How Brands Are Moving Towards Elevated Product Images
It’s no surprise that brands and retailers are expanding their visual offerings for products as we’ve seen a massive shift to online shopping in the last year. The trend we are seeing with apparel brands is going beyond offering more images and videos. They are also elevating the type of images on the product details page (PDP). We like to call it Elevated Product Images.
Somewhere between editorial and e-commerce product images is where Elevated Product Images live. It is the fine balance between allowing a brand’s personality to shine while maintaining an emphasis on the product. As with any new concept, it can be a bit difficult to explain, so maybe this Venn diagram can explain it for us:
Before we dive too deep into Elevated Product Images let’s take a look at the Traditional E-commerce Product Images and why they are the foundation of Product Detail Pages.
E-commerce Product Images are a blank slate that allows the customer to explore how the product would fit into their life. They keep out distractions. Clean, white backgrounds let your product do the talking and create conversions. Simple and streamlined e-commerce product images also give context to the size, detail, and even feel of the product.
The basics of a stellar e-commerce product image include:
- Clean Neutral Background
- Standard Model Poses (side, front, back)
- Consistency in margins, sizing, and alignment
- Mannequin/flats and detail shots
While it avoids:
- Unnecessary products or props
- Poses that obscure the product
What are Elevated Product Images?
Elevated Product Images break with the traditional way of doing e-commerce product visuals. It allows for more creative freedom from the creative team, photographers, and models. These images have the purpose of inviting consumers to step into the universe of the brand.
While it feels like a break from tradition it’s also following in the footsteps of branding and marketing of the last decade. Brands are no longer nameless and faceless corporations, rather they have identities, voices, and a point of view that begs the consumers to connect, and now product imagery is following.
Consumers are craving this type of authenticity from brands. We can thank Gen Z for helping to push for more brand authenticity. They are looking for brands to be ‘real’ and showcase a brand personality or point of view that they can champion. Elevated Images are a great way to introduce consumers to a brand aesthetic without overpowering the product.
While there is no concrete definition of what makes an Elevated Image, we have taken note of some of the elements that help create Elevated Images.
Say farewell to white backgrounds! Have you recovered from that shock? We’re seeing a lot of brands introduce color backgrounds and pulling it off! There is a lot of work that goes into selecting a color palette that will work with your brand and not pull focus from the product. With the correct color palette, these bold choices set your Product Detail Page apart.
Perhaps the scariest element to introduce into Elevated Image is the prop. Improper use of a stool or chair could easily turn distracting or awkward. We are seeing the subtle use of stools, boxes, and plants that enhance the customer experience. These images bring real-world context to the products without turning the Elevated Image into an editorial-like image.
Consistency Balanced with Creative Freedom
Elevated Images break from some of the normal consistency we expect from product images. Even with breaking from these elements that often give Product Detail Pages consistency, brands still manage to use Elevated Images successfully because they are consistent with the storytelling. Having perfectly centered images no longer matters when Elevated Product images bring to life a feeling of happiness in a brand new dress.
Take a look at the example of the product detail page below and think about:
- What feeling do these images give you?
- Do you still notice the products?
- Are you missing out on the product experience without standard product images?
How to Incorporate Elevated Images
Some of the best product detail pages we see incorporate elevated images and e-commerce product images such as ghost mannequins or flat lays. With this one, two punch of images, consumers are sold the lifestyle of the product while ensuring they have correct expectations of the product.
The e-commerce sites below are elevating their product detail page and customer experience. They each incorporate different elements of Elevated Images to build a distinct brand and experience.
We love an understated color background! Nuuly has hit the mark by using color without overpowering the product or the model. Because of their use of a brand color as a background color, we are truly buying into the Nuuly aesthetic.
Read more about Nuuly and how they achieve Elevated Product Images in our Customer Story.
United by Blue
Forgoing the traditional studio background, United by Blue, uses sheets, nature, and loft-style backgrounds. We love how these images at the beach or in a loft are paired with flat lay and detailed shots. United Blue is selling the aspirational moment we want while also ensuring they have the correct expectations of the product. It feels like the United by Blue PDP has been influenced by Instagram influencers in all the right ways to win over consumers.
We love Mango’s Product Detail Page’s ability to mix different styles of product images! Mango uses images with props, detailed flat lays, bold model images, and even color backgrounds. They have settled on a stellar formula for a product detail page that takes our shopping experience to the next level.
Traditional E-commerce Images are the standard of the industry with clean backgrounds and limit some creative expression to allow for the product to be front and center. Elevated Images break with the normal conventions of E-commerce Images and include elements such as props or different backgrounds.
Traditional e-commerce product images are not going anywhere, but brands are embracing more creative freedom in their product imagery. The best Elevated Images will manage to tell a story, create a connection while still avoiding distraction.
If you would like to make the most out of your images whether E-commerce or Elevated Product Images, consider getting in touch with Pixelz today!