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Creating Eye-catching Product Photography with Rachel Greer and David Johnson, Cascadia

April 26, 2018

A picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to Amazon product photos, these photos can help increase clicks and conversion, making the pictures one of the most pivotal parts of your listing. The three most important parts of your listing are your title, your bullet points, and photos. If you don’t take enough care when doing your photos, it not only means a lack of sales, it also means you could lose thousands dealing with returns.

In this episode, we’re giving you three reasons why your photos need to be perfect plus strategies to make them better.

“It first has to meet Amazon’s requirements and second it has to make people want to click,” says former Amazonian Rachel Greer.

That’s Rachel Greer, she’s our Amazon Insider for this episode and she said it right there. The short answer to why good photos are important, why you have to care about your photos. You need to make sure they meet Amazon requirements and make people want to click, but there are other reasons that go beyond that. First, your photo is your photo for your sponsored product ads. Second, good photos reduce product complaints and third, photos can also increase conversion. Now we’re going to break those reasons down and give a little more insight into each one.

1) Your photo is also your ad creative.

Whether you run sponsored product ad campaigns or not, your first initial product photo serves as an advertisement for the product.

“So, you always have to think of your listing as an ad. So, that’s the first and most important piece is that is your ad creative and so that picture needs to do double duty,” Rachel says.

To get a good initial product photo, you need to first make sure you’re following Amazon’s guideline. Most products are required to be on a white background but it does vary some based on category. For example, handmade items aren’t required to be on a white background.

You also don’t need a bunch of fancy equipment to get a good photo. You can order and use a white lightbox but you can also take photos with a white sheet draped over a chair then using a website like Clipping Magic, you can easily remove the background.

A couple other things to keep in mind, that initial photo is meant to showcase the product. You want to make sure that your photo makes the product look like how the product looks like in real life. If you take your photos and feel like the colors look different or your product looks different, go back and try again or play with Photoshop to make sure it looks exactly how it looks in real life.

“The main image is purely for showing the entire product in a box with a white background,” says David Johnson, an in-house photographer at Cascadia.

The main product image is simple but it’s crucial to help customers know exactly what they’re getting.

That brings us to our second point.

2) Good photos reduce complaints about your products.

If your product looks the exact same in person than it does in pictures. You’re in great shape. If it doesn’t match or something is weird with your photos, Amazon can and will just remove the photos.

“One time they said a picture was ‘too orange.’ So in that, the picture had just been saturated in a way that made it look not the way it looked in person and there were enough complaints that Amazon shut off the pictures and the pictures had to be re-uploaded and re-done,” Rachel says.

Also, you can have a big issue with returns if your photos and the actual product don’t match.

“It’s especially hard in clothing because people expect a certain thing and you want to make sure that your pictures represent that and it’s especially important for returns because if you are putting pictures up of a product that doesn’t represent what it looks like people get it, they’re going to say, ‘this isn’t what I saw on the picture and more likely to return it,’’ David says.

3) Good photos increase conversion.

When people are clicking through your photos, they’re checking to see if your product will work for them.

“Because it is hard to visualize on Amazon, it’s flat screen and you’ve got to somehow visualize a 3D object and pictures have to do that somehow,” Rachel says.

This is where you can start to get creative. You want to think about how to really sell your product and you’ll mainly be doing this in your alternate or lifestyle photos.

“The alternate images are for telling a story basically what your product is about what it can do, who’s going to use it so you want to use models that would be using your product,” David says.

Another way to get you thinking about how to photograph your products, look at magazines, flip through catalogs and take notes on what they’re doing to bring your attention to the products. Also, look at your competition. See what they’re doing and try to go a different route to stand out.

Plus, don’t forget videos. They can help tell a story about a product better than any bullet points and photos can do. David recently did a video for skirts.

“These skirts are very bouncy and so when you turn or move, they swish around and you can really only capture that aspect with a video,” David says.

One last space to gain insight about creating lifestyle photos is your reviews. How are previous customers talking about how your product looks or works? You can take that information and use them to update photos or create a new photoshoot based on that feedback.

Ultimately all your photos need to tell the story of your product and showcase an accurate depiction. It’s one of the most vital pieces of your listing.

“People will buy it if they think it’s going to solve their problem,” Rachel says.

Thank you to Rachel and David with Cascadia for giving us a lot of insight on product photos, why they’re important and ways to improve. If you’d like their help, reach out to them at thinkcascadia.com.

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