One of the most common mistakes for new Amazon sellers is uploading unsuitable main product images. Scroll through a bunch of Amazon listings, and you’re sure to find a few main images that are just terrible. It’s a rampant problem.
Amazon has strict rules in place for main product images, but it can’t screen every single image that every seller uploads. For that reason, there are plenty of terrible main images that slip through the cracks and don’t get detected by Amazon right away. But that doesn’t mean that the seller who posted them is in the clear. Amazon doesn’t like it when sellers break its rules, and it’s not a matter of if—it’s a matter of when you get caught.
Though there are probably some shameless rule-breakers out there, we understand that most Amazon sellers upload bad main images because they simply haven’t read through the rules. Now, we’re not here to tell you exactly what Amazon’s image requirements are. It would be a waste of time for us to list through every single rule that Amazon has. You should go directly to Amazon for that. Instead, we’ll tell you exactly WHY it’s important to follow Amazon’s regulations for main product images.
Amazon Knows What Types of Images Sell
Amazon bases its product image requirements around three simple concepts: honesty, clarity and marketability. Seems like common sense. So, why are so many people failing to do it right?
Let’s break down each one:
- Honesty — Amazon wants to maintain its honest reputation, so they want to ensure sellers aren’t overselling the product and making it seem like something it’s not.
- Clarity — Amazon wants product photos to be clearly understood by the buyer. The main product image should contain only the product and it should be an accurate representation of the product (not skewed or made to look bigger or better than it is).
- Marketability — Amazon wants to sell product as much as you do! The product image should be professionally done: it should be in sharp focus, it should use realistic colors, and look appealing.
When you start to think about Amazon’s product image requirements around these three concepts, it all suddenly makes sense. Of course, still be sure to refresh yourself on all of Amazon’s rules and format requirements from their website here (this is just a basic list; go to Seller Central to get the best, most up to date information).
Now below are a couple examples of product images up on Amazon. The first one doesn’t follow Amazon’s product image requirements. The second image, taken by our Strong Estate photographer, does meet all of Amazon’s product image requirements.
What Your Product Images Shouldn’t Look Like
You can probably already see some issues with this main product image just by looking at it—main images need to have pure white backgrounds, and this certainly does not! But let’s work through it by comparing it to the three guidelines we listed above.
- Honesty — What’s the product in this picture? It’s hard to tell. From the image, it appears to be a bag of mystery contents!
- Clarity — The product is only a small part of the image and the buyer isn’t sure what they are looking at.
- Marketability — Unprofessional shot of the product with a person’s hand filling the frame, an unnecessary backdrop, and nothing that makes a customer want to buy.
The image does follow some of the Amazon guidelines, but it breaks quite a few as well. You don’t want to take a risk with a product photo like this one.
What Your Product Images Should Look Like
Now compare the Amazon product image above to this one here. The difference is night and day! But let’s break it down like before.
- Honesty — The image shows only the product and everything that comes with it. There is no confusion about what the product is supposed to be. (In this case, it really is a bag… no mystery contents J)
- Clarity — The image shows all the features of the product and all its parts. It’s clear, focused, and properly sized, filling up most of the frame without any parts cut off.
- Marketability — The pure white background puts the product at the forefront. The product photo is a professional shot, doesn’t have any visual noise or inset images and text, and it looks attractive to browsing customers.
Clearly this main product photo is a better fit for Amazon. As long as the proper upload specifications are followed, Amazon won’t have any issue using this product image on their website!
The Consequences of Breaking Amazon’s Image Requirements
When you don’t follow the product photo requirements set by Amazon, you’re not only self-sabotaging by making your listing look less honest, clear, and marketable. You’re also putting your whole ecommerce business at risk, thanks to the watchdogs at Amazon corporate. You don’t want to risk account suspension just because you uploaded an unsuitable photo! If Amazon catches you with a bad main image, it could take weeks or even months to have access to your account again. That costs you a lot of time, stress, and sales.
It may seem like a hassle to get your product images professionally done. We get it… it costs money. But it’s totally worth it! It’s only a one-time cost per product. The fantastic new image will draw more customers to your listing and inspire them to buy. Plus, you won’t be risking your seller account.
Not every photographer knows Amazon’s rules, so make sure to get a professional product photographer who is experienced with Amazon and ecommerce. If you’d like to talk further about Amazon listing images, you can contact Strong Estate Photography here or go straight to our Order page to order your images!