13 Ways to Create Amazon Product Images that Convert (Including Measuring Effectiveness & Tech Specs)

Post by Tom Baker
01 Jul 2019

We all know that images are a crucial part of a high converting Amazon product detail page. Amazon make a point of stating the case for good images.

The problem is that products come in all shapes and sizes with there own selling points. Each product has a different message to convey. Getting advice about how to create awesome imagery that converts can be a challenge.

In this post I share the basic tech specs and how to measure whether images are improving listing conversion rates.

The key difference, which I present below, is to explain the principles behind great Amazon images. 

Once you understand the underlying principles you can apply them to any product and improve your sales.

Before we jump into the recommendations, let’s first summarise why images are so crucial.

Why is Imagery Important?

  1. A listings without images won’t be indexed by Amazon’s search engine OR listed in any browse categories
  2. Great imagery increases conversion rate. A good conversion rate is extremely important as it boosts organic search rankings which leads to more sales!

What does a Great Product Image Look Like?

Give customers a feel for what the product looks like (front and back) – it sounds obvious, and it is, but it’s also crucial

1: Are Size, Colour or Shape Important to the Purchase Decision?

Make sure this is clear in the imagery. If these attributes are fundamental to the purchase decision e.g. the consumer needs a specific size then make it abundantly clear in the images.

DIY and Home Improvement, is a case in point. Spelling out the important information makes it so much easier for the consumer to have confidence they’re buying the correct item.

Just as you would expect in any DIY catalogue, iBathUK show the product dimensions for this bath plug.

2: Focus on Key Tech Specs e.g. compatibility

Here, Rymerce are selling a shower head that promises outstanding performance and lower water consumption. Great! My next question is, does it fit with my current shower hose?

Whilst there is reference to the fitting in one image, it doesn’t answer this vital question. The answer is in the bullet points but Rymerce are needlessly making this decision harder than it should be.  Simply change ‘fitting’ to ‘universal fitting’ and job done.

3: How Should the Product be Used

This is especially true of new and technical products. Consumers might be in the research phase. They might be wary of hi-tech goods. Or, they might like the idea of the product but not have a clue how to use it.

If the product fits any of these descriptions then use the images to educate. Amazon’s Launchpad section is a good place to look for inspiration. Launchpad is a dedicated space for hardware startups often selling very innovative products. 

The combination of low brand awareness and innovative product means the imagery has to tell a clear, descriptive story.

Tigersecu use a graphic image to show how to use their home security device.

Sometimes startups don’t get it right. Check out this weight-loss headset (no me either). No explanation of how it works and they’re selling for £369. The images have to work so much harder for such an unknown entity.

4: Where it Should/Could it be Used

Often this is obvious. But what if you’re trying to show a variety of use cases or how a piece of furniture or device might fit into the consumer’s lifestyle? How about if location is a way of exhibiting a product feature?

Amazon use a picture of the Echo in a bedroom. They do this to promote their multi-room functionality AND how the variety of colours mean the device can be used in any room. Smart thinking.

5: What Else Comes in the Packaging

This Nikon bundle comes with a ‘20 piece digital assistant kit’. Nikon show those 20 items in the main image. In this case, it’s important to immediately show the added value to dispel any concerns about the higher sales price. 

Nikon could do a way better job of displaying the 20 items, it’s hard to see what they actually are

Here’s a much better example from Tigersecu. Captioning each accessory makes a world of difference.

6: Emphasise Reasons to Buy

Enacfire include icons which emphasise the performance attributes of the product. Reassure consumers by highlighting features and their benefits. 

Use this classic selling tactic to persuade the consumer of the efficacy and quality of your product. Viola Skin clearly state the benefits and use a customer testimonial to validate their claims.

7: Making Claims of Change, Improvement or Protection

Lots of products claim to provide some element of improvement or protection. A classic example is the beauty industry. Consumers are expecting the product to have a visible effect.

In those circumstances it is important to visualise what those changes will be. This anti-wrinkle serum from Lucky Fine claims to improve skin hydration. They include this before and after shot to show the effect. An image tells a much clearer story than any text could.

A claim may not make a visible change but it may protect against change. Sun tan lotion is an obvious example. If your product provides extra protection beyond what a regular sun tan lotion provides, then provide a visual to compare and emphasise the additional benefits. It’s likely that your ‘extra protection’ product is more expensive so showing the reasons why it’s worth more is vital.

8: Clarity of Product Specification

Sometimes the product characteristics may be hard for the customer to visualise. If they are offered a range of options they may not know which is the right one for them.

The finish and colour of a beauty product are classic examples.  For example, a customer may be comparing two shades of foundation. Visualising the change in shade and who each shade is suitable for (if you have X skin type or want Y finish then go for Z) will help the customer to make the right decision.

P20 provide this handy table to explain which SPF to go for depending on skin type and location.

9: Unique Product Qualities

Your produce may include a unique property which sets it apart from the competition. Emphasising this differentiation and the benefits users will derive from this differentiation is hugely effective.

10: Address Common Sticking Points

Your produce may include a unique property which sets it apart from the competition. Emphasising this differentiation and the benefits users will derive from this differentiation is hugely effective.

