A product photograph is not only your first major chance to secure a sale, but it’s also one of the most powerful converters there are, period.
Did you know that over 75% of eCommerce shoppers say that product photos are very influential when deciding whether or not to buy a product?
Considering 65% of the population are visual learners, this might not be a surprise to you, but when you also consider that 22% of online product returns are “because the product looked different to the photograph”, you begin to understand just how important it is to have effective Amazon product photos that sell and convey accurate information.
Effective product photographs lead to a higher conversion rate, which means more sales, which means a better, stickier ranking – it’s that simple.
If you still don’t believe us, check out this 2018 graph from eMarketer on the most influential factors in purchasing decisions:
In this simple, easy to read, step-by-step Amazon product photography guide, we’ll explain:
- Amazon’s image requirements
- How to take pictures for Amazon
- DIY product photography ideas
- Tips on using Amazon product photography services
- Different types of product listing images and how best to leverage them
- Different types of product photography and when to use them
- How to use benefit driven imagery to boost conversion
By the end, you’ll be able to take effective, persuasive product images that will lead directly to higher profits!
If you’re looking to find specific product photography tips, you can scroll down to find the appropriate section, but first, we are going to look at the why:
How Product Images Influence Ranking & Conversions
The human brain is capable of processing visual information thousands of times more quickly than any other form of data.
While some people fare better than others with written text, numeric data or recorded speech, almost anybody is able to quickly and accurately get the necessary data from an image or video.
According to Buffer, tweets with images also receive 150% more retweets than those without:
This explains why the internet is becoming more and more visual by the day, but how do we utilise this knowledge to make a product listing that’s more persuasive?
How do us eCommerce aficionados use this opportunity to boost our conversions, engagement and conversion rates?
Here are just a few ways:
Images Aid Effective Branding
High quality, appealing, and professional seeming product photographs with a mutual theme running through them helps build your brands online presence and make a visual connection between your websites, social media pages and Amazon listings.
Quality Amazon Product Photos Increase Sales
Remember the old saying, “a photo speaks a thousand words”?
It really is true!
Using the ideal photos in your Amazon listing allows you to explain the intricate details of your product without writing anything, to customers who don’t wish to read anything.
No matter how good your product descriptions and features are, there will always be a certain percentage of people who aren’t going to bother reading them.
An effective product image can take these people from a lost cause to a high chance of a purchase.
With that covered, let’s move on to a foundation that you have to get right:
Amazon’s Image Requirements
When first delving into Amazon FBA photography, the first thing you need to be aware of is the following requirements.
Images that do not conform to these will not be displayed on Amazon and so you should make yourself aware of these first, to avoid wasting time taking photographs that won’t be accepted.
All Amazon product photos must be:
- 1000px by 1000px in size and square
- Only 85% of the image frame taken up by the product
- In GIF, TIFF or JPEG file
- Saved as RGB
These are the case for all images but the requirements for your main image are even more strict:
|Image Size||Preferred: 1000px or larger, Recommended: 2560px width, Longest side:1001px|
|Image Frame||Fill by 85%|
|Background Colour||White only|
|Format||JPEG, PNG, GIF or TIFF|
|Image Type||Professional photo or cover art (for DVDs or books)|
|Colour Mode||RGB or CMYK|
Here’s a few more in-depth requirements straight from the horse’s mouth:
Outside of the technicalities of the image itself, you also need to be aware of Amazon’s image file name requirements:
Yep, you need to make sure either your product’s ASIN, EAN, ISBN or UPC barcode are used in the name of the photo file, and to include the file type.
Amazon will decline your main product image if you don’t do this correctly, so make sure you take the time to do it.
It’s as simple as this: ASIN.jpeg
Now that you know about all of the Amazon seller photo requirements, it’s time to learn how to take professional product photos!
If you aren’t interested in doing this and would rather hire an expert, scroll a bit further down as we have a section on that too.
But if you want to learn how to take product pictures for Amazon effectively without needing to rely on anybody else, read on:
How to Take Professional Product Photos for Amazon
The first step in learning how to take product photos is making sure you have the right equipment for the job.
There are two main types of digital camera that can be used for product photography for Amazon – a simple point and shoot:
….which are cheap and simple yet still have a high enough image quality for what we need, or a DSLR:
…which allows much greater customisation options and makes it easier to get high-quality close-ups.
A DSLR is always the better option if you’re willing to buy one, but if you already have a point and shoot, don’t need any extreme close-up pictures and don’t want to splash out on DSLR, that will work just fine too.
