Your product images quality must be high

It’s a Sunday evening, you’re all cozied up under you warmest blanket and you happen to find yourself in one of those aimless, rabbit-hole scrolls down Instagram Lane or Facebook Avenue, perusing the Metaverse.

You come across an advert for a pair of black leather gloves. Well, wouldn’t you know it, you just happen to be in the market for – you guessed it, they guessed it – Black. Leather. Gloves. Funny that…

At this point you’re already sold. Your initial response is positive, the product description touches on every cloud of doubt in your mind. Everything is coming up Jackson*  All you need is one final, clear look at those gloves to ease your purchasing mind, so you click on the photo to enlarge it and… wait a minute… What in the seven hells is this? How did I miss this?!

On careful examination, you discover a blurry image with crop marks around the gloves in a what seems to be a ‘Photoshop for Dummies’ effort at the quick selection tool. On further inspection, you also notice a deep fondness for drop-shadows. Why so much shadow? WHAT ARE THEY HIDING?!

These gloves quickly went from a sure-fire purchase, to a ‘Do not show and more ads from this advertiser’, as if their mission had been to push you through a reverse customer funnel.

So, how can a single image end up becoming the Harbinger of Destruction for your online store?

It’s simple. One image (or video) ends up becoming the only true touch point – or, point of reference – your customers have to your products. In this case, the black leather gloves.

The eCommerce ecosystem effectively removes your ability (& prerogative for that matter) to touch or examine a product up close, be it an item of clothing, or a piece of tech. Ergo, the product image becomes the consumer’s Alpha & Omega (Not to be mistaken with the Omicron Co-Vid variant).

*Jackson is a lie.

Keep in mind that every sales channel or marketplace has their own rules and regulations in place for acceptable image use – with various specifications and requirements to be aware of. On a general level, the difference between a mediocre image and a magnificent image could mean:

  • Higher capability in grabbing the shopper’s attention.
  • Increased CTR (Click-through-rate).
  • Reduced cart abandonment.
  • Further driving sales.
  • Decreased number of returns – therefore, decreased number of unsatisfied customers & by proxy returns, or negative reviews.
  • Increased consumer trust & increased legitimacy

To help all of you budding product-listers extraordinaire, I have compiled some handy tips & information on marketplace image practices to help make your images into the best versions of themselves they can possibly be. #ImageLyfe

 

As previously mentioned, each sales-channel & medium (desktop & mobile) follow their own sets of rules and specifications for product images. Let’s take a look at a handful of specific examples.

 

The Big Daddy, Amazon

Let’s start off with Amazon because, well… Amazon. And also because Amazon is, by far, the strictest bouncer at the ‘Look at That’  image club.

Though, looking at it from a glass half-full perspective, the benefit you get from optimizing your images for Amazon as a first step in your product image endeavors is quite serviceable. Because of the level of strictness in effect, you can generally use these images as a quality benchmark and then adjust for other platforms where necessary.

For Amazon then, your main product image must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • The image has to be a photograph or cover art of the product.
  • The image must be clear & not contain any additional objects that may confuse the viewer.
  • The image must be in focus, well-lit & maintain realistic colors.
  • Music, DVD & Book photos should be of their front cover and take up the entire frame.
  • Other products should take up 85% of the frame.
  • The product has to be in full view.
  • The background color must be pure white  (RGB 255.255.255)
  • No graphic elements or text is allowed on the main product image.

These requirements apply to the images themselves. Also to note, are the file requirements which go something like this:

  • Only TIFF, JPEG, GIF & PNG file formats are accepted.
  • Minimum dimensions are 1000×1000 pixels.
  • Only sRGB or CMYK color spaces are accepted.
  • The image file name must consist of the product UPC (identifier) followed by a period & then the file extension.

 

eBay Gives You a Bit More leeWay.

