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5 Ways Up-to-Date Product Images Benefit Your E-commerce Business, and How to Automate the Entire Workflow

Staying ahead in the fast-paced world of e-commerce has never been easy. One of the main reasons it’s so difficult to maintain a competitive edge is your product images are always in need of updating. 

There are five key reasons why keeping your product images up to date should be higher up on your to-do list. They are: 

High-quality, relevant images contribute to a positive shopping experience. When customers can clearly see what they’re purchasing, including any recent updates or improvements, they’re more likely to feel confident in their decision.

Customer experience also impacts customer retention and repeat purchases. Eighty-eight percent of users will never return to a site after a bad experience. And customer retention is a key initiative for any e-commerce brand (it’s 5 to 25 times less costly than acquiring a new customer).

The latest and greatest product images ensure that customers receive an accurate representation of what they’re purchasing. As products evolve or undergo changes in design, features, or packaging, keeping images current prevents misrepresentation and sets clear expectations for customers, which also prevents returns.

According to a survey conducted by Cloudinary, 30% of consumers have made a return because the product they received didn’t match what they saw online. With the average return costing 21% of the order value, it’s a no-brainer to prioritize decreasing the number of returns.  

In 2023, there were over 26.5 million e-commerce businesses in the world, a nearly 300% growth from 2019. Not only do e-commerce businesses have to compete with those directly in their product line or industry, but they also need to stand out in comparison to e-commerce giants that offer virtually everything (e.g., Amazon). 

Keeping product images high quality, engaging, and up to date are the basics of keeping up with the Joneses — the bare minimum of staying competitive in a saturated market.

Fresh and relevant content, including updated product images, can positively impact search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Search engines value websites that regularly update their content, including images, can improve visibility and ranking in search results. Just make sure you’re optimizing your images for SEO via image size, alt text, file name, and more.

Additionally, updated images may attract more clicks and engagement, further boosting organic traffic to your website and product pages.

Consistency and accuracy in product images help maintain the credibility and trustworthiness of the brand. Outdated or inaccurate images can lead to skepticism among customers (not to mention a bad customer experience) and damage the brand’s reputation. 

On the other hand, regularly updating images demonstrates a commitment to transparency and professionalism. User-generated content (UGC) is an effective way to increase credibility, improve customer experience, provide further accurate product representation, and keep customers engaged and returning for more of your products.

We’ve established that up-to-date images are important, but now the question of “how” comes into play. While the procedure differs across companies, it generally includes manually syncing an image from a digital asset management (DAM) to a product information management (PIM)  system. This seemingly simple task can add up to hours of manual work as your product catalog increases and you’re constantly asked to update “just one image.”

MediaFlows by Cloudinary, our low-code platform to automate visual media-related workflows, can help you streamline and manage the entire process. 

Take SPORT 2000, for example. As a leading European sportswear company, it needed to ensure that its online customers get the most updated and highest quality product images on its e-commerce platform. To automate this process of updating assets, SPORT 2000 partnered with MediaFlows by Cloudinary, saving the team hours of work migrating 1.3 million assets and ensuring industry-best customer experience. 

“MediaFlows allows us to effortlessly create and manage workflows, streamlining the entire process of providing product images for our customers,” said Tobias Stiedl, SPORT 2000’s online marketing manager. “With MediaFlows we have significantly reduced the time and effort required to keep our online store up-to-date with the latest product images.”

With a comprehensive library of visual media-related workflow templates, including syncing assets to a PIM such as Akeneo, automating some of your most mundane processes has never been easier.


MediaFlows can also help moderate your UGC and optimize your images for SEO. Try it out for free today.

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