Frayed wiring is a common complaint with headphones so Beltron highlight the quality of the casing

11: Use People and Scenery that Reflect Target Market and Lifestyle

Amazon use a happy family scene to sell the Echo. Reinforcing the message Amazon want to portray – that voice assistants bring families together for shared experiences.

12: Explain how Technical Product Work

Back to Amazon, here they’re not doing a great job of explaining that the Echo can connect to other Echo devices to play the songs in different rooms. Changing the copy would solve the problem

“Connect to other Echos to play music in other rooms” would provide more context.

13: When to Use and Not Use Packaging

In most cases, the online purchasing experience makes displaying packaging redundant. Don’t include images that just show the packaging. Generally speaking, it won’t aid the purchasing decision so don’t show it.

There are always exceptions to the rule. If the packaging includes vital information that aids the purchase decision then include close-ups of that information.

This could be safety information, ingredients, compatibility and so on. If this information is vital then don’t solely rely on the images to inform the customer. Use the bullet points too.

Your product may be distributed far and wide through retail. The packaging maybe distinctive and core to the product experience. You may also be giving the packaging prominence in your advertising campaigns. 

In those situations you may feel it’s important to include packaging as consumer will recognise the branding when browsing.  

For categories like food and drink, the packaging is integral to brand and product recognition. Sadly, you can’t show a plate of crisps and expect them to sell!

You wouldn’t list Walkers Crisps without showing the packet. But you wouldn’t show the packaging for a bar stool.

One Image, Few Messages

Five images should be enough to communicate the product USPs. Don’t overload the images with too much information. Prioritise.

Convey only one or two key messages in each image.

Tell a story through the images by ensuring that the messaging follows on from one another. 

Place the most important messages in the first and second images.

You’re not obliged to use all 5 spaces.  This is my favourite example of adding an image for the sake of it. That’s a bottle of Nivea sun tan lotion in case you’re wondering.

Deciding Which Image Types to Use

Create a table listing the products and the different image types then decide which are the most important messages to convey. Ideally these should match, complement, clarify and reinforce the messaging in the bullet points.

If you’re unsure what are the most important messages then analyse customer reviews. Extract the most common good and bad comments. Emphasise the good points and address the bad points.

For example, customers might frequently complain that the shade they purchased wasn’t right for their skin. You address this by providing a visual that makes it easier for customers to know whether the product is right for their skin type.

If you don’t have reviews then analyse the reviews of your closest competitors. Follow the same process as above. If the competitors don’t address common customer questions then create images that do. This will give you a competitive advantage. And remember a higher conversion rate means higher rankings and more sales.

Measuring Image Conversion Uplift

A/B testing in the classic sense is impossible. Amazon doesn’t offer the ability to show 50% of users one set of images and the other 50% of user another set of images.

If you have a broad range of similar products and are considering adding more than the basic image types but aren’t sure of the return on investment then here’s what to do

  • Record a benchmark conversion rate for each product – use a long date period but be aware of comparing like-for-like e.g. compare Christmas period to Christmas period not Christmas to January. Also exclude any periods where a discount was applied or other promotional activity was running
  • Select 5 products and produce new, rich imagery that addresses the most appropriate customer pain points addressed in the above list. 
  • Produce significantly different imagery to what is already being used – marginal changes won’t significantly change user behaviour and detecting results will be extremely difficult
  • Replace and publish the new images
  • Don’t change any of the marketing activity that has been running (this will skew the data)
  • Measure any change in conversion rate – give yourself a month or so. If you have lots of traffic and sales then this window can be shortened.
  • Extrapolate that change over a 12 month period and extrapolate across the product range
  • This will give you an expected uplift if the same image changes were applied across all products. If this uplift is more than the cost of producing the images then proceed to roll-out across all products
  • Continue to measure the conversion rate impact and make changes if performance falters.

Amazon Image Technical Specs

Each product listing includes space for 5 images.  Stay as close to these specs as possible. 

Amazon are generally very hot on any violations of their guidance.  Don’t abuse their goodwill but, as you’ll have seen in some of the examples above, this first instruction is often ignored. Don’t go overboard but you do have some leeway here. 

The other three are set in stone. You must adhere to them.

  • Products must fill at least 85% of the image. Images must show only the product that is for sale, with few or no props and with no logos, watermarks or inset images. Images may only contain text that is a part of the product.
  • Main images must have a pure white background, must be a photo (not a drawing) and must not contain excluded accessories. (This only applies to the first image)
  • Images must be at least 1,000 pixels on the longest side and at least 500 pixels on the shortest side to be zoom-able.
  • Images must not exceed 10,000 pixels on the longest side.
  • JPEG is the preferred image format, but you also may use TIFF and GIF files.

In Summary

Images are not just another way of introducing your product to the consumer. They allow the customer to see and contextualise the product. 

When you can’t physically touch a product this visual messaging becomes hugely important.

Understand the key selling points and concerns that your target customer may have. Convert those ideas into clear visual information to give the customer more reasons to purchase.

So, which image strategies are you going to start using? 

Comment below to share your ideas. I reply to all comments 🙂

Tom Baker

The guy writing this stuff. Previously worked in-house doing all sorts of marketing for start-ups and large brands. Now devising marketing strategies and executing for small, medium and large brands.

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