Why is Good Product Photography So Important on Amazon?
It will come as no surprise to hear that attention spans are at an all time low. Your Amazon listing is competing for eye-time with just about everything else in your customers’ lives, after all.
It’s there vying for space among their chores and daily obligations. Get online and it’s competing with breaking news and the freshest social media drama. Go on Amazon and it’s still competing with dozens of similar products, each screaming louder than the last to capture those eyeballs.
It’s nothing personal. Life today is just information overload, and your product is simply one more piece in the messy puzzle we call the modern world.
So what can you do to grab that all-important attention from the start? What could turn your listing from just another on-screen thumbnail to the cash cow you’ve dreamed of?
The answer, you ask?
Excellent product photography.
Get this right and you could see your pockets lined with money of the cold hard variety. Get it wrong and…well let’s just say that new yacht you wanted will have to wait.
Yes, we know your product is great. You think ‘what difference will a few pictures make?’ And anyway, shouldn’t the value of my product shine through without resorting to such nefarious photography tricks?
In an ideal world, yes. But we don’t live in an ideal world, we live in a world of spiders and poverty and people who put pineapple on pizzas.
The fact is that humans are very visual creatures. We have some of the most advanced eyesight in the animal kingdom. We also have very short attention spans. This means to grab our attention you need to excite our visual receptors (also known as ‘eyes’) and do it quick.
Colors, angles, lighting and context can all make the difference between a photoset that converts and one that crashes
Of course, the rest of your listing needs to be up to scratch too. But without that super-special photography to snatch their attention away from your competitors, it’s less likely to get that initial click. The result? Suffering sales…and no yacht.
Giving Your Photography Star Power
Now you’re probably wondering how to get these photos that can apparently turn your fortunes right around. And naturally, you’re gonna stumble across plenty of conflicting information in your quest to find out.
So let’s make things easy for you.
Firstly, no you probably can’t create suitably high-quality photos yourself (unless photography is a passion of yours and you’re skilled with the camera).
Secondly, no you don’t need to pay four-figure sums to a professional studio either. That’s overkill, and think of all the starving kids you could help with that money instead.
What you need is a middle option where you get the photos you need without a price tag that resembles a mortgage. Better yet, by following the simple steps laid out in this guide, you’ll find your listings enjoying all the benefits that good photographs can bring.
To fully flesh out your photo game you need a mixture of studio, lifestyle, and graphic design photos.
Most sellers manage one or two, but rarely do you get a seller who nails all three – and that’s where you can set yourself apart, get your photos right, and swoop in for major profit.
We’ll now go over the following parts to help you get a good understanding of each –
Studio Images (Including the BEASTLY Hero Image)
First up, studio images. There are the classic product-only shots on that all-important white background. You know, the ones everyone associates with e-commerce products.
This is it. The Big Daddy. The Alpha and Omega of listing photography. Does discussing it first make it kinda anticlimactic? Maybe, but you’re here to learn so listen up.
First off, getting the lighting right is absolutely critical, and if you don’t have extensive experience of photo-lighting then don’t even attempt to tackle this yourself. This is big boy stuff.
When hiring a photographer to get these shots, take a look at their portfolio to check their lighting game is on point. Also remember that product photography takes a different skillset to animal photography or architectural photography, for example, so your guy or gal should ideally demonstrate a few shots in the style you’re looking for.
Check these out to get an idea of what you’re after –
You should also think about what angles your product will look most flattering from and show off its main features (though this little tip applies to all photos in your listing). Think about it – would you be more likely to click on a photo of the underside of a car, or one taken from a front-side angle that highlights the bold contours, strength and sex appeal of the vehicle?
We recommend you have a minimum of FOUR fantastic angles to shoot from. Better still, try to snap it from an angle none of your page-one competitors have, so yours is presented in a fresh new light!
Finally, get any imperfections removed with a few professional image touch-ups and split test those Hero Images you’re torn between to see what gets the best engagement (don’t worry, it won’t mess up your keyword indexing or ranking).
If you’re new to all this product photography and image editing business then we recommend hiring a small handful of designers off sites such as Fiverr or Upwork to see how they do. It may seem like overkill, but out of that bunch you’re likely to find the right one for you
The Hero Image
Now, among your studio shots will be your Hero Image. This is your principal image – the one that appears initially in everything connected to your listing. It’s the first thing people see and the single biggest factor to getting your product noticed.
This means that getting your Hero Image right is absolutely critical. Crucial. Invaluable (Insert other words denoting importance here).
If you take nothing else from this whole article, remember this – your Hero Image needs to be so good it’ll take less than a second for your customers to spot it in a sea of similar images and decide this is the ideal product for them.
Use the tips above to ensure your Hero Image is a winner.
Lifestyle Photos With Model
A good lifestyle photo will show the product being used as it should.