Last but not least, you need a good quality tripod to keep your camera steady and allow you to move your product around to take photos from different angles:
Product Photography Settings/Camera Features
If you have a point and shoot camera, you can generally ignore this section and keep scrolling down as they will have very limited features and settings but are already set up to take decent enough photos.
If you have a DSLR, make sure you take the following pointers into account:
Most cameras these days have an auto-focus feature, which means you don’t have to worry too much about the focus.
However, you can still improve the focus by increasing the depth of field setting.
A lower depth-of-field setting results in an even focus across the whole image, even for the background. Since we want all of the focus and attention to be on our product and our background is plain white, it’s best to set the DoF as high as you can.
This image was taken with a high depth-of-field setting, and as you can see in the grass in the foreground is extremely clear whereas the background is quite blurry:
This is perfect for Amazon product pictures, because we want the highest possible quality for the product itself, whereas the white background will look the same regardless of how focused it is.
In order to increase your depth of field, you must set the Aperture Mode or Aperture Setting to a high number (F/11 to F/16).
Lighting & Tents
Lighting is one of the most crucial parts of this whole process and can absolutely transform your pictures for better or worse.
A lot of people seem to think a professional quality product photography lighting setup is complicated and/or expensive, but you can quite easily get a good setup just by following the simple tips listed here:
For the best possible lighting setup, you ideally need light coming from both the left and right side in order to illuminate the entire product and eliminate any shadows.
It’s a great idea to purchase small, easily movable lighting so that you can move them around between pictures and find the perfect setup for what you’re trying to achieve.
You should also consider getting a good quality lighting tent to improve the lighting and eliminate shadows even further.
Since the quality of these photos directly translates into more profits, we would always recommend using the proper setup if you have the option.
Once you have taken your photos, we advise cleaning them up in Photoshop to really make them shine, but this is a guide for another day!
So, that’s the basics of how to take great Amazon product photos, but maybe you don’t have the time or will to actually do this yourself, and would rather hire an expert to do it for you.
Not to worry, we have some tips for that too!
Amazon Product Photography Services
Taking pictures of products online is becoming more and more of an industry in its own right.
There are plenty of professional photographers out there who already have high-quality cameras, equipment setups and studios, and who would be happy to shoot impressive Amazon product photos for you.
This is, of course, the more expensive route, and product photography pricing can vary quite a lot, but it may still be the more attractive way if you don’t want to spend time taking them yourself.
Many photographers advertise themselves as product photography specialists, and some even call themselves Amazon product photographers! It’s always a good idea to go for these instead of a generic photographer as they will be experienced making product pictures for Amazon look the best they can, and will likely be well aware of the best size for Amazon images and other requirements.
If you don’t have any convincing photographers locally to you, it’s pretty easy to find experiences ones online or even through freelance websites such as Upwork or Fiverr.
Amazon even have their own option!
Ok, so now you know how to get high quality photos that are ideal for Amazon, now let’s look at adding the final touches to your images such as text, and deciding which images to actually use and where.
While you might think that it’s a good idea to just upload as many closeups of the product as possible, there are actually some different photo types that have been found to increase conversions, and you should use as many of them as you can:
Amazon Product Image Optimization
Your main image should be a high quality close up of your product, showing it in as clear as possible resolution, but for the rest of your images, try using some of these techniques:
Images that Highlight Benefits
This is imagery that focuses on the benefits of your product, such as how it’s better than the competition or how it can improve the customer’s life.
Text explaining the benefits of your product on the images also gives you a chance to sell these benefits to more visual people who may browse the images to see if they want to purchase the product and never read the description itself.
Show the Product Being Used
One of the most common things that can put people off buying a product online is the fact they are unable to see it beforehand.
Showing your product in real life surroundings or in use gives context, eliminates any confusion about how the product works and increases confidence in the product.
It also puts the product in a context that the viewer can compare to their own lives and allows them to make sense of it more easily than they would if it was just a plain image with a white background.
An Image Comparing Your Product to Competitors
This gives you a chance to list all of the features your product has that your competition don’t, answer potential customer queries before they arise, and puts across that you have confidence in your product.
Images Explaining the Size or Unique Characteristics
Sometimes it can be difficult for a viewer to discern the overall size of your product, even when measurements are listed. An image comparing your product to an everyday item or showing it from the side can solve this.
This is especially worthwhile if the size is a selling point (such as an electronic device that’s smaller than the competition without losing any features).
This can also refer to taking photos of minute details that people might be curious about, such as the cable sockets on the back of an electronic device or even the packaging.
If your product comes with additional pieces or accessories, you should always take at least one picture showing those too, as they are potentially an added value that your competitors don’t have (or just don’t show).