and you’re getting the photos from the original wholesaler who you’re buying it from all you’re getting it off site like Alibaba or your going to a trade there and you’re getting the images from the wholesaler, from the trait. Then it’s really important that you get your own product, even if you have to get one pace delivered and take the photos yourself and the reason for that is it’s not just the image that you use on your site, but it’s also the image that you’re going to use on your social media and in your email campaigns and by creating your own content you can create a sort of brand look and feel for what your images should look like. So I think you need to get your own product and you need to take photos. Now if you have thousands and thousands of products because you are a drop shipping site and you can’t afford to order one of everything, take the top 10 or 100 products or however many you can afford.

Holly:     07:34   Take photos and get those ones up online first and see what works. Rather than trying to take photos of absolutely everything and not being able to afford it. So I would take care of photos and then get them edited. Whether you do them or somebody else does them, like Pixc, you want to make them all uniform so they fit and it looked perfect on your site. Fantastic. That’s great. And do you have any resources for where people do learn how to take good photos? I mean we talk about it a lot on our blog, which is [inaudible] dot com forward slash blog, but actually waiting up with Shopify to write 100 page photography guide, so over 100 pages it goes through step by step, everything that you need, how to take the photo to what types of photos you need for both your website and social media. So you can get you the link.

Caroline:      08:23    I’ll put that in the show notes for everyone so they can get access to that on Shopify. Okay, so that’s fantastic. The next question is, I’m sure it’s in the Shopify blog that you’re talking about, but can you just give people a couple of do’s and don’ts when it comes to their product images?

Holly:           So those you want to keep everything consistent. You want to keep everything on a simple background and you also want to include as many photos as possible, so let’s go back to a shoe example. You want to take photos from the top and the side and the soul and the back because you don’t want to have customers wondering what does it look like from this side or what does it look like if it was on a person, so you want to have the product by itself and you also want to have it in context, so if you’re selling a piece of furniture or an artwork, it’s really good to have a lifestyle shot or contextual shot because the person can say what a size the product is in a space.

Holly:          09:28     You don’t want to have inconsistent products, bad lighting. It will mean that you have to do a lot of post editing and it doesn’t necessarily work. It also means that if you have a cluttered backgrounds and clotted photos, doll photos, people just don’t want to scroll through that. I mean, if you look at the statistics of Pinterest and how much people just scroll and Scroll through Pinterest, Instagram, looking for inspiration, that’s what you want them to do with your stool. So I would keep it simple and stick to one colour.

Caroline:     Fantastic. So do you have any examples of any good sites that you could recommend to. I know it’s totally off the top of your head, but are there any sites that you could think of?

Holly:          Watches is one shelf of big success stories. They have fantastic product images. They actually own the product pages.

Holly:           10:17       They also include details as to what each piece on the product means. So for example, that will show a watch and now have a little arrow pointing off from the watch to explain how the school works. So instead of having to read the long product description, the description is tied in with the product image itself. It allows the shopper to see each feature of the product by rating us. Very small. Couple of word description.

Caroline:      Fantastic. So that was movement watches.com yes

Holly:           mvnt.com. And now the great example is one like, which is workout of the day life WODlife.com. They actually are a customer and, won the Shopify build a business competition. Their product images are really great. It’s all sort of sports apparel and they show the product itself on white background. So you can just say what the product looks like if you’re visually, you know, if you’re scrolling the page and if you want to say older products, but then you can also say how the product looks like on a person because it’s really hard.

Holly:          11:26    It’s an if it’s for example, shorts and you don’t know, are they short shorts or are they longer shorts? So it’s much easier to see what it looks like on a model. So they’ve included both options. Okay. If that’s really good advice as well. Because I think some people don’t realize that and they think, okay, well I’m showing the product front and back. What else do I need to be around? When it’s clothing, it’s good to have the size. And even you mentioned movement watches the size of the watch can really differ between different watch style, so showing the actual size is good as well for that. Definitely. So you just mentioned something about the different backgrounds.

Caroline:       I wanted to ask you, what is the best transparent backgrounds or colored backgrounds or things in the background? What works best when it comes to images?

Holly:           12:18     I suggest having a white background. It depends on the theme of your Shopify site. Majority of product pages should have a white background because you’re going to use it, say if you’re also selling on Amazon or Ebay and these platforms like Google shopping, Amazon, Ebay, they all have product image requirements and you have to have things on a white background and they’ve probably done a lot of studies on it in terms of if you wanted to call it background, you may go for light grey, but that’s because that’s the theme of your branding, but I would stick to classic white. It also means that if you switch your Shopify theme out, you don’t have to Redo everything all over again. In terms of transparent background, you don’t want a transparent background necessarily because the file can be larger and also some things won’t support it and when the theme doesn’t support a transparent background or if a platform like Amazon or Ebay do not support transparent background, then you’ll background actually turns to black.

