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AI Product Photography for E-commerce: Important Things You Need to Know

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You may have heard the buzz around artificial intelligence (AI) and its applications in e-commerce business. Who hasn’t these days, right? But what exactly is AI product photography and how does it work?

We’re going to talk about this in fine detail in a few seconds. By the end of this article, you’ll have a good grasp of the following:

  • What AI product photography is
  • Benefits of Using AI for ecommerce product photos
  • Ways to use AI Product Photography
  • AI image quality & realism  
  • AI image customization 
  • Automating product photography workflows 

Bonus: Will AI replace photographers? We know you’re curious to know.

Let’s get started.


What is AI Product Photography? 

AI product photography is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to generate, edit, and enhance product images. AI product photography tools, like Claid.ai, can automate many of the tasks involved in product photography, such as removing backgrounds, adjusting lighting, and creating lifestyle images via AI Photoshoot

This can save e-commerce businesses like yours, save time and money, and help you create high-quality product images that are more likely to convert customers.

AI product photography uses advanced machine learning algorithms to generate unique product images and assets. Instead of shooting thousands of product variants manually, 

AI takes a few sample images and automatically creates countless customized images in different angles, colors, arrangements, and backgrounds.

The results are e-commerce product images that look highly realistic and photographic. This allows ecommerce brands to achieve visual consistency, scale production exponentially, and save enormous amounts of time and money spent on traditional product photography. 

Big brands like Wayfair and Dress Barn are already utilizing AI platforms to increase online product selections and accelerate growth. The technology also helps individuals and small e-commerce brands punch above their weight by leveling the playing field for product visualization.
 

Infografic: AI product photography impact on sales, according to Shopify

 

 

Benefits of Using AI for Ecommerce Product Photos

We briefly touched on these benefits earlier, but that’s just a teaser. There are quite a lot of benefits using AI in product photos—even us are amazed by the new ones we discover, to be honest. 

We, our customers, and some of other reputable tech companies, see both financial and strategic upsides. According to Adobe.com, AI-enhanced workflows help creatives boost productivity by up to 40%.

We know this to be true because one of our customers, Rappi, a Latam super-app, experiences a 25% increase in productivity. They were also able to speed up restaurant onboarding, which was one of their biggest problems.

A number of studies have been conducted on the benefits of using AI in product photography. For example, a study by the University of California, Berkeley found that AI-generated product images were just as effective as human-generated product images in driving sales.

Another study, by the e-commerce platform Shopify, found that AI product photography helped businesses to increase their conversion rates by an average of 15%.

By far, our favorite benefit is increasing customer satisfaction. A study by the e-commerce platform Magento found that customers are more satisfied with products when they have high-quality images. 

Here are a couple more notable benefits of using AI product photography in e-commerce. 

 

Save substantial time and resources

• Automate up to 75% of current product image workflows based on trends. You can, for instance, automatically send Claid.ai images to more than 6,000 apps including your favorite workflow apps. 

• AI algorithms render thousands of high-quality images from just a few samples.

• Cut studio costs by up to 60% with fewer production needs. (via Slash.io)

 

Reduce costs and boost ROI    

• Pay reasonable monthly subscriptions versus large upfront photography spends. 

• A 2018 survey found AI improves marketing ROI by 15-25% in most companies. (via Salesforce) 

• Higher asset-to-image ratio helps maximize returns.

• Reallocate savings to other initiatives like advertising.

 

Unlock unlimited customization    

• Produce unlimited colors, mixes, crops, and AI image compositions. 

• Experiment freely without production limitations.

• Personalize for local preferences and contexts.

 

Achieve visual consistency  

• In some cases, algorithmic brand guidelines can be automatically applied.

• Asset styles, profiles and formats alignment.   

• Completely eliminate randomness or defects from manual shoots.

 

Accelerate time-to-market   

• 10-30x faster turnaround with automated workflows. (via Invespcro)

• Launch more new products and updates.

Speaking of time-to-market, here are a couple more benefits to help e-commerce businesses get traction using AI.

Improve brand awareness: A study by HubSpot found that high-quality product images can help businesses increase brand awareness. 

Boost SEO: A study by SEMrush found that high-quality product images can help businesses improve their SEO ranking. For this, you still need to include alt texts and image descriptions for your AI images to rank.
 

Ways to use AI Product Photography

We now know that it’s beneficial, and that’s good. But how can we use ai product photography generators in e-commerce? How can you leverage this technology that’s changing the world in your e-commerce business?

Let’s look at a few great examples below. For this, let’s again take a look at brands who are gaining momentum in AI product photography. Why? Because it’s far better to see real results than mere probabilities or a bunch of maybes, right?

Now, please bear in mind that AI is fast-changing. We’ll see more use cases in the next few months.
 

Increase online product selections

Wayfair uses AI to generate 50+ unique product images from each sample photo. This helps them showcase furniture from endless angles online. The result is 3x more product images and configurations.
 

Streamline catalog and brochure creation   

IKEA scaled its annual catalog from over 500 photos to under 100 primary shots. AI renders all configurable products like cabinets and sofas, and automates thousands of derivative images consistent with IKEA styles.  
 

