All About Thumbnails: Tips for Creating The Best Product Images for Amazon

Updating the thumbnails, or product images for Amazon, are an easy way to increase conversion rate. Read on to find out where they appear and tips on how to create them!
how to create product images for amazon

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Believe it or not, the brain processes visuals up to 600 times faster than text. The power of visual content is one of the most important tools you can utilize to compete against thousands of competitors, especially on a platform like Amazon.

That’s because no matter how well you explain it in words, images allow you to paint a clear picture for your audience so they “get the point” much faster.

In this blog, we’ll focus on the basics of product images, also known as thumbnails or product photos.

Read on to find out where these images appear and learn how to optimize them for conversions!

What Are Amazon Thumbnails?

If you’ve ever looked for something on Amazon.com, chances are that you’ve scrolled through Amazon thumbnails before. Thumbnails on Amazon are the product images that appear on the product listing page.

Example of where Amazon thumbnails appear on desktop and mobile

Example of where Amazon thumbnails appear on desktop and mobile

Amazon thumbnails, or product images, are image tiles that visually represent your product. These thumbnails on Amazon showcase what the product looks like from different angles, detail specific use cases, and help buyers imagine how it’ll fit into their lifestyle.

What’s A Main Thumbnail?

We’ve talked before about how your product’s main image on Amazon can increase click-through and conversion rate. If you missed it, you can read what to include in thumbnail images, how to create or frame graphics, and the best size for main images in our Best Amazon Image Ratio, Size, and Dimensions Guide.

In summary, Amazon thumbnail sets are made up of 5-7 images, including a “main” image. The main thumbnail is the first one that’s shown to customers and is arguably the most important image in the set of product images.

We like to say that it’s the most important image because it represents your product in search results, in sponsored product ads, and is the only image buyers see before deciding to click for more information.

main images on amazon

Example of main images on Amazon search engine results page

Simple changes to this image can help your product stand out against competitors and boost conversion rate immediately.

For example, choosing to showcase the product in addition to the accessories it comes easily compels a customer to choose to view your listing page. With additional no words, customers immediately understand the value your product provides over a competitor.

amazon product image vs ebc

Thumbnail image vs. EBC image placement

Where Thumbnails And Amazon Images Appear

An Amazon product image appears on the left-hand side of the webpage, when viewing on desktop, or is the first image shown on mobile.

Thumbnail images are often confused with images within the enhanced brand content (EBC) area, also called A+ Content.

The main difference between thumbnail images and A+ Content images is that thumbnails appear at the top of the page. Always.

Meanwhile, A+ Content takes the place of the product description, so those images live further down the page.

Why Images On Amazon Are Important

Images for Amazon are much more than just product photography shots. Whether you’re a small business or an enterprise, optimizing images for Amazon gives you a competitive edge.

Accurately portraying the best benefits and features can:

  • Build brand loyalty
  • Support brand recognition
  • Increase brand value

In fact, 67% of consumers say that the quality of a product image is “very important” in selecting and purchasing the product. Product photos lead the way in comparison to other types of content, as customers value it more than long product descriptions and ratings/reviews.

Creating or commissioning secondary thumbnails in the form of infographic-style images gives you an opportunity to show the customer that your product was made just for them.

Additionally, having a cohesive and strong brand presence in every product photo set makes your brand feel more authentic and trustworthy. Trust builds confidence in your product, and confidence leads to conversions.

How Many Product Photos To Upload To Amazon

Amazon allows sellers to upload up to 9 images and 1 video to a listing.

However, that doesn’t mean customers will be able to see all of the content on the product listing page.

Most categories only showcase 6 images and 1 video at a time. Any other content will only be accessed if a customer clicks on the actual photo to reveal the media viewer on Amazon.

Example of Product Listing Page Content

What to Include In Product Images for Amazon

Oftentimes, Amazon customers shop by jumping around product pages before making their purchase decision.

If you know your target customers are looking at a certain competitor product, conduct a bit of competitor research and compare how your images stack up in comparison to yours.

In addition to prices and reviews, they heavily compare features/benefits and mostly evaluate the images of one to another. So if your competitor calls something out, you want to call it out better.