Holly:          13:12      So some people come to us and they complain, all my background is black. That actually it’s not flat, it’s a  transparent background, but the file turns out to be blessed. Ah, that’s really good advice. That’s so true. And that can be fixed by then putting in a white background from that transparent. But like you said, it’s extra work for the person. Yeah, it can be a great option to, you know, at Pixc what we do is we do remove the background and kate, I’m transparent. So then if you wanted to upload them to Instagram on a light gray background or say a blue background because that show the same or you want to use that product in a magazine and the media required to be on a transparent background. Um, and we can do that. And then you can save all those files on a transparent background and then whenever you need it for your website or your social media, you can change them.

Caroline:     14:02     Fantastic. And a question, another question about that sort of thing is to watermark, not watermark. What is your opinion on that?

Holly:          I suggest not watermarking, but that’s because I’m a brand person and I love beautiful images and I don’t want to spoil them with logos everywhere. Um, I understand people get frustrated that you’ve gone to all these hard working, getting images ready and then people pull them down. But I suggest not focusing on the competitors. I sit as focusing on your business and growing your business because if competitors are always looking and looking at aside and copying you, then obviously you’re doing something right in terms of a watermark. I mean a, a bay have now putting a rule that you can’t take up more than 10 percent. It can be beneficial on a marketplace if they do allow you to, because then it reminds the person, because say you’re on SSI or say you’re on Ebay. That website doesn’t have your brand on it. So when you’re under a Shopify store, you can see the brand, but when you’re in a marketplace you can’t say brand. So in some ways watermark can remind the person Oh this product is this brand, which can be beneficial for you because then they see your name and they see your logo and it says personal choice. I don’t have any data or statistics on that. I would love to hear it from someone who does. But I think for your own personal store.

Caroline:    15:30    Yeah, good advice. I also, I sort of saw the other day and they had these beautiful evening dresses. I cooked household addresses and each one was completely watermark to crow. You couldn’t see the dress anymore. I was like, are you guys crazy?

Holly:        Like you said, you might be getting worried that people are stealing images, but I now can’t even say the selling it comes to the product anymore. Yeah. I also think that if you have a watermark, people may be less likely to share it on their Pinterest or you know, put it on their own. Instagram still don’t necessarily share images on Instagram, but they definitely. Women females. Definitely pin stuff to Pinterest as visual inspiration. Think about a wedding that they’re planning. They’re going to pin the bridesmaid dresses, they’re going to pin, they address, they’re going to pin the Valle, they’re going to put everything in, save it to Pinterest, and if it’s not preppy, they don’t want it to say that because again, it’s a visual, it’s a visual side and they want everything to be reachable.

Caroline:    16:25   Yeah, that’s so true. And the fact that some people might be thinking, yeah, but then how do people know it’s may well on Pinterest, you still got the description underneath, give a really good description in the box underneath the images. Same with Instagram.

Holly:         Having all of those things really helps as well. Yeah, and also Pinterest will link directly back to your site if you add the backlink. So you want to think about the traffic that it links back, so the more pins you get, the more links you’re essentially building on different people’s accounts. Great advice and shape. Square or rectangle. What shape of images and just the image shapes on websites in general, so I always go square just because it doesn’t matter what platform you use. Then you can go cross platform and again come back to social media. I know that Instagram now allows you to have portrait and landscape images.

Holly:          17:20    However, if you look at the grid format still square, so your images will be cut off and most platforms do have thumbnails that are square. So in terms of Shopify, it depends on your thing, but I would stick with square. Having said that if you have a lot of models and a lot of very thin full products, it can help to have verticals. So I think it, again it comes back to your product, but if you want to keep it simple and you want to sell multichannel and I would stick with square and that’s exactly what our foot and resize app does because so many people had different size images. So we make everything uniform and square fully.

Caroline:        Yeah. That’s usually one of the biggest tips I give people when they’re starting out. That’s one of the first things is okay. The background of the image might not be the right color or you might need to do some work on it, but the shape of it, I get really frustrated when people have different shapes, images on their website because I think it just makes it look completely missy and when you look at a good website compared to an average website, you see that difference, that the shape of the image or being consistent, like you said, are the old horizontal or vertical oral square just makes that difference to the brand.

