There is one big drawback to selling on Amazon – your customers cannot touch the products. 50 percent of people who shop online feel this way, and this is 50 percent of your customer base.
Amazon does what it can to make the products available as attractive as possible to its customers. This way shoppers see the products and convert.
The Amazon photos you have are one of the most important parts of the Amazon shopper’s experience, so you need to have the best available but within the rules. We will get to that.
Awesome Amazon photos of your products sell. There is no argument to be had about that. On the other hand, bad pictures will hurt your listings and potentially bury you in a search. It has happened and can again.
Amazon has pretty stiff requirements for their images. Keeping in lock step with their Terms of Service is vital to your business success.
There are going to be sellers who are going to try and beat the rules. It is tempting to do the same, but take our word for it – do not do this. Getting suspended from Amazon is a death knell for most sellers. Keep the cute and unique for other pictures – just not the main one.
The images you post should tell the customer everything they need to know – just like they picked up the product in a standard store. This means details, product use, how it will look – all of these can put you up and over your competition.
There are times when none of this will work. There are some companies who will not use 100 percent of their spaces. All that information is necessary, even if the text is incredibly small.
Sourcing Nova again has the answers to help you create Amazon photos for your products that will convert and bring you customers. Keep each one of these in mind, but in particular, follow the guidelines precisely. Do not deviate from the rules and guidelines on the images. You are not smarter than Amazon in this aspect.
The value of Amazon photos
Images convert customers, certainly. Images also make customers happy.
This is why your lead image is so valuable. It is the first one your customers will see in the search and on the page. You will stand up and out from the competition and get shoppers onto your page.
The first image is only the first stop. You need additional images for the customer. More information and photos means better conversion rates. Each image should feature quality details for the customer after they make their purchase. Your customers want to know exactly what they are getting on delivery. This minimizes the chances of returns and the dreaded negative feedback.
File types and names for all images
Again, Sourcing Nova is going to hammer this home – the rules cannot be bent. Don’t follow the rules; your Amazon photos are not posted. It is that simple.
There are four file types Amazon will accept for photos.
Of these, JPEG is the most used.
Ever image must use the precise Amazon naming conventions. All of the following information is required with a period.
• Product identification: Amazon ASIN, ISBN, EAN, JAN or UPC
◦ ASIN – Amazon Standard Identification Number
◦ ISBN – International Standard Book Number
◦ EAN – European Article Number
◦ JAN – Japanese Article Code
◦ UPC – Universal Product Code
• Variant code – A four character, optional code best for more than one image. It has a variety of uses:
◦ MAIN – Primary image; use this and other codes for the other images
◦ PT01, 2, 3 – Possible codes for additional pictures
◦ OPP, BOTT, LEFT, RGHT, FRNT or BACK – Appropriate for angled shots
◦ IN01, IN02 – Book interior contents
• File extension name type – One of the four listed above
• Formula – Product id code.variant code.file type
This looks exceptionally complicated, but it is not. If you wanted to list a French Press coffee maker, your primary Amazon photo product name would look like this:
Any other images would use the same text, changing MAIN for a different variant code, depending on your image.
Size requirements for all images
Amazon requires high quality product photography for customers to zoom into and see the products closely. No image should be pixelated or fuzzy. This means images of 1,000 pixels in height or width – more on this coming.
Do not concern yourself with a file being too large. Amazon compresses all photos before hosting them. Set your images at the high quality, and submit with no compression. Amazon handles the rest of the photo for you.
Product packaging image requirements
The customer needs to know how the products are going to be packaged. These may not seem important, but the image of the product package makes a difference. Your customer is going to see the package first when it arrives following their purchase from your e-store.
Online shopping and traditional shopping should not be different. After all, presenting that ring to your potential fiance in that little box is something special in itself.
Other image requirements
Now that you have the technical details out of the way, there are some other guidelines you will need to follow for each of your products and their images, starting with the leading image.
