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In Web Retail Image is Everything!

Christopher Dadey online images

When I’m looking at an online shopping site I expect two things - usability and good images. I don’t care if they are mannequin or model shots as long as the quality is there. On one site I was looking for a black knit sweater but the image was so poor that I had no idea about the weave, the weight or texture and to top it off there was hardly any copy. Needless to say I didn’t buy anything from the site.

So much energy is spent on getting the website up and running that sometimes I think the front end of the website gets neglected. The images and the presentation of the images are what the customer see, it’s part of what makes us want to shop.

I know how hard it is to choose a mannequin but having the right one, the best shape - the one that represents your brand image will make all the difference. There are so many still life shots that are ugly - it’s just not as simple as it looks to shoot still life: what colour background is best, do you want a shadow, a reflection, making the clothes hang correctly on the mannequin, etc.

It makes sense that good images will sell your products. Mannequin or models are a personal preference but model shots are not always as costly as people think - if you have the right team you can get a lot more items shot in a day shooting with a model.

Christopher Dadey online images

Regardless of your choice it’s important to have the right image - it’s about branding your site:

Christopher Dadey, photographer:

“The clothing images are the single most important factor in website sales. Retailers should think of their own experience shopping online: you’re not impressed by the fact that the website works fast or there is a great order fulfillment system. Those things are expected, so they’re not things which are going to differentiate a website from it’s competition. It’s only the images that can accomplish that.”

Whether you chose a mannequin or model shot what’s most important is the quality of the image:

Fiona Harkin, Editor of

“We use editorial quality shots for Cocosa, not only because our members need to see detailed, accurate images, but also because we want to present every item to them in the most desirable way possible. We want to give our members a ‘close-up’ experience – the next best thing to actually handling a product - and make sure that the luxury and designer brands we’re selling are presented in an equally luxurious, glossy environment.”

Readers' comments (2)


    I completely agree images are everything. For my website we spent ages putting the site together and it would of been such a shame to of put rubbish images on. We have good images but are still looking for better ways to improve are images.

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  • It’s all about the quality of the image, it will encourage people to the site, knowing what they get is what they saw. You should be able to see as much detail in the fabric as possible.

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