9 Ways AI Is Changing Everything in eCommerce Photography

Blog – featured – ecommerce photography

With so many questions about artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots like ChatGPT, we thought it was about time to start talking about a few of the new ways that AI is entering the eCommerce product photography space. 

Introduction to AI in eCommerce Photography

As eCommerce continues to grow, teams are increasingly turning to AI technologies to speed up the process. Businesses can automate things like image editing, background removal, and object recognition, freeing up valuable time and resources for creation. They can also enhance the customer experience by creating a more personalized and immersive shopping experience, with features like visual and voice search, and virtual try-on.

Below, we'll explore nine specific ways that AI is entering eCommerce photography and the benefits that these technologies can provide for brands and customers alike. Which AI tool will be on the top of everyone's mind in your next photoshoot? And what will the impact of this powerful new tool be in the future? Let's dive in! 

What Will We Discuss?
1. Automated Photo Editing
2. Background Removal
3. Virtual Try-On Experiences
4. 3D Modeling
5. Image Recognition 
6. Visual Search
7. Image Compression
8. Image and Video Generation
9. Copywriting and Descriptions

1. Automated Photo Editing for Product Images

In today's fast-paced eCommerce landscape, where product photos are often the first point of contact between online shoppers and businesses, AI's ability to optimize and enhance images can be a game-changer. By capturing the essence of each product and presenting it in its best possible light, eCommerce businesses can stand out in a crowded marketplace and increase the likelihood of a sale with partially AI generated product images.

This intelligent software analyzes the image data to identify areas that need attention, adjusting each element with precision and care. From the subtle nuances of light and shadow to the vivid hues of color, AI can bring out the best in every image, creating a seamless and professional visual experience for customers when you showcase products.

2. Background Removal with Artificial Intelligence

According to some statistics on Big Commerce, "Out of seven million edited product images, about 92% removed the background." AI can now be used to automatically remove the background from product photos, making it easier to place products in different contexts and improve visual consistency. 

If you'd like to dive further into the topic, check out this edition of the eCommerce Content Creation Podcast, hosted by our Chief Evangelist, Daniel Jester, in discussion with Matthieu Rouif of PhotoRoom. In this episode, you'll find a thorough discussion surrounding background removal, machine learning, and more.

3. Virtual Try-on Experiences

AI can now be used to create virtual try-on experiences, allowing shoppers to see how products would look on them before making a purchase. This can be particularly useful for fashion and beauty products.

Looklet is doing a lot of virtual try-on like this, stating, "Our technology helps teams create high-quality product photos without the need for elaborate photoshoots or models.” Save production costs with your own in-house studio that automates capture, retouching, and image publication for your eCommerce apparel. With fast capture and flexible styling post-capture capabilities (never shoot another evergreen product again!) save on production and use your budgets for delighting your target customer with personalized tech such as Looklet's new virtual try-on product, Looklet Dressing Room

Using multiple pieces of tech from augmented reality, computer vision, and AI, customers can choose to try on everything from clothes and shoes to makeup and other accessories. Imagine finding your next outfit, that fits perfectly, all from your couch. 

4. 3D Modeling

We are really living in the future. AI can be used to create 3D models of clothing, products, and more, which can be useful for showcasing products from different angles and providing a more immersive shopping experience.

In the future, we could see more of these types of product photos featured on your favorite eCommerce site. With the possibilities of using AI tools, AI models, AI-powered editing, and other key features the possibilities for the future are endless. It's possible that the book on generating photos is about to be rewritten.  

5. Image Recognition

AI can be used to do a lot of things across image recognition. From recognizing products in existing images, which can be helpful for organizing product catalogs and optimizing search results, to detecting and removing inappropriate content in shots. This can also be used to automatically suggest related products or provide additional product information.

Image recognition is also a perfect segue into chatting about visual search because they go hand in hand. 

6. Visual Search

When AI is able to recognize specific products, people, etc., searching for shots gets a whole lot easier. AI-powered visual search tools can also be used to help shoppers find products by uploading an image or taking a photo with their mobile device. This helps customers find exactly what they are looking for and improve the shopping experience.

Imagine a future where you see a product you want in the back of a photo. You send your blurry photos to your online marketplace of choice, and they come back with stunning accuracy, exactly what you want to purchase. Is that a perfect tool? And how long down the line is it until it's ready to demo?

7. Image Compression

AI can also be used to compress product photos without sacrificing quality. If that means reducing pixels, dimensions, color components, or something else, the end result helps make loading the images across your eCommerce site and mobile apps, faster. 

Using machine learning and AI to reduce image size can also lead to improved SEO ranking in search because of that faster load time. That ranking will get your product photos seen by more eyes.

8. Image and Video Generation

AI can even be used to generate product images and videos. This includes edits and additions to completed product photography from traditional photoshoots. This can save businesses time and effort in getting specific pieces completed without ever having to go back to the studio. Recently, it feels like a new application like this is offered every week. 

AI-powered tools like this have the capability of changing eCommerce product imagery and video forever. But, as of this writing, jumping past image enhancements and straight into bringing website-ready shots to your business is probably still a ways off. Then again, competition is fierce and another revolutionary app may be just around the corner. 

9. Copywriting and Descriptions

And finally, this one isn't directly related to photography, per se, but it needs to be discussed. Using a combination of the tools above, AI has the capability of not only writing descriptions of products, but also deciding the tone, emotion, and more for all copy needs.

Imagine AI taking a look at an uploaded image, referring to the pre-made style guide, and then crafting copy that could be used across websites, social, and more, all in the blink of an eye. It's very close to becoming a reality. And while there will most likely need to have QC checks along the way, this will completely change the speed at which products can go live exponentially. 

In Conclusion

AI-generated content is here to stay and the nine ways that it's entering the eCommerce photography world above are only the beginning. This goes without mentioning all the AI copywriting, which will no doubt enter the field sooner than later across everything from product copy to social posts to automating metadata entry. 

We've discussed only a few examples of how AI is being used in eCommerce photography. By leveraging AI in these and other ways, eCommerce businesses can improve the quality of their product photography, streamline their workflows, and enhance the overall shopping experience for customers. In the long run, all of this new software will help potential buyers connect with brands they love, and hopefully make their lives a little easier.

We'd love to hear how you use artificial intelligence in eCommerce photography or on your own website.