Our customer support team is here to answer your questions. Ask us anything!
Don’t Lose Focus: Product Photos With Your Smartphone

Don’t Lose Focus: Product Photos With Your Smartphone

One of the first things that customers see in your online business would be your product photos. This is because humans tend to be attracted to photos and give them more attention than words. Even if you have an amazing and compelling title accompanied by a great product description, it will all go to waste if customers are not compelled to click on the product page. However, most big companies use professional-grade equipment for taking pictures. You may ask how to compete with these big companies if you don’t have the resources to take good pictures. Well, luckily with the advancements in technology, we can take awesome product photos with just your smartphone.

In this blog, we will tell you how to take great product photos with your smartphone and a simple setup. Don’t be intimidated by photography, especially for use in business. The standards for a good product photo compared to professional photography is different. For one, people will view product photos on their devices online. This means the fidelity and technical quality only need to be as good as what devices can show. The best thing that you can do for an online business is to ensure that the overall user experience is consistent and gives out an image of professionality and quality. That doesn’t mean the best photo quality but the best fit.

What You Will Need

Let’s discuss what you will need to take great product photos from the comfort of your own home. If we are talking about just the basics, you actually just need a smartphone and a blank wall or surface. This is because you can take a product photo with just a phone and a regular background. Those two things are the essentials. You don’t need any more to take good product photos. So if cost is an issue, don’t feel compelled to spend money on equipment. However, if you want to increase the quality you can try and obtain this equipment. Keep in mind that everything that we mention here is relatively cheap and can be used for more than just product photos so you won’t be wasting too much money. 

The equipment that you will need is mainly for making better quality lighting and setting for your products. All of the heavy liftings will be done by your smartphone. The first thing that you will need is proper lighting equipment. Good lighting can make a mediocre camera sensor result in a good photo. Then you will need to have a good program to edit your photos. And of course, a background set for the products. The best would be a white background that covers the back and bottom of the frame. Ideally, this setup should be put up permanently so that you can change the product often quickly. But of course, you don’t actually need any of this to take good product photos. You can have all of this but still, have bad-quality product photos. What you actually need is to keep practicing and hone your skills. It will take a really long time at first, but once you get the hang of it taking pictures will be very fast and efficient.

Aspects of Product Photography and How to Do Them

These are the things to consider when taking product photography. Many things need to be considered because each aspect of the photo is interconnected. One part of product photography like lighting will affect color, detail, and more. So be sure to consider all of them.

1 Lighting

Besides the camera quality, the lighting is the most important thing to consider when taking photos of products. Bad lighting can ruin pictures taken with a great camera. Bad lighting can be adjusted if you are using a DSLR or mirrorless camera. But with smartphones, the sensors are weaker and need more external lighting. The resulting image if taken with bad lighting would be full of noise and become unclear. This will cause your pictures to seem bad quality. The cheapest and simplest method of getting good lighting would be to use natural sunlight. Take pictures during daytime using natural light. This method is actually simpler than using artificial lights. But sunlight can change anytime and is not always available. A good way would be to purchase photo lights or ring lights. These lights usually have diffusion layers on them which make the lighting appear softer and more appealing.

2 Angles

Angles seem like a simple thing, but they are very important when taking product photos. Using the wrong angle can put focus emphasis on aspects of the product that are unappealing or not effective. For example, a smartphone is typically shown from its front and back because they want to avoid showing how thick the phone is. Even though in real life the phone is actually pretty thin, it can seem thick in pictures. This is why angles are very important. You should also prepare various kinds of angles for your product pictures. Having just one angle is bad since consumers will not have enough information to make judgements on your product.

3 Background

There are 2 types of backgrounds that you will need to use for your product photos. The first would be a blank background that is used to put focus on the product itself. Blank backgrounds can also make your editing easier for use in online platforms. The color is most commonly white or other light colors, but it can be whatever matches your products. The second background would be an aesthetic background. Aesthetic backgrounds are used for beauty shots that can put your product in a beautiful setting. The purpose of an aesthetic background is not utilitarian but emotional. Making your product be associated with a visually appealing representation will increase the judgement of the product by customers.

