The saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words, and it holds true even when it comes to product photography. Photos make a much bigger impact on shoppers than even the most eloquently written product description. The majority of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and everything else tends to fall by the wayside. Online shoppers might remember bits and pieces of the information they read, but photos make a lasting impression that keeps them on the page.
Because photos make such a big impact, the internet is overloaded with tons of visual content. This means that to stand out from the crowd, you need to produce unique images that capture the attention of shoppers and help them engage with your product like they would in any store on the shelf.
If you’re thinking about selling on Amazon or have already started and are looking for a way to set yourself apart, product photography is a great place to start. As you begin thinking about the best images to represent your product and brand, here are 5 important things you need to know about Amazon product photography.
1. Types of Product Photography
Many of our more experienced sellers are most likely aware of the types of photos that make up a photo set. But to be sure we’re all on the same page, let’s go over the basics:
- Product only images – these are clean-cut images that appear on an all-white background and, as the name suggests, include only the product. Product only images show off the main features and details of the product. Amazon requires that the first image in your set, or the “hero” image, for any product be a product only image. It’s usually a good idea to include more than one of these images in your photo set that shows the product from different angles or even up close, so shoppers get the full effect.
- Lifestyle images – this type of photo shows the product in context, placing it in an environment where it would most likely be used. Oftentimes, these photos include models using the product to give it further context. Lifestyle images help shoppers to visualize the product in their own lives, exciting them about the product and nudging them to add to cart.
2. Amazon Product Photography Requirements
For consistency across listings, Amazon does require that all the photos in your set meet a few technical guidelines:
- Images must be in TIFF (.tif/.tiff), JPEG (.jpeg/.jpg), GIF (.gif) or PNG (.png) format
- Image pixel dimensions of at least 1000 or larger in either height or width is preferred
- Images should use either sRGB or CMYK color mode
Hero images have their own specific requirements since they are the first images shoppers see when browsing in the search results. These requirements include:
- Photo must be on a plain white background (RGB 255, 255, 255)
- Image must not contain extra products that may confuse the shopper
- Image should not contain any text or graphics
- The product should fill 85% of the image frame
- Image should not be an illustration or rendering of the product
- Photo should not show any excluded accessories
- No logos, watermarks or inset images should be included in the hero image
Secondary images, including feature and lifestyle images, need only follow the technical requirements. Graphics and composite photos can be used on secondary images to further detail product features, but ensure they are not overwhelming or confusing to shoppers.
One other thing to consider is that Amazon displays all images in a square format, regardless of the shape of the original photo. Amazon automatically adds white padding around any long, rectangular photo to make it square. This could make the product appear smaller, making it difficult for customers to get a good view. For this reason, when completing your photography, it’s best to display the item or items in a way that can be easily cropped into a square image.
3. Product Photography Affects Clicks and Conversions
Before you hurry the photography process and upload unprofessional images that don’t adequately represent your product, you may be interested to know that product photography directly affects clicks and conversions. Some shoppers may even consider product photos to be more important in the buying process than spelled-out product information. Good product photography will help boost clicks and conversions by:
- Making a good first impression – People form a first impression in a fraction of a second. On Amazon, the hero image is the first thing a shopper sees when browsing. Most shoppers are not choosing which items to click on by reading the title, but are instead making quick decisions based on the images they are seeing.
- Engaging customers – A high-quality image will grab the attention of shoppers and make them more likely to stick around on your listing. Photos draw the customer in and encourage them to learn more about your product, which when paired with engaging product information, will nudge them to purchase.
- Increasing the perceived quality of your product – Badly lit or unprofessional photos can quickly make your product seem cheap and undesirable. Even if you are selling a high-end product, a grainy product image will bring down the perceived value of your brand and customers will not bother sticking around to learn more.
- Reinforcing your branding – Photos should always tie in with your overall branding goal. Generic or photoshopped images tell shoppers nothing about your brand or product. Presenting a cohesive brand across all marketing fronts will reinforce a professional image and make shoppers more confident in purchasing from you.
4. A Good Photo Evokes Emotion
With countless brands and products already available for purchase, online competition is fierce. In order to convert sales, you have to do more than just show your product in good lighting. An effective photography set will also evoke emotions and set a mood that connects with shoppers.
Many of the Amazon product photos do not do their jobs of advancing nonverbal communication. Your product photography should speak to customers and draw them in instead of being just another image they glance at and then ignore. Good photos will inspire shoppers to take action and buy your product.
Raising emotions in shoppers can be achieved by using appropriate lighting, product placement and props in your photography, much like the photos below. These images work to actively engage customers by illustrating how the product should be used. Each of these images sets the mood for the customers. Shoppers can imagine using the product to make a refreshing drink on a hot summer day. And all of this is achieved by utilizing natural light and summertime fruits.
5. Professional Photographers Know Best
While it is possible to create engaging and high-quality product images on your own, a professional photographer will have more experience and the right equipment to get the job done correctly. Especially if you’re working on expanding your business, it’s often best to outsource listing elements like this to the experts. At Viral Launch, our team of photographers has worked with hundreds and hundreds of clients to produce high-quality product photography for Amazon listings.
Viral Launch photographers work directly with clients to ensure images accurately represent the product and the unique branding of each business. If you’re just getting started in the Amazon game or have little to no photography experience, hiring a professional might be the best choice for you. This will ensure you get high-quality photos that work to convert sales.
Build Your Business
Product photography is just one component of a successful Amazon listing. While shoppers base many of their purchase decisions on images, you still need the rest of the components in order to make money. On Amazon, you must do everything well in order to do anything well. Consult with the professionals at Viral Launch to learn more about how photography and listing optimizations work hand in hand to promote sales of your Amazon product. We’re here to help guide you on the path to Amazon success!
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