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Amazon Product Photography 2020 Complete Guide

Do you ever wonder why your competitors are receiving more orders than your online Amazon store? One of the reasons could be that your product images are not quite up to scratch. 

Competing in the eCommerce world is tough nowadays. And to make sure you are holding your own, it’s crucial that your product listings are up there with the best. 

First impressions count. And this is even more true when your shoppers are browsing your products on Amazon. Apparently, the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than content which is written. So- it stands to reason that if you get your images right, you’re going a long way to convince your browser to turn into a shopper!

It’s not all about photography, but it is a major player in your product listings. For the most part, in this article IO Scout will show you at how you can enhance your product photography to drive more sales, but quality product listings are also made up of some other factors, too. 

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What is Product Photography?

Professional product photography goes a long way in Amazon listings. As we have mentioned, first impressions are paramount when your potential shoppers are browsing your product listings on Amazon. And the photography really encompasses your business brand as a whole, and should be a strong representation of your brand in a digital format. 

Of course, product photography does not just apply to digital advertising, and plays a major part in newsletters, leaflets, magazines, brochures, and all sorts of paper forms of advertising. 

Why are product photos so important?

Because we as humans process images much faster than we could process any text, it is imperative that those images are professional, crisp, clean, and tell your brand’s story. 

Using images rather than text means that your message needs to be crystal clear, with no words necessary to offer explanations as to what is in the image. 

Securing your audience’s attention is essential with your Amazon product listings, and the very best way to achieve this is by high quality product images.

Product photography to maximize sales 

Great product photography evokes all the right kinds of emotions in your potential shoppers. You are creating Attention, Information, Desire, and Action. This is what is involved in a fantastic product listing, and your photography is key here. Your product photography grabs Attention, your text offers Information, the image again creates the Desire for the product, especially if you demonstrate how to use the product with wonderful, evocative lifestyle images. And then your call to Action entices your buyer to go ahead and buy your product.  

To really differentiate your brand from your competitors on Amazon, your professional product images are the number 1 to achieve this. Yes, it may be more initial outlay than just snapping a few images with your iPhone, but it is a worthwhile investment of time, and potentially – money. As in the long-run, your brand will reap the rewards of increased product conversions, and a more lucrative business model 

Your Product Images

Keep at the very forefront of your mind that the images of your products are the earliest impressions of your business’s brand. So let’s make it a strong one!

Key Tips

  • Plan

Set aside time to plan your images by taking stock of your product catalogue as a whole. Plan how you would like your product images to look, and make sure the message is consistent across the board, so shoppers will recognize your brand and your images will become synonymous with the business brand and identity. 

  • Background

White backgrounds are your friend when it comes to taking photos of products. Ensuring your product is at the forefront, with no distractions, white backgrounds help with this. 

  • Natural Light

Choose a soft, natural light to take your images in. 

  • High Resolution

Take your images with a high-resolution camera, ensuring sharp lines and focus with all of your pictures. Your buyers will enjoy the clear, crisp product images, and the fact that they can see the entirety of the product in full detail before they make a purchase. 

  • Product Size

Try and keep focus on the size of your items, and refer to Amazon’s image aspect ratio guidelines to help you with this. 

  • Steady Surface

Consider a steady surface, or even a tripod, to ensure a nice clear image.

  • Angles

Various angles of the product is very helpful for your prospective customers. Keep the front of your product as your main image in your listing, but take various shots from the side, and behind, if applicable, to demonstrate the features of the product in full. 

Which Photography Equipment do you need?

