5 Simple (Yet Effective) Ways to Improve your 360 Spins

Easy ways to improve 360 spins

Did you know… 63% of online customers consider image quality to be more important than product-specific information, long descriptions and even ratings/reviews.

While having hi-res static images is good (better than just words) there’s nothing like a 360 spin, because it allows your customers to see a product from every angle, making them feel as if they’re physically holding it in their hands.

It’s the closest thing to a real in-store experience. That’s why:

  • 360 spins help sell more products: various reports place the increase in conversions and sales from 5% to 40%.
  • 360 spins help reduce returns: one retailer found that 360 spins minimised disappointment by accurately demonstrating the product, reducing product return rate by 50%.

So if 360 spins are so beneficial for e-commerce sites, why isn’t everyone using them?

The problem with 360 product photography

Some retailers have shown concern that shooting 360 spins of their products might be a “confusing and expensive process”. In fact, the opposite is true – it can be a smooth and highly profitable process – but only if you have an efficient workflow and quality photography.

360 spins are usually created by displaying series of static images, to give the illusion of a video, which the customer can then rotate on their screen. But there’s a lot that can go wrong in that process:

  • If images don’t perfectly align, your spin will wobble.
  • If too few frames are used, the spin will feel jerky.
  • If lighting or reflections are inconsistent, your product can look cheap.

Here are three very poor 360 spins:

A poor 360 spin is worse than no 360 spin, because many customers base their purchase decision upon product imagery.

So how can you improve your 360 spins?

How to improve 360 product photography

Only so much Photoshop trickery can help a poorly photographed product, so the best way to achieve the perfect 360 spin is to start with quality photography. Take time to plan your shoot and think about how the end result should look – then work back to make sure you cover off everything you possibly can during the shoot.

1. Choose the number of rows

The most common type of spin uses a single row of photos. This gives a full 360, from left to right, to demonstrate simple features of your product. They’re perfect for most products and are relatively easy to create.

A classic single-row spin. The 360 viewer in this and other spins is powered by Sirv.

If you want to show your product from above as well, you can shoot multiple rows, so your customer can rotate the image up/down as well as left/right. It takes more time to shoot multiple rows but the result gives a customer even more control to look all around your product and understand it.

Multi-row spins really show every detail. This particular spin has 3 rows.

2. Choose your 360 spin source media

While most 360 spins are created from a series of photos, it’s also possible to generate spins from a video or a 3D model file (such as Blender, 3dsMax or Keyshot).

Photos: the majority of 360 spins are created on a single row with 24, 36 or 72 images. The more frames you use, the smoother the spin – ideal for luxury products where you want the customer to feel as if they could reach out and touch the product.

This spin has 60 frames – notice how smooth it feels.

Videos: convert videos into super-smooth spins (up to 360 frames) when you want to get a little more creative with live models, for example when showing clothing or jewellery, or other video ideas you have.

Spins from videos can look great too.

3D models: animate your product in ways that simply wouldn’t be possible using traditional 360 photography (a Sirv animation can contain up to 500 frames!). Add life-like perspective to your product, allowing the customer to get an idea of the size and scale from all angles.

3. Add depth with shadows

Create a little drama in your spin, with a shadow. Shadows can deepen the life-like experience by providing depth and spacial context. It’s no longer ‘just’ a shoe, it’s a shoe near the ground, ready to be stepped into by your customer. But keep it subtle – the last thing you want is for your shadow to out-shine your product by being too pronounced.

This Martini spin shows how a subtle shadow can add depth to a product.

4. Make your 360 spins pop with reflections

Adding a little sparkle and shine, reflections are generally applied underneath the object. They’re the perfect way to boost your product’s appearance by adding a bit of sophistication, glamour and luxury to the overall look and feel of your 360 spin.

The reflection helps define the base and contours of the sculpture.

5. Experiment with the background

Most e-commerce sites show their products against a pure white background, to match the white background of their website. An off-white background can differentiate your spins and a dark background can give stronger contrast – particularly for metallics such as jewellery and watches, or light-coloured objects. In either case, it’s important to think about your creative vision of how the product should look on your page.

The black background makes this smooth spin (250 frames!) look absolutely gorgeous. Made by Studio Shino.

Perfect 360 product photography, every time

A perfect 360 spin relies on quality photography. As well as the top 5 tips above, we’ve prepared an editable 360 spin photography brief, of 17 checklist points to help you capture quality photos.

Click the image above to download the PDF.

Once your photography is complete, it’s time to put your spins on your website!

Choosing the best 360 degree product viewer

You’ll need a great 360 product viewer to match your perfect 360 photography. If the spin takes too long to load or doesn’t work on every device, the user experience will be ruined, leading to lost sales.

A great 360 product viewer should have the following features:

  1. Easy 360 spin creation. Drag and drop uploads.
  2. Spin to video and vice-versa conversion.
  3. Spin management and organization.
  4. Easy integration with any website.
  5. Easy 360 spin sharing and user access management.
  6. Fast loading with great user experience.

Luckily, Sirv ticks all those boxes.

Watch how easy it is to create a spin by uploading images:

With ready-made modules and extensions for most the popular e-commerce platforms and CMS’s, it’s a breeze to integrate.

All Sirv Spins use dynamic imaging technology, which adapts every spin to the user’s device. Served from our own global CDN, your spins will load as fast as technically possible. Give Sirv a try yourself.

No Sirv account yet? Create gorgeous 360 degree spins in minutes. Sign up now and get 5 GB for 30 days for free.