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Image editing background removal techniques for e-commerce

Image editing background removal techniques for e-commerce

Images create a deep impact on a visual content viewer

Outstanding image editing technique is the key to e-commerce sales. To reinforce the fact that images play an important role, there is also a research proving people remember 80% of what they see and only 20% of what they read. The study demonstrates the power of images that stays in the mind of the people for a long time, creating a deep impact. So, for the industry like e-commerce completely dependent on imagery, product photography is an effective tool for marketing the products. Products listed with great images tend to attract buyers more than the ones with low quality. Thus, images have great potential to create a deep impact.

Role of image editing for visual impact on e-commerce websites

We know that e-commerce is all about online transactions allowing people to buy with no barriers of time and distance. Although such transactions are increasing, the percentage of online shopping is still less than that of shopping in brick and mortar stores. People all over the world have been habituated to and prefer to buy products only after checking the details of the product through physical touch and feel. After the emergence of e-commerce, the physical experience of the product during an online transaction was missing. (In the current scenario, getting the feel of products while shopping online has been taken care of by the 3D modeling, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality). This is where the images did magic for online retailers.

The textual content was used to describe the products but the inclusion of quality images of the products worked as an icing on the cake. The quality edited images help the etailers to showcase their products in the best possible way and the shoppers to visualize the product details, variety, colors and verify the authenticity of the description provided with the products. Thus, provide a very clear and concise idea about the products they are going to purchase and form an important aspect of the e-commerce business.

I am sure that everyone would agree that if one product is listed online with text description only and another similar product listed along with images, one is going to click on the product that has images, thus proving images speak louder than words. Images are an attempt to first capture the attention of viewers and then get them to click on that product to have more information. With sellers going online, the competition is not local but global and one is competing with sellers all over the world. Consider a scenario where the seller has the best product but the images used for product listing are low-resolution images or not of good quality to capture attention. Just having a good quality product, in reality, won’t help the seller as the online shoppers won’t even think of clicking on the product if the images are not up to the mark.

Image editing helps to enhance the images keeping them realistic. There are many image editing techniques including shadow application, light adjustment, adding glossy or mirror effect, separation from original background, removal of unwanted objects ghost mannequins, etc.

So, yes, if done properly, image editing has the power to boost sales by grabbing customers’ attention and thus the clicks on products finally leading to conversions for e-commerce owners.

Image editing solutions for outstanding visuals

The image editing industry as most of the other industries involves vast processes and is evolving with the integration of new technologies like 3D modeling, augmented reality and artificial intelligence. Image editing solutions involve several activities like masking, clipping path, invisible mannequin, retouching, color correction, shadow/reflection, HDR/image blending, image background removal and so on.

Masking is particularly useful to remove objects from backgrounds and requires levels of precision especially when the products have fuzzy edges like frizzy hair or fur and intricate details like and machinery.

Clipping Path is used to ensure your products can be used in a multitude of ways by simply getting a cut out of them in post-production. This applied to simple products like bags and shoes as well as more complex jewelry and machinery.

Invisible Mannequin is used to treat garments shot on mannequins in a photo studio. Two separate images are shot: one of the garments on the model and one of the inside of the garment. They are retouched together using multiple techniques of photo editing.

Retouching is a generic term for a variety of adjustments made to images in post-production. This process requires a clear understanding of the clients’ requirements as well as a deep knowledge of Photoshop tools.

Colour Correction is vital for e-commerce success. Both colour values and any colour dispositions need to be corrected in images going online. The result is consistent colours, regardless of the product.

Shadow/Reflection creation or removal helps to enhance products. Creating a drop shadow based on the outlines of an object – or a natural shadow often enriches the image. Reflections are created by simulating an object on a mirrored surface.

HDR/Image Blending is a technique used especially in real estate where a photo-shoot is done using exposure bracketing. This allows for all important areas within a space to get evenly highlighted in post-production.

But in this blog, we will have a look at background removal, one of the image editing solutions that is very basic but at the same time very important for creating a difference in e-commerce sales. 

Image background removal

Although the use of image background removal services is not limited to specific vertical, it is mostly used in e-commerce product visual content showcase as it helps to create eye-catching unique product images. Background removal helps the service providers to remove the product at the forefront leaving behind the rest of the image part in the background or simple words we can say that background removal is a systematic technique to isolate the main or target image from the unwanted or annoying or irrelevant background and place it on the most suitable or required background. But to proceed further with the removal of an irrelevant background, one needs to compliment the process with clipping path or masking, the other two most used image editing tools.   