Next is a list of equipment for your “do it at home” photography sessions:

  • A quality camera – this is of course top of the list! 
  • A decent tripod – essential for stabilizing your camera and making sure your images are clear and crisp, with absolutely no shaky or blurry photos!
  • Memory card – the SD card stores your images, and are extremely handy to have as you can use them for storage and simple uploading to your Amazon product listings
  • White paper roll – fairly inexpensive to purchase (probably from Amazon!), you can use your white paper roll as your backgrounds for all your product photos 
  • Natural light window – as we’ve mentioned, natural light, if you can get it, is your best possible option
  • Duct tape and clamps – used to secure your white paper roll where necessary
  • Folding table – used to lay your white paper roll as preparation for taking images

Once you have your equipment ready, follow these instructions to take high quality product images:

  • Put the table near to the window with natural light
  • Spread the plain, white paper roll from the table’s bottom, extending it to the wall, forming a smooth curvature.
  • Attach the paper roll with the wall and table applying the duct tape or clamps.
  • Set your tripod to the required height and angle.
  • Affix the camera on to the tripod.
  • Begin taking images, and try out different angles to check the end results, and which are the most favourable. 

Professional Photographer – Yes or No?

You can of course, skip the above steps and hire a professional photographer to deal with all your image related issues. This can be a costly option, so is dependent on your budget and time available. 

If you are an Amazon entrepreneur who solely deals in branded items and private label products, a professional approach may be best, as you are representing this brand or private label. And you will typically find that your investment in a professional who will capture your products in a worthwhile way will pay dividends later on down the line when your conversion rates soar through the roof!

Amazon Product Picture Rules

Amazon have strict rules around product images and sizes. Ensure you adhere to these guidelines - so your product listings are not rejected!

  • Files for images have to be: TIFF/GIF/PNG/JPEG
  • Dimensions for each image require to be 1000 pixels at the very least
  • Colour mode is required to be CMYK or RGB
  • For each file, you’ll need the item’s identifier code – ISBN, ASIN, JAN, UPC,EAN, along with the period and file extension information

Images that are identified by the product identifier, not including any variation code, Amazon has several product image standard guidelines, as so:

Main Image Guidelines

  • Restrictions on any sort of illustration or drawing of the item
  • The main picture must be the item’s professional photograph 
  • The image must not include bewildering or unnecessary extra items
  • The image should be expertly photographed, with the correct lighting, smooth focus, effortless edges, and colour that is authentic  
  • Restrictions on advertising labels on the product’s image
  • Any other items in the image must be less than 85% of the framed image
  • The whole item needs to be included within the image frame
  • White background is the standard for the images 
  • Restrictions on extra graphics, text or pictures on the main image
  • Restrictions on pornographic or provocative images or materials 
  • Additional guidelines apply for apparel: ladies and men’s clothing items have to be photographed either being worn by a model, or laid even on a flat surface; ladies and men’s apparel accessories have to be photographed laid even on a flat surface, i.e. scarf, belt, tie, hat, etc; baby and children’s apparel items must be photographed laid even on a flat surface and not worn on a model. Further guidelines can be found regarding clothing here.  

Additional Images Guidelines

  • The image should be expertly photographed, with the correct lighting, smooth focus, effortless edges, and colour that is authentic  
  • Each picture needs to be of the item in which is being put on sale
  • Only other items which assist the explanation of the main item being sold are to be utilized in the images 
  • Backgrounds can be applied for one to two pictures. 
  • 85% of the product frame is to include the item and any props
  • Pictures which have been cropped and disfigured are not permitted
  • Expressive visuals or content are restricted
  • Restrictions on pornographic or provocative images or materials 

Tips for Amazon Photography Listings

There are a lot of tips for including the best possible images for your product listings. And they are dependent on your product industry, and categories that your products appear in. So - we will go through some of the more common categories, and the tips for them.

Take the image below, for example. An advert for Beats headphones. But the photographer has made really good use of this image to turn it into a lifestyle image. And lifestyle images really grab your shoppers’ attention, as they start to imagine how they could potentially use the product you are selling in their own lives. Images like this really spark the imagination. 

You will also note the clear, crisp background and imagery within this picture, which follows on from the image guidelines we noted above. 

