Need for Speed: Keeping Up with E-commerce at Scale

As consumers shop online in greater numbers, how can your product photography keep up?
Some jewellery is on display on a Canon EOS R6 screen, intended for an e-commerce page.

Taken on a Canon EOS R6 with a Canon RF24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM at 1/160 sec, f/5.6 and ISO4000.

E-commerce has never been a more successful sales channel: by 2026, it’s projected that nearly a quarter of all global retail purchases will take place online.1

Even purchases that were once always assumed to be necessary in person are now taking place online with confidence. A huge 90% of car shoppers now prefer to explore their options online, 2 while almost half (45%) of younger shoppers make jewellery purchases via mobile devices without ever trying them on. 3

More, new and now: Giving Customers What they Want

When customers shop online, the physical barriers which limit their access to products are removed – they can now buy from suppliers anywhere in the world. Choice is one of the top attractions of online shopping: for almost all product categories, consumers prefer to shop online for the greater variety.4

To compete, you – like many e-commerce brands – might find your stock list ever-expanding. In fact, the average online store now boasting 999 items, with some updating their inventory every single week.5 To help shortlist and select products from this huge selection, customers want to easily compare products in detail online. Here, it’s really important for you to offer accurate and authentic imagery, allowing customers to evaluate in detail, and even easily compare several products on your site, giving them more confidence before parting with money.

While efficiency is important for all companies, for some industries there’s even more pressure to capitalise on real-time trends. This could be an influencer wearing a particular product leading to skyrocketing sales, or emerging trends causing sudden unexpected demand and sold out products. All of this creates greater pressure to ensure products are available online quickly for them to be commercially viable.

However, it can be a huge challenge for you to meet the combined expectations of modern customers: quality product photography takes investment and – typically – time to curate and run shoots. How do you keep up with customers’ need for ‘more’, ‘new’ and ‘now’, all promoted via quality photography?

A technician wearing white gloves cleans the sensor of a Canon camera.

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A pair of jeans are being photographed in a studio as part of an e-commerce photography workflow.

© StyleShoots

The Efficiency Revolution

Managing large stock volumes from delivery to the online storefront involves multiple steps including the shooting, reviewing, editing and meta tagging process of e-commerce photography. You might be aware of trying to balance producing not only professional quality shots, but images that accurately reflect the product and match your distinctive style. This complex process can be easily disrupted by errors or delays leading to backlogs.

Notably, the post-production phase plays a pivotal role in determining business success. Lengthy or overly manual processes in correcting colours and ensuring a consistent visual output can be resource-intensive, which only adds to the timeframe.

In this fast-paced digital era, where time is of the essence, any holdup can have a dramatic effect on your ability to keep up with consumer demands. Meanwhile, where styles change quickly and trends ebb and flow, there’s a real opportunity for ‘missing the boat’ if products are held up from reaching the store.

Your Secret Weapon to Powering E-commerce at Scale

Whether brands need 1000 shots of a new car model or a consistent look and feel for a collection of jewellery, solutions that incorporate automation allow e-commerce photography workflows to process large stock volumes at speed. For example, brands looking for a consistent effect can produce hundreds of shots per minute in a set brand style, reducing the need for post-production and accelerating the readiness of products for the online store.

Automation is also available to expedite workflows such as facilitating automatic tagging or enabling better collaboration. One example is Marks & Spencer (M&S), a UK retailer, which has begun to automate the writing of product descriptions and the editing of product photography of furniture, homeware and clothing save time and boost efficiencies.6

In a studio setup, automated solutions are being used to allow photographers to share shots with editors, art directors, or clients in real time for review. This allows you to collaborate, even from remote locations, giving stakeholders total creative visibility ensuring every shot aligns perfectly with their creative brief. Ultimately, this can help you speed up the overall production process and avoid losing time on rounds of feedback, re-briefs or post-production edits.

A set made up of various homeware items being photographed by a man with a Canon EOS R6 camera and Canon RF24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM lens.

Taken on a Canon EOS R6 with a Canon RF24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM at 1/200 sec, f/4.0 and ISO2500.

Making the Change to Automated Solutions

In a fast-paced landscape, commercial success often depends on efficiency and speed. Innovative technologies like automation can support your business to expedite e-commerce photography workflows from shoot to store, improving the level of accuracy, and offering tangible financial benefits.

Whether you’re an established e-commerce company or a growing brand, automated photography can help you manage increasing demand with reliable, efficient, and cost-effective imaging solutions.


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  1. Forbes: 38 E-commerce Statistics of 2023
  2. Porsche Media Group: 90% of Car Shoppers Prefer a Dealership Where They Can Start the Buying Process Online
  3. Gitnux: Online Jewelry Sales Statistics
  4. Jungle Scout: Quarterly Changes in Consumer Behaviour
  5. Data Feed Watch: An in-depth analysis of the Automotive eCommerce Industry 2023
  6. Just Style: Signal: Leading fashion brands leverage AI for supply chain efficiencies

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