Even if you’re a master at sales, you can still be a beginner at Amazon product photography. Photography in general takes a lifetime to perfect, not to mention knowing the specific techniques that work for sales and retail in particular. Add to that Amazon’s own restrictions, and suddenly taking a few pictures doesn’t seem so easy anymore. If you’d like to optimize your Amazon product photography and increase sales, below we tell you everything you need to get started. But first, let’s talk about why ecommerce photography is so essential, and how it leads to more conversions.
How Amazon Product Photography Increases Sales
here is a direct correlation between sales and the quality of ecommerce product photography — statistically speaking, 93% of online shoppers say that product visuals are the most important factor in purchasing decisions. Why is product photography so crucial for ecommerce, especially on Amazon? There are a few different reasons, all of which stack together to make product photography one of the best ways to optimize Amazon product listings.
Customers prefer visuals to text
Humans are visual creatures, and as such we prefer to see how things work instead of reading about it. While product descriptions are still useful, the main draw of your product comes from the images. It’s the first thing your shoppers notice, and the last thing they remember.
High-quality photos show off more details
Because online shoppers cannot pick up or touch the merchandise, they rely on product photography to gauge aspects like texture, size, flexibility, and fit. Better quality photos show off finer details, which help remove the shopper’s anxiety about what they’re buying. Photos can also be used to show the product in action, which can answer some questions about how to properly use it.
Photos can convey emotional connotations
You can give your Amazon photography an artistic style to convey the right mood or atmosphere. The main image is always straightforward, but Amazon gives more leeway on additional images. Certain colors, angles, and backgrounds evoke different feelings in the shopper, and you can use them to appeal to niche markets or specific demographics, and form the right emotional associations to encourage buying.
Amazon Product Photography Requirements
Before you begin planning your strategy for Amazon photography, you first need to understand the rules. Amazon has specific image requirements for their product listings, and above all your photos must comply or else they won’t be allowed. While the link above has the complete list, here are some of the main points for quick reference:
- Pixels: minimum 1000 pixels for width and height
- Color mode: sRBS or CMYK
- File Format: TIFF, JPEG, GIF, or PNG
- File Name: product identifier (ASIN, ISBN, etc.) + file extension (.png, .jpg, etc.); i.e., B000123456.jpg
There are additional requirements for the main image, such as using a white background, but we’ll cover those in more detail below.
Best Image Dimensions and Aspect Ratio
As thorough as Amazon’s image requirements are, they still give a lot of freedom to the photographer. Many of the best practices for Amazon product photography come from trial-and-error or observing what works with other sellers. Although different brands find different strategies most effective, here we’ll provide some general advice on two of the most common areas of confusion: image dimensions and aspect ratio. While the Amazon requirements state the minimum dimensions should be at least 1000 pixels, we’ve found using 1600 pixels works best. The extra pixels mean finer details and better quality images, but the file size is still small enough that the image loads quickly. As for the aspect ratio, a perfect square (1:1) tends to perform well. With the way Amazon set up its image preview windows, rectangular pictures can waste space or get cut off. An equal square, on the other hand, is easiest to view, and makes shopping more convenient for your customers.
Types of Images
There are a few different styles of product photographs you can use on Amazon, depending on your strategies and sales techniques. Let’s talk a little about them individually.
The main image is the only Amazon product photo that is mandatory, and as such it has more regulations and requirements than your other photos. Specifically, the main image must:
- Fill 85% of the frame
- Be in focus
- Use a true white background (RGB: 255, 255, 255)
- Not contain other items, text, graphics, or inset images
Essentially, your main image should be plain and straightforward so that shoppers know exactly what you’re selling. Your other images are where you can experiment and show off your creative side, but your main image should be strictly by the book.
Some sellers find success by including infographics as one of their product images. These visuals don’t showcase the product as much as they explain the benefits and give instructions on how to use it. For example, a common infographic is to add text to a product image that explains each of the features, in case the picture alone isn’t enough. You can also show step-by-step instructions with visuals for each step to show customers how to use or clean the product.
Product specification image
If your product has important specifications that might interest the shopper, displaying them in a visual makes them more engaging. Of course the specifications will still be listed in the product description, but seeing them with the product images makes them both more noticeable and easier to read. Sellers often use visualized charts to make the information more presentable, for example, using alternating colors or playful fonts. Aside from specifications, you can also use stylized charts for product comparisons, features lists, and sizing guides for garments.
Lifestyle photos, or candid photos, refer to pictures of the product in use. For example, if you were selling a dress, a lifestyle photo could be a picture of someone wearing that dress during a fun night out. Lifestyle photos are a great marketing tool because they can show the shopper what life would be like if they bought the product. This style of photograph usually shows happy people enjoying the product, suggesting to the shopper that the product can make them happy, too. There’s plenty of opportunities with lifestyle photos. You can use them to tailor your product page to certain niches and sensibilities, depending on how and where you choose to stage the photo. If you’re targeting a specific group of shoppers, be sure to use a model that represents them.
Product with the packaging
While most product photos show the actual product, it helps to include at least one photo of the product packaging. If your packaging is designed well, showing it off can share those benefits with your online product page. More importantly, people just like to know exactly what they’re buying online. Seeing the product packaging tells them precisely what will arrive with their delivery, easing their curiosity.
Amazon product videos are a big help to sellers, capable of raising sales from 50-80%. In certain situations they can be even more effective than regular photography. Showing the product in motion brings a few different benefits. For starters, it shows the product in use, so it can clear up some confusion and better explain its usage. Seeing a product in use can also deter would-be returns; sometimes people buy something without knowing how it works, and videos can dispel any false ideas early on. Additionally, seeing the product in motion can answer some of the shopper’s questions about flexibility, fit, texture, weight, etc. Videos go the extra mile with showing off product details, so viewers have a better understanding of what they buy before they buy it.
DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
A lot of ecommerce beginners simply assume they need a professional photographer for their product images, but that’s not always the case. It’s perfectly doable to create professional-grade product photos at home, as long as you know what you’re doing. To that effect, we’ve already published a DIY guide to Amazon product photography that covers everything you need to know to take studio pictures in your own home. This guide explains things like what equipment you need, where to find a white background, and how to build your own light box. While it’s possible to do your own Amazon product photography at home, it still requires a lot of effort and some financial investment. For one thing, you need to acquire photography equipment, whether buying, renting, or borrowing. You also need to learn how it works and familiarize yourself with photography terms like “aperture” and “ISO.” You’re also on your own when it comes to areas like composition, angle positioning, and editing the photos in image editing software. If you’re already familiar with this stuff, then it’s no big deal, but if you have to learn it all from scratch, that’s quite a hefty time investment. That’s one reason why plenty of Amazon sellers choose to outsource their product photography to professionals. Amazon product photography services like ours do all the work for you so you don’t have to. We leverage our expertise in selling on Amazon and combine it with our team of professional photographers and state-of-the-art studios. Hiring a professional might cost extra, but it saves you the time of doing the work and the cost of acquiring equipment, not to mention the added expertise that a professional photographer adds. If you want to spare yourself the effort of learning photography, using a service like ours is the best alternative.