However, visibility isn’t everything when it comes to eCommerce platforms. Although Amazon might offer the world’s largest customer base for you to show your products to, smaller marketplaces (such as Walmart) have less competition, making it possible to attract more buyers. In addition, individual web stores give you far more customization and allow you to personalize the shopping experience instead of following photo requirements from other eCommerce platforms.
But the key component to increase profit isn’t just selling on the right platform. It’s about utilizing multiple eCommerce platforms and expanding your reach.
Selling on Multiple Different Platforms
Managing several different eCommerce platforms is one problem, but something that few business owners realize is that showcasing your products through photos is a little more involved than most might think.
Statistically speaking, around 73 percent of sellers that use eCommerce platforms find it’s difficult to actually show product photos on their chosen platform. This is due to a number of different reasons:
- Sellers don’t know much about the platforms. Not every seller has a deep understanding of the platforms they are using to sell their products.
- Every platform has different requirements. Whether it’s image size, type or even dimensions, each platform has different requirements for product photos.
- Photo requirements are always changing even on the same platform. Even if you’ve been with the same platform for months, their requirements might change, and you usually aren’t notified of these changes.
- Finding the exact image requirements is difficult. To make things harder, actually finding the image requirements can be tough because certain requirements might not be disclosed or are hidden.
- Following image requirements can be tough. Lastly, actually following the photo requirements can be tricky.
Solving the Problem of Photo Requirements
Thankfully, it’s rather simple to solve the five issues above. Below, we’ll go through a couple of the most popular platforms and their specific photo requirements.
Technical requirements for Amazon photos
- Amazon requires all submitted images to either be in TIFF, JPEG, Gif or PNG format.
- Dimensions must be at least 1000 or larger in either height or width preferred
- sRGB or CMYK color mode
- File names must also contain the product identifier, followed by a period and the appropriate file extension name
- File names must not contain additional characters, spaces or dashes
Photo Requirements for Amazon
- The image must be the cover art or a professional photograph of the product
- Drawings, illustrations and concept art cannot be used
- The image must not contain gratuitous or confusing objects in addition to the product
- The image must be in focus, lit professionally, photographed or scanned with realistic colors and edges
- For books, music, video, and DVD, the images used must be the front cover art and fill 100% of the image frame
- Products should fill roughly 85% of the image frame
- The entire product has to be in the image
- Backgrounds must be pure white (RGB 255, 255, 255)
- The image must not contain additional text, images, and graphics
- Offensive and pornographic materials must not be used
Technical requirements for Etsy images
- Profile photo: 400 x 400 pixels
- Shop icon: 500 x 500 pixels
- Shop banner: 760 x 100 pixels
- Cover photo: 3360 x 840 pixels maximum, 1200 x 300 pixels minimum
- Team logo: 170 x 100 pixels
- Item listing photo: at least 1000 pixels wide
Photo Requirements for Etsy
- Images must be horizontal or square to ensure the focal point of the image appears in cropped thumbnail views
- The product must be centered in the photograph due to how Etsy automatically crops images for use as gallery images and thumbnails
- If prints and original artwork are being sold, it’s recommended not to use the digital file, but a photograph of the artwork itself
- Brand logos and images can be added, but Etsy advises against using watermarks because it makes the images unsuitable for off-site advertising programs
Technical requirements for eBay images
- eBay recommends photos that are at least 1600 pixels on the longest side but enforces at least 500 pixels
- eBay supports JPEG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, and GIF
- If the photo is in JPEG format, it must have a quality of at least 90 on the JPEG quality scale
- Photos must not have text or borders on them
- Listings must have at least one photo
- Stock photos can only be used for new and unused items
- Used items must have pictures taken that show the item in its current condition
Photo Requirements for eBay
- It’s recommended to use a plain and uncluttered background to make the focus on the item itself and not the background
- Light images evenly by turning off the flash on your device and ensuring lights are even across the entire object
- Hold your camera steady so that the image isn’t blurred
- Capture high-resolution pictures when possible to give sharp details and avoid blurring
- Fill the entire frame with your item
- Capture the product using several angles
- When possible, use another item to show the scale of your item
- Don’t use filters or tint the colors in your photos
- Detailed close-up shots are recommended
- Don’t add extra items or props to the product photos
- Name files so they make sense when you look back at your photos
- Always double-check your photos closely before uploading
Technical requirements for Jet.com images
- Image source must contain a valid URL
- 1500 x 1500 pixels or larger is recommended
- 500 x 500 pixels is the minimum
- Images should not contain retailer-specific marketing language
- Remove all “no image available” images
- com accepts BMP, JPEG, JPG, PJPEG, TIFF, GIf and PNG
Photo Requirements for Jet.com
- Only the actual product must be displayed without props and models
- Images cannot contain anything offensive or profane
- Images containing prohibited content must be removed or blacked out
General Photo Requirements That All Platforms Suggest
You may have noticed that several of these eCommerce platforms have suggested some guidelines for their images and that all of these photo requirements share some similarities. We’ve compiled them to create a simple list of recommendations that all of your photos, regardless of the platform they’re on, should follow.
