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how much are quality images really worth?

by | May 10, 2021

we live in a visual world. today’s customers make ⅔ of their purchase decisions based on product photos. you read that right—when it comes to sales, product images are more important than product titles. descriptions. or even reviews. and that’s because photos are really what bring a product to life.
photos are key at each stage of the purchase cycle: 

stage 1: your customer is first introduced to your brand through an ad on social media. 

stage 2: they visit your ecomm site. one product photo turns into six or seven shots taken from various angles with multiple props. 

stage 3: your customer makes a purchase and your product arrives at their doorstep. 

stage 4: they take a photo + post it online. the cycle begins again.

images are truly a must-have for your brand. so how much of an investment should your brand make in its photos? here are two quick rules of thumb:

rule #1: reverse-engineer your customer acquisition costs

we already know that better images never fail to increase sales. but by how much? 

one way to determine how much you can spare on additional visuals is by measuring how your customer acquisition costs (or CAC) changes when you improve the quality of the photos in your brand’s social media posts.

let’s say your CAC started at $100. but you just posted a string of all-new photos featuring your most popular product on Instagram and your CAC dropped to $80. this is an indication of how much money you’ll save if you choose to invest in better images across your brand. 

take the number of customers you hope to acquire + multiply it by your savings (in this case, $20 per customer). voilá—you have a sustainable budget for new visuals. 


rule #2: use product sales goals as a guide

you can also use product sales goals to determine how much to spend on images.

let’s say you were previously selling $50,000 in a product + you’re hoping to sell $100,000 in a new product. take the difference and multiply it by .25 (or 25%). 

this will give you a general sense of the visual budget you should be aiming for.

the bottom line? don’t skimp on excellent images. remember: product photos are the most important decision-making item on your customer’s list and your visual budget should reflect that. 

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