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Not sure if anyone has any data on this. Sometimes we get a product in stock and either we don't have the image yet or the job hasn't been done before we put he product live on the site. All the other information is there, but in the place of where the image would go, we add a blank product background with "Image Coming Soon".
We are wondering if we should continue doing it this way, as we have seen some larger companies in our industry just displaying nothing at all and then having all the product information as we do.
So basically, should we state "Image Coming Soon" or just leave it out all together and make it look like no image was ever and will never be available?
Whereas an image that reads, "Image Coming Soon" isn't seen by the search engines and so that text won't appear next to your items in search results.
From a user perspective, I would rather see an image that reads, "Image not available at this time"... rather than a promise that an image is coming soon.
Just my 2 cents.
Sometimes I have seen product images that have text on them that say "Product similar to one shown not exact"
That to me is also ok... it is pretty subjective though.
From an SEO perceptive just make sure you heed engine's advise about alt tags and you will be fine.
For the same reason, don't deploy a product that needs a picture until you have a picture. It will build trust and is just a good idea.
that's my view on it. i suppose "need" is subjective, but in my case, the products are either detailed or aesthetic in nature, so a picture goes beyond need, it's a must.
but if you're products don't need a picture, i'd say coming soon (if that's indeed the case) - let's people know, in a way, that you have qc in place and are working to bring them products quickly, but are also working hard to create a thorough presentation.