Car merchandising refers to the strategies and techniques auto dealerships and businesses use to promote, display, and sell vehicles. One of the most important aspects of car merchandising is taking high-quality photos of the cars.
The Importance of Visual Trust
Photos play a vital role in the car-selling process. People buy cars and trucks they love. So they need to fully see the vehicle when looking online. Seeing is truly believing. Not only do photos help build customer trust, they also are proven to keep visitors on the website longer. As Ben Stewart in the CBT News explains, “In fact, doing a little less writing about a vehicle and offering more visuals is rather important.”
Setting Up for Success – The Photo Studio
One of the best ways to get high-quality car photos is by having a dedicated photo studio. A special room equipped with optimal lighting, diffuser, photographic walls, and reflective floor can provide tons of natural sunlight all around the vehicle, perfect for car photography.
Lighting – The Make or Break Factor
Even if you take car pictures outside away from the controlled environment of a photo booth, lighting can still make a big difference.
Bright sunlight might seem ideal, but it can distort colors. The CBTNews article states, “Bad lighting makes your vehicles look less appealing. The colors aren’t very accurate. By bad lighting, we literally mean harsh, direct sunlight, especially on interior colors like gray or white that might look washed out in the high noon sun.”
Taking photos when it’s overcast or lightly shaded simulates the use of a studio diffuser to produce soft lighting and show real and vibrant colors. Sunset photos might seem appealing. But they’re challenging due to the limited time before darkness sets in.
Quantity and Quality: Get the Right Shots
It’s also recommended to take numerous pictures of each car, covering every possible angle and detail. A target of 20 photos per car is a good starting point. If a car has unique features or aspects, these should be highlighted. Plus, the CBTNews article pointed out, “If the vehicle isn’t especially loaded with infotainment and accessories, take good, up-close photos of how clean the vehicle is after detail. This also matters to people!”
Virtual Car Tours
Dealers today use immersive exterior and interior spins. They allow viewers to look comprehensively at and inside the car from their computer or phone. These tours can be especially impactful to showcase luxury or special vehicles.
Branding and Recognition – Adding the Personal Touch
Dealerships can improve photo reach by adding their logo and other branding. Photos are used not just on the dealer website, but also on advertising sites like AutoTrader, Truecar, and cars.com. A banner with dealer name, phone, and web URL can help car shoppers know whose car they’re looking at and how to directly contact the dealer.
Car Merchandising with High-Quality Photos
EZ360 offers a range of products to help auto dealers take professional-quality photos of their vehicles, including the EZ360 photo studio, EZSmart Background Replacement BGR, and EZTurn turntables. Contact us today to learn more and start taking better photos of your cars!