Common Amazon Seller Content Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

For the new seller, Amazon can be a tricky platform to navigate. The marketplace has many lengthy guidelines that sellers must follow, related to anything from the content you can publish, to logistical requirements like how quickly you need to respond to customer inquiries or ship products after they are ordered. Because of the number of detailed guidelines, it can be easy to make mistakes, especially for the first-time seller.

Below are some of the most common content-related mistakes made by Amazon sellers, and how to avoid them.

1. Not optimizing your written content

When it comes to selling on Amazon, it is not enough to simply list your product and hope shoppers will make a purchase. Optimized copywriting that takes full advantage of formatting allowances, character limits and search engine optimization (SEO) is key in ensuring your products are searchable to the Amazon audience. Most Amazon categories allow for five feature bullets and up to 2,000 characters in the product description – this is valuable real estate for SEO-friendly keywords that will drive traffic to your product. Another important tip to note is to present the most important information upfront, within the product title and feature bullets, leaving additional information and more narrative content further down in the long description. 

Need help with optimized Amazon product listings? Learn more here.

2. Not localizing your content for the market

For sellers expanding into new markets for the first time, it is important to remember to localize your content for the specific geographical area in which you are selling. This may seem obvious when it comes to selling in different languages – but taking into account the subtle differences in the spelling of certain English words between Canada, the US and the UK shows that you’ve put thought into marketing your products in those areas. In terms of presenting your content in different languages, it is worth investing in a professional translation service to ensure your copy is properly interpreted and makes just as much sense to a shopper across the globe.

Looking for a professional who can translate and localize your content on Amazon? We can help.

3. Not following eCommerce photography standards

The ideal way to showcase your product in a hero image is to make sure the product is set up alone on a white background. This ensures shoppers can see exactly what it is they are buying, and excludes any potential distractions within the frame. For Amazon, it is important to ensure your product takes up at least 85% of the total frame and that there isn’t any small text on the image that would render un-readable on mobile. While you can have infographics and lifestyle images within your gallery, the leading image should be your product on a white background.

Need to fill your Amazon image gallery with great photography? See what we can do for you.

4. Constantly changing or updating your content

While it is okay – and sometimes important – to make updates to your content every now and then, you should aim to create product content that is evergreen (meaning it can stay the same season to season). Each time you make a significant change to your Amazon product listing, the search algorithm re-indexes your page, potentially leading to a decrease in your organic ranking. Including seasonal promotions in your title, bullets or images can date your listing if not removed immediately after the promotional period, and so should be kept to a minimum.

If your Amazon content is in need of a refresh, see how we can optimize it once for better ranking.

5. Not paying attention to the real people

For a first-time Amazon seller, it can be easy to forget about “the other guys” on Amazon. Your goal in selling on a marketplace is to direct shoppers to your page over your competitor’s. As such, it is important to understand what your competitors are doing on Amazon – including what kind of content they are using to market their products. Complete a brief competitive landscape analysis to make sure your content is at a comparable or higher quality than other sellers’.

Perhaps even more important than understanding your competitors is understanding your shoppers. Pay attention to your reviews and customer questions when you receive them, responding to people in a timely manner. Before you receive your first reviews, check out reviews on your competitors’ product listings and make sure your content reflects common questions about the kinds of products you are selling.

Trying to do everything on your own as a new Amazon seller, without the help of an Amazon content expert, can be a daunting task. From account setup and management, to inventory coordination, to content creation, the Amazon marketplace can seem overwhelming at times. These content mistakes are common to many first-time sellers and can be easily avoided by following the tips provided.

Need to WOW Your Online Shoppers? Capture Every Product Angle with 360 Degree Photography

With more customers shopping online than ever before, a well-presented image gallery is becoming increasingly important for eCommerce sellers. Without the ability for customers to pick up a product, feel it, and experience all of its details as they would in a brick and mortar store, it is critical that sellers provide their online shoppers with a comparable experience.

Through 360 degree photography and video, your customers can view your products from all angles. In some cases they can even interact with the file to drag, rotate, zoom and more. This provides an engaging online experience, allows a shopper to gain a better understanding of your product, and can lead to increased sales.

