By Andrea Rowland, GoDaddy

‘Tis the season for online shopping. I love it. Sipping hot cocoa in my PJs while I scroll through pages of kid-sized metal detectors, men’s watches and gemstone rings. I like to shop local, but I also know that I can find whatever’s on my gift-giving list without leaving the comfort of my home. But I only click “Add to Cart” if it looks great, from every angle.

Here’s where you come in. As the owner of an online store, it’s up to you to sell people like me on your products. I can’t touch them or smell them or taste them, but I can zoom in and hover over them to my heart’s content. The better the pics, the more likely I’ll be to buy. It’s that simple.

”While you can get away with cutting product photography corners, there’s one thing you have to remember: to sell online, the way you present your products is just as important as producing high-quality goods.” ~ Genevieve Tuenge

Sure, you might decide to go the professional route and hire a photographer to shoot your inventory. That’s awesome. Your pics will look great. But if you’re on a limited budget or have an affinity for photography, do-it-yourself could be the way to go.

In a recent GoDaddy Garage post, Genevieve Tuenge offered up five pro tips for using DIY images in your online store. If you’re going to take charge of the pics on your e-commerce site, these practices can help you do it right.

  1. Find a well-lit space. It’s hard to gauge the quality of a product that’s overexposed or swathed in shadow. “Both scenarios make for disastrous product images, unhappy photo enthusiasts (like myself) and bewildered customers,” Genevieve writes. Take a few minutes to brush up on lighting techniques to ensure higher-quality images.
  2. Use a backdrop. Keep your products in a starring role by eliminating unnecessary background noise; busy backgrounds distract from your featured products. Use a solid colored backdrop to make your products pop.
  3. Get shots from various angles. It’s all in the detail. Customers want to see if a product’s well made and has all the bells and whistles. If they can’t inspect your goods in person, at least give your customers some images that put their online buying reservations at ease.
  4. Recruit a model. Ask a friend to model that crocheted beret or gemstone necklace. It’s a lot easier to visualize what we might look like wearing or using a product when we see someone else doing it. You don’t need to recruit models for every product, but you should consider taking this next step for items you want to highlight in a special way.
  5. Write compelling product descriptions. Yes, this is a little off-topic, but even stellar product photos might not sell the featured goods without remarkable accompanying descriptions. “Your images should do the talking, but they should be paired with descriptions that pique your customers’ interest,” Genevieve says. “Keep them short and compelling with words that have personality and emotion.”

To learn more, check out our list of 8 inexpensive tools for creating pro product photos.

About the Author:

A former small business owner and newspaper journalist, and a published nonfiction author, Andrea Rowland helps craft compelling communications for today’s go-getters through her work as a copy editor at GoDaddy. Connect with Andrea on Google+. The world’s largest domain name registrar and Web hosting provider, GoDaddy gives small business owners the tools to name their idea, build a beautiful online presence, attract customers and manage their business. To get more tips for your small business—including articles, videos and webinars—check out the GoDaddy Training Hub.