How To Optimize Photos For E-commerce

Thad Allender

by Thad Allender

Dec 30, 2020 · 3 min read

Behind every excellent e-commerce image is great export settings. By exporting your e-commerce photos correctly, you’ll maximize your conversion rates, load speed, and image quality.

To ensure you’re optimizing your e-commerce photos correctly, let’s go over six things to consider when exporting images for your online store.

Keep Your Image Files Small

The file size is one of the most important aspects of exporting photos for your online store. Even with just a few products, you’ll likely have hundreds of images. If each of these files was 30MB, you end up with a gallery that takes ages to load. 

The problem?

Your potential customer doesn’t have the time or patience for loading.

If a photo doesn’t appear in a couple of seconds, they’re moving on to the next thing.

That’s why having a small file size is so important.

The ideal file size you should aim for is 300KB - 600KB. Here, you can strike the perfect balance between quality and load speed. 

The exception to this is when you’re selling prints or digital downloads. Since you’re selling the image itself, it’s essential to have the highest resolution possible.

The troubling part about uploading high-res files is that anyone can download the image from their web browser. 

Luckily Visual Society protects all your high-res images from being downloaded with a save image blocking feature.

Use JPEG Format

JPEG is the best file type to use when exporting photos for e-commerce because of its small file size, accurate colors display, and overall viewability online.

Other common file types you might be drawn towards are PNG, TIFF, or RAW. The main issue with these is that each of these file types is much larger than a JPEG.

Going back to the first point, that means slow loading speeds and impatient customers.

Using JPEG files is the easiest way to make sure product photos load quickly and can be viewed across any platform. 

Make Sure To Use sRGB Instead Of Adobe RGB

sRGB (Standard RGB) and Adobe RGB are the two common color profiles used for any image.

In e-commerce, always make sure to export your photos in sRGB for the most accurate colors. With this color profile, you can rest easy knowing your image looks the same on your screen as it does on your customers.

With Adobe RGB (or other ICC profiles), the colors may display differently across multiple devices. In most cases, what you see on your computer will look completely different once uploaded online. 

However, Adobe RGB isn’t all bad. The advantage of this profile is there’s more color information making it ideal for printing.

So then why wouldn’t you always export with Adobe RGB?

Well, most online web browsers use sRGB as the default display profile for images on the web. That means if you upload a photo in Adobe RGB, the web browser won’t accurately display your colors.

And that can cause a big problem for your online store!

Be Conservative With Your Color Adjustments

The last thing you want is for your product photos to look totally different than the product itself. With a few sliders in any photo editor, this doesn’t take much to do!

That’s why keeping your color adjustments conservative is crucial before exporting e-commerce images. 

With the white balance and exposure adjustments help, you will get great, natural colors in no time.

Use Sharpening As Necessary 

In the most basic sense, sharpening adds edge contrast in your photo. With this extra contrast, your subject starts to stand out from the background.

The advantage of sharpening a photo for e-commerce is that your product will look crisper. All of the tiny details will be better visible, and your product image will look more lifelike.

The downside, however, is that over-sharpening can quickly become distracting. With a heavy sharpening adjustment, you risk distorting the look of your shadows and highlights and adding grain to your photo.

The result?

A lower quality image.

Like color, be sparing with how much you sharpen your e-commerce images. 

Don’t Upload Watermarked Photos

Watermarking is a great way to protect your images, but don’t upload a watermarked photo to your online store.

Especially when you’re selling prints.

The reason is that when someone orders your print, the watermark is a part of the image. That means the photo they receive will have your watermark printed on it too.

Not exactly what you were going for.

Instead, upload your non-watermarked photo and apply a watermark overlay to it from your website. 

This way, the image, and the watermark are separate on the back end, while still protecting your photo on the front end.

Not sure, how to do this?

Visual Society offers simple watermarking options for any of your e-commerce images; no stress required.

Category: Product
Thad Allender

Thad Allender

Founder / CEO

Thad Allender is the founder of Visual Society. He leads a team of passionate designers and developers working to revolutionize the way photographers and artists sell online. He lives north of New York City in the Catskills.