360 Still Photography and Seamless Videos

The 360 views of a product can live in an image gallery as individual still photos that showcase the product’s front, back and sides. These images can be used to fill up your online gallery with photos that provide information about the product. Various angles provide the 360 view experience on websites or platforms that do not allow for video integration. Adding text call-outs and infographic elements to these 360 product images can further engage shoppers and re-enforce the value of the product.

When listing your product on your own website or on a marketplace or platform that allows video, multiple images can be encoded together to create a seamless 360 degree image of the product. To create a spinning product video, the product must be placed on a turntable and rotated while multiple shots are taken in succession, capturing the product in all possible angles (25-100 shots are recommended to make the movement as smooth as possible, but you can create a spinning image with as few as four images). These images are then stitched together to create a video in a seamless loop.Video Player00:0800:24

Still 360 degree images and seamless videos work best on marketplaces like Amazon where a dedicated image gallery sits above-the-fold of a product listing and entices a shopper to click to view photos and a video. On Amazon specifically, a video capture of a 360 spin image would be created and uploaded to your image gallery in an .mp4 file format.

Interactive 360 Images

Taking it one step further, 360 product spin videos embedded on your own eCommerce website – or another platform that allows for them – can include interactive components like drag-to-rotate technology that allows a customer to take control of their view of the product. Shoppers can spin to focus in on specific points of interest, which adds another layer of interaction to your product page or website.

Interactive 360 degree images also allow for audio integration. Additional graphic components like text call-outs can be added frame-by-frame to act as interesting pop-ups and provide more information to the customer in an intriguing way.

Why Go 360?

eCommerce is a competitive space and it is important to continue evolving and enhancing the content that is being presented to your online customers. By leveraging 360 photography and spin videos, you give your shoppers the chance to better understand your product and to engage with it in an interesting way. Not only that, but you prove to the market that you can be innovative and able to work with the latest technologies.

At geekspeak, we create interactive and enticing 360 product images and videos using exciting state-of-the-art equipment in our in-house photo studio. Let’s see how we can improve your product pages with better photography.

Going Mobile: How to Ensure Your Content Fits a Smaller Screen

Let’s face it: we are now in a mobile-first world. From social media apps to eCommerce marketplaces, consumers are now using mobile devices as the primary tool to search for and purchase items. In fact, it is projected that worldwide, consumers will spend $669 billion USD via mobile shopping this year alone.

When it comes to creating content to fit mobile searchers’ screens, there are three main areas of focus: Written Content, Imagery and Web Design. Here are the top five tips for eCommerce mobile optimization within these three focus areas.

1.  Written Content: Shorten your copy as much as possible

It is important to recognize the reading habits of those who consume information on their mobile devices, as well as how that information is presented by default. Long paragraphs of text appear even longer on a smartphone and therefore come across as time-consuming and cumbersome.

Optimize your written content for mobile devices by cutting your paragraphs wherever possible and leveraging bulleted lists to present product information to your shoppers. When creating content for mobile, give your consumers exactly what they need in the most succinct way possible. They’re likely on-the-go or looking for the first product that makes sense for their needs.

Want to learn more about how geekspeak’s content optimization? Click here.

2.  Written Content: Leverage mobile-friendly keywords

A slightly more advanced method of optimizing your written content for a mobile audience is to perform specific keyword research that targets mobile users. Using a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner, you can actually see the search volume trends of keywords used on mobile devices as opposed to desktops.

Using this tool, it is possible to choose keywords that are linked with high mobile search volume, incorporating them into your text where relevant and in some cases, replacing lower volume keywords all together. Take this keyword research one step further by considering voice search. Consumers are increasingly searching for products via virtual assistants or voice-to-text technology, and the format of their keywords are therefore changing. For specifics, check out our last blog post on optimizing product content for voice search.

3.  Imagery: Update infographics

Infographics are excellent tools for visually telling a product story and giving your shoppers a snapshot of product specifications, benefits, applications and more. Calling out multiple features on one image can work on a desktop, but it is important to think of how that same infographic will translate onto a smaller screen. Limit text on images and make sure that the copy is large enough to be easily read on mobile.

