More than 300,000 small and medium-sized U.S. businesses selling their products on Amazon, according to Forbes. That’s a lot of competition, and that can make it tough to stand out.

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One key component to your Amazon listing is the imagery. And when it comes to optimizing your product photos, you’ll need to think about the context in which they’re viewed. Not only do Amazon product images display on your main product page, but they also show up in search results, as thumbnails and in other places you may not even realize.

Learn how to optimize your Amazon product images to drive conversions by adhering to the technical guidelines and using a bit of creative flair.

Tips for optimizing Amazon product images

  1. Follow the technical image requirements for Amazon
  2. Assign image priority on the product page
  3. Adhere to Amazon’s standards for high-quality images
  4. Remember offer level images
  5. Use a variety of product photos
  6. Mind the entire frame
  7. Provide important information

1. Follow the technical image requirements for Amazon

When setting up new product pages or updating existing listings, you’ll need to meet the Amazon photo size guidelines and related technical requirements. If you don’t, Amazon won’t accept it.

Check out the Amazon product image requirements at a glance below, but remember that it’s always best to check their site for the most up-to-date information:

  • Image size: Images should be at least 1000 pixels in either width or height. Amazon recommends 2560 pixels wide.
  • Image frame: The product should fill 85% of the frame.
  • Background color: ALL product photos should have a pure white background.
  • File format: You can upload JPEG, PNG, GIF or TIFF files.
  • Color mode: Both sRGB and CMYK are accepted.

Other image requirements for Amazon to note:

  • File names: The file name must include the product identifier (this is your Amazon ASIN, JAN, EAN, 13-digit ISBN or UPC). After that, a period and a file extension (see accepted file types listed above). For example, 1234567890123.tif or A987654321.jpg. You may not include dashes, spaces or other characters in the file name.
  • Design: You can’t include any text, borders, logos, mannequins or watermarks in your images. If you have a mannequin, you can learn how to edit it out or employ our ghost mannequin image-editing services so we can do it for you.
Get a quote for our ghost mannequin image-editing services here
Here are additional resources from Amazon:
Want to sell your products on other online marketplaces? Check out their guidelines here

2. Assign image priority on the product page

Amazon allows merchants to display seven to nine product images per page. Jim Barron of AcceleratedFI recommends using all of those available slots. “Don’t just use two or three pictures,” he says. “Use as many spots as you can.” This helps overcome one disadvantage that every online retailer faces: not being able to put the product in the hands of the customer. “Play with the angles [of your product photos],” Leslie Termuhlen, media relations coordinator at Jungle Scout, says. Show as many angles as possible. Try to imagine which angles the buyers would examine in person and then replicate that. Don’t have a clue? Head to a brick-and-mortar store in your area and observe.

Once your photos are loaded and ready to go, you’ll want to prioritize and assign how each image appears on the page. “Properly assign the priority to each image, so they show up in the correct order in Amazon product search results and on your product pages,” says George Kern IV, art director at Printed Pixel, Inc. Arrange Amazon product images so customers experience the product in a logical way.

For clothing, for example, you’ll want to first show the product in context. Then feature different angles, perhaps showcase the interior, and display close-ups. Finally, end with any images that show off the technology or science behind your product. Here’s a great example:

DIY Product Photography - How to Style Your Next Shoot

3. Adhere to Amazon’s standards for high-quality images

Color variants should be reshot, according to the image requirements for Amazon. Using high-quality images for the MAIN and child SKU images are particularly important for converting sales and receiving more clicks, but they’re also part of Amazon’s non-technical standards.

These Amazon product images requirements are:

  • Use real photos: The image must be an actual photo (or the cover art, in the case of music or books for example). Drawings, vectors and illustrations are no-nos — as well as additional inset images, graphics or text overlays.
PRO TIP: Need to include a chart or graphic while abiding by Amazon’s rules? Kent Lewis of Anvil Media, Inc. recommends a hack: “[Use] product label close-ups, product comparison and images including informational charts, graphics or even text.
  •  Keep it simple: Anything in the frame that’s not directly related to the product risks becoming distracting to the potential buyer. Remove these from your Amazon product images.
  • Aim for quality: Use sharp, high-resolution and well-lit product photos that look realistic. Pay special attention to how the colors look after they’re shot.
  • Be appropriate: Pornographic or offensive messages are prohibited from Amazon.