4 Editing

Regarding editing, there are simple ways and more complicated ways. The easy method is to use mobile apps for your photo editing. Apps like Snapseen, lightroom, and even instagram have great editing features. The great thing about these apps are that they are made to be intuitive and simple to use. These apps are made around ease and convenience instead of comprehensiveness. Typically you would be able to change the hue, saturation, color grading, etc on these apps. Here are the top apps for photo editing on Smartphones:

  1. Snapseed
  2. Lightroom
  3. Photoshop Express
  4. Camera+
  5. VSCO

However, if you want to do things more in-depth, you can use Adobe’s suite of programs, but these can be pricey. You can also try its free alternatives like Canva, Pixlr Editor, PicMonkey, and many more. These are computer programs and include a wider range of features and adjustments. A rule of thumb would be to make sure you do not over-edit your product photos. This makes your product seem less genuine and may lead to consumers feeling unsure.

Key Steps in Editing Photos

Now we will discuss how to edit and what to do in the editor. The steps highlighted here do not have to be followed in order. This is also not an exhaustive list and we encourage you to be experimental and try out new things.

1. Crop the photos to fit your desired size

Cropping is the first thing you should do before you do an edit. The main goal of cropping is to make sure that the photo doesn’t have any excess detail as well as is symmetrical. When we take pictures, we often make small mistakes in symmetry. The horizon may be crooked or the picture includes unwanted background details.

2. Adjust the white balance

Second is the white balance of the photo. Despite its name, white balance does not control the color white in the photo. It actually controls how light is presented and therefore how color levels are shown. White balance is usually referred to as having a warm hue/tone or a colder hue/tone. A warmer white balance means that the picture has a more yellow hue while a colder white balance means it has a more blue hue. These things are not that important for the product photo, but they will add to the quality. Most apps have preset for white balance, and setting for white balance is typically referred to as temperature hence the warm and cold names.

3. Adjust exposure and contrast

Exposure refers to the brightness of a particular picture while contrast is the difference between dark and light objects. Pictures with high exposure can have too much noise. So it is better to get the right exposure when you take the picture. As for contrast, pictures with high contrast have stark significant differences between dark and light objects while lower contrast means the picture is flat and even. The best option for contrast is a middle between the two. For product photos, exposure is more important than contrast since detail is more important.

4. Adjust color vibrancy and saturation

Vibrancy increases intensity of neutral colors while maintaining intensity in brighter colors. Saturation increases the intensity of colors in the whole picture. Depending on your products, saturation and vibrancy won’t be important. If your product is colorful then vibrance and saturation will be very important as it helps accentuate the picture. However, if the product is monochrome or black then this won’t be very important.

5. Sharpen images

Sharpening refers to enhancing the details of your photo. The editing apps should have a slider to adjust the level of detail. However, there is no clear way to adjust the sharpness. You will have to experiment and check using the sliders. There are limitations to adjusting sharpness. You cannot turn an out of focus picture into one that is focused. Overly sharpened pictures will also look weird and have artifacts that can decrease the quality.

6. Finalize and use

Once you’re done editing, stop looking at the photo for a while. This is to ensure that you have fresh new eyes when looking at the picture again. Once you take your eyes off for a while, make the last adjustments before using them in your product pages and social media. You will also need to make different versions that match various platforms. The most common ratio for a photo is a square one that is symmetrical. Most platforms like Instagram and most online stores like Amazon use asymmetrical photos. But you can use a different ratio for platforms like Facebook, web stores, and many more.

What to Do After You Have the Pictures

Once you have taken your pictures and edited them, what do you do? Be sure to get the most out of your product photos. Consistency of image along the platforms that you use would be important. Once you already have product photos, you can always try and improve on them. Increase the level of photography, editing, and skill level. Once you are used to mobile editing apps you can try out more advanced editing apps. You should always try and improve your product photos just like any other part of your business. The smallest parts can have a big impact. If your product photos, usually seen as not a big deal, are done well then customers can see that you take your business seriously. Just be sure to always improve and follow the philosophy of Kaizen or continuous improvement.

