Are You Spending Enough on Your Photography?
Food and fashion catalogs have long since recognized the importance of quality photography in their books. But B-to-B catalogers have skimped on this important catalog component too often. The old adage of “a picture is worth a thousand words” still holds true. More importantly, bad photography — unclear, out of focus, too small, etc. — communicates a negative message. With today’s impatient buyers, you only have a few seconds to communicate your product benefits. The quality of your photography is essential to doing this effectively.
So when reviewing your catalog’s photography, ask yourself the following questions:
* Do the pictures properly display the attributes of the products?
* Are the photos too large or too small?
* Is there consistency between all photos in the catalog?
* When catalog space is limited and more photos are useful, is there a Web page reference for more details?
* Would a line art diagram better communicate the product benefits for some products than a photo?
* Are you using some large photos and/or page spreads to create interest, newness or separation between product categories?
* Are you using a hodgepodge of vendor-supplied photography? While that may keep costs down, what’s it doing to the overall appeal of your catalog?
Set Up a Small Studio
Most B-to-B catalogers sell products that generally lend themselves to tabletop photography. As such, it often pays to have a small photo studio set up in-house so new photos can be taken during the catalog production process. This helps keep expenses down vs. shuttling products to an outside studio. Also, if your photography needs updating, you may be able to divide what can be a very large effort into sections completed over time.
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Terence Jukes is president of Ability Commerce, a 140-person firm that designs, builds and runs e-commerce and related marketing programs for catalog companies. He can be reached at TerryJ@AbilityCommerce.com.