E-commerce Visual Trend Report 2024

Looking ahead at Visual trends in 2024


In the world of e-commerce, visuals are crucial. The E-commerce Visual Trend Report is here to explore the latest trends and strategies used by experienced professionals to stay ahead.

The way we create content in the e-commerce industry is changing rapidly due to the advancements in technology. Spending any time in this industry, it’s easy to see there are many different reactions to advancements in technology and the call for more content. Fear, apprehension, excitement, indifference. You name it, someone has likely expressed it about where the industry is headed.

Consider this report your straightforward summary of the trends that are appearing or already making their way into your daily work. We’ve surveyed experts in the industry to learn about the challenges and opportunities with each of these trends. Within this report, we’ve also included excerpts from some of the very talented speakers from our FLOW events, internal Pixelz data about image editing, and research from other sources.

The E-commerce Visual Trend Report is a product of Pixelz. We aim to make the work of studio professionals and visual creatives more impactful by offering product image editing and automation through AI. We understand that the work of a creative professional is changing with technology, putting pressure on the knowledge and know-how a studio professional needs to possess. The goal of this report is to make work-life more manageable and help the experienced user understand the market they are in.

We are confident that this report will provide valuable insights and inspire you to take your e-commerce visuals to the next level.

Where are we at as an industry?

Where are we at as an industry? Growing!

According to Oberlo, 2.71 billion will shop online in 2024. That’s over 30% of the global population.

In the US, millennials are currently the most frequent online shoppers (out of Gen X, Baby Boomers, and Seniors). The data we are missing from this report is where Gen Z fits into this equation. As they become more powerful buyers, the trends we see in e-commerce visuals will most likely be impacted.

While the next set of numbers isn’t fully reflective of fashion and apparel, it still sheds light on the state of the industry and consumers. According to Invoca, 81% of online consumers research their purchases. They further state that 73% of consumers looking to make a jewelry purchase will use a search engine in their purchasing journey.

These numbers are likely not shocking to anyone in the industry as you’ve likely already felt the pressure to create more content - and more diverse types of content. We can see the correlation between the growth of e-commerce and the pressure the content creators are feeling in our own survey results as well. We reached out to the community with a survey and asked them what their biggest challenge in producing product images is at the moment. You can see all the results in the graph below. The top challenge is actually a tie between ‘Scaling Content Production’ and ‘Producing Consistent High-Quality Images’.

This report is not meant to be a bleak outlook on where we are at as an industry. Quite the contrary, we think some of these emerging trends we are about to get into can help with some of these challenges.

Before we jump to the trends, let’s take a look at a few more data points from our survey about where we are as an industry right now. A little background on our respondents, they represent different areas of the industry working in-house at brands, multi-brand retailers, studios, and independent contractors/freelancers. Here are some of the cold hard data we got insight into:

By The Image

In past years, we have put out a separate benchmark report on internal data from Pixelz about image editing. We have decided to incorporate this report into the E-commerce Visual Trend Report. We love the opportunity to dive into the data and learn more about industry standards. The following data doesn’t reveal any surprises, rather, it does speak to where we are at in the industry. Large amounts of images we edit keep to similar standards with continued standardization for shadows, cropping, file types, and more. We see that brands and retailers are keeping product images clean and consistent. In order for brands and retailers to differentiate themselves, it means they need to rely on branding, the product itself, or adding different types of content to stand out. Take a look at the numbers yourself:

File Type

Unsurprisingly, JPG wins again with a slight decrease in the last 2 years, with the rest of the images we process being split between PNG, TIFF, and PSD.


Product images with ‘no shadow’ are still the strong winner with a whopping 91.53% of all images. That even includes with a slight dip over the past year (-1%). The runner-up with a major difference (only 7.25% of images) is to keep the original shadow.

Background Type and Color

Without much change over the past few years, looking at data from 2023 is the best representation of how the background type is processed at Pixelz. Background with a fill color is the leader. Another insight we found interesting from the data is that Gradient Fill was requested in the past few years a handful of times and failed to appear at all this year. Standardization has won out over some of the more unique requests.

Sorting through background color was not so simple as there were many variations. But we can safely say white (#FFFFFF, to be exact) is the most popular color. Coming far behind in second place is grey in many different variations.

What’s trending?

We’re highlighting three top trends that are influencing product photography and product detail pages now and in the near future. They have been selected based on our survey data, what our professional network is most excited about and what we hear about at our FLOW event. So, let’s begin!


Lights, camera, action!

