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Why Image Masking Service Is Important For Ecommerce Businesses

When you visit an Ecommerce store, what catches your attention first?

Well, the answer is product image for the majority of online shoppers. 

Online brands, for this reason, use high quality photographs in their stores. a number of image editing techniques are required to give the images a professional appearance. Among these techniques, one of the most popular is image masking. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss the image masking technique. We will learn about the challenges you may face in eCommerce product photography and how image masking service can be your ultimate solution.  

So, without further ado, let’s dive in.

What Is Image Masking?

Image masking is a photo editing technique used to separate the subject from the background. Although the purpose of this technique is similar to that of clipping path, the method used to create it is completely different. This process allows you to create masks on the images to either hide or reveal certain areas. 

This is a non-destructive background removal process. That means you can isolate the subject or specific areas of an image without actually creating cutouts. Your image data will remain intact and you can revert the changes at any time. 

This editing technique is mostly used to separate subjects with intricate and fine details along the edges. For instance, fur, leaves, hair, or transparency. The demand for this technique is in E-commerce, advertisement, fashion, beauty and other industries.

Challenges in Product Photography for E-commerce

Product photography is the key to attracting customers. Customers evaluate the quality of the product from the photographs. When they can see the intricate details of the products, they begin to trust the product and the brand. However, influencing the purchasing decision is not as easy as it seems. 

E-commerce product photography has a number of challenges. Some of them are:

  • Problematic Background

Complexity with the background is a common issue in product photography. The background may have unwanted elements that distract the focus from the product. That distracting element can also be a prop or color. That’s why renowned E-commerce platforms such as Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, and other sites prefer white background product images. 

However, even if you do a professional photoshoot, the result won’t give you a perfect white background every time. The background may have unappealing shadows, reflections, or gray cast.   

  • Detailed product attributes

Customers search for details in the product photographs as they can’t see or touch the products in real life. However, accurately capturing texture, stitching, or fine details like hair or fur is difficult. 

On the other hand, maintaining the accuracy of these intricate details in post-production is the biggest challenge. If the detailed attributes cannot be the focus of the photos, the quality of the image will drop regardless of the high-end camera or lens you use. 

  • Maintaining consistency 

Another common challenge in product photography is maintaining consistent image aesthetics across product catalogs. Every product has some unique features that require different camera angles to get the best shot. So, ensuring the same lighting setup, camera angles, and scale across all product photos is not possible.  However, if you are unable to maintain consistent aesthetics, your brand will appear unprofessional.

Importance of Image Masking in E-commerce

High-quality, visually striking, clean background and many other aspects are important in product photographs to attract potential customers. Image masking is a multi purpose technique that can help you achieve all of these features in your photos. 

Some of the key benefits of image masking are:

Precise Background Removal

Image masking is the technique professional photo editors use to remove background. Products that have intricate details, such as model jewelry photographs, fur clothing, etc., can be separated from the background precisely. This puts the focus solely on the product, making it more visually appealing.

Create Transparency

A transparent background is important for E-commerce photos. Products need to be placed on different backgrounds or integrated into designs. Image masking helps to accurately remove the background and make the product background transparent. These product images can be over other backgrounds or marketing platforms.

Professional Image Quality

When you use image masking for background removal, it creates high-quality images that reflect professionalism and attention to detail. There are not many other techniques that can produce such good results. 

Increase Sales

High-quality images are more likely to attract and engage potential customers. Image masking provides precise editing of the product images keeping the intricate details intact. When costumes observe the fine details, they get a better understanding of the product. Consequently, this helps to drive purchase decisions, resulting in higher sales.

Retaining Fine Details

Image masking produces high-quality images while preserving fine details such as strands of hair, intricate design elements, texture, color accuracy and so on. Customers can feel the products simply by looking at the images. This ensures customer satisfaction, as their expectations match the real life products. Also, you will get fewer returns.  

