Running an online store is difficult because it limits how buyers can interact with the product. You could have the best customer service, best product, great SEO, but if the product photos are below average, Etsy buyers will not click on the product.

1. Buyers see a two-dimensional image of your product; it’s the seller’s job to add the next dimension. Customers can’t physically touch it and experience it in their own hands, so they must rely on images and descriptions to reflect the product. If an image is mediocre, the impression it leaves will also be mediocre. Through photography, sellers can show their product in different backgrounds, from different angles, against objects of different sizes and heights. For example, to bring a cupcake scented candle alive for customers, take a picture of the candle with cupcakes in the photo. With thousands of other product options just a few clicks away, there’s no time to wait for a second look so make the first impression count!

2. A great description needs a supporting photo. A description will only take someone so far and wherever that journey took them needs to be reflected in the product photos. The case of “seeing is believing” has never been truer. On the upside, if your description is just so-so, an appealing image will prevent a buyer from moving on to a product that only sounds more appealing. For example, if an earring is described has having the bluest of blue stones but the image is dull, the customer isn’t going to buy into the description. And you never know, maybe taking an incredible shot will help write the description itself.

3. Better images mean less returns. One of the top reasons why buyers return products is because it looks different than how it was pictured in the product listing. Accuracy is key here. Make your product look picturesque but make sure you edit it to reflect it as it is. Make sure the colors and perception of size are the same in the images as they are in real life. For example, a paperweight can be placed on top of a pile of papers or next to a stapler to give the customer an idea of its size. This also decreases the chances of receiving a bad review from an unsatisfied customer which can negatively impact your brand and turn away potential buyers.

4. Opportunity to market your other products. The white background is no more the only desirable background in product photography anymore. Buyers appreciate and are more attracted towards product photos that show creativity. This is the best time for sellers to feature related products with the main product. For example, a product image for a t-shirt could also include shorts, socks, sneakers, or even a necklace. Once you’ve caught the customer’s attention, make sure to attach the products’ links in the description to capitalize on the interest.

Don’t worry if you don’t get everything right the first time! Product photography takes some trial and error and it can also help you find your brand’s voice.