A GREAT lifestyle photo will show the product being used with a clear demonstration of the main product benefit being felt.
Managed to make your audience literally feel how the product will improve their life with one photo? Then you’ve hit the bullseye, my friend.
But wait, this all sounds like some Jedi mind trick advertising, right? Wrong. Because doing this is more simple than you’d imagine.
First up, the model you’re using in your image should resemble your target audience as closely as possible. They need to be able to put themselves in the model’s shoes so firmly that they can feel the dirt/sand/other interesting terrain beneath their feet. We’re talking matching ages, clothing, socioeconomic indicators, ethnicity, subculture tells, the whole lot.
Remember, the closer your model is to the target audience visually, the more your target audience will identify with them, envisage your product’s impact on their life and, finally, BUY from you.
Now a few tips on lifestyle photography –
Graphic Design Images
The least appreciated of the three image siblings is graphic design photos. These are images that use additional graphics to bring attention to the benefits of the product and quickly get important information across to shoppers.
A lot of sellers seem to skip graphic design photos based on a misunderstanding of Amazon’s rules. But contrary to popular belief, graphic design photos are only restricted from being used as the main image, and can freely be used elsewhere.
That’s lucky, because graphic design images can be deadly when used right. The matter of how to use graphic design photos right, however, depends entirely on your product.
Because of this, we’ve created a list of the different types of graphic design photos you can take advantage of. Each has certain benefits that can be used to powerful effect with the right product…
For all the benefits of online buying (the lower prices, the readily available info, great delivery options), the fact remains that buyers can’t physically see or handle their product until it arrives at their door.
This opens up all kinds of problem situations where the item turns out to be too small for practical use or too big to even fit in the customer’s room. After all, the camera can be very deceiving…
Scale images sort this out by providing measurements on the product photos, or place it alongside another item for relative comparison.
This means less confusion, more informed customers, and a sharp decrease in 1-star reviews from buyers who actually know the size of the item they’re purchasing!
Consequently, scale images are especially important for products such as –
If your product is part of a fabulous promotion then show it in pictures!
A promotion image essentially demonstrates the offer the product is part of in visual form, as seen in these examples –
Promotions can be especially effective with products that people generally buy in bulk or will be re-buying regularly. The part of Amazon’s pages that demonstrate promos for products are often easy to scroll past, so doing a promotion image can be super-effective.
Your product promo offers can include buy one get one free (BOGOF), cross promotions (‘if you buy this then you get that for 10% off’), and promotion tiers.
A common but effective type of graphic design image, product callout images basically pair a photo of the product with a description of some highlighted benefit. Simple and powerful.
Here’s a few tips on how to make your product callout images really pop –
This one’s pretty straightforward and a great choice if your product is oh-so much better than the competition.
Just create an image comparing your product to a few select competitor brands. And, of course, your product will come out on top.
(Be careful, however, as if your product is not objectively better than the rest then this tactic may backfire!)
A great choice if your product is unfamiliar, needs installing, or is not immediately obvious in how it works.
An instructional image essentially demonstrates how to set up and/or use your product, clearly and understandably. This overcomes some customer ambiguity, helps them envisage using it, and dispels those sale-killing doubts that come from confusion over what your product does or how it works.
Packing List Image
These are great for products that come as a set or have many different components.
Packing list images essentially demonstrate everything included in the pack when you purchase. This lets customers know what they’re getting and, again, removes the confusion that stops your market buying from you.
Pair a packing list image with a description of the contents in the main body of text and let your customers know exactly what they’re getting!
Got a product that’s super-useful? Want to show how many ways it can be used?
Then multiple-uses images are just what you need to bring the value and utility of your product to life!
With these images you can illustrate all the ways your product can be used – swiftly and clearly.
You can even demonstrate some of the more creative ways the product can add value to the buyer’s life too.
A good option for anyone offering a bonus freebie with their product. A bonus image will demonstrate your free gift to your buyers, making it that much more tangible and appealing.
Image Breakdown of the Average Amazon Listing
Best Practice Guidelines
Nothing really, that just about covers it.
Of course, these are just guidelines for best practise and you’ll likely find yourself making your own rules and tactically breaking others if your product calls for it.
But until then, follow these tips to get those images shining their best, your product looking irresistible, and your listings converting like crazy.
Danny Carlson is a 27 year old entrepreneur, podcaster, & lifestyle architect. He started his first business producing extreme downhill longboarding videos in 2014 & has since grown the Amazon FBA Agency “Kenji ROI” to more than 10 team members.
Danny is also host of the Actualize Freedom Podcast & the Danny Carlson Podcast completing more than 60 interviews with names like Daniel DiPiazza, Steve Sims, Manny Coats, & Kevin King.
Residing in Bali his off time is spent doing standing acrobatics, ripping sport motorcycles, & training at Nirvana Strength.