Leading Amazon image requirements
The leading Amazon image is the one that will appear in search results. Here are your guidelines:
• An actual image – no drawings
• No other objects, text, graphics, mockups, placeholders or insets
• The entire product must be in the frame
• 85 percent of the frame should be covered with the product images
• Backgrounds are solid white – RGB 255, 255, 255
• Images should be in focus, professionally lit (more on this) or scanned in color
• Shoot in sRGB or CMYK
• Image must be the accurate to the product
• All features should be shown
• The images should be 1,600 pixels or more on the long side and no more than 10,000 on the longest side
• No animated .gifs
• A shoe MAIN should be of a single shoe, turned left at 45 degrees
• Adult clothing MAIN should be taken on a model
• Child and baby clothing MAIN should be flat – no model
• Absolutely nothing graphic, adult or offensive allowed
This is what your customer is going to see right when they arrive at your e-store. You want the image to be as exact and flawless as possible. For your other, secondary images, you can do some things a bit differently:
• Backgrounds can have color or an environments
• Cropped and close-ups are allowed
• Text and demonstrative graphics
• Other products for use and scale
Things that cannot be in the MAIN image
Amazon takes the rules on product photography and pictures very seriously, and you should as well. If they say do not do this, do not do it. This means:
• Nothing about Amazon in the photo – no logo, trademark or anything close to it. This includes Amazon, Amazon Prime, Alexa and the Amazon Smile
• No badges allowed. This includes – “Amazon’s Choice,” “Premium Choice,” “Amazon Alexa,” “Works with Amazon Alexa,” “Best Seller,” or “Top Seller.”
• Again, nothing offensive or adult
• Not blurry, pixelated or jagged around the edges
• Product that takes less than 85 percent of space on the limiting dimension of longest side
• No watermarks or text
Other prohibitions in the MAIN
There are special product picture requirements for clothing, clothing accessories, shoes, handbags, luggage and jewelry.
• Images with RGB less than 255 – non-pure white
• Information over the top or in background of the product images
• Multiple images of same product
• Images cropped by a frame edge – necklaces excluded
• Excessive props/covers/sounds that detract from the MAIN
• All models must be standing
• No packaging, brand or tags
• Mannequins acceptable for stockings and socks – nothing else
• Images of children and babies in leotards, underwear, swimwear
• Ink and toner cartridges should show what the customer will receive – not the packaging
• EnergyGuide and Lighting Facts should have the label
• Media – books, music and video – should have 100 percent image frame in cover art
How to make your Amazon images stand out
Just because you upload a picture does not mean Amazon will post it. There is a very complex algorithm for ranking images. This means your images have to wow, pop and be magnificent.
It is not impossible to do.
The requirements are done. It is time to talk best practices for shooting photographs and making images for your products that will beat out the competition but by following the rules. Yes; there are some who will break the rules, but trust us on this – these sellers will be caught and buried in the search results.
Use a professional photographer for your products photo
Why yes; you can take pictures with your phone and load them. You can also sit with a ton of inventory that will not move because Amazon buried your products, and customers could not get the details they wanted from your products.
Be a customer. Do you want the absolute best possible picture for your products? Think about kids’ school pictures – those are professionals with serious equipment. This is why school pictures are so well done. Your product photography need that same treatment.
A customer who arrives on your page and cannot tell what they will get if they purchase from you is not going to stay and buy. They are going to the next seller.
So, if you have a high end DSLR, tripod, lights, flash, background drops, editing equipment and considerable experience as a photographer – great. Most Amazon sellers do not. Yes; you can buy all of this. Can you realistically learn how to shoot like a professional in time to get your products up onto your Amazon e-store and posted? A professional can be set up, shoot and break down in about two hours time.
A professional photographer will charge a sitting fee for your Amazon pictures – around $100.00 or so. This is money well spent.
Here is another consideration – you have invested much into your business. Do not let another $100.00 or so keep you from the success you have worked so hard for.
Shoot in RAW
RAW means the image is uncompressed and nothing more. Shooting your images in this way provides the most detail. You can then have the images cropped and edited appropriately.
These images are space and memory hogs, so be aware when you are uploading. Before you add images to your e-store, they have to be in another of the four formats, JPEG for preference, before loading into Amazon.
