Eye Catching Amazon Product Images
By guest writer Steve Kang, VP, Slanted Frame Photography | March 3rd, 2016
In e-commerce, product photos are a pivotal element of every detail page. It is a powerful, wordless marketing tool and the primary visual aid that complements listing descriptions. As an Amazon seller myself for the last year and a half and as the chief creative scene designer; I constantly test different methods for shooting the most impactful and compelling product photos possible. It definitely pushes my creativity skills to 11 on a scale of 1 to 10.
Like you, I too am motivated to obtain higher conversion rates for my product listings. The table below is a snapshot of my product sales. The gray highlighted rows are the areas of focus. In the beginning all my product photos were on white backgrounds. In September 2015, I uploaded one additional image of a model demonstrating my product. This photo was a new scene that I quickly set up. I really didn’t change the listing after that. You can see the trend in sales through November 2015.
From my experience, the following are 3 Key Elements to produce engaging images for your Amazon detail page.
Key Element #1: The White Background
Amazon requires that backgrounds must be pure white (RGB 255,255,255), but there is a good reason for this: Products shot on white look clean and pristine. A white background emphasizes the true colors of the product without distraction. Notice how these products stand out compared to the one with color.
Check out the major difference with these examples…
The Infuser Bottle:
The Tripod Stool:
Different Points of View
Whenever appropriate, images with your product from different angles can be advantageous. It provides a near 3D experience. For example, showing the ingredients or directions printed on the back of a package is an information rich perspective. The top side, back and/or bottom becomes a helpful virtual product demo.
Keep in mind that if you hire a professional, product photos with a white background are the most cost effective. A good option for sellers on a tight budget as no special effects required, this basic option results in a much faster turnaround which means you can start selling sooner.
Key Element #2: Product-In-Use Photographs
Product-In-Use photos portray the product’s intended purpose through still life photos. This type of photo depicts a compelling story of how it can benefit the buyer. In this scenario, there is a real life setting enabling the prospect to picture themselves using your product (pun intended). For example, a person wrapped in a blanket; or a cat/dog napping on a pet bed; or an outdoor home security camera mounted on the door. Each variation shows a particular product in intended action.
These product-in-use photos provide an opportunity to answer potential usage questions consumers may have.
Clockwise: From top left – FrogTite Dry Bag, Cinchwares Meal Containers,
Winzone Knee Brace, Sories Vegetable Peeler w/Red Silicone Handle
The above are examples of a very effective product -in-use approach also known as Photo Scenes. We include a human model to demonstrate product features. It allows the buyers to connect with the product. The more the buyer can relate to it, the more likely they will buy product.
The old adage, “Keep It Simple” is a sound guideline for Photo Scenes too. Every product-in-use photograph is deemed a custom project which is a cost consideration. Like anything, it’s always best to shop around for a photography service that fits your budget.
Key Element #3: Packaging & Additional Accessories Photographs
Make sure everything that comes with your product is shown in one of your photos. This is especially important if your product is sold with accessories, or as a kit, or bundle. That said, avoid showing any products that customers will not actually be receiving. The latter gives customers cause to rate the product negatively with a comment like, “Not as shown” whether they return it or not.
I recommend a picture of your outer packaging as well. This way, the customer knows what to expect. It also requires that you keep your photos current as sometimes packaging does evolve over time.
Your Selling Opportunity
If you are on Amazon’s Professional Seller Plan, you can upload up to 9 images. Use ALL of those slots. The first 7 image slots give you a chance to make your best impression on a buyer, as these are the only images that will be shown on the Amazon mobile app. Here is a sample set of photos for a product listing based on descriptions and sales copy:
This image is your Main image on a white background.
For this particular image, the Customer had specifically requested that they add some human legs to the image.
This shot clearly shows the product in a dramatic way. The photographer was lying on the ground while the photo is being taken.
This photo shows how to wear the product. The photo shows that the compression sleeves provide a tight fit and it’s relative size.
The primary shot of this photo is to show how the knee sleeves can be used.
This photo is intended to provide the buyer with an idea that he/she can use the knee sleeves for lunge type exercises. Using the dumbbell as a prop, it just simply plants an idea in the buyer.
This shot provides an aerial view of the knee sleeves. It is intended to show as much of the sleeves as possible along with its logo.
The primary focus of this photo is to show how the
knee sleeves can be used for running stairs. Showing enough of the staircase was challenging for this photo because the staircase was pretty narrow.
Your Action Plan
Amazon calls your first picture, the Primary or Main image. It is the first image customers see on an item’s detail page and from any search results or browse pages. This one should be the product plus any accessories on a white background. In general, the first couple photos should be on that good ol’ white background. Amazon also recommends that. As the buyer gets familiar with the product, the images can transition to any appropriate product-in-use photos that convey features and applications.
Slanted Frame Photography is based in Pittsburgh, PA. His expertise focuses on creating use cases and photo scenes for marketing purposes for consumer products. He loves to research product listings on Amazon, loves electronics and is a seller on Amazon.com.