Video Content Reins Supreme

In order to cultivate a meaningful connection with customers, we recommend all listings feature at least 5 images and 1 video.

Including at least 5 images allows you to accurately portray product benefits and features such as correct sizing, action/lifestyle shots, or comparison charts.

Videos are important to include because research shows videos increase customer spending and decrease time spent browsing. Additionally, four times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it!

If you choose not to upload video content, Amazon announced in July 2020 that non-brands (third-party sellers who sell a branded product but aren’t brand owners) may upload videos to the image section of detail pages.

In order to keep your page’s content consistent, you’ll want to upload a video yourself. It’ll take priority over any highjacker’s upload.

For more insights about what specific content to include in Amazon product images, review our Ultimate Guide to Amazon Listing Optimization.

The Best Aspect Ratio Size for Amazon Product Images

Pay close attention now because we’re sharing a secret that even the pros don’t know.

The best size for your Amazon product images actually depends on which category you’re selling in.

If you’re creating brand new listings on Amazon, do your research on which sub-category you’ll be creating the listings in.

Strategically categorizing your listings not only helps with indexing but also determines how much “space” you’ll be given to display your images.

For example, in the Clothing category, images are often taller and thus, appear rectangular in the frame.

When you compare this to Amazon product images of items in another category, such as Beauty & Personal Care, you’ll see that images in that category are often shown at a 1:1 ratio and appear in a square frame on the listing page.

So, choose wisely when you’re organizing your inventory and handling its logistics. It could make all the difference when it comes to attracting customers.

How to Take Amazon Product Photography

Amazon product photography is an art and a science.

Luckily, nowadays, there are hundreds of photo editing apps that can dramatically speed up the process of taking product photography and reduce the cost of having them edited by a pro.

If you’re taking product photography images yourself, be sure to follow our tips below.

Capture Its Good Sides

Great product photography is similar to a great dating profile. The best photos to upload will capture all the good sides…

… and because every side is its good side, you’ll want to make sure to capture the product at different angles.

The pictures you upload should give others an accurate idea of what it looks like in real life. You wouldn’t want to receive an item in the mail that looks drastically different than was promised, would you?

Taking honest and accurate shots of your product will keep your return rate down and help your account stay in Amazon’s good graces.

Focus & Lighting

Like in a dating profile, group photos should be used sparingly. Sure, you want to show off how many friends (or in this case, products in a line) you have, but you don’t want to draw attention away from the item or confuse the user. Keep the focus on one thing.

Taking high-quality images of the product with proper lighting can help enhance focus. Additionally, limiting a picture of an entire product line to just one thumbnail can prevent users from losing their train of thought and seeking other products.

Benefits & Features

A great photo that converts is about more than looking good. It should portray personality and substance. In this case, think about if your product photography is accurately portraying your brand values.

Additionally, zooming in on important features of the product to communicate the benefits of your specific product is where “I might want this” turns into “I need this now.”

Showing all of the small details of your product creates a connection with the customer and convinces them to click “add to cart” without second guessing.

Pay Attention to the Rules & Image Requirements

You might know by now that Amazon is picky about how the main image is formatted. However, some of those rules, like placing the product on a pure white background, don’t apply to the secondary thumbnails.

That said, here are a few things that do apply to all product images:

  • At least 1000px on one side to allow the photo to be zoom-able
  • Product must take up at least 85% of the frame, unless its a lifestyle image
  • Save it as a JPEG, PNG, TIFF, or GIF

The Takeaway

Amazon thumbnail images are some of the only things you can totally control as a seller or business owner.

When you compare it to the budgets you set for marketing and advertising, it’s also one of the cheapest ways to increase conversions and improve indexing.

Investing in creating solid Amazon product photography assets and product photos is a game-changer.

Whether you’re the one putting in the work, or you’re hiring a team like the experts at Lab 916 to take care of it for you, optimizing secondary Amazon product images is something that you can’t afford to overlook, no matter what category you sell in.

So, keep those product images interesting and follow our tips above to make sure they’re working for you.

Happy optimizing!

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