Quality Images Or Bust
Online marketplaces are giving product listing images a lot of love these days. In fact, its a make or break deal. You either have professional pictures 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. To put some numbers behind this idea, eBay has found that product listings with high quality images are 5% more likely to sell than those without them. Furthermore, as you add additional professional product images to the same listing, you are 2% more likely to convert for each additional image added to the listing! This means that if you compare a product listing with one ‘amateur’ image to another listing with 6 professional images, the listing with professional pictures is 15% more likely to sell! Yes, it’s time to start snapping product pictures.
Create Multi-Channel and Mobile Friendly Images
Much of the focus on images in ecommerce is due to the rise of mobile commerce. The use of smartphones has increased significantly during the last couple of years and it’s changing shopping habits:
– 80% of smartphone owners want more mobile-optimized product information while they’re shopping in stores (Source: Moosylvania, 2013)
– Amazon attracts most PC users and 87% audience growth on Mobile (Source: Smart Insights)
– Nearly ⅓ of page views are from Mobiles and tablets (Source: Smart Insights)
– Mobile users represented 40% of eBay Inc.’s 36 million new users and accounts in 2013, contributing $35 billion in enabled commerce volume (Source: Yahoo Finance)
– 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 means images.
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 and Google Shopping. 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.
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 assure 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! Besides this, make sure your images are 1200 pixels or more on the longest size will ensure that zoom and enlarge features are activated on most marketplaces. Keep in mind that Amazon and eBay’s minimum size requirement of 500 pixels on the longest side should be considered an absolute minimum. For the best results regardless of product category, go for large, high quality images of 1600 pixels 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 at all on eBay or Google, it is nonetheless highly recommended by all channels. 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 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.
Amazon, eBay & Google Shopping Product Image Guidelines
Remember, images are an essential part of online shopping. Images drive customer confidence, but they’re no longer just a nice-to-have; For ultimate selling success, quality images are a need-to-have. 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.
Follow the marketplace product image guidelines above, and you and your customers will be satisfied with the results.