Learning how to take good product photos is a very important aspect of an online business. However, it is a very time-consuming process. The best way to decrease the time would be to hire people to do it for you. But this can be pretty expensive and for an up-and-coming business, this can be hard. Well, if you can’t outsource this, then maybe you can outsource other aspects of your business. And this is where AsiaCommerce comes in. AsiaCommerce can help you grow faster and better with our many services. We offer services that range from export imports, procurement and sourcing, logistics, and forwarding. We can help with reselling, sourcing, and dropshipping. In addition, we offer extensive educational content that can help you develop your business skills. Check out our many services and gain many awesome benefits for your business!

10 Best Ways to Write Product Descriptions

Creating a business online to sell products is relatively easy these days. However, things become complicated when it comes to attracting consumers to buy products from you. You will have to compete with significantly more businesses. The products that you sell may also be similar. Online businesses cannot compete like typical businesses. You will often find product descriptions on product pages in websites or e-commerce platforms. Today we will discuss what a product description is and the best strategies to make a good product description that can convert viewers into paying customers.

An explanation of product descriptions

Product descriptions are the copywriting that you will use in your product page. The main purpose of a product description is to inform consumers about your product. There are also secondary goals such as enticing consumers, pushing purchases, and adding value to consumers. Product descriptions are a staple in the tech industry. However, because of the boom in online business almost anything sold online needs a good product description.

Product descriptions are usually used in web stores, e-commerce pages, social media posts, and many more. Anywhere people can view your products is a good place to use product descriptions. Product descriptions will be different based on the platform you use. Social media will favor shorter product descriptions while web stores or e-commerce platforms prefer longer and detailed recommendations.

10 Strategies for Writing a Good Product Description

Although making product descriptions is not an exact science, there are still strategies to make it effective. These are 10 strategies or considerations you should make when making your product recommendations. You don’t have to follow all of them, just choose the ones you think fit your business best.

1 Focus on the right target audience

A product description conveys what your product is to the reader. This means that you will have to know who will read them so that you can make the right adjustments. For example, you cannot use youthful and trendy words when your product is aimed at older people. However, if your product is aimed at older people but it aims to make them feel young, your wording should match that. Phrasing and wording that matches your target audience is very important.

2 Highlight benefits or additional value

Your product description should not be an exhaustive list of information about your products. Most of your customers will either not care or don’t understand most of them. There are reasons why people purchase your products. Highlight the way your products match those reasons. For example, people buy laptops based on the specifications, so highlight that. No need to go into too much detail about everything. Your description has to shift focus to the good aspects of your products.

3 Avoid overly used and common phrases

Saying phrases like “the best product ever” or “the most advanced” may seem like a good idea. However, they usually have the opposite effect. Most consumers already know that these words are just marketing jargon. So, they will end up disliking your page. Use words that highlight reality. For example, you can say “one of the most efficient power banks” instead of “the best power bank in the world”. Your tag line must reflect reality.

4 Use the right tone for your products

Tone is also very important when it comes to product description. The tone of your description may push consumers to make decisions. For example, if the tone of your product description is excited and conveying scarcity, buyers will be compelled to buy as fast as possible. However, if your product is not exciting or does not require urgency, using a tone like that will make buyers confused and will be less likely to buy.

5 Entice your audiences’ imagination

Imagination is a very powerful thing in consumers. Imagination fills in the gaps of our knowledge which means that if you can entice imagination, it will be very good. You can say things like “imagine doing things far more efficiently” or “What if you can feel safe leaving home without your charger”. These kinds of statements make buyers imagine scenarios which may push them to make a purchase.

6 Use short stories of your product

Stories are a great idea if your product has a proper story. Products that have a proper backstory like a founder’s story or invention story can make people interested. They like products that have a history because it seems a lot more unique and desirable now. But if your product is common, then don’t make up a story for your product. You will seem untrustworthy and buyers will avoid buying from you.

