The Importance of Visuals in Product Page Design: 3 Best Practices

11 February 2024 Natasha Lane

Relevant, high-quality product page visuals hugely impact consumers' purchase intent.

Research shows that 83% of online shoppers make purchase decisions based on product photos. Moreover, surveys have found that consumers need to see at least three to four product images to decide whether to invest in a solution.

If you're looking to upgrade your website's design, focusing on the visuals on your product pages could be an excellent opportunity to boost performance. But because of the importance of these visuals, you have to do things right. So, without further ado, here are the best practices for using visuals in product page design, along with some examples you can take inspiration from.

Learn What Type of Photos Work Best

Well-written product descriptions are essential for ensuring that your audience recognizes the value of your offer (and that your pages are SEO-optimised and discoverable from search engines). And investing the time into writing those descriptions pays off — or at least finding the right collaborators to do it for you. Nonetheless, remember that using photos in addition to textual product descriptions is an absolute must in 2024.

But the thing about product photography is that many businesses still manage to get it wrong — despite tons of evidence suggesting there's a simple formula for creating good product visuals. They either upload low-quality images or focus on the wrong product features. And sometimes, brands create images that (though aesthetically attractive) have zero relevance to consumers.

Just look at the first product photo of a pair of women's trousers on Massimo Dutti for a great example of what doesn't work in helping your audience evaluate the items in your offer.


Fortunately, however, there are a few very straightforward rules about what works with product photography. According to a scientific research paper published in 2014, the following six product photo characteristics promote higher levels of user appeal and lead to improved conversion rates.

Large Key Object

Generally, when browsing items to purchase, consumers want to see them in full detail. That is why product photos with a large key object — like the one on the Citric Acid product page on Vivion — perform better than those lacking in size.


Lower Entropy on Key Object

Consumers prefer simple product photos that focus solely on the key object. When showing off your solutions through visuals, allow web visitors to find that focus instead of drawing their attention away with unnecessary detail.

Warmer Colors

Warmer colors tend to evoke feelings of cosiness and intimacy. And, seeing that many people shop as a way of de-stressing or with aspirational intentions, it's no surprise that a warmer photo temperature could lead to higher purchase intent.

High Contrast

In addition to creating a more dramatic effect, high-contrast images also lead the viewer's focus in a way that encourages them to zoom in on the subject. This is one of the main reasons why product photography often utilises white or dark backgrounds. These backdrops allow the product to pop, as you can see on the Datejust product photo on Rolex.


Higher Depth-of-Field

A higher depth of field in photography automatically allows you to capture more details about your product. Seeing how consumers want to see details when browsing solutions, widening the depth of field makes for the logical best practice in product page visuals.

Social Presences

Finally, when designing your product pages, it's important to remember that many consumers prefer visuals that include a human presence. So, it's not a bad idea to add these types of images to your product pages. For example, the SomniFix Mouth Strips product page uses social presence in almost all of the product photos shown. The brand understands that this small design choice could be the key to getting consumers to convert.


Utilise Visuals as Conversion-Inspiring Signals

When designing product pages, keep in mind that conversion-boosting visuals include more than just simple product photos. Yes, visual representations of the solutions you're trying to sell are crucial for convincing web visitors to invest in them. However, there are many other uses for images and illustrations that can contribute to your site's performance.

For example, brand trust plays a tremendous role in influencing consumers' purchase intent. According to research, more than 80% of people consider trust a deciding factor when making purchase decisions. So, it's only natural that you should explore the role of product page visuals in helping you build that trust.

Something as simple as an elementary trust badge — like the one in the upper left-hand corner on the Mass Gainer product page on the Transparent Labs site — can provide an excellent opportunity to emphasise the credibility and quality of your solutions. Or, you could support your organisation's credibility by showing off relevant certifications, payment security guarantees, or custom-made product quality badges.


When choosing product page visuals, you also need to remember that product photography often needs to act as evidence of your solution's effectiveness.

High-quality and relevant product photos work quite well at providing that evidence. However, research from TINT shows that branded content isn't the most trustworthy format you can use. Instead, the type of imagery consumers see as the most credible is user-generated content. So, explore ways to add more UGC to your product pages.

For instance, if you check out the Ripple Champagne Saucers product page on the Ferm Living website, you'll see that the bottom of the page includes a section dedicated to UGC, showing off the product in real-life situations.


Or, you could even use product page visuals to heighten your brand's transparency. This branding factor is another crucial building block in establishing your organisation's trustworthiness and credibility, with 94% of consumers stating it leads to a higher likelihood of staying loyal to a business. And the great thing is that communicating a dedication to transparency doesn't have to be challenging.

For example, supplement stores often use visuals to list the ingredients included in their products. That's precisely what Digestive Warrior does on the BioToxin Binder product page.


Finally, don't forget that many consumers want to support human-led brands. So, if you need a bit of help in establishing that brand-consumer connection, it might not be a bad idea to include images of your team on product (and relevant landing) pages.

For instance, business consultant Martin Gessner uses a candid and approachable photo of himself to help potential clients see that they can easily access his expertise with a single click of the Contact button.


Invest in Advanced Visual Formats

Even though product photos, illustrations, and screenshots work marvelously to communicate the benefits and characteristics of your products, multimedia formats perform even better.

Video, in particular, has taken over most product pages over the past few years, and with good reason. The format is effective at boosting product understanding, inspiring conversions, and encouraging social shares. Video also allows consumers to see solutions in more detail, which is hugely important for managing their expectations and maximising their purchase intent.

It's no surprise that successful businesses often include videos on product pages. For example, check out the Busy Baby Silicone Placemat product page. These digital assets do an excellent job of communicating more product benefits. Plus, they do so in less time than traditional product descriptions. And they're more engaging than static images.


It's also a good idea to consider using video in a way that builds brand credibility while boosting product understanding.

For instance, the Medical Alert System product page on the Bay Alarm Medical features two multimedia product explainers that combine the power of visuals, audio, and social proof. The first video consists of an in-depth overview of the brand's products and how each one functions. The second depicts a real-life situation, allowing potential buyers to listen to a real medical alert call. Both of these videos are positioned in a way that attracts web visitors' attention. Thanks to their focus on specific user benefits, both assets do an excellent job of employing multimedia formats to boost brand credibility and positively impact conversions.


 You could also experiment with more elevated product page visual formats like AR product representations. These shopping tools can be hugely effective for communicating product design features or benefits — especially for product categories that often require a try-on. And, if you check out brands like Warby Parker, you'll see they've already adopted AR tools on their product pages, which can be truly helpful to consumers who prefer to shop exclusively online.


Don't forget that the best type of visual for your brand depends on the solutions you're trying to sell as well as your audience's preferences. Ensure that you choose visuals based on what's relevant to your potential buyers. Ultimately, they may benefit from a try-on AR tool. But it's also possible that a simple image or illustration could be sufficient to show off important product features, so why waste resources on creating visuals that won't positively impact your bottom line?

Final Thoughts

The three best practices described in this article are a good starting point when updating your product page design. However, as you explore the importance of visuals in boosting conversions, don't limit yourself to only doing what's prescribed in this guide.

Instead, base your product page visuals strategy on your audience's needs. Consider the type of information they deem valuable. And make sure to look at your social media accounts to see whether any particular formats resonate with your followers more than others. Then, try adding those formats to your site and track performance. Who knows, you might uncover the perfect product page visuals for getting your ideal customers to convert. 

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