Retail Image Editing at Scale: How Generative AI is Flipping the Script for E-commerce Visuals

The Seamless Integration of new AI Technology in Modern Retail
7m
Published on Jan 18, 2024 by
Zuri Petit

In the ever-evolving landscape of e-commerce, the power of imagery cannot be overstated. Generative AI has emerged as a game-changer, not just in creating new product images but, more critically, in enhancing existing product visuals. The real magic lies in its ability to extend backgrounds and add missing pixels, transforming incomplete images into marketplace ready visuals. 

Tools like Crop.photo are at the forefront of this revolution, enabling bulk image editing without the tediousness of manual prompts required by traditional software like Photoshop. With Crop.photo, businesses can expertly enhance their eCommerce images by seamlessly extending backgrounds or filling in missing pixels for subjects, ensuring each image is optimally composed and visually striking ro meet the digital marketplace standards including aspect ratio & resolutions.

The Necessity of Generative AI in Retail

Before exploring the details, let's understand the indispensable role of Generative AI in a range of scenarios:

1. Retail website with continuous VPI influx

In the dynamic world of online retail, the influx of vendor-provided imagery (VPI) presents unique challenges. Retail websites regularly receive images with varying aspect ratios and sizes, which they often can't control. When it comes to resizing these images to fit a specific aspect ratio, retailers face a significant hurdle. Reshooting the images isn't a feasible option, especially for wholesalers dealing with a vast array of products.

Retail website with continuous VPI influx

2. eCommerce platform migration

When shifting to a new eCommerce platform, it's common to face images that don't align with the new platform's size requirements, necessitating background expansion or addition of missing pixels.

eCommerce platform migration

3. Banner ads

E-commerce shops also face the task of repackaging existing product visuals into banner ads suitable for various digital platforms. These ads need to conform to multiple sizes – often more than 15 different dimensions – to meet the standards of advertising networks like Google. The sizes can vary dramatically, with some being exceptionally wide or unusually tall. Fitting an existing image into these varied dimensions without resorting to unattractive white spaces or distorting the image is a complex task.

Banner ads

Apparel retailers often grapple with images that don't fit the required aspect ratios for their e-commerce platforms. Traditional methods of resizing leave much to be desired, often resulting in unattractive white bars or blank spaces.

While tools like Photoshop have embraced generative AI, they often require extensive manual input and iterative tweaking, a time-consuming process for bulk editing.

Exploring Generative AI Options for Image Enhancements

Generative AI offers a suite of innovative options to enhance product images, each tailored to address specific needs in the realm of digital imagery. Here's an overview of some key options:

Background Extension and Filling (Inpainting & Outpainting)

Generative AI excels in extending image backgrounds through inpainting and outpainting techniques. Inpainting fills in missing areas or gaps within an image, while outpainting expands the image beyond its original borders by adding pixels to for example a subject. This capability is invaluable for fitting images into specific aspect ratios without cropping key elements.

Background Extension and Filling (Inpainting & Outpainting)

Pixel Generation

Generative AI can add missing pixels, which is essential when upscaling images or filling in gaps, ensuring that the final product retains its quality and coherence.

Pixel Generation

Color Correction and Enhancement

AI algorithms can automatically adjust colors, improving the overall aesthetic appeal of images, making them more vibrant and suitable for various digital platforms.

Color Correction and Enhancement

Pattern and Texture Synthesis

For images requiring a consistent background or texture, generative AI can replicate patterns, ensuring uniformity and visual appeal.

Pattern and Texture Synthesis

Subject Enhancement

Generative AI can also focus on the subjects within images, enhancing details, improving clarity, or even changing certain aspects while maintaining a natural look.

Subject Enhancement

Each of these options harnesses the power of AI to transform images from ordinary to eye-catching, ensuring they meet the high standards of today's digital landscape.

Crop.photo's Generative AI Features

Crop.photo's new Generative AI based Fill feature makes it easy to resize and expand images. Imagine a retailer who receives product images in various sizes, and they need to fit these images into specific slots on their website. Generative Fill can automatically adjust these images, filling in extra space or extending backgrounds or even say a model, so the images look natural in their new dimensions.

How to Use Generative Fill

To use this feature on Crop.photo, users can create a new supporetd automation such as Lifestyle crop automation and navigate to the Margin Settings page. Here, they can activate the Generative Fill button and optionally input prompts like "fill in with nature background" or "extend sky," making it easy to get desired results without complex editing skills.

The user does not need to iterate multiple times using a prompt, in fact Crop.photo uses an “auto mode” to decide how best to expand the image.

Expanding a natural landscape in the background

Realizing the Potential: Diverse Results with Generative Fill in E-commerce Imagery

With Crop.photo's Generative AI feature, users can expect remarkable results in various scenarios. It excels in resizing images, particularly when converting between aspect ratios such as square, portrait and landscape formats, where background expansion or filling in missing elements is needed. 

A great example is when a fashion retailer needs to create a series of banner ads. With Crop.photo, they can easily transform a standard product image to fit various ad sizes – like wide billboards or tall skyscraper banners – without losing the focus on the clothing or adding awkward spaces around the image. This ensures high-quality, platform-compatible visuals for every campaign.

In essence, the Generative Fill tool ensures that every image, regardless of its original size or shape, is optimized for visual impact and platform compatibility.

Picture is worth 1000 words. Below are some visual examples of before and after product imagery expanded uses Crop.photo’s generative fill:

Expanding the floor for an on-model lifestyle shot

Expanding the floor for banner ads

Expanding a gradient gray background in a product shot

Expanding a gradient gray background in a product shot

Expanding a model in a lifestyle shot

Expanding a model in a lifestyle shot

Key Benefits of Crop.photo’s Generative AI

Efficiency in Bulk Editing

Crop.photo's Generative AI enables swift editing of large image batches, greatly reducing manual editing time and effort, ideal for high-volume image expansion.

Quality Retention and Enhancement

This tool maintains and often improves the quality of original images during resizing, crucial for brand consistency and visual appeal.

Adaptability to Marketplace Standards

Generative Fill adjusts images to various online marketplace standards, simplifying the editing process and ensuring platform compliance.

User-Friendly Interface

Designed for simplicity, Crop.photo integrates the Generative Fill button into workflows, making sophisticated AI tools accessible to all skill levels.

AI-Prompt Customization

Although Crop.photo’s Generative AI can understand images to generate backgrounds automatically, the platform allows users to enter prompts for tailored image results.

Versatility in Image Formats

The feature adeptly manages different image dimensions and types, ensuring optimal display on various digital platforms and devices, with a focus on subject and format suitability.

Conclusion

In the fast-paced e-commerce sector, retailers constantly face the challenge of presenting high-quality, visually appealing images that conform to varying platform standards. By enabling large-scale, efficient image processing, Crop.photo’s Generative AI caters specifically to the needs of busy retailers who must adapt quickly to varying e-commerce platforms. The ease of use, coupled with the ability to generate custom-tailored visuals, ensures that retailers can maintain a high standard of image quality across their product range.

This is not just a step forward in image editing technology; it's a scalable, user-focused solution that directly addresses the unique challenges faced in digital retail visualization.