eCom Starter Tips & Guides

All you need to know about product mockups

Let's take a look at mockups - an inexpensive and simple alternative to product photography!


Context for Mockups

Before talking about Mockups, let's paint the general picture first. You are doing eCommerce. Maybe on Etsy, or Shopify, or Amazon, or any other place, but they all have one thing in common: product images. To sell anything (especially such visual products as canvas, posters, apparel etc) you need to show them to your customers. Makes sense, right? But here comes the problem - it is not that easy to create product images. Sure, you can take your own pictures, but, unless you are a pro photographer, they might not look good enough to lure customers in. And sure, you can hire a pro photographer to take some great photos, but it might cost a lot of time and money. Moreover, you need physical examples of every product to take pictures, and that could be an issue if you do print on demand dropshipping (i.e. your supplier sends products directly to your customers). And what if you offer hundreds of products / designs? Would be impractical to capture them all.

Mockups offer a solution

So, this is where mockups come in. The idea is that you have a picture in which you can change different elements. For example, take a look at this image of an interior. It has a framed poster on the wall. Since this is a mockup, you can add your own design on the poster, so that customers can check out how the artwork will look in a real situation. There are multiple reasons why mockups are very common and useful nowadays:

  • A lot of different angles, interiors and other details which you might not be able to get on your own;
  • Cost effective - no need to hire photographers and studios. Also, one mockup can be used many times for different products;
  • Fast and easy to use - as long as you have Photoshop, switching designs are a matter of clicking some buttons.
Mockups start with a blank product, so you can add your design easily.

Sometimes they won't work for you

Mockups sound great on paper, but there are some possible issues with them. As always, you need to evaluate whether they are the right thing for you. Here are some things that hold mockups back:

  • You might not find the perfect angle or the specific product that you sell. There are not endless amounts of mockups.
  • Mockups are very common, many shops use them. It can be hard to look unique if someone else uses the same or similar pictures.
  • Many mockups, especially cheap ones, can look fake / basic. They show off your product, but not in a good looking way.

How and where to get mockups

Mockups are becoming a big industry with many players in it. This means there are multiple websites you can try out, from free simple mockups to premium picture packs. Usually they offer PSD (Photoshop) files with multiple layers, so you can change, add, remove stuff from the image.

You need to decide on your budget and needs. Free mockups are used everywhere, often look very simple, and only the product is editable. But they are free! And premium mockups really look premium, with a variety of interiors, products, and you can often edit specific stuff in it, such as add or remove background decorations. There are also mockup packs. Our go-to website would be Placeit, which is subscription based.

However, there is a unique alternative for some eCommerce shops who do print on demand dropshipping. Your supplier might offer you mockups from their own library. For example, Printful has a mockup generator that allows you to put your designs on products, although many of their clients use it. Printseekers has a more personal approach, where you can ask for mockups and we'll prepare them for you. Very useful if you are just starting out or need a mockup for something specific, such as our framed posters.

In conclusion

Mockups are super useful nowadays, saving you time and money. Hopefully, now you have some insight and are ready to populate your shop with some good product images! And, if you want to know more, we at Printseekers can help you, just let us know.

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