7 Add sensory words to your description or copywriting

Sensory words are very powerful tools for some product categories. Sensory words are words that evoke sensory experiences. Words like sweet, crunch, snap, moist, and harmony are sensory words. They evoke different senses as well. When your product is a food product you can use sensory words in your product description. For example, chocolate can be crunchy and sweet. Things like comfort tools and air conditioning can also use sensory words. As long as there is some connection with the senses, it will be good.

8 Use an easy to read structure

Structure is also very important since it is how consumers will initially see your page. If you put information in the wrong place, consumers may decide not to buy. A good structure always puts the most important or interesting information at the top. Then the bottom areas are for information that is important but less interesting. The most bottom areas are for information that not everyone may need to know but some types of consumers will want to know.

9 Provide testimonials

You can also include brief testimonials in your product description. Testimonials will help develop trust between you and the consumers. If you have reviews of past customers, the consumers will know that you are trustworthy. However, not all products require testimonials and it can be used for something else. For products with a high investment, it is good to put in investments. The testimonials should not only highlight the product but your store as well.

10 Do not use overly technical or complicated language

It may sometimes be good to put in technical language. However, it is usually not a good idea for most products. If your product description contains too much technical language or complicated language, consumers won’t like to read the description. Consumers will either get bored or not understand. This may lead to consumers leaving your page or being overwhelmed. Use language that is simple to understand and clear. But using language that is too simplistic can be bad. Consumers will either think that you are condescending or not knowledgeable.

Now you know how to create a good product description. You can use this newfound knowledge in doing business. And with this knowledge, you should not be afraid to grow and expand your business. Building businesses takes one step at a time. AsiaCommerce can help you grow faster and better with our many services. We offer services that range from export-imports, procurement and sourcing, logistics, and forwarding. We can help with reselling, sourcing, and dropshipping. In addition, we offer extensive educational content that can help you develop your business skills. Check out our many services and gain many awesome benefits for your business!

The Beginner’s Guide to Ecommerce Shipping and Fulfillment

The Beginner’s Guide to Ecommerce Shipping and Fulfillment

You put a lot of effort into making sure your customers have a great experience. You approve the images, you tweak your store, and you write the emails, all with the goal of leaving your customers happy.

But when it comes to shipping, it can feel like you’re handing your brand over to a stranger.

With some thought and planning, however, it doesn’t have to feel that way—which is a good thing, because shipping is a key part of your business. It’s the point where a customer finally experiences your product in person, and it can also represent a major expense in your business, depending on your shipping strategy.

That’s why it’s so important to map out a defined shipping strategy. Since the world of shipping and fulfillment can seem complex when you’re not familiar with it, we’ve got an overview of everything you’ll need to know to make the best choice for your business.

We’ll go over some of the basics of shipping your products and help you understand this complicated topic. We’ll talk about setting your shipping strategy, packaging, provide resources and links to popular carriers, look at tracking and insurance, balancing shipping costs with profitability.

Shipping strategy 101

There are some basics that set a foundation for the rest of your shipping. While you can come back and change each of these later on, as you learn more, these are the key decisions and steps that make up your high-level shipping strategy.

  • Your shipping rates and methods. 

Are you going to pass the full cost of shipping on to your customers or will you offer free or flat-rate shipping to absorb some or all of the cost? How will you get orders from your local customers? By the end of this post, you’ll have more information on how to make this choice for your business.

  • Product weights

To streamline the process, measure and update the weight of each product you sell. Having that information set up will help you get a good sense of your total costs, and pass along accurate prices to your customers.

  • Choose your preferred packaging

 While there’s more to be said about what kind of packaging is right for your products, once you’ve selected it, you can add that information to a shipping application so you can calculate accurate shipping prices.

  • Source your packaging

You can order free packaging or invest in branded packaging if that’s part of your strategy.

If you have difficulty with shipping, AsiaCommerce has a service to help you. We can also help you to market and sell your products, both a retail product or a product that needs to be sold in a huge amount. We are making it possible for local business leaders to cooperate with the International global market. Besides export service, we can also help you to import, transport, search for foreign products, and handle distribution issues of your company in southeast Asia.