Amazon will handle the pictures after you load it. Start the process, go grab a cup of coffee and let the computer do its thing. You will be richly rewarded in the end.
Your professional photographer should have plenty of ways to maximize lighting for your products and images.
Have the photographer arrange the lighting in a way that will maximize the look and detail of your products.
Do not worry if you are not sure what off-camera lights mean or how to set them up. Your photographer is familiar with what to do. Besides, you can check image proofs to choose the ones you like the most. Most photographers shoot many images before allowing customers to select the best ones.
The MAIN image is pure white. You know this by now.
Your photographer should have some optional backgrounds available for you to try and test. If not, provide your own. Look for contrast in particular. You want each product image to catch the eye of the customer.
(h3) Make edits
There are times when a touch of editing may be necessary.
There are few different editing options:
• Cropping out things
• Adjust color
• File size
• Other issues
If you are not sure what to do, hire another professional. They are easy to find on sites like Fiverr and not expensive. You will recoup losses with sales.
Pay attention to spelling. It is easy to overlook errors.
Run your copy through Grammarly, the word processor spell check and have two or three people look the copy over.
Bad spelling makes people think of poor quality products.
Image resources for photography
There are a few places that can help you with shooting, retouching and cleaning up your images for a modest fee. Sourcing Nova recommends choosing one of the following:
• Upgraded Images – Based in Pasadena, Calif., you can actually ship them products and have them shoot in studio. They send you options, review, make changes, pay and get a zip file of your images ready to load
• Fiverr – This site has good options for a reasonable price. You may not get the complete studio quality, but there are some decent options on Fiverr. Search ‘Amazon Listing Images’ for the sellers who specialize in these. Options start at five dollars plus Fiverr’s fees.
• PickFu – PickFu is a tester. People see your images and vote on them. Demographic information is also included – great for finding your target audience.
Sourcing Nova does recommend trying a local photographer first. You may build a customer base in the process.
Priority image on the product page
Once you have done your research to choose the best MAIN image, use the other images to fill in the additional slots. More is always better in this case.
Amazon’s system makes this process very quick and easy on your behalf. Make sure your images are logically sequenced for the best customer experience.
Use all the available image space
Amazon is very liberal with their space for your pictures, so go ahead and upload all seven images with some variety and looks. The more opportunities you afford to a potential customer to see your products translates to the better conversion opportunity. This means:
• Show your product from several angles
• Use models so the customer imagines themselves with or using your products
• Show your products in a correct setting – your bamboo straw in a glass of tea, for example
• Use a variety of backgrounds for the best effects – except the MAIN image
• Use infographics and dimensions – coming later
Use the product, and crop
Your product is what you are selling. You want it front and center. If you are showing your customer how to use your French pot coffee maker, you want them to see each step. Start with putting coffee in the bottom, adding hot water and the slow, two finger push to a great cup of coffee.
Use a Single Product
A moka pot, for example, has a good many working parts.
There is no need to show the customer the entire inner workings. They only need to see the exterior of the moka pot.
Don’t forget the 85 percent rule – 85 percent of the product should be visible to the customer for packaging and product details.
Organize photos appropriately
You can have several images and order them as you see fit.
Pictures tell stories. You want your images to do the same for your products. Start with the MAIN and move to the secondary details. You want your products in context for your customer to see themselves with your products.
Use multiple product shots and angles
Your customers cannot touch your products, get an idea of dimensions or much else. Different shots allow them to see what you have. The customer can then see themselves with the product. You have up to six images, including the MAIN. Use them all.
What to show with your other images
The MAIN is what gets buyers to your product. The other images seal your deal. This is where you can have the images detail elements of your product.
• Close up details
• Relative sizes
• Infographics – more on this in a bit
If you have products with a variety of color options, take pictures of each, and share them as well.
Perspectives are what sells products. The customer needs to see the whole product and not what you want them to see. Remember: what you think and like is irrelevant.
How many images can you have on Amazon?
You have room for six total images for each product you list.
You need to make sure each of your images are of the best possible quality and all of the other elements mentioned so far. Again, this is why Sourcing Nova recommends a professional.