The maximum number of product images are eight per listing on Amazon. The aim of integrating high-quality product photos is to encourage the maximum amount of conversions of your product. It makes sense therefore to utilize the maximum number of images in your listings, to cover all the bases!

Your main image should be clear, with a nice white background and no distractions. Then the other seven images really are your back-up images, demonstrating the use of the product and lifestyle situations so your consumers can imagine the product working in their own home, and solving their own problems and situations. 

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Fitness Product Listings

If your niche is in fitness products, you’ll do well to include several images in your listings. And these images should accurately reflect the products – and also photograph the products being used, and being photographed in a gym environment – all so your shoppers can imagine themselves using this equipment themselves. This is such a good tool for raising your conversions, and therefore, sales. 

You can add infographics too, and what this does is demonstrate to your customers all the specifications of your products, and what is included, so they understand exactly what they can expect to receive when they place an order for this product. Any warranties and guarantees should also be added to your product listings, to offer reassurance. 

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Furniture Product Listings

Specifications and dimensions are the key to your furniture product listings. You need to get across to your shoppers exactly what your product is like, and if it is going to fit into their own environment. Be clear with the exact dimensions, and weights, along with several different pictures of the items in different placements, and from various angles. 

Appliance Product Listings

It’s very useful to be able to demonstrate how your appliance product works in real life, so include images that show it working, and don’t forget the lifestyle placements too. You should also provide thorough instructions on how the appliance works, and the benefits of the product (which you could use an infographic to demonstrate).

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Electronics Product Listings

Again, you’ll need to focus on the product’s specifications, and detailed instructions on how to use – especially if the product has lots of different features and buttons, which may prove confusing for your consumer! You can consider adding a comparison table, demonstrating how your product compares to similar products currently on the market. This ensures your consumers can make informed decisions, and be more reassured to go ahead and place an order for your product. 

Once you are happy with the end results of your photography sessions, or received your professional photos back from your hired photographer, now is the time to add them to your Amazon product listings. 

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How to add your images to product listings

Select your intended products which you want to add images to using the product tool.

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For any changes or additions you wish to make, you can use the Manage Inventory tab, like so:

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  • Navigate to Inventory
  • Select Edit
  • Select Edit Product Information
  • Head to the Offer tab
  • Select Images
  • Select Choose File next
  • Choose the picture file for uploading
  • Repeat as necessary for the rest of your product images
  • Save and finish

You are given templates for nine images for each of your product listings. So, utilize all nine if possible, and make sure your customers understand completely about your product and all of its features. 

It’s true that Amazon does highlight and rank in a higher scale those product listings with more images. 

FAQ about Amazon Product Photography

What should I do about images for product variations?

Photograph all the variations of your products, and add them to your product listing. The variations of your product are known as child SKU images (with your main product image being the parent SKU image). You are not able to go forth and sell variations of your product without including images of the product variations. 

Are there any other ways to make my product listings stand out?

You can consider including benefits and features of your product within your listings, and perhaps also infographics. Tables of comparison charts are also beneficial, comparing your product with your competitors’ products, and showing your buyers that your product is the one they should choose to buy!

Can I include videos in my product listings?

Yes! Amazon will allow you to upload product videos (which are classed as enhanced content) once your sales reach a certain level, and when you have registered your brand with Amazon. Videos are an amazing way to demonstrate your products to your prospective customers, and really drive those conversions right up.

Which lens is best for product photography?

For product photography, the recommendation is one telephoto macro, alongside a wider lens if your budget allows.

How many megapixels do I need for product photography?

Photographing items for product listings require a capable camera with high resolution features. A camera with approximately 45 megapixels will capture every element of your item magnificently. 

Amazon Stores and the Integration of Images

If you have an Amazon store, or considering launching one yourself, product images are even more crucial. You are given a wonderful opportunity to really showcase your products with high quality, inviting imagery, so don’t hold back on the glorious images!

