Tips For Selecting And Using Stock Images For E-commerce Social Media Posts

Images are a very important component in driving sales in ecommerce businesses apart from having enough inventory, a financial budget, and a good marketing strategy. Social media is a visual medium and product images create a first impression on visitors to the pages of ecommerce businesses. Captions and product descriptions only come later. Websites like Facebook and Instagram facilitate posting pictures with clickable product tags to enable visitors to buy products on their business pages. It is crucial that businesses put up relevant and impactful images of their products after careful consideration.

However, not all ecommerce businesses can shoot their own original images, and this is where stock images come in. Following are some pointers on the importance of and tips for using stock images, and a list of some popular stock image websites:

Why Use Stock Images?

  • Most stock images are free, while the paid ones come at affordable prices. They can be used by businesses that want to save on budgets, or run on a low budget and can’t afford photographers and locations for photoshoots.
  • They can save time, as they are readily available and can be obtained quickly
  • They also provide professional-looking images

Tips To Use Stock Images

  • As stock images are available on the internet, chances are they have been seen multiple times. Using such images can have a negative effect on the engagement rate of social media posts and sales of products. Brands must use images that are rarely seen, and try to be as unique as possible.
  • Alternatively, selected stock images can be customized to make them unique. For instance, a food brand can use stock images of cutlery as a prop for its product and show serving suggestions for it. Clothing, jewelry, or sunglasses brands can show their utility by adding pictures of their products to stock photos of models.
  • The internet has multiple websites offering collections of millions of images under different categories. It is vital that businesses choose pictures that best convey the story and purpose of their products.
  • While using free or paid images, sometimes it may be necessary to give credit to their original owners. It is important to check for image credit details before downloading them and attribute them to their rightful owners.

Popular Stock Image Websites


In addition to stock photos, Shutterstock also provides videos, vector graphics, illustrations, and music. It was founded by Jon Oringer in 2003 as a subscription-based site. It has more than 300 million photos along with audiovisual content from more than a million contributors. Shutterstock has its reach in 150+ countries.


Pexels was founded by Bruno and Ingo Joseph in 2015. Their mission is “Empowering Creators” through which they provide free access to their images for artists, designers, programmers, writers, and various other creators to use on their artwork, applications, designs, stories, websites, etc.


Pixabay is a Germany-based website founded by Hans Braxmeier and Simon Steinberger in 2010. It allows its users access to images, illustrations, film and music clips, and vector graphics. It was acquired by the popular graphic designing website Canva in 2018.


Founded in 2013 by Michael Cho, Unsplash boasts of a collection of over one million curated photos by over two lakh photographers. It also gives its users an option to sign up for free to download and use its images.


Alejandro and Pablo Blanes, along with their friend Joaquín Cuenca founded Freepik in 2010. Freepik provides illustrations, images, vector photos, and PSD files with 50 million monthly downloads. The list of companies that use its resources includes major names like Amazon, FedEx, Microsoft, NASA, and Spotify.


Creating brand awareness and driving sales for businesses is a major goal of social media marketing and images play a major part in achieving it. Using appropriate high-quality stock images and ensuring consistency in their tone can help in creating a brand identity and greater brand recall.