Should You Use White Background Photos or Lifestyle Photos For Better Conversions?

Product photography makes up for one of the most important aspects of an online shopping experience for a buyer. Nowadays, people invest a significant amount of money in an online store. Business owners perfect all the techniques they can to increase their conversion rate.

From a streamlined checkout process and a seamless user interface, they do it all. However, what they fail to understand is that all those aspects are secondary. The first and foremost part of the transaction is the customer deciding to buy the product.

The right Product Photo converts more buyers than any other aforementioned aspects of an online business. The way you present your product is essential for them to get a better understanding of it. You need to understand that you have to replace the conventional ‘feeling of touch’ of an online store. Your task is to transform that feeling into something equally compelling that can persuade the customer into buying the product.


A great product photo consists of the following attributes:

1. It is able to grab the attention of the buyer and persuade them into completing the transaction.

2. It displays the product in extensive detail.

3. It educates the buyer about the size, material and the color of the product.

4. It captures the use of the product in the buyer’s life.


White background photos and lifestyle photos constitute the two most widely used types of effective product photography. Let’s explore these in detail.


White Background Photos or Lifestyle Photos?


White Background Photos or Lifestyle Photos


Professional product photographers use a variety of techniques to get the above-mentioned four attributes right. However, the white background images and lifestyle photography have emerged as the preferred choice of most online store owners.

eCommerce giants like Amazon are the biggest examples of online platforms that extensively use a white background for their products. However, other online stores continue using lifestyle photos as default for their products.

This keeps the new online store owners confused as to what makes up for a better choice for them. The truth is that it does not have to be an ‘either’ or ‘or’ situation. Both the white backgrounds and lifestyle photography have their distinct advantages over each other. In fact, what product photo converts better entirely depends on the type of product and the customers it is targeting.

Let us have a look at the distinct advantages of both these kinds of Product Photography:


White Background Photography


The white background has become the standard when it comes to product images on major e-commerce websites. We wouldn’t be wrong to call it the complete ‘no-brainer’ as every other website that comes out implements this technique. Come to think of it, can we really blame them? The white background product photo converts a larger set of potential users for a variety of products

It has an obvious set of advantages over the rest of photography techniques. Here are some of the benefits of white background photography:


1. Highlights the Product


Starting out with the most obvious of all reasons as to why white backgrounds are so popular is the level of detail they provide. You are able to present the products as they are and there are no visual hindrances to keep the attention from them. The customers get a better idea of the quality and the materials used in the manufacturing of the product. This helps them to make well-informed decisions and hence considerably reduce the rate the returns/exchange.


2. Establishes Trust and Consistency


There is no arguing the fact that the customers like the online store owners to be consistent. Therefore, when all your products follow the same pattern and have similar levels of visual appeal, the customers are able to establish trust with your business. Since there is no confusion among the customers, they tend to have a seamless experience at your site. This makes you look professional and establishes you as the preferred choice of these customers.


3. Incredibly Affordable


Compared to some other forms of product photography, the white backgrounds are much lighter on your pocket. This is especially concerning for store owners who have a large variety of products on offer. A white background costs anywhere from $15 to $20. This brings down your costs considerably so that you can invest the same amount in other aspects of the business.

The white background product photo converts better only when implemented on a specific set of products. This is why Lifestyle Photography has found popularity.


Lifestyle Photography



Like we discussed, the white background photography might not be the best deal for all the occasions. It works perfectly fine to emphasize on the size, fabric and design aspects of the product. However, it misses out on one very important aspect of the attributes that we talked about in the beginning. It isn’t able to engage the customer which is why it is hard for them to imagine how the product will be useful for them in real life. Naturally, if they seem to see no use for the product, they are unlikely to spend money on it.

The Lifestyle Photography, on the other hand, is able to:


1. Capture The Product In Action


If you decide to shell some money out for lifestyle photography for the product, you are likely to see an instant effect on your overall sales. For instance, selling a scarf with white product images will definitely attract a lacklustre response. However, when the users are able to see the product in action, they are able to imagine how it might be useful for them. Additionally, you can use this opportunity to persuade the customers by capturing the different styles in which the models pull it off. This is the biggest reason why lifestyle product photo converts at a better rate for apparel and jewellery items.


2. Engage People On Various Platforms


You cannot rely on your online store solely to sell the items on its own. You will need to market the product on a variety of social media channels. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are popular among online shoppers. Can you imagine your white background images doing well on these platforms? Well, we all know the answer to that. This is because white background images scream sales and are frankly pretty boring for social media.

Meanwhile, a young woman in her twenties is much likely to buy/save your product from such channels when she sees someone carrying that product.


3. Improves Brand Image


In order to help people connect with your brand, you need to ensure that you are everywhere. When people see you actively promoting on different platforms, you come off as a professional seller. However, use white background images and the perception totally changes. Now you’re just a cheap company trying hard to sell their products at affordable prices.


Now that we have discussed the diverse advantages of these photography techniques, let us get to the question that started it all. What is better – White Background Photos or Lifestyle Photography? It makes up for the perfect choice to use these in combination. This will help you get the best of both worlds. You will be able to clearly emphasize the size, quality and other attributes while also managing to identify with the customers.


Remember that the white product photo converts better for small commodities where price plays an important part in the sale. On the other hand, unique products might need that extra bit of excitement.

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