This is done in a few ways:

  • Gives you a chance to get your brand out there to customers you haven’t reached before.
  • Gives your existing customers a new look at your brand, and to tempt them into buying from you again.
  • You can create slideshows of your products with images, text, and videos, and is wonderful for launching new products, and making a huge fuss about it!
  • Heightens your SERPs within Amazon in an organic manner. 

Why you could consider an Amazon Store?

The key factor that drives Amazon entrepreneurs to set up their own Amazon Store is to encourage more sales – sales with their existing customers, and sales with their brand new customers. If you make your Amazon Store a really appealing place to be, and a pleasant shopping experience, more sales will come. It’s a very accessible method to shop, and one which shoppers enjoy – so why not go ahead and create that very platform for them to enjoy – and buy from you? 

Your Amazon Store is not restricted to desktops, either. The mobile shopping experience is second to none, so you can capture your prospective shoppers’ interest whether they are browsing your Amazon Store on their own computer, or mobile, or out and about. 

Benefits of an Amazon Store

  1. Easy to set up, with customizable templates for you to simply follow, and populate with your products.
  2. You don’t need to be a web developer! Setting up an Amazon Store does not require any coding knowledge or skill whatsoever. Bonus.
  3. Visually rich, Amazon Stores are a pleasant place for your customers to be – as they immerse themselves in your product images and videos.
  4. You can create more than one page of products, depending on your own unique business requirements. 
  5. Your Amazon Store can be tailored exactly to your own specifications, making it unique to your business brand, and to stand out from the rest of the competition. 
  6. You have the option of social sharing integration with your Amazon Store, to drive more engagement, traffic, traction to your products, and, of course, sales. 

Amazon Stores provide a whole new opportunity of a way to sell on Amazon. And for most, this opportunity can be very successful and lucrative. 

It’s definitely the next step for the Amazon entrepreneurs who are ready to explore the potential Amazon has to offer its sellers. 

A note about Amazon Store Layouts and Images

In your Amazon store, you have a choice of layouts, dependent on your products, images and business goals.

You can have as many as three stages with different product pages at each stage. You can choose from three templates which vary in layout:

  • Product Grid
  • Marquee
  • Highlight

The template you choose will vary, and will be dependent on:

  • Your type of business
  • The niche your products are categorized in
  • If you demonstrate a large amount of highlighted products within your business
  • The template you think is the most visually appealing to your customers

Product Grid Template

If you’d like your products to be arranged neatly in a grid format, the product grid template is probably the way to go. 

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This product grid template enables you to showcase a big amount of products, all at once. 

Marquee Template

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The marquee template in your Amazon Store acts almost as a gateway page to your other pages, offering a selection of your products as an overview for your customers. 

Highlight Template

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The highlight template offers you the opportunity to showcase special products, and is perfect if you offer discounts or product promotions regularly for your shoppers to browse through. 

The Story of your Brand

Now is the time to get creative with your Amazon Store. You really can customize the templates provided by Amazon to your heart’s desire. Showcasing your special products whenever the need arises, and create special promotions by enhancing your product listings. 

It’s simply a case of dragging and dropping the elements to create your pages. And did we mention – no need for coding?

If you already have an e-commerce website, this bit shouldn’t be too troublesome. Follow the basic principles that you have already used for your eCommerce website, as it’s pretty much the same. Keep in mind your customers, and prospective customers. At all times ensure the navigation of your product pages are super simple, and easy for shoppers to go back and forth, and find the items that they want. A seamless experience like this can truly elevate your Amazon sales. 

An Amazon Store looks very much like a mini website, but store on Amazon’s own platform. 

Amazon Sellers who win on Amazon

It’s worth revealing some products that sell particularly well on Amazon’s Marketplace. 

  • Unique/Bespoke Items

Amazon Sellers who craft their own jewellery, for example. These unique and bespoke items sell well as they are generally one-off items, which aren’t easy to replicate, and also have low competition from other sellers. Often you’ll find that these items can demand higher prices as there’s not often something similar on the market already = more profit! Some really nice, bespoke images can be photographed of your unique items too, making them appear even more special to your consumers.

