Editor's note: this post was updated on Jan 18, 2019.
Quality Images Or Bust
Online marketplaces are giving product listing images a lot of love these days. In fact, it’s a make or break deal. You either follow their image guidelines or you won’t be able to sell on their platforms – no exceptions. This is because they have evidence to show a direct correlation between quality product images, shopping experience, and conversion rate. Put simply, the better your product images, the more you will sell.
Create Multi-Channel and Mobile Friendly Images
Much of the focus on images in ecommerce is due to the rise of mobile commerce. Smartphones' role in retail has gone from "trend to watch" to dominant influence:
– Digital interactions now influence 56 cents of every dollar spent in brick-and-mortar stores (Source: Retaildive, 2017)
– Amazon attracts most PC users and 87% audience growth on mobile (Source: Smart Insights)
– Nearly one third of page views are from mobile and tablet (Source: Smart Insights)
– In 2018, eBay became one of the most popular mobile shopping apps in the United States with a 31.7 percent audience reach (Source: Statista)
– At least one third of all eBay transactions are ‘touched’ at some point on mobile devices, even if the eventual sale is made via the website.
– Smaller screens mean clean, minimalist design and a focus on the basics. And the basics increasingly mean image composition.
At the end of the day, if your images are subpar, you will struggle to attract both the buyer’s attention and the sale.
This trend is reinforced by the image-focused search and navigation provided by Amazon, eBay, Google Shopping, Etsy, and Facebook. Shoppers now instinctively look at the product image first and foremost, and any additional information second.
This is why it’s important to make sure you use high quality images that meet (and preferably exceed) the channel’s specified guidelines.
Amazon, eBay & Google Shopping Product Image Guidelines
Universal Marketplace Guidelines
Keep your frame simple and showcase your product.
No matter the channel, your images should accurately represent the actual product for sale with minimal or no propping. Be careful when including props or accessories that may mislead the customer into thinking these are part of the product or included with their purchase. This can be very confusing to the consumer.
Follow the current trend calling for large and clean images.
For the best display on all devices, you should ensure products fill 85% or more of the image. Nobody likes a tiny product floating in a sea of white space, especially when viewing on an iPhone! Additionally, make sure your images are 1200 pixels or more on the longest side to ensure that zoom and enlarge features are activated on most marketplaces. Keep in mind that Amazon and eBay (the two largest online marketplaces today) have minimum size requirement of 500 pixels on the longest side—that should be considered an absolute minimum. For the best results regardless of product category, go for large, high quality images of 1600 pixels a side or more.
White backgrounds are the industry standard.
A completely white background (Hex #FFFFFF or RGB 255-255-255) is required for all Amazon MAIN images so that they blend in seamlessly with the search and item detail pages. While not a requirement for additional images on Amazon, and not a requirement on the other marketplaces mentioned here, it is nonetheless highly recommended by each of them. Using a white background has many advantages, from better display on mobile devices to smaller file size. It’s a format customers are used to and comfortable with on all channels and should be considered eCommerce best practice.
Your images represent your brand.
Whatever you decide to do with your images, try to keep them consistent. Consistent images communicate strong brand identity, professionalism, and confidence, all of which help buyers feel more comfortable buying from you. This is especially important in an online marketplace like Facebook or Etsy, which double as social media marketing tools. As of May 2018, 85% of all social media purchases came from Facebook (Disruptive Advertising). And as of August 2018, Etsy has 35.8 million active buyers, 81% of which are returning customers who have discovered brands they love (Expanded Ramblings).
Remember, images are an essential part of online shopping. Images help improve the overall customer experience, and the more time and effort you put into quality images, the higher your return on investment will be.
If you want to quickly and easily bring your product images into marketplace compliance, consider using Pixelz. You can use preset image editing specifications for Amazon, eBay, and other marketplaces with a few quick clicks.
Follow the marketplace product image guidelines above, and you and your customers will be satisfied with the results.