Product images are far more than just snapshots or quick photos of an item. They are intentionally created, specifically arranged, goal-oriented pieces of art.
Product images can convince a customer to give your product a try and inspire sales, or even inspire people to share your product with others, widening your customer base simply on this one aspect. They can help to produce revenue for your company and lengthen your product’s life cycle, or they can be a negative mark on your business. Product images are often the first thing a potential customer notices, and they can be a major deciding factor in your success rate.
Your product images can be extremely influential in terms of conversion, but what about when you’re using them for concept tests?
First, what is a concept test? A concept test is a process of using surveys to evaluate and segment customer responses to a new idea or product. Concept tests are when you take a product out on the road, but maybe only on the side streets. You’re not quite ready to cruise the highway. (Yet.)
There are three major purposes of running a concept test.
- Evaluate your concept. This is the time to decide if your concept is enough if it needs more features, or it needs to be scaled back.
- Establish a game plan. This will improve your concept based on consumer feedback. This can also be the time you learn something completely new about your product. Sometimes we just need a second set of eyes on our work.
- Identify a timeline. Determine the reasonable amount of resources you can invest in your product going forward. Advertising costs, investment costs, and development decisions can all be impacted by concept tests.
Depending on the type of product you are developing, the images you are using for promotional work can vary greatly. These advertising images may or may not be similar to the images you’ll use for a concept test, since the end goals of each may vary.
A concept test may show more of the “underbelly” of the product, for instance, than an advertising image, which usually shows the pretty facade of a product. When planning for a concept test it is essential to take certain steps into consideration while choosing images.
Producing the Images
The first step in creating concept testing images for your product is to decide how they’ll be created. You could hire a professional, delegate it to a particularly talented member of your team, or even take the images yourself. There are pros and cons to all three options.
Here are some of the benefits of hiring a professional to take your product images:
- Images can be the thing that best demonstrates your product, so when considering a content test you want to put your best face on. You want the person you’re surveying to truly see the product.
- Professional photography is more professional. (Sounds redundant, but it’s true.) You know without question that the images will be well-lit and well-framed.
- There is less hassle. Taking photos yourself is a lot of work. Sometimes it’s worth it just to hire someone else to delegate that task to.
- Professional photos are cost-effective. It may seem like a lot to hire a professional photographer, but the benefits will return to you quickly when customers start to see those crisp, clear, engaging images. Professional images will offer you the most honest view of your work for concept surveys.
Let’s say you decide to take the photos yourself. There are some tricks to this that can help you, especially when considering images for a concept test:
- Choose a style and stick with it. Try to approach each image with the same basic feeling.
- Natural light goes a long way. Take that product outside, or open all the curtains. Natural light will make almost any product pop.
- Keep the background clear of distractions.
Now you’ve taken some shots, or you’ve paid someone else to take some shots of your product. It’s time to choose the best shots for your content test.
Tips for Choosing Product Photos
Choose clear, high-resolution images.
Remember that your consumers won’t be able to hold the product in their hands. You want to give them the visual equivalent of the next best thing. Give them images that can provide the sensory details they are missing in the e-commerce
Choose images that show the product from every flattering angle you can.
This can be a hard one because with a concept test you want to show the details that may need to be most understood, and a lot of times that will go against our base instincts about showing off a product. Still, get in there. Show off its best features. Choose images that show it’s gritty angles.
Always check the images on multiple mobile devices.
Keep in mind that the image you’re looking at on a computer is not the same as the image that will show up on someone’s cell phone. Test that out. Look at it on cell phones and tablets. Make sure it’s still as clear and crisp as before, and check for distortion or color variance.
Make sure any text within the images is clear and readable.
If your images include any sort of text make sure it’s legible. Text that isn’t clear and easy to read, even if it isn’t essential to understanding the concept, can make a product image less inviting.
Next Steps for Concept Testing Images
Developing a concept test has a lot of components, and the images are just one of them, but these tips will at least make that process a little less of a mystery. Choosing the best possible images will help you put your product out there, get the informed response you need, and help you move your business forward.