  • Niche Items

Items which fall into a niche category are often successful, as it’s extremely unlikely that Amazon itself would start investing in these categories. Therefore, you probably would not have competition from Amazon with these niche items. 

  • Used Items

Refurbished or used goods have a lot of interaction on Amazon by shoppers. Shoppers who are driven by price, and not so much on delivery times. 

You can view all the insights on your Amazon store right in the portal. These great insights include total sales, views, unique views and visitors, and much more. 

Optimized Product Listings

It’s all very well setting up your own Amazon Store, but to really stay ahead of the competition (and there’s an awful lot of it out there!), you need to enhance your product listings to stay in front of the pack. There are lots of ways in which you can do this.

Primarily, sort out your keywords. Do your research, then do it again. You’ll need to be 100% aware of the keywords you want in your listings for your products to drive the most amount of traffic to your Amazon Store. You’ll want to include these researched keywords not only to your product descriptions, but also to your titles and features of the item, too. Cover all the bases!

You really don’t want your prospective customers to all flock to your new product pages in your Amazon Store, to have them let down as they didn’t find what they expected to find. Ensure your product titles, descriptions and features have those important keywords, and then make sure that you satisfy that description, so you are giving your customers what they want. 

Amazon’s focus is to match prospective buyers with the items that they are interested in purchasing, so make it super simple for Amazon to do this by matching up what you are selling with the product descriptions. 

For sponsored goods on Amazon’s Marketplace, ensure that your detailed product listings include: 

  • Related words to their keyword search
  • Enhanced, visually-appealing product images
  • Valuable features for your potential buyer
  • Text and content which encourages and tempts your buyer into, ahem, buying!

An item page on an Amazon Store which converts, and converts astoundingly well, looks like this:

  • A thorough explanation of the item
  • Item pictures which are high-quality and professional (this includes videos, too)
  • Qualified for Amazon Prime and all its elements
  • An appealing title, which is also accurate and relevant to the item in the listing

By incorporating this invaluable content on your item pages on your Amazon Store, you will be compensated by Amazon, as the result of this will be buyers who are networking with your page, and experiencing lower bounce rates. 

You can also integrate Shoppable Images. These images can be shown with lifestyle pictures, shown in locations that enable your shoppers to imagine how their chosen products will look, and spark their imagination. Your shoppers can click on these Shoppable Images , and they will be shown the basic product features and information, with the facility to then go onto the more detailed product page if they need further reassurance to go ahead and purchase said product. 

Another feature you can add to your pages are descriptive text with your product images. This allows you to give detailed, visual captions to your product images, highlighting benefits and uses of the product. This text also gives you a further chance to enhance your SEO from third-party search engines. 

Following these steps ensure that the chances of your shoppers staying on your Amazon Store longer is much, much higher. They will want to know more about your brand, and potentially other products you may be selling that they will want to buy while they are there. 

Once Amazon appreciates that your merchandise page description is correct, and reflective of the product, and the price is appropriate, conversions will happen. 

Before publishing your Amazon Store product pages, just do a triple check on the grammar and spelling to make sure your pages look as professional as possible. You can use Store Preview to check exactly how your desired pages are going to look to your buyers. 

Conclusion

After taking in the above information, has this inspired you as an Amazon seller to up your game in terms of your product photography? 

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Do you think you would consider professional photography for your product images in the future?

Photography for your products is an endlessly moving feat, not unlike your entire Amazon selling business. Your images need to be monitored, and optimized on a regular basis, to ensure they are performing for you as you want them to. All of these tasks are a must to stay ahead of the competition. Including high quality, professional, optimized images of your products within your Amazon listings is going to elevate your sales conversions. This is because they will increase customer engagement, alongside explaining fully all about your brand, and why they should consider buying from you, instead of some other merchant on Amazon. 

Good luck with your next photography session!