ProVideo Coalition recently showed an AI tool that creates photos of menu dishes. Now Google introduces another headache for photographers: Product Studio, using AI to create photos of products.
Introduced as a tool to help small businesses connect with online shoppers, Product Studio is available from Google, at its new and simplified Merchant Center. Product Studio is designed for one thing: to help businesses create product imagery using generative AI.
We recently covered here at ProVideo Coalition LunchbBox’s AI Food Generator, a tool that is born out of necessity, according to the people behind it. Lunchbox, a company that offers a variety of services related to online ordering, knew of the importance of photography to attract clients to menu lists in restaurants, but was also aware of the problem that is to create the photography for those listings. So, they decided to use AI to create the photograph, as a service offered to their potential clients.
As I wrote then, “professional photographers who regularly photograph food dishes may soon not be able to work for some clients, as a new AI app, free to use, creates any type of dish you want in a matter of minutes.” Well, now the same can be said about Product Studio, and I believe the fact that Google is behind it will make this solution much more popular than LunchbBox’s AI Food Generator.
Product Studio was introduced during the recent Google Marketing Live, as part of the new generative AI advancements developed by Google and that will bring AI front and center, making it, the company says, “the best tool in your marketing toolkit — helping you make decisions, solve problems and enhance your creativity”.
Creating images is expensive and time consuming
These days, shopping can happen anytime and anywhere, and Google is aware that it can be challenging for businesses to stand out and connect with new customers. Eye-catching, unique imagery helps grab shoppers’ attention, but creating that content requires a lot of time and resources. Google notes that “It’s not always easy to get a range of high-quality images, though. Businesses tell us creating lifestyle images gets expensive and time consuming.” So…
So, the easy way out is to cut the middleman… I mean the photographer, and that’s where Product Studio comes in. This new tool will help merchants easily create unique product imagery using generative AI right from Merchant Center Next, Google’s simplified platform for businesses to manage how their products show up on Google.
In e-commerce, eye-catching images are a business’s digital window displays — and merchants with the right mix of imagery online can get better results. In fact, while many product offers on Google have just one image, the company says it sees an increase in both impressions (+76%) and clicks (+32%) for product offers that include more than one image.
Product Studio brings the benefits of generative AI to businesses of all sizes, helping them easily create unique and tailored product imagery for free and get more value from the images they already have. Here are some of the key features:
- Add custom product scenes: Create new imagery based on changing marketing needs — whether seasonal, campaign-based or simply experimental — without the added cost of new photoshoots. For example, a skincare company could highlight a special seasonal version of a product by requesting an image of the product “surrounded by peaches, with tropical plants in the background.”
- Remove a distracting product background: Want a plain white background for a product image? Businesses can quickly remove a complex background in Product Studio.
- Quickly increase resolution: Improve the quality of small or low-resolution images without having to reshoot a product.
Product Shot will be available to merchants in the United States first, through Merchant Center Next, Google’s improved platform to list products across the platform, starting in the next few months. These features will also be available to merchants using the Google & YouTube app on Shopify.
While the solution itself does not take photographers out of the equation, and may be intended for small businesses, the truth is that not all photographers work with big companies, and some do shoot product for… small companies, small businesses like them. Having an AI tool that creates product images is just another way to make life difficult for – some – photographers. All because creating good images is expensive and time consuming…