Your images is how your customers buy your products. Your most important images need to be prominently featured. If you have a video, use it for the sixth, or in some cases, seventh slot for your listing.
Close-Up of Accessories Out of the Box – Specific requirements
If you are selling a set of products, such as straws, you should have a one photo for each part of the set. Treat each separate image as the MAIN – white background, close-ups and the like.
Show dimensions and size differences if you have any.
Avoid any confusion
If there are accessories or something that is not part of the product, do not include them in the images. You should have no ‘sold separately’ products, either. This keeps your customers from being confused, then angry and then posting negative feedback and reviews.
The customer needs to see some relevant information. Be consistent with both fonts and colors for your specific look and feel for the products. You want the customer to know:
• Important features/benefits
• Sizing, dimensions and other specifications
• Materials uses
• Comparison charts – why yours is superior to the competition
There are plenty of freelancers who can create infographics and the like for you.
Descriptions and features are necessary and have a slot on your Amazon e-store. Most people will read the information secondary to the picture if at all.
The picture is there – use it to hone in on the important information you have. There are a few options you would have:
• Care information
• Positive reviews
Warranty or Satisfaction Guarantee
Amazon does not allow sellers to make promotions on the listing. You can add a warranty or guarantee as an image instead of an additional product image. This will raise conversion rates since customers have confidence in your products.
If there was a secret extra to conversions, it would be infographics. These are ideal for those who are not readers but visual. A good infographic can show all of the key elements and benefits of your products and in a good way. Infographics give you the chance to focus on the unique features of your products and describe why your products are superior to other, similar products.
Your infographics should be short and absolutely to the point. This is not a location for a personal novel. All you are doing is hitting the features and elements that are most important. A few words, maybe a short sentence, is all you need.
What not to say in your text
Do not use any language that gives a sense of urgency – ‘limited time’ or promotions – ‘best seller or sale.’
URLs are also forbidden.
As a reminder – no adult or offensive content.
Images and product descriptions
Amazon will not let images in the description field. There is HTML available that will, but this violates the Terms of Service. Sourcing Nova strongly recommends not doing this.
Text on your images using infographics can be the final decision between a conversion and a customer leaving.
More text, however, takes away from the image. No one wants to spend their time reading over a picture.
Be the customer. Does your customer need to zoom or pinch just to read? This can lead to a lost sale.
A call to action or benefit added to a bit of small text is great for customers who want more information.
Phrases are fine, just do not repeat any bulleted information.
Provide vital information
Your additional Amazon photos give your customer the information and benefits they need to make a final decision.
It is okay if this information is in the product description in addition to your additional images. Some customers are not interested in the other images and will miss this information.
Overlay text is key in your additional images. Overlay text is good for:
• Ideal uses
• Any accolades from groups or organizations
Demonstrate, teach and inform images
Your MAIN is only the first step. If your customer clicks the main, the other images should provide additional information in some way.
If your products needs some assembly, or in the case of a wig, how to measure your head, this when your images can help sell your products. Now, the customer will feel more assured if buying your products.
There are two schools of thought on zoom. Amazon will not bury your products for using zoom, but it is something you need to consider. You either use zoom or you do not.
Your customers cannot physically touch what you have. Zooming in on product features and elements gives them a better understanding of your products.
Amazon allows visitors to zoom in on your images. A camera zoom may cut into the quality of your image. Let the photographer shoot the images from different angles for you.
Use text to highlight the details. A FAQ can also address information for your products.
It is ultimately up to you to use Zoom or not. Sourcing Nova is against it and recommends letting Amazon handle the zooming on your products.
Let customers see the product’s size
Depending on your product, customers need to see the size of your products. Add measurements or providing perspective with a common item so the customer can see how the product would work or fit in their home.
Customers who can get an idea of a size of a product are much more likely to convert. Manuals and size guides certainly can add to the chance of conversion.
Nothing but the product in the MAIN image.
If your product has an unseen benefit, you can have a 3-D cross-section for the customer to see the feature like this moka pot.
Now, your customer can see all of the different elements of the moka pot in a single image.
3-D is not always necessary, but it is a good way to show your products in a different way.