It’s no surprise that video is our number one visual trend in e-commerce for the second year running. We all know that video in e-commerce is nothing new (more than half the experts we surveyed are already creating product videos for PDPs), but demand has grown to ‘expectation-like’ levels as consumers seek more from their online shopping experiences - so it’s pretty hard to ignore!

Video engages the customer in ways that 2D can’t, and it is perfectly suited for the attention span of today's customers. Through social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok they are used to seeing short videos. They expect the same on PDPs.

- Franz Tschimben - CEO Covision Media

Video offers an immersive experience that photography and text alone struggle to match. When a customer is unable to touch and feel a product or try something on, video can fill the gaps on things like fit, flow, shape, and features. Giving the facts upfront via video often translates into higher conversion rates and lower return rates.

The role of video on the PDP is to help build trust with customers, not necessarily to sell more products. The video helps provide the context of an item that, if purchased, will meet the customer's expectation when it arrives on their doorstep.

- Dan Hyde, eCommerce Content Innovator

Video in e-commerce looks good and informs the customer in a way that is enjoyable and easily consumed. So, why isn't every PDP out there jumping through the screen at us with stunning video content? The answer should come as no surprise - time and money. Creating quality video content requires manpower, skill, and kit that you might not have right now. Aside from the cost, the extra time required in post compared to photography can quickly mount up when working at scale. That shouldn’t put studio teams off testing the potential of video in e-commerce, and if you need a helping hand, speak to us about how Pixelz can support with video post-production.

Bryce Pincham, head of photography and post-production at Yoox Net-A-Porter, talked at FLOW New York about how they’ve recently streamlined their studio processes for consistency and efficiency, creating over 1700 product videos per week across three studios by adopting a ‘one set’ approach for both stills and video.

Video is now an integral part of the sets that are running. They are no longer hidden away, they’re a part of the conversation on set. For the consistency side… we have our internal retouch teams who are color matching the product by eye in the studio, and then video are doing their color grading off of those retouched images.

It goes without saying that a significant amount of time and money was invested in the refresh at Net-A-Porter. However, the elevated imagery Bryce and his team have achieved at the same time as streamlining their workflow has proven to be a more than worthwhile investment. You can watch the full talk here.

Integrating video into your workflow doesn’t have to be daunting. Test what works, then start small, focus on core ranges, then expand as capacity allows. 1700 product videos per week at Yoox Net-a-Porter is seriously impressive, but that’s built from 12 years of experience creating video content for e-commerce. So, go easy on yourself in the early stages and focus on doing a small amount well, the resulting impact on conversion and return rates should help make the case to expand video production further.

Unleashed Creativity

Harnessing tech to free up the mind

The advances in technology and the emergence of mainstream AI tools have begun to revolutionize the creative industry. The hardware and software we work with on a daily basis are constantly advancing and already having a profoundly positive impact on our day-to-day. From the automation of repetitive, time-consuming tasks to simply having more processing power, technology is liberating creatives and gifting back the time to do what they do best - create!

Understandably, the rapid rise of AI has caused concern within the industry, with some worrying that creatives could be replaced with the technology. We’re not here to predict the future, but as a company that offers AI-powered image retouching, we know that isn’t the intention! AI is intended to complement the human mind and works best in the hands of those who know how to harness its potential. AI is very capable of dealing with repetitive, complex, or even multiple tasks at a time; however, it’s not as flexible, agile, or creative as the human mind, nor does it understand or feel the complexities of human emotion or connection. Almost all successful marketing is achieved through connection. So, it’s safe to say you’re not being replaced anytime soon!

I view AI mostly as a tool at this point, though it will have wider implications and effects across the industry and not just for content creation.

- Jason Hamilton, Imaging Operations Leadership & Consultant

This doesn’t mean you should dismiss AI and other technology advancements to continue working the way you always have, oh no! New tech is something to be embraced, a tool to be utilized in order to free up time and headspace for more creative endeavors, better storytelling, elevating your visual presence online, and ultimately selling more. Maybe you’ll finally get the time to try those editorial-style shots on PDPs you’ve been talking about or even get around to testing video.

I think A.I. is already a powerful tool „under the hood” – it helps to automate certain processes (for example, post-production for photos), and machine learning models, NeRFs, and certain genAI models are being integrated in software pipelines of many companies in the “visual supply chain.” Hence the quality of the services, the outputs, and the speed of delivering any type of asset will increase.

- Franz Tschimben, CEO Covision Media

Be inquisitive, find ways of working with (instead of against) new tech, and see how it can change the way you work and unleash your creativity. Jo Bird, award-winning Creative and TEDx speaker, said at FLOW Berlin,

We want machine and mind to work seamlessly together in a very reciprocal relationship, that means tech and art are joined. We can work together to build a much more fruitful society.