Widely used by photographers and the e-commerce industry, the background removal technique not only helps to shift the existing background or add a new one but also helps to remove unwanted objects from the background without the need for re-shooting. It also helps the brands to recreate logos and graphics. Sometimes, the situation arises when the re-shoot is not possible and the images could not be used just because of the background that is not relevant anymore. Here the background removal could be of great help. And to remove the background successfully from the target object, the clipping path is the recommendable complementary method.  

Use of image background removal technique in e-commerce

The art of background removal technique is intensively used in e-commerce product photography due to the practice of the use of display of product images against the white background. Well, not necessary that the background has to be white all the time but the emphasis is on having the most suitable one and this could be achieved through the removal of the original background.

The background of the image can also be changed using auto-selection or magic wand tools that simply change the color or make it transparent. But there is a striking difference between the quality of the results of the background removal technique using the magic wand and clipping path or masking. Image background removal using magic wand works for white backgrounds and with very simple products having flat edges or surfaces. So, to obtain an outstanding background removal outcome, clipping path and masking techniques are mostly preferred. Before moving further, let’s be clear when to use the clipping and when to use the masking for background removal.

Type of products: the deciding criteria for the selection of complementary technique to be used for image background removal

For objects or products with solid and non-furry or non-hairy edges, the clipping path is the best image editing tool to be used for background removal and for the products with sophisticated edges with wool, fur or hair, masking works the best for the background removal. Clipping path not only removes the original background but also helps to omit the unwanted object from the image. For example, if the image to be edited has the supporting object to hold the main product for capturing any particular angle, that object could be removed using a clipping path background removal technique.

Need for image background removal

Now, after having a look at the background of the image background removal, let us see why the need for image background removal arises.

1. To be compliant and look appealing

The majority of market places including Amazon require the display of product images on a neutral or white background. It is quite possible that for some reason the product image is not available on the white or neutral background and the reshoot of the product is also not possible due to some reasons, then the image background removal technique comes to the rescue. You can replace the non-white background with a white or as required using the image background removal technique, making it compliant and look good.

2. To create a consistent imagery

Even if you own your photo studio or get the shoot done from a professional product photographer, the outcome of the shoot will be different from every shoot. So, there is a probability of the existence of inconsistency. Here again, the image background removal technique plays an important role to create consistency by placing the clipped or masked object on the desired background.

3. To get rid of distractions

Sometimes, even if the product is shot against a white background, it might have some objects for holding the main product in a specific angle, a prop or a visible shadow that again might be non-compliant, not looking good or creating a distraction. To get rid of such a situation, the image background removal technique is most recommendable.

4. To minimize size

The use of image background removal image technique to replace the original background with white helps you to reduce the byte size of the images facilitating faster upload of imageries.

5. To replace it on different background

For e-commerce, it is usually the white background but in some cases, it could also be the replacement of the product image into a completely different background. Like for example, taking a photo of a car in a carport and then making the replacement of the carport with the desired background or with an open road.

Four approaches to get the image background removal done

1. The first approach is DIY by using low-cost software like photoshop or any other free applications like Paint.Net, Mac Preview or GIMP but it may cost you time.

2. The second approach is in-house hiring that may get you a consistent result along with control over the process and good communication. But this might be very expensive as the lean season may keep your image retouchers idle and may overload them during seasonal bursts.

3. The third approach is to hire a freelancer. Such hiring is generally a trial and error gamble and might cause pain and repeat the whole onboarding process each time you hire.

4. The fourth approach is to use a professional image editing or retouching services. You can take the services of a professional visual content solutions provider that would provide you with consistently good results, easier communication, and simple online management system, agreed-upon turnaround time and revision process lowering your costs and increasing your scalability, which may not be the case in in-house or freelancer hiring.

How to select background removal services?

Selection of the best image service provider may be a challenging task, so we are listing below the parameters based on which you should select your trustworthy and reliable image editing partner:

  • Communication interface
  • Quality of work
  • Speed or turnaround time
  • Scalability
  • Data security
  • Pricing
  • Reputation

Thus, image background removal is a part of image editing services that should be selected very cautiously for boosting e-commerce sales.

 

 

 

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