Holly:            18:30     It does get tricky if you don’t keep it all square. It gets tricky if you’re selling clothing and shoes because footwear essentially is landscape and then clothing I can dress can be portrait. So that’s why you came at square. Keeps it easy for everyone.

Caroline:       Yeah, and I see the Instagram accounts and they’ve got, only square images and then suddenly they put a landscape image or think, oh, that just ruins the whole aesthetics of your Instagram account.

Holly:          Yep.

Caroline:       Okay. So Holly, I wanted to ask you, before we finish up, do you have any other advice that you can give people now that you’ve sort of gone over, these are the main questions I can think of. The people need answers to, but is there anything else that you can tell our listeners about using images on their websites?

Holly:            I think that the images you want to take your time and creating your content, especially if you don’t have a high turnover of product, it’s something that’s going to stay there for a long time and be used across many, many platforms.

Holly:          19:26      So I would take time creating your content. I would also add in if possible, using generated content so user generated images, ask customers even if you have to do manually at the beginning and email people. There are software tools out there to do it, but asked people for photos because of the amount of time that I go onto websites and I want to see how a light looks or a table looks in a setting and the setting isn’t what my house looks like. I actually go onto Pinterest and I go everywhere looking for influences and I try all the hashtags that might be so for example, even on the weekend I was shopping for a dress and there was one dress on a model and I was like, I’m small. This model is very tool. I want to say how it looks like on a real human styled in a different way.

Holly:       20:17   So if you can get user generated content and use those images, of course you have to ask your customers, but most of them will be willing to share the images. I know Nike does it and they ask you, you know, sending you images and we will promote you, which is really great.

Caroline:       Such great advice because like you said what you did on the weekend, I did exactly the same thing. This last weekend was I was looking at a new dining chairs and on the website they just have the chair and then they had one picture of one chair, like a table. I did exactly the same thing. I went to Pinterest and I started looking through where else do these chairs? I really want to see them at other tables before I go ahead and buy them online.

Holly:      Yeah, and I think the other thing is, having said that, if customers going around looking for all the people and your product isn’t your own product, they may find it on another site.

Holly:        21:09  Whereas again, if you give them all the information on that page, they’re less likely to leave.

Caroline:     That’s exactly what I tell people. Don’t give anyone a reason to have to contact you or go somewhere else. And people go, oh, but they can contact me and ask me questions. No, they’re not going to. Only one out of 10 people will. Ninety percent of people are going to go somewhere else. So are you going to lose those people very quickly? Definitely. I agree completely. So Holly, it has been amazing talking to you. Can you just give everyone information on how they can find Pixc, how they can actually use the APP and any other information before we finish up?

Holly:        Yeah, sure. So where at Pixc Dot Com, P I N Z.com more than happy to help you with anything regarding images, but we’re actually also in the Shopify APP store.

Holly:       21:54      We have two apps, one called retail ready photos and one called photo resize. But if you search Pixc in the Shopify APP store, you’ll find us. And then personally I’m on every social media channel and I’m happy to answer any questions you have. Twitter is probably the best and I’m Holly CCC.

Caroline:         Fantastic. Well everyone who’s listening, I just wanted to give you a little bit of a secret inside. I’m actually about to set up a summit. It’s coming up in October and I actually invited Holly on and she’s gracefully said yes, we are going to be putting together a fantastic session who this summit where we’re talking in more decks than tonight because she will be doing a video and she’ll be giving slide presentations in more details on these. It’s all about influence in marketing and Holly will be explaining how you can actually import images from your influences into your website.

Caroline:       22:50    What Holly’s just touched on now is talking about getting images from other people and she’ll be going into a lot more detail about that on the summit, so I’m really excited that Holly will be coming onto that and if anyone wants to sign up now before I actually set everything out, if you come to the show notes on just ask pocket.com/podcast and have a look at Holly’s information there on her page, you will find out how to sign up and be part of that summit and I’m looking forward to Holly being a part of that is also Holly. Thank you for being here today. It has been wonderful.

Caroline:      I know that what you have done today has opened a lot of people’s eyes and made them realize how important images are, which I’m so grateful that you can do that for everyone.

Holly:       Thanks so much for having me.

Caroline:       Wonderful. Thanks Holly, and thanks everyone for listening and until next time, have a beautiful day.

Outro:       23:38        Bye. Thanks for listening to the winning with Shopify podcast. Join the facebook group facebook.com/groups/winningwithshopify and get our show notes at justaskeparker.com/podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast so you never miss an episode. And as a listener, get 20% off at justaskparker.com by using the code podcast.