There isn’t any standard rule of the best number of photos to represent one car online. Neither is there any documentation commenting on the amount of images per product and the effect that number has on consumer behaviour. With that in mind, I focus on how many images you actually need to present all the facets of any one car without causing a prospective customer to lose interest. In your average modern car there are at least 50 facets that need covering (See Car Photography Cheat sheet), which is far too many if you intend on retaining an audience. Twelve of these facets, such as the different angles of a car (8), the seats, front console and engine are important and need an image to themselves for up close scrutiny. On face value 50+ images are too many for efficient browsing, therefore other features like buttons, airbags, cup holders and suchlike don’t require an entire image to themselves and can be assorted into collages. Personally I would recommend sticking to 20 images in a gallery for a car; 19 of the car itself and reserve the last image for generic advertising and branding.
Like your photographs that have to be consistent, the order in which the photos are arranged in the gallery also has to be consistent:
Images 1-8: The 8 angles of a car in chronological order as though you were walking around the car.
The main and first photo, the image that also features in the gallery of all the cars for sale, is always the 45° angle car facing right: “The vehicle in the photo should point at, not away from, the text describing it, he says. “Image direction matters. Point to the clickable ‘call to action.” – Joe Webb, president of DealerKnows1)1.
Occasionally, especially if a car has been in stock for a while, the manager might choose a different photo as the usual one to make it look like a new arrival (and not old stock). Alternatively, the ‘cockpit’ shot is also a feasible option: Josh Pogue, marketing manager for Weins Auto Group in metro Toronto, cites conversion rates going from 2.7% to 4.9% after making the cockpit shot the main image and alternating it occasionally with the three-quarter-angle exterior shot 2)1.
Image 9: Collage of external detailing
Images 10-11 (12): Are always the full images of the seats. If the car has an additional row of seats you can add that one as well (full image).
Image 12: Full shot of the dash
Pretty straight forward inserting the photo, rather trickier making sure it’s 1) Level and 2) Centered.
Images 13 – 16: Collages of the interior detailing
The first two collages of the interior detailing (usually) involves the interesting gadgets / buttons / screens that can be accessed from the driver’s seat.
It is very important to capture the odometer. Not so much for customers to verify mileage, but for you to discern between same model cars (imagine shooting 5 same colored Prius’ on one day).
Image 17: Collage of details involving the rear seat space as well as safety features
Depending on the sophistication of the car this collage could tend to be a little cluttered. Alas, this is the collage I designate for what I consider to be the ‘boring’ bits of the car and other images I have left over.
Image 18: The boot
Most boots, some sedans being the exception, are incorporated with folding rear seats. The aim is to show how much space a boot has, and how many options are available for the said space. In the collage the most important (largest) image will be the largest space.
Image 19: The engine
I used to quite enjoy capturing some interesting details of beautiful engines. However, Ivan deems this to be a waste of time so – take the photo and stick it into the gallery – done.
Image 20: The Generic Sales Image promoting a special, available finance and branding.
Car Dealer Inventory Photos Should Click With Customers – (Steve Finlay): http://wardsauto.com/dealer/car-dealer-inventory-photos-should-click-customers
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