Recommended Image Sizes
It’s always good to use a larger image. Make sure the source image (directly from the camera you’re using) is always at maximum quality. This ensures that quality remains consistent throughout the image’s use. For instance, if the image needs to be downscaled, then it will still look great. However, if eCommerce platforms require you to use a larger image, then you don’t need to stretch a small photo.
Required Background Colors
It’s important to remain as consistent as possible when picking background colors. For most products, a white background is preferred.
Image Frame, Borders, and Logos
Most eCommerce platforms require you to remove any frames and borders from the image. This shouldn’t be a problem as long as you use the source image that you take from your camera. Most eCommerce platforms also allow you to use a custom brand image or logo if the product is created by you, but they do not recommend that you use watermarks.
In order to give your customers an accurate representation of what you plan to sell, make sure you use accurate colors to represent your product. This is especially important if your product is advertised as being a certain color, or if you’re selling wearable fashion items where the color is important. This means no passing the image through filters and no using third-party tools in an attempt to change the colors.
Number of Images Provided
Providing more images is always a good idea, but what you take a picture of is important. If your product is large, make sure you take pictures of it from several different angles. If you’re selling a detailed product such as a bag, then make sure you take close-up shots of the details. If you’re trying to sell something very expensive, then make sure you take photographs that help to confirm it’s authentic such as labels or even receipts.
All eCommerce platforms recommend professional lighting, but this isn’t always possible. Instead, make sure you try and light the product evenly. Turn off the flash on your camera and make sure the room you’re taking pictures in is well-lit. Avoid taking pictures outside if the sun is creating too much shadow that obstructs your product or the details you’re trying to capture.
Lastly, make sure the image you’re submitting is the original source file whenever possible. This guarantees excellent photo quality and consistency on all of your promotional materials.
Interpreting the Product Photo Requirements
Even though the photo requirements for product photos are relatively consistent throughout all eCommerce platforms, there are a couple of different ways you can interpret them depending on the platform that you pick, and also the type of products that you sell.
When you’re selling products on a personal site, you can afford to be a little more personalized with how you take or edit your pictures. For Instance, if you’re planning on selling fashionable clothing items, then the styling and theme of your website can play a big part in the overall appearance of your product photos. You’ll want models to actually wear your products and to take flattering pictures of them using your clothes, going against the photo requirements of not using models in your photos. Of course, it’s always a good idea to take clear shots of the clothing on its own as well, but it’s never a bad idea to include pictures that include a model wearing the product too.
Technical aspects are important on a per-platform basis. For instance, compression methods and file sizes might be regulated due to the site wanting to be mobile-friendly. In addition, most eCommerce platforms want to keep consistent image quality throughout the site, hence why they’ll ask for color profiles to be consistent with their own, or image sizes and margins to follow their photo requirements. Technical aspects are often chosen for performance and consistency reasons and are often easy to follow.
Picking the Right Platform for Your Products
Lastly, we should also mention selling on the right platform for your products. Whether it’s Amazon, Etsy, eBay or Wayfair, it’s important to look at the eCommerce platforms you’ve chosen and sell the right products (and thus, take the right photographs) to ensure maximum visibility and profit.
The Amazon marketplace is excellent for virtually all types of products, but the Home and Kitchen section has been growing steadily over the past year. Consumer electronics are always rising, and the pantry section has also been growing significantly. This makes Amazon a great choice for all types of products.
Etsy is well-known for handmade products. This can include clothing, furniture, jewelry, toys, and games, or even stickers and candles. If it’s something that you’ve made by hand, then it’s a great product to put on Etsy.
eBay is an online marketplace that is excellent for selling old antiques and rare items. If you’ve only got a handful of stock, then eBay can be a brilliant way to get started with your business. Some of the busiest sections include books, video games (especially retro or out-of-production goods), refurbished electronics and even bikes.
Wayfair is known for its home furnishing selection. This includes appliances, bed, and bath, decor, pillows, rugs or even full-sized furniture.
JewelStreet is full of beautiful jewelry and accessories fit for both men and women. It’s an excellent platform to sell jewelry and there are already hundreds of designers that sell their products through JewelStreet.
Overstock is another platform that specializes in home goods. From furniture to home decor and even jewelry, Overstock contains a wide selection of home and personal products, making it a fantastic site to sell a wide range of different goods.
It’s important to utilize multiple eCommerce platforms for your business. While it might sound confusing to follow the many different photo requirements, with enough organization and understanding it’s actually far simpler than it seems. Using the right photos can drastically improve your chances of making a profit on all eCommerce platforms that you use.