Consistent Image Aesthetics

E-commerce brands using high-quality product images with consistent aesthetics create a sense of professionalism and reliability. When customers see consistent image aesthetics throughout your online shop, their overall shopping experience improves. This builds trust within them for your products and turns them into your loyal customers.

Common Applications of Image Masking in Ecommerce

The image masking technique can be used to create a wide range of product image edits. Some of the common applications are:

Remove Background

Image masking is used to remove backgrounds from complex product photos. Products that have complicated shapes or fine details are difficult to separate from the background. However, the image masking technique can be used to isolate the products precisely. These products can be placed on different backgrounds or integrated seamlessly into various designs.

Ghost Mannequin Effect 

This technique is used to create ghost mannequin effect for clothing photography. You can remove the body of the mannequin or model while maintaining the shape and form of the garment. 

Removing Unwanted Elements

Masking can also be used to remove unwanted elements from product photos. You can remove logo, watermark or distracting background objects to give the image a clean and professional appearance. 

Selective Blurring or Focus

This technique is used to blur or focus certain parts of an image. You can control the transparency and other elements of that certain portion. This is done to bring focus on specific features of the products or make the image more visually appealing. 

Composite Product Images

Have you seen different variants of products in a single image? This can be done using the masking technique. At first the background of each of the products is removed precisely. And then all the products are placed on another background using the masking method. This makes the transitions between the products seamless and natural.

Considerations When Choosing an Image Masking Service Provider

Choosing the right image masking service provider is important to ensure that you get high-quality results. Professional quality product images will attract your target audience and generate revenue. So the best service provider can make your investment worthwhile. 

The following are some of the key factors you must consider when choosing a professional image masking service. 

Industry Experience

Industry expertise is important to ensure you get your desired result. For example, if you hire a model photography image masking expert for your E-commerce shoe business, you may not get satisfactory final outputs. So, select a service provider who is an expert in your business niche.

Quality of Work

The most important thing that matters is the quality of the work. Check out the portfolio or ask for sample work from the image masking service provider. You must carefully observe their previous works and see how precisely they can retain fine details, such as hair, fur, intricate designs, and so on. You should also check for consistency of quality across the catalog or portfolio.

Customer Reviews

Reviews from previous clients will give you insights into their actual work quality, ethics, customer support service, and other aspects. You should search Google, Trust Pilot, Yelp or other social media platforms to check out the reviews.

Turnaround Time

You should consider the turnaround time when choosing a service provider. Make sure the one you select can deliver within your project deadlines. Usually, professional image masking service providers offer same-day delivery. Some companies also offer rush delivery within 2 to 6 hours.

Customer Support

Another important factor is the customer support service. You may need to communicate with the company or have other issues that need to be solved. Real-time communication will be challenging if the company is located in a different time zone. Many companies nowadays provide 24-hour customer support. So choose the company that can give you real time support.

Security and Confidentiality

Your images are your company’s property. Many unethical businesses use their clients’ images for commercial purposes without their consent. So you must ensure the service provider is willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement to ensure your data confidentiality. Also, you need to select a service company that follows data protection protocols strictly. 

Cost

Choosing a service provider within your budget is also necessary. You should select a company that offers high quality images at a competitive price. You can save money by using image masking services that offer bulk order discounts. Another important factor related to the cost is transparent pricing. A trustworthy company always ensures transparency in their pricing structure. Some companies mention additional costs along with their services; you must avoid such providers.

Conclusion

Image masking is the best option to give your eCommerce store a professional appearance. Your products’ photos will have similar aesthetics. This will increase customer’s trust in your brand. This will bring back your customers to your online store and create a long term bond.

Author Bio: Luisa Bell is a skilled content planner and writer who has worked in photography and e-commerce content for over six years. With a passion for writing interesting stories, she is great at giving audiences information that sticks with them. Luisa is a great addition to the Masking Aid team because she is dedicated to her work and strives for excellence.

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