The long-term benefits of the latest technology aren’t always clear when something is new and exciting or even scary. The potential is huge when considering how AI could influence the e-commerce landscape in the coming 5-10 years, and that change has already begun. Don’t get left behind!

Tech-Assisted Content

Exploring new dimensions in product imagery

The long-term benefits of the latest technology aren’t always clear when something is new and exciting or even scary. The potential is huge when considering how AI could influence the e-commerce landscape in the coming 5-10 years, and that change has already begun. Don’t get left behind!

The long-term benefits of the latest technology aren’t always clear when something is new and exciting or even scary. The potential is huge when considering how AI could influence the e-commerce landscape in the coming 5-10 years, and that change has already begun. Don’t get left behind!

CGI and 3D Visualization

This technology allows businesses to create realistic 3D models of their products that can be viewed from every angle. Consumers can then interact with products virtually, zoom in, rotate, and view them as if they were holding them in their hands. This not only enhances the customer's experience but also aids in reducing return rates. Our experts seem to all agree that 3D has hit that sweet spot where you can now easily create quality 3D assets at scale for the PDP:

I’m a huge advocate for utilizing 3D (specifically CGI) for product imagery. For hard goods it’s made sense to use 3D for the past few years, fashion has been a little harder to achieve as a realistic result, but what I’ve been seeing recently has been amazing.

- Jason Hamilton, Imaging Operations Leadership & Consultant
We are starting to see an increase in the adoption rate for 3D objects in eCommerce for the simple reason that now high-resolution, photorealistic 3D model of a product can be produced and used across the PDP. This can be seen in the form of multi-view 2D still images, interactive 360° spin, and interactive video. All of these with one single 3D object.

- Dan Hyde, eCommerce Content Innovator
3D has become very easy to produce at the highest quality and at scale, meaning every product, not just a few hero products. The general consensus in most industries is that products need to be 3D scanned, as the quality of the 3D assets from the digital design, prototyping, and sampling process is of limited quality and are not well received by the end customer, who is looking for photorealism.

- Franz Tschimbed, CEO Covision Media

Generative AI

We couldn’t finish without another mention of AI! We’ve already talked about the broad applications and time-saving capabilities AI can offer, so let’s look more specifically at its generative capabilities.

79% of all respondents to a McKinsey global survey said they’ve had at least some exposure to gen AI, either for work or outside of work, and 22% say they are regularly using it in their own work.

If you’re not already using tools such as Chat GPT, Midjourney, and Dall-E 2, then chances are you’ve heard of them. These tools can be helpful, fun, and inspiring, encouraging co-creation and creativity boosts. So, when generative AI tools are used specifically to create content for brands, we start to see the potential for a huge shift in e-commerce visuals and how they’re created.

GenAI, on the other hand, as a reliable content creation tool at scale, still needs to prove itself, but the space is evolving fast and will provide a few surprises in 2024.

- Franz Tschimbed, CEO Covision Media

Applications can range from AI-generated colorways, removing the need to reshoot the same garment in several colors, to fully AI-generated images showcasing products worn by avatars or in virtually imagined environments. This is already happening! Nima Abassi from Maison Meta gave a fascinating talk at FLOW New York about their work with some of the biggest brands in the industry, emphasizing dramatically at the start of his talk, “None of what you’re about to see really exists.”

How far it will go in the future, who knows?! But as the technology becomes more advanced, we’re likely to see more widespread adoption of e-commerce stills and (one day) video. In our survey, we asked: “What do you think is the biggest obstacle for AI in e-commerce content creation?”. The two most common answers were: having the right talent and having the right equipment/technology. 2024 could be the year of brands and retailers setting themselves up to tackle AI with the right tech and teams.

We’re still in the early stages of discovery when it comes to generative AI within e-commerce. There are certainly a few legal, copyright, and ethical kinks to be ironed out - but that doesn’t stop the future of generative AI in e-commerce from being exciting!

What is the biggest obstacle for AI in e-commerce content creation?

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it! The top three visual trends our international network of industry experts are talking about or using. We may have only scratched the surface, but we hope the insights shared here will help inspire your next creative step for your e-commerce visuals.

The idea of integrating new technology and processes into your production line can be overwhelming, especially in a fast-paced industry such as e-commerce. Don’t let the fear of temporarily slowing production down get in the way of learning how you could make changes for long-term gains.

One thing’s for certain, technology and the industry are evolving fast! Change, although a little scary, is often good, so embrace it and get ahead. We’re certainly excited!