Ebay is slightly more forgiving than amazon but generally follows a similar template. The main takeaways, being:

  • Uploaded images can be up to 7MB in size.
  • You can use images hosted on other websites but make sure that they are HTTPS compliant. Images uploaded through this method  can be up to 12MB in size.
  • Ebay recommends using images that are at least 1600 pixels on their longest side. The minimum resolution however, is 500×500 pixels.
  • Only TIFF, JPEG, GIF, PNG & BMP file formats are supported.

 

Google Doesn’t Give a ****

OK, maybe they give a tiny ****. Though the requirements for Google Shopping are nowhere near the level of scrutiny you’ll find with Amazon & to a lesser extent, eBay. You just need to adhere to the following criteria:

  • Only TIFF, GIF, JPEG or PNG file formats supported.
  • Minimum dimensions for all products is 100×100 pixels. (250×250 pixels for clothes).
  • Max resolution set to 64 Megapixels.
  • 16MB maximum file size.

File requirements & image specs are one thing. Though, if the image itself is lackluster, all of your image optimizations will be for naught. Take the following points into consideration.

 

The Higher the Resolution, the Better!

 

As your customers’ only product reference, pristine image quality is everything in the world of eCommerce.

This makes your company/business or brand seem more professional and trustworthy – and with that legitimacy, comes an effective reduction of returns or exchanges, and by proxy, negative reviews or comments.

 

Shake What Yo’ Mama Gave Ya

 

Make use of the product itself. Use various dimensions, angles & perspectives which showcase & highlight your product strengths.

Take a dress, for example. Consider showcasing a 360 degree view, showing off particularly appealing angles  or elements that may be eye-catching to the consumer.

On the other side of the product spectrum, if you’re showcasing something like a hotel room or property, select and display photos from various perspectives. Avoid showing the customer the same thing over and over again.

Accurate color & lighting (and in result shadows) are also important in their ability to give your product a more natural feel that generally tends to strike a chord with consumers.

 

Crop Until You Can’t Crop No More

 

Because of this white-background requirement most sales-channels have in place, you should make the most of the space that you are given & prominently display your product in a way that fills out as much of the white space as possible.

Finally, all images should retain a consistent crop ratio in order to avoid a sloppy overall storefront image.

 

The Social Experiment

 

While most shopping channels discourage creative ads or creative images, social sales channels, like Facebook and Instagram, flip that restriction on its head & encourage your ads (images) to do the talking.

There are some recommendations that Facebook throws your way, though they feel more obligatory than anything substantial. Some of the hits include:

  • Ideally, images are on a white backdrop. (Emphasis on ideally).
  • Showcase the whole product and easy to identify/understand.
  • Capture the product in real life situation or in-context photos.
  • Showcase the product in various angles.
  • Do not include text such as promo codes, or Call-to-Actions.
  • Do not include images with watermarks.

Considering that your main ad text & CTAs are generally handled off-photo but within the ad itself, this point is the biggest non-recommendation on here.

Finally, as with other channels, there are size specifications to take into account which are listed below, but as I like to say, when in doubt, square it out!

Image sizes specifications:

  • Instagram Shopping and Carousel Ads:
    Must be square (1:1) aspect ratio.
    Minimum image size is 500 by 500 pixels.
    1024×1024 pixels recommended size for best quality.
  • For single image ads:
    Images display at a 1.91:1 aspect ratio.
    500×500 pixels minimum image size.
    1200×628 pixels recommended size for best quality.
  • The file size is limited to 8 MB.

You should make the most of the free rein you’re given when using social sales channels. Standing-out, stands out (nice, huh?) as one of the most important objectives when advertising on these channels. You want to grab the shoppers attention as soon as possible. By including key attributes such as price, product name, and relevant product information on a single slide, customers will instantly have their questions answered, and thus will ensure that more clicks are coming in from qualified customers.

Finally —staying true to the social dynamic — make sure to utilize every tool at your disposal, including customer reviews or special offers. Take advantage of ‘big-budget’ occasions like Black Friday or Valentine’s day and get creative with special offers or promotions that can fit your desired purpose.

You’ve got the specs, you’ve got the recs, and now you’ve read the texts. By putting all of this into practice, you give yourself the best chance for success.

Your product images quality must be high

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