As commercial photographers and videographers we also have to be marketers. That means we are always looking for ways to help our client connect with our audience visually. More and more consumers are searching, researching and buying online. But, we have all had that nagging “I really wish I could see it before buying” voice when we find something we like. So for retailers and businesses that use the Web as their store, we asked “How can we help create a even better buying experience?”
While it still is impossible to provide a full in-store experience, a new technique called 360° Spin photography at least allows some interaction with the product – the ability to spin the item around completely to see all sides, and even zoom in for close ups of the fabric texture or details. Studies have shown that this interaction boosts conversion rates — even more so than static images of every angle. There just is something about the tactile nature of moving the slider and clicking on the zoom button.
Creating a good 360° image takes planning and time however. Lighting has to work all the way around the image, not just from one side, you need a rotating surface that is constant or has control to stop at certain increments and the patience or software to consolidate all the images into a seamless “spin”.
We are still perfecting the technique, but our clients that have used these images on their websites clearly have seen the value. As more and more retailers try to build a better experience and get customers to buy online, the more we as photographers and video providers will have to work on new and interactive ways to help them reach their audience.