Beyond adhering to image requirements for Amazon, high-quality imagery will also make your products come to life for shoppers who can only view them through a screen. Barron used to shoot his own product photos but has since realized the value of investing in hiring a professional product photographer.

“The [photographer’s] photos were much higher quality,” he says. “Your product photo is the No. 1 thing that determines if someone will click on your listing, so you NEED great images.” That means the images should be shot and edited by experienced professionals.

Here’s what can happen if you use an unreliable editing service, for example:

Compare the image above to this professionally shot and edited image:

 

Kern reiterates this sentiment for post-processing, “When color correcting your images, be honest about it. Don’t increase the clarity, vibrance and saturation of the product just for the sake of it,” he says. “You want a realistic representation of that product so when the buyer receives the item, it’s exactly what they saw online before they purchased it.”

Kern also stresses how important it is for products to be shown in scale. “If you’re mocking your product up in photos with backgrounds or objects that it wasn’t originally shown in, it’s super important to represent an accurate scale of the object,” he says. “It also helps, depending on the product, how it next to a ruler or common real-world object so the potential buyer can get an idea of its size.” This is why Amazon photo size rules are important to their overall image requirements.

4. Remember offer level images

If you’re selling used or refurbished products, an “Offer Level” or Listing Photo is also allowed on your product pages. This image displays on Amazon’s Offer listing page, which helps customers differentiate your offer. To add your image, access your Amazon Common Template. Map the field termed as “Main Offer Image” and “Offer Images.”

5. Use a variety of product photos

It is your job to use product photos on your Amazon listing that give customers a detailed view of the item from all perspectives. Not showing in aspects of the product in detail can cost you a potential customer.

This men’s jacket, for example, is photographed on a man from the front and back, both with and without the removable sleeves. The seller could take it up a notch by showing the inside of the jacket as well.

If you’re not sure which angles your customers want to see regarding your product, go to a physical retail store and observe how shoppers interact with merchandise. The interior of handbags, for instance, is often photographed as there are important features there.

“Use pictures with real people,” Barron says. “Pictures of your product in use can increase your conversion rates and grab people's attention.”

You’ll also want to pay attention to the lighting of your photoshoot and how that affects the colors of your photos, especially because they need to look the same way in the photos as they do to the naked eye. “Use an extra light source, and edit the photo afterward to really make it pop,” Termuhlen says. A little bit of post-processing can go a long way.

Kern recommends using a Lightroom preset if you’re editing a batch of photos. “That way, all of the images have a cohesive feel,” he says.

If your budget allows, consider hiring a product photographer. An experienced professional who specializes in your industry and type of products should know which angles to capture. Ask your network for recommendations and peruse directories like Jungle Market or Shopify Experts.

How to Choose a Product Photographer for Your Next Shoot

6. Mind the entire frame

It’s easy to focus on the subject of your image and lose sight of the entire frame. But paying attention to the edges and corners of your photos is super important. You want to fill the frame but also avoid cutting off the subject of your image.

“Make sure the product takes up as much space as possible,” says Barron. “Many people will have too much white space in their photo which makes their product look small in the search results. You want your product to be as big as possible so it's easier to get noticed.”

7. Provide important information

In addition to showcasing your product, you can use Amazon product images to share important information about the item. “If it’s a multi-pack, include a small icon overlay that says 10-pack or whatever count it is,” says Barron. “Call out dimensions and features to draw attention to what makes your product unique.”

Perhaps you create a graphic rendering of the technology behind your spill-proof children’s dishes or show a breakdown of the easy three-step setup for your backpacking tents. This bike trainer stand on Amazon has a few different graphics that show more information about the product:



“While the algorithm weights brand name, product title and description heavily, sellers cannot underestimate the importance of optimized product images,” says Lewis.

How do you optimize your Amazon product photos? What changes have you made in your approach since you first started selling, and what were the results?

This has been updated from the original version posted on April 25, 2017.

Learn how you can outsource your ecommerce image optimization, saving you time and stress

 

Alexandra Sheehan

In her past agency life, Alex has led digital marketing initiatives for Fortune 500 companies. Now, she’s passionate about helping retailers and retail industry leaders harness the power of the written word and fuse it with strategic content, email and social media marketing campaigns.

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