Tyler Ward, Sr. Digital Marketing Strategist, Seattle 

There are a lot of unusual sayings and phrases in the English vernacular. Many have been around for centuries and ages and therefore often times make no sense when used in the modern day. This being said, the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” aged like the finest of wines. In the technological age of today, humans stare at a screen with an incessant and constant need for instant gratification. Having to read anything that could delay a process or decision is rarely even an option and that’s why pictures are the most important part of not only modern media content, but eCommerce sales especially when it comes to the automotive industry.

Why it Matters

Judging a book by its cover may be a phrase applicable to many scenarios, but automobile sales is definitely not included when it comes down to it. Catching a future customer’s attention is the first step of converting their needs into a lead and bringing them in for a test drive. A study done by MDG Advertising showed that when information was given verbally, only about 10% was retained. But when the same information was relayed in a visual manner, that number dramatically jumped up to 65%. People remember what they see and they shop with their eyes. These reasons are why it is crucial, especially in the automotive industry where the stakes are high and the product is not cheap, to be proactive with quality photos online. Often times auto dealerships outsource their photography to professionals to ensure results, but these photos can be taken by anyone with some helpful tricks. This article outlines a couple of tips that will help ease the process of photography for automobiles in the world of ecommerce.

The Importance of Lighting

Lines, coloring, detailing, and overall finish of a car are all major selling points. Unfortunately with the wrong lighting, these features can be lost in translation and appear to be unrepresentative or subpar compared to in person. With the right lighting and editing, the cars that are being sold can look picture perfect and therefore attract customers to come by the dealership. The best time to take photos with natural lighting is in the morning because the sun begins to cause a glare as the afternoon begins. On a cloudy day, when glare is not as much of an issue, it is best to wait until the sky is as bright as possible.

Flash Photography

In product photography, the use of flash is often frowned upon. This applies heavily and especially when working with automobiles because of the typical shiny finish that cars have. If a photo is taken with flash, the white glare will make itself present in the finished outcome of the picture. This bounce back of light makes the photograph look unprofessional and is not a proper practice to maintain. 

Get the Angles Right

Just like people, products have their angles. Not only should the car in the photograph be captured at its best angle, but it should be captured at multiple angles. The more pictures that are posted, the better. People like to see shots of the interior, exterior, and different shots that make their potential new car stand out amongst the rest. For an exterior shot, the best angle is often standing level with the car and taking the photo from there.

Take Away the Distractions

When taking photographs of an automotive inventory to list onto a professional ecommerce website, it is important to note what is in the background of the photograph. Distracting clutter or background elements often draw attention off of the car itself and keep the consumer from making a real decision. It is much cleaner and more official to have the car be the star of the show and the only physical object in a photograph. 

Along with this comes the factor of the photographer’s reflection. If a picture is being taken at the wrong angle, in the wrong lighting, or just too close, often times the reflection of the one taking the photo will show up as well. This should be identified sooner rather than later because it is often difficult to notice or to remember to move out of the way. 

Take the Right Photos

The automotive industry is growing its reaches in the online world as Facebook Marketplace and other eCommerce websites make it easier for listings to be uploaded. With this turn in how cars are sold, it is of the utmost importance that automobile dealers keep up to date and are aware of the changes happening so that they can take advantage of the situation. With the growth of automobiles on eCommerce sites comes the presentation of the actual products.

Since it is well known that consumers shop with their eyes, having the right photographs on an eCommerce website is one of, if not the most important part of creating customer leads from the different eCommerce websites that a car dealer may be using. Utilizing the tips and tricks of photography to take photos of an inventory, any dealership can have their page up and running in no time. These elements of photography will not only act as the hook that brings in new clients, but also as a way to make any page look more professional and put together. Great photographs make products look reliable and trustworthy and are the most effective way to create leads on an eCommerce site.

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