As an Amazon seller, you’ve always got to be looking for the win. You’re competing with so many others on the platform, that any possible advantage, no matter how small it may seem, can make a huge difference to your results.
One of those details you need to pay attention to is your product photography.
Think about how you feel when you look at a product online which is displayed in a clearly amateur fashion. You’re probably not so inclined to buy, right?
It’s not just about avoiding coming across as amateur, it’s how your photography can actually convince the customer to buy from you. It’s not like they’re in a bricks and mortar store and can pick the product up and turn it over, so you need to give them as clear an understanding as you can of what they’re going to get.
The fact is, getting your product photography right can boost the number of conversions you get, which in turn boosts your best seller rank on Amazon, leading to even more sales.
Here’s what you need to know about product photography if you’re selling on Amazon:
#1. Amazon’s Photography Requirements
The first step (before you decide to invest in an expensive camera!) is to have a clear understanding of what Amazon’s requirements are for product photography. They will pull any photos from your listings which don’t comply, so become familiar with the rules first. (Having your photos taken down is a quick way not to achieve those conversions you are looking for).
You can find information here on Amazon’s photography requirements, but here are some general rules you should know about:
- The main image background must be plain white. (RGB 255.255.255)
- Drawings or illustrations of the product are not allowed. The main image must be the cover art or professional photograph of the product.
- Borders, text, logos, watermarks or mannequins are not allowed. (Note: Many eBay listings contain elements like watermarks. If you’re selling there too and using one of these elements, you can’t use the exact same photo on Amazon).
- Most have a requirement to be greater than 1000 pixels in height or width, so that the product zoom function works. You need to check out requirements for your specific category though.
- At least 85% of the frame should be filled by the image of the product itself.
- “The image must not contain gratuitous or confusing additional objects.”
- No offensive/pornographic materials.
Pixelz tends to stay on top of any updates to Amazon’s image requirements and posted the table below. It’s probably worth checking to make sure you’re following the most recent rules, particularly if you’re creating any new listings:
Sellers should especially note that point about seals or logos. Even if your product is “USDA Organic”, “Non-GMO Project Verified” or you have a money-back guarantee, you might want to advertise this fact but those seals are not allowed on your images.
You should also note that you are not allowed to digitally enhance images or represent the product in any other way apart from a genuine product photograph. Many sellers have tried to simply digitally change an image to show a color variation or to represent parent/child products. Don’t do it. You will be in violation of Amazon’s terms.
#2. Go For Quality
It’s very possible to meet all of Amazon’s requirements for product photography but still have a fairly terrible-looking photo. This is not something you can afford to do if you want to boost your conversions.
Humans are very visual creatures and it’s often the case that people are basing purchasing decisions largely on the product images. However, as Social Triggers points out, images can either help or harm your conversion rates. If you use images that are low-quality or don’t give the customer the information they are looking for, they’re probably going to look to the next seller.
“Quality” means using images of appropriate large size and resolution. You should also have them photographed in the best possible light and crop out any shadow. The best case (if you can afford it) is to use a professional photographer who knows what they’re doing and will touch up photos for you afterwards.
#3. Tell a Story
By “story” we mean using images which convey the use of the product. This helps potential buyers to picture the use of the product and possibly even associate some kind of emotion with it (after all, we often buy for emotional reasons!).
Amazon allows you up to 9 images for your product (your main image plus 8 secondary images), so use the number which makes sense without going overboard. (Too many photos of the same angle won’t do you any favors).
Here’s a brief example of a seller that has told the story in just two pictures for a rabbit harness. Note that they manage to get different angles in so that anyone looking can immediately see what they’re getting.
A potential buyer of this harness can see the practical aspects – how it works and how many colors are available as well as the “cute factor” of the rabbit demonstrating the harness. Also notice that high-quality resolution was used for the photography. A viewer can get a sense for the texture and fabric of the harness as well.
The idea is that, while your buyer can’t pick up the product and turn it over like they would in a shop, your product imagery should offer them the next-best experience. For this reason you need to include different angles too, like what can be seen from the rabbit harness above.
As another thought for those secondary images, consider any diagrams or charts which might be useful in helping a buyer make up their mind. In the case of the rabbit harness, does it come in different sizes which could be shown on a sizing chart? Is it adjustable to different sizes? Think of the kinds of questions a potential buyer would ask and whether some of these can best be answered with pictures.
#4. Show the Details
This is another great use of those secondary shots. While you should be using photos of high enough resolution in your main image that people can zoom, showing close-ups of any details can help ensure the customer really knows what they’re getting.
For example, a black top might have detailing on it that is hard to pick out on a larger-scale product shot, so use secondary images to get that close-up. It’s another case for using professional lighting too — it’s hard to get these kinds of shots right without having some expertise.
If you’re selling something like clothing, it’s also really important to show images which are as close a match as possible to the actual color of the product. There have been plenty of complaints from people who thought they were getting a certain shade, but the image they looked at misrepresented it.
Product photography is not something to leave as an afterthought when you’re setting up your Amazon listings. The right photos can make all the difference for your conversion rate and therefore your bestseller ranking.
Make sure you have a firm grasp of Amazon’s rules for photos so that you don’t find yourself having images removed by them. You need to meet the sizing requirements and ensure images are of good quality and resolution.
Use the tools they give you — there are 8 secondary images available so use those to demonstrate use of the product and any different angles or details you need to highlight. Think of what your customer wants to know before they buy — can you demonstrate that in a picture and almost provide them with that in-store experience?