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Amazon Sellers: Image Guidelines and Why You Should Follow Them

  • Ecommerce
  • April 12, 2016 | Bethany McDonald

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

This adage is especially true for online sellers, as poor quality and unhelpful product photos can turn customers off, while vibrant, dynamic, well-composed photos can differentiate your business from the competition, entice shoppers to buy, and ultimately drive sales.

Amazon understands this and, as a result, has created a set of image guidelines to help sellers on its marketplace showcase their products in the best possible light and foster continuity across its website. If you sell goods on Amazon, it’s important to follow these guidelines; failure to do so could result in Amazon removing the offending photos and, potentially, your product listing.

Image Basics and Specifications

Amazon product listings must have at least one primary, or “main,” image, and can have up to eight secondary images. The main image is the first photo that customers see when clicking on the product page and is also used to represent the item in search result pages. Additional images may be used to show different angles or details, or to illustrate the product in use or styled in a particular setting with props.

The size of the image uploaded is critical, not only for quality purposes, but also to enable the zoom function. According to Amazon, the ability to zoom in on photos has been proven to increase sales. Photos must be at least 500 pixels on the longest side; however, Amazon recommends uploading images sized 1,000 pixels or greater on the longest side, which will enable the zoom function.

Although JPEG image file types are preferred, Amazon also accepts GIF and TIFF image file formats. Amazon stipulates that it is the seller’s responsibility to verify and ensure that all photos are used legally and do not infringe on any copyrighted licenses. In addition, images with watermarks or superimposed logos will not be accepted.

Image Standards

Main image: All images used must accurately represent the product you are selling. As such, there should be little to no props or additional accessories used in the main image, nor can the main image depict drawings or other non-photo graphics. For all categories, main images must have a pure white background in order to blend in with the search and item detail pages. In addition, the product must fill 85 percent of the main image dimensions.

Additional images: Although not required, Amazon allows sellers to upload eight additional images to showcase the product. Additional images do not have to be against a white background, and may contain props and accessories, as long as they don’t cause customer confusion as to what’s included in the purchase price.

Special Categories

In addition to the above mentioned universal image specifications and standards, certain product categories may have additional guidelines. For example, all children’s apparel must be photographed flat and not on a model. Footwear images should be of the shoes only and not of the shoes in a box or next to the shoebox. In addition, images of intimate apparel, lingerie, and swimwear products, as well as adult products, may not appear vulgar or lewd, as determined by Amazon site editors. Graphic sexual images or nudity are not allowed, nor are bars or other graphics used to hide exposed genitalia or breasts. Thongs and panties that don’t provide full coverage must be photographed on a non-human model.

Understanding Amazon’s image guidelines is the first step in developing high-quality listings. A customer typically looks at the photo first and reads the description second. Therefore, in order to succeed on the Amazon Marketplace, take the time -- or consider hiring a professional -- to create high-impact photos that are as clear and compelling as your product descriptions.

Avalara Author
Bethany McDonald
Avalara Author Bethany McDonald