• Yoda Yee

Want a better click through rate (CTR)? Improve your main image

Whether or not it’s true that one picture is worth a thousand words, there’s no doubt that good pictures can add up to thousands of dollars.


Descriptions are crucial - we need explanations of what a product is and why we would want to buy it - but making a purchase, whether in a store or online, is fundamentally a visual enterprise.


Pictures don’t just look, but also feel better than words, and if you want people to click on your post - let alone on that “Buy Now” button - you’re going to have to make them like what they see, not just what you tell them.


What is allowed?


Let’s start with the basics: the picture should obviously be a fair representation of what is being sold. Beyond that, Amazon has a helpful list of standards and requirements to follow for all posted pictures, including:

  • Products filling most (at least 85%) of the screen

  • No funny business (nudity or suggestive images)

  • No Amazon logos

  • Amazon likes JPEGs but you can also use PNG, GIF or TIFF files.


For primary images, specifically, standards include:

  • Professionally shot pictures of the real product (in its entirety), outside its box, against a pure white background

  • Don’t include multiple angles of the product in a single image

  • Don’t put text, logos, color blocks or water marks over top of the image or in the background

  • Unless it’s some piece of jewelry like a necklace, show the entire product that is for sale, don’t cut it off at the edge of the frame

  • Clothes models must be standing (not sitting, kneeling, leaning or lying down)

  • Neither kids’ nor babies’ clothes can be shown on a human model, just invisible mannequins or flat surfaces

  • Don’t include accessories not part of the purchase. Don’t include a hoop if all you’re selling is the basketball, and don’t include a bike if all you’re selling is a helmet


Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes* and don’t alienate them - remember that if they feel like you’re trying to get one over on them, or if they feel confused, they will quickly move one to the next item. Your item is one of many on any Amazon page.


Just because you’re constrained by a certain simplicity in your main picture doesn’t mean that it has to be boring. If your product has got some unique features, show them off. Does it bend? Is it colorful? Accentuate the best parts of it to get people through the virtual door.


As the main ticket into a post, the primary image needs to be bold, clear and enticing to the shopper. You are limited, however, by guidelines and best practices - keeping in mind that you don’t want to overload a main picture that will sit alongside many others as people scroll down a search.


*Incidentally, if you’re actually trying to sell shoes, the picture must be of a single shoe at a 45-degree angle to the left.


I’ve got them to click, now what?


The main picture may be the most important, but it’s also the most constrained. The real magic happens on the rest of the visual real estate, with 8 additional images available per post to make your case.


Make the most of it - use action shots, different settings and backgrounds, different angles, use text to and other overlays to highlight special features, and generally show the buyer how and where they can use your product.


Got some fancy packaging? Show it.


Got cool internal mechanisms that make the item tick? Do a cool 3D rendering.


Is the product designed to improve something? Throw in some before and after pictures.


Show them where your product fits into their daily life, or better yet, the lifestyle they want to have.


Don’t cheap out here, make a professional job of it. Trust us, you’ll lose more with shoddy imagery than with whatever you would spend on a proper shoot.


For any picture you put up, it’s important that you maximise the resolution of the image. Not only does this make it look better in the first place, but it also allows shoppers to zoom in on them and see the finer details. This is especially true if what you’re selling has smaller details that people would want to focus on.


It’s business, but try to have fun with it - the buyer can usually tell.


Need help?

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Old Street Media supports businesses with their advertising, inventory management, and other eCommerce services. We work with over 4000 brands and have helped generate $600M in sales in the past year.

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