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eCommerce & the Spread of Synthetic Media in 2021

  • 3 min read
eCommerce and the spread of synthetic media in 2021

Explosive eCommerce Growth

The COVID-19 pandemic that started in 2020 has had some unexpected and surprising impacts. Not least of which is the massive growth of eCommerce.

To put that growth into perspective. In 2019 there were just 2 trading days where online sales exceeded $2 billion. In 2020 there were over 130 trading days where online sales exceed $2 billion; and the growth of ecommerce just continues.

This growth has fuelled massive change in consumer online behaviour. Which is fortunately being captured as valuable data about buyer preferences when browsing and shopping online.

A New Golden Rule – 8 eCommerce Product Images to Convert

From conversion rate data we have known for a long time now, that 70% of consumers decline to make a purchase due to a lack of product information and images. With images being more important for conversion than text descriptions.

In 2019 that meant having 5 images per product, to persuadean online shopper to become a buyer. Now in 2021, consumers expect8 or more images per product in your ecommerce shop.

Online retailers in furniture, food and consumer goods have been the main drivers behind this changing consumer expectation. By providing high resolution product images on white backgrounds (for strong contrast) as well as contextual images to create an “atmosphere” or demonstrate styling or trends. These e-tailers have set a standard for ecommerce product image quality and quantity.

Social media has also played its part with the rise of the “shoppable” images and live streaming influencer hosted shopping experiences. Helping online shoppers to have more contextual digital experiences with products.

Synthetic Product Images

Ask anyone who has relied on professional photography services for product images… the costs are high. Any ecommerce shop would need to have a significant increase in sales to continue enjoying positive ROI from expanded photography needs. 

Graphic design app creators like ThreeKit with Virtual Photographer and Adobe with 3D Substance have been releasing new software tools to help e-tailers create digitized fakes and synthetic media of products to give them cheaper options for scaling ecommerce product image production.

High-profile global brands like Ben and Jerry’s, Nike, IKEA, Under Armour and many others are opting for these synthetic 3D modelled CGIs (computer generated images) to get large numbers of product images out across digital channels fast.

While outsource sites like, and are seeing growing demand for 3D graphic design skills across all industries.

Read more about 2021 eCommerce Trends on the HERO website.