Before and after
What does your product do for the customer in some way? If so, show them what a difference it can make.
The difference of appearance between normal hair and a wig can be eye opening for the customer. This is especially true in the case of women with hair loss due to alopecia or chemotherapy treatments.
Talking is one thing. Showing is something completely different and a better road to conversion.
Your additional images can demonstrate a person using the products. This gives your products life, a sense of productivity and fun. The customer should image themselves doing those things with your products.
You cannot scrape by with a stock image in this case. You need the real thing. Your professional photographer can help you shoot action and lifestyle images. There may be an additional cost, but the cost is off-set by increased conversions.
Put your customers where they are
Psychographic research is important. You should know your customer base’s income, beliefs and demographic information.
Selling reusable straws is a great idea for a naturalistic, co-op or similar store. You would not put these in a meat market.
The customer wants your products to be a part of their lifestyle choices and decisions.
If lifestyle is not possible
You found a good opportunity to sell garden supplies, but you live in a large urban area and need to optimizable photos for Amazon. There is an option available – Photoshop.
Not everyone is familiar with Photoshop or able to use it correctly. There are plenty of places to hire someone who is competent and can use those skills to give you a product photo that is well edited.
These will be similar to in-use, which is perfectly acceptable for additional images in Amazon.
Be careful with Photoshop
Photoshop is acceptable. Bad photoshop is not. You do not want your images to have issues with any of the following:
• Shadows – Should only be where they belong
• Scale – Photoshopping props need to stay in scale
◦ Scale issues can mean returns and your ASIN buried or restricted
We touched on this previously, but it deserves its own section. There are so many private label sellers on Amazon that it is very difficult to break into a niche. The chances of adding a new product into an established line and immediately become a best seller is not going to happen.
The secret is determining what the competition lacks and improve on that. Then, you create a comparison chart.
Your comparison chart can demonstrate how the product is superior, than the competition, and you have improved on their shortcomings. This is a chance to brag – take it!
There is a place to highlight your products – the A+ content module. Use the module for the following:
• Selling propositions
• History or values of the brand
• Your additional images
• Instructions for Use
• Comparison Charts
Bulleting and titles are important for your Amazon index and rank. Images do not bring the traffic. Images convert traffic. Bullets:
• Highlight key information on your products
• Provide information the customers need
◦ Use the reviews to see what customers want to read in the bulleted information
The mobile and desktop Amazon experience are not the same. Most sellers are not sure how to optimize for the mobile experience.
Mobile experiences start with images and information. Only the product title and image will appear on mobile devices. Customers will not scroll down to the bullets normally.
You need to check your products on all three platforms: desktop, mobile and app.
Amazon product videos
Video continues to become a part of the Amazon shopping experience. Currently, on the Amazon Vendor Central members can add video to an Amazon listing, but you can circumvent it.
If you can get a chance to use video, do it. It is a great way to show your products to your customers.
You cannot post your images onto Amazon and sit back while things start moving. You will have to be constantly upgrading, improving and revising the information on your product page. You can be sure your competition is going to be doing this. Selling on Amazon is like a marathon and not a sprint.
The best images you can get will work fine for a period of time. Change them out when the sales begin to falter and slow. Go back to the fundamentals – reshoot products for a new photo, get new customer opinions and update lifestyles.
Test images after the first few weeks
Once your listing is up and you have found what is important to users, chances are information will start coming in from customers. Find out what they like and did not like, and leverage that.
There are tools available to split test your products. Splitly and Sellerly are commercially available, but Amazon offers the Detail Sales and Traffic Report. This way you can create fresh images.
Use only the hard data you collect from doing this and not what you think. What you think or want is not important. What your customers think and want is important.
Do not run a split test when there is an unusual buying period – seasonal changes for example. Wait until sales reach a steady period.
If you are not certain what to do – test one variable of your sales and products at a time. You can get your variables from your sales information.
There is quite a bit to setting up your Amazon images, but once you are started, the process gets easier. What you need to do, however, is to get your first products! Contact Sourcing Nova in the form below. We can help you find, source, test and ship products to you.