Elevate and scale model and lifestyle shots

Dress Barn uses AI to produce countless fresh model images for web and ads. It helps them quickly customize looks, angles, and contexts. It enables better storytelling while reducing production demands as well.   
 

Personalize for local preferences    

AI product photography is for everyone, regardless of where you live or where you are doing business from. It allows brands to tweak product colors, styles, and environments. It’s very useful when expanding internationally or creating images that fit cultural norms.
 

AI image quality & realism  

AI is like a master chef who has tasted thousands of gourmet dishes and memorized all the secret recipes. It now knows exactly how to expertly prepare a stunning meal from any ingredients given—whether that's baking a flawless souffle or beef Wellington.. 

Similarly, AI visual platforms have learned from consuming endless product images to recreate textures, lighting, and colors perfectly every time. 

But how exactly does artificial intelligence create images?

Essentially, AI uses neural networks that simulate the functioning of the human brain for visual perception and creativity. Like training a child prodigy artist through example, the algorithms are fed vast datasets of product images to extract patterns on what realistic textures, lighting, shadows, and shapes look like from different angles.

Advanced systems like generative adversarial networks (GANs) employ two neural nets—one generates new images, the other evaluates realism—to constantly refine each other until outputs are indistinguishable from the real thing. 

The result? AI can create product images with smoother gradients, finer details, life-like materials, and natural lighting far superior than earlier CGI approaches. Near-perfect visualization is extremely difficult for human artists. But AI has, fortunately, cracked the code. 

Just like the camera transformed portraiture, AI is transforming ecommerce by making it possible to see products in more detail and from different angles. These advancements are making online shopping experience more enjoyable. 


 

AI image customization 

AI can do more than just generate product photos in bulk. It can also enhance, edit, and personalize images in ways that were never before possible.

Think of the technology as gaining a skilled photo editing team tailored to your brand. These are some powerful customization features unlocked:  
 

Automatic background removal and replacement  

Forget about manual clipping or green screens. AI background generators and background removers instantly identifies products and isolates them from backgrounds for easy cutouts and replacements, saving you hours of manual work.

 

Smart color correction  

Algorithms automatically color correct product colors and apply global adjustments to meet brand guidelines. This ensures visual consistency across thousands of AI-generated images. 
 

Upscaling and image enhancement   

Easily transform low quality images into enhanced, print-ready assets. AI upscales resolution, sharpens clarity, and enriches textures for stunning results equivalent to expensive DSLR upgrades.  
 

Smart crop and zoom capabilities

AI platforms understand products spatially to intelligently recommend crops focusing on important features. It also artificially zooms into key design details.
 

Outpainting to expand canvas   

AI can credibly expand and fill additional space around products by inferring backgrounds, just like expanding walls on a room.



 

Automating product photography workflows 

For those of you who have been automating workflows know how incredibly helpful it is. For those who haven’t, please read on because this might be the best thing you haven’t heard of.

Automating AI image generation and editing is a great way to save time, avoid errors, and scale your output. 

One easy way is to connect Claid with other apps through Zapier, a platform that enables you to build simple automations called "zaps." By doing so, you can create a zap that automatically sends Claid product images to your favorite workflow tools, like Shopify, Google Drive, Slack, and thousands more.

Here's a basic overview of how it works:

  1. Set up a trigger - This might be a "new uploaded product photo” in Dropbox.
  2. Add an action - Such as "Remove background.”
  3. Turn on the zap - It will now work automatically in the background.

The time and effort savings quickly compound thanks to the "set it and forget it" nature of zaps. Instead of manually exporting, saving, and uploading files, it happens instantly without any lifting on your part. This allows you to focus energy on higher-value tasks.

The key is starting small with a single integration that solves a pain point, then building upwards from there. Over time you'll craft an advanced workflow leveraging AI exactly where you need it most. Don't be afraid to test and iterate. With the right zaps in place, AI can do the heavy lifting while you focus on big-picture strategy.

 

Try Claid’s free Zap templates


 

Will AI replace photographers?

Claid.ai is a powerful AI tool, but it still is a tool. The goal is for this tool to help photographers, e-commerce business owners, and other folks become better at what they do. It’s a photographer’s assistant, if you will.

Claid is like an infinitely scalable team who can mimic styles, follow brand guidelines flawlessly, and deliver professional, high-quality images in large volumes. But it’s still spearheaded by humans.

So the short answer is no, it won’t. It’s unlikely that AI will completely replace photographers, designers, and content creators in the near future. For one, AI is still limited in its capabilities.

AI can be used to automate many of the tasks involved in product photography, design, and content creation. But AI can’t replicate the creativity and human touch that is important for creating high-quality work.

Like we mentioned earlier, AI can be used as a tool to amplify human capabilities. It can help photographers, designers, and content creators to be more efficient and productive.

For example, photographers can use Claid to edit, generate, enhance, and resize product photos at scale and in far less time than doing them manually.

 

Final thoughts

AI product photography tools can help e-commerce business owners, photographers, and other folks improve their product photography photos and workflows. It can be used to automate many of the tasks involved in product photography, such as editing, generating, enhancing, and resizing images. 

This can save time and money, and it can help e-commerce businesses produce high-quality product images that will help them sell more products. It’s still under development, but it is already a valuable tool for anyone who wants to improve their product photography.

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Claid.ai

December 5, 2023