Need help with shipping? We can help you! You can fill the form here: https://global.asiacommerce.net/package-forwarding-international-dropship/

What You Need to Know About Fulfillment Services

Source: VIA Technologies

Warehousing, shipping, and fulfillment can’t be separated when you begin to establish an e-commerce business or selling products.

Even though making sells is always the exciting part, you need to make sure your products end up in customers’ hands.

There are three options you can choose to make this happen:

  1. Sell your product through a drop-shipper who will place orders for you
  2. Place your order independently
  3. Collaborate with a logistics company that will handle your warehousing and fulfillment

There are certain advantages from packing and shipping your own orders: it’s cheap and flexible. Often times, businesses that are just starting out, and businesses that have extra packaging needs, usually handle their own logistics.

And regardless of age or industry, any business struggling with cash flow will be better off handling things in-house. Sometimes you have more time to spend than money.

But if your business has expanded and growing quickly so you have the cash on hand to outsourced, you may consider for using third-party warehousing and fulfillment.

There are many logistics companies that will store your product and take care of packing and shipping your orders, but not all logistics companies provide fulfillment services such as AsiaCommerce.

But What is fulfillment service?

A fulfillment service is a third-party warehouse that prepares and ships your orders for you. It does this from its fulfillment center. E-commerce fulfillment services are ideal for businesses that don’t want to deal with shipping or have outgrown existing warehousing capabilities to a point where they’re unable to ship orders themselves anymore.

If you’re scaling fast and looking to optimize your fulfillment strategy, working with a provider that offers a central view of your data and smart inventory allocation across multiple warehouses will give you the most flexibility. To learn more about the AsiaCommerce fulfillment services, visit us here

What does a fulfillment center do?

Source: All Things Supply Chain

While each fulfillment center operates slightly differently, they all accomplish the same thing: they act as a command center for all your order prepping and shipping needs. Fulfillment centers also double as warehouse spaces for inventory storage, allowing you to hold onto product.

Some fulfillment service providers have multiple fulfillment centers, allowing them to serve different geographic locations more quickly than if they were to have just one. This allows e-commerce companies to deliver fast and affordable shipping to a diverse customer base.

What do fulfillment services cost?

Source: Shipware

Fulfillment services typically charge by the hour or per unit/pallet. Providers add up costs for receiving, storage, pick and pack, shipping, kitting or bundling, returns, custom packaging, gift services, and setup. They then apply transactional (e.g., receiving, shipping) and recurring (e.g., storage) fees.

If your business has big goals, fluctuating sales, but not enough time to take care of things in-house, AsiaCommerce will help you! Just fill the form here

AsiaCommerce Preventive Measures against Covid-19

AsiaCommerce Preventive Measures against Covid-19

16 March 2020

To All our Esteemed Clients and Partners

The past few weeks have been hectic and confusing. Every day we get more news about COVID-19, and it’s tough to know exactly what to do.

For me, making sure that all Client’s demands are still well met despite the unfortunate situation while making sure our team maintain a very hygienic condition is my number one priority. We’re also taking steps to make sure our team is informed and taken care of.

We want our customers to get the supplies they depend on. And yes, despite the situation, our business is running and we are taking and shipping orders as usual.

Here is what AsiaCommerce is doing to safely meet demand.

  • • We’ve always been a clean workplace, but we have ramped up our efforts by inviting Professional Disinfectant Specialist to come and do more efforts to increase our hygienic environment.
  • • We do take a great care with social distancing with 50% of our staff use online meetings to take care of business now.
  • • In accordance with the current national recommendations, our employees must wash their hands every time they enter the building, pass a sink, eat, or touch a doorknob.
  • • Weeks ago, we halted all cross-country and cross city travel for all business to keep employees close to home,
  • • we have also switched to 2-days work shifts at office and home to decrease the number of people in the building at one time. 
  • • All our fulfillment team who are currently operating the Fulfillment Hub has been monitored continuously for body heat and has been using hand sanitizer before and after they did the work 
  • • We have established a task force to monitor all COVID-19 information as it comes out and react accordingly. 

Thank you for your continued support during these confusing times. Know that we are doing everything we can to get your supplies delivered on time while keeping our employees safe.

Keep washing your hands,

Frans Yuwono