256 Product photography strategies with Rob Sleath of MightyServices Part 2 of 2
Hello and welcome back to Amazing FBA. Today we’re diving into part two of the interview I did with my wonderful business partner, Rob Sleath. Last week we focused on product photography for sellers and products new to Amazon. This time we’ll be covering strategies to use with professional product photographers.
How to Choose a Product Photographer
Photographers have many of different specializations. It’s important to choose a photographer that’s familiar with the Amazon ecosystem, one who understands the relationship with customers you want to have, and one who has experience in exactly what you want to have done. It’s vital that you choose a photographer that knows what you want, even if you don’t entirely know what you want.
Most of the successful outsourcers I’ve worked with have been brighter than me, and have a habit of managing upwards. It’s essential to surround yourself with people who can provide guidance in their area of expertise even if that guidance may be contrary to your initial expectations.
Quality product images should achieve a few simple but vital things. First and foremost they should achieve increased click-through rates for your products. Next, they must provide an accurate visual representation of the products size, color, material, and features. Finally, excellent product photos should limit future negative reviews that could arise due to improperly reproduced characteristics of your item. In 2018 very few people can even find the features and details, let alone read them. Your images need to tell the entire story for your listing.
If you want to tell a story properly through visual imagery that will lead to successful listings in the Amazon marketplace, it starts with competitor research. Head over to the listings, find out what’s working, and more importantly, find out what’s not. Identify the misconceptions regarding your and your competitor’s listings. Look at the questions. Questions can be a gold mine for informing what you should be showing in your photos. How many come in a package? What is it made out of? How big is it? All of these questions can be answered with quality photography.
Justifying the Cost of Professional Photography
Go on Fiverr; have a look at what they have to offer. The services that you’ll find from low-cost providers aren’t going to give you the results you’re looking for in the Amazon marketplace. In fact, when you factor in all the add-ons and feature up-selling you’ll need to create a listing, you’re probably going to end up paying just as much money as you’d pay a professional, but for an inferior product!
Costs don’t exist in a vacuum. It’s imperative that you compare any money you’re spending on photography with costs elsewhere. Giveaways and PPC won’t gain you a thing if your product photography doesn’t convert sales. The main image in your listing is likely the most important thing about that listing.
Producing a Main Image That’s Impossible to Scroll Past
People often feel restricted in what they can do regarding their main image. The background must have a white background. The product has to fill at least 80 percent of the field, and the current resolution is up to 2,000 pixels. It’s a good idea to take the pictures in a much higher resolution in case things change concerning images in the future. If the image is going to be viewed on mobile (which it likely is), it should be taken in portrait. Pictures displayed in portrait appear bigger on mobile devices.
The most crucial factors in creating a quality image that converts sales are identifying the properties of a good product image and communicating to your photographer how to reproduce them. Sit down, look at what you like about your competitor’s pictures, and consult with your photographer about how to achieve these characteristics. An excellent product photographer wants your listings to succeed as much as you do; they operate in a sector of the economy in which repeat business and referrals are vital to the very survival of their business. Essentially, your success is their success.
How much Great Photography Matters
Let’s do an experiment. Head over to eBay and search for a popular item such as a Barbie Doll. Choose a new in box version of a specific model. Click over to the completed listings, and observe the selling price and image quality for each. Some people will use the listing photos from the manufacturer.
Some will use pictures from Amazon or other ecommerce sites. Others chuck the doll on the carpet and take a picture. Some will have reflections off the box. Others photograph every side of the box. Some take one photo. Others take ten. These items should all sell for the same price! They’re exactly the same! They don’t. Image quality matters as much as or more than any other attribute of the listing.
Be open with your photographer. Tell them for how much you’re going to list your product. Demonstrate the problem or vacuum in the market that you’re trying to solve or fill. Show them your competitor’s listings. Show them the specific images you’d like to emulate and characteristics you want to avoid. Share with them questions on your competitors’ listings that you’d like answered in your product photographs. Work together to develop a visual brand storytelling style.
Approach the situation with ideas about how you want to display your product, but be open to expert opinion. Think of your photographer as a product image consultant. Make sure they understand your brand identity. Make the photographer a part of the product development process. Start a conversation about lifestyle images and holistic brandings. You can spend as much or as little as you want on lifestyle images. Utilize your photographer in making these decisions. Decide what you want to achieve and how much you want to invest.
Anything that can give you an edge over your competitors helps. If you show a product that would make an excellent gift wrapped up nicely under a Christmas tree, it’s going to give you an advantage. Don’t try to do this in the main image, but in the lifestyle image, you can do many things to set yourself apart. Think ahead. If your listing will thrive on Mothers Day, Fathers Day, American Independence Day and Christmas, take a few holiday-specific photos straight away and save them for when they become relevant.
Tips for Split Testing with Images on Amazon
Never trust your assumptions. Be humble. Even someone who’s been doing this a very long time can make mistakes in judgment. You should always be running a test, and photos might be the most important thing to be testing. Change the image order. Change the main image if you’ve got the resources. Intuition can be your worst enemy when creating listings.
Integrating Text and Infographics to Increase Profitability & Sales
Just because you have only seven or eight image slots doesn’t mean you can show only seven or eight images. You can use composite images where you show a product from different angles or shows the item in a multi-pack. You can zoom in on product features and have photos taken to highlight things like moisture resistance with droplets of water beading up on the fabric. Be creative. Know your market. Americans might want something completely different than your French, German or English customers. Make sure your pictures (and the words you’re using in them) tell the story specific consumers in your market to want to hear. The details matter.
Product photography isn’t just about putting an item on a white background and snapping a picture. It’s really about trying to optimize a holistic view of your product. Your photos should maximize conversion rate and get your product in front of the right customers. The listing should make potential buyers feel confident that they’ve made the right decision by choosing your product.
Where to find Rob:
Before you run off to search for a product photographer, I wanted to let you know about the Amazing FBA’s Mentoring Program. I’m doing this now because the current mentoring program at its current price point will soon be going away. Right now, for £300 per month, you can get two 90-minute monthly sessions and email support geared toward helping you launch your first private label product. I’m only taking one or two more clients on at this price point. When it comes back, it’s going to be a part of a complete course, which will be more valuable, but also more expensive. If you’d like to take advantage of this offer you’ll need:
- At least £5,000 in inventory money
- 20 hours a week to devote to building a business
- Six months of your time to spend as well
If you’d like to learn more head over to AmazingFBA.com/Mentoring