A good tip to follow is to focus each infographic on one major feature of your product, allowing you to place the focus on the most important specifications while highlighting them in a way that is visually appealing to a mobile shopper.

Learn about image processing here or reach out to discuss your specific infographic needs.

4.  Imagery: Simplify photography

Taking the last point one step further, it is critical that you simplify all product images for mobile, not only your infographics. Product photography that features busy backgrounds, packaging with small text, or very small image sizes may not come across on mobile as they do on a desktop.

Make sure the most important features of your product are highlighted in photography by cropping wherever required, or ensuring your images are zoomable on a mobile device. The best practice in eCommerce is to present your product by itself on a plain, white background to avoid distractions. If you need to leverage graphic elements to call out features that get lost in a smaller image, don’t be afraid to do so (if they are simple and leverage readable text).

Click here to learn more about product photography by geekspeak.

5.  Web Design: Keep user experience in mind

In addition to optimizing your product content, both written and visual, it is key that your website or product page leads to a positive experience for the mobile shopper. Responsive web design has become less of an option and more of a requirement, with search tools like Google giving ranking priority to websites who leverage mobile layouts. Your copy may feature the right keywords and content length and your images may be clear and simple, but if your page fits a desktop layout only, that content will get lost on the mobile shopper.

Mobile optimization is not a simple, one-step fix but taking the time to ensure your content is created for all shoppers and devices can mean the difference between a sale and a bounce.

Are you getting the most out of your Amazon Ads? Here’s how to perform your own campaign audit and find out.

As an Amazon advertiser, it is a critical practice to actively manage your campaigns and audit them frequently for inconsistencies, information regarding which of your products are performing best, and clues surrounding areas of improvement or optimization.

Without this high-touch approach to advertising, your PPC campaigns could be sitting stagnant, using up your budget with little return. If you have Amazon PPC campaigns that have been running for a while without much review, it may be time to take a look at how they are performing.

Follow this simple checklist and assess where your own PPC campaigns may have room to improve.

The Basic Audit: ACoS, Budget and CTS

1. ACoS

Start with ACoS, or Advertising Cost of Sales. The formula for this is ACoS = ad spend / sales. Is your ACoS under the threshold? In order to decide what is a reasonable ACoS for your unique campaign, you first need to calculate your profit margin. Make sure to include every cost to your business such as manufacturing costs, Amazon fees, and even yours and your employees’ salaries if applicable. Unless you are new to the market and using PPC advertising for branding purposes, your ACoS should always be lower than your profit margin.

2. Budget

Next, move on to your budget. Is your campaign exhausting its daily budget? Select three days of the last week to see if the campaign has exceeded its budget in any of those three days.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

From this example, we can see that our first campaign is running smoothly, but the second campaign has been having some budget issues. When this happens, it means the ads in your campaign are missing out their potential views and clicks because once you’ve exceeded your budget for the day, your campaigns are paused.

Your next step would be to check data for the previous 30 days. If your ACoS for this campaign is under its threshold, then it is advisable to increase your daily budget by 20%. If the ACoS is over the threshold, then it is time to dig a little deeper to determine why your budget is being exhausted.

3. Click Through Rate:

Now is the time to check your CTR or Click Through Rate. CTR indicates how relevant your keywords are to the product at hand. If the CTR of any one product is less than 0.1%, you might want to double check how relevant your chosen keywords are to your product. It is also recommended to check the competitiveness of your bidding to ensure your product is visible in prominent placement. If you are in Seller Central, check out your Placement Report to gain better insight about your campaign’s CTR.

More in Depth: Search Term Report

Once you’ve completed a basic audit of your campaigns and have gained some insight into their performance, you can now move into a more in-depth audit by taking a look at your Search Term Report.

Organize the report in descending order, by Clicks. Look for keywords and search terms that generated the most clicks but did not generate sales. Determine if that search term is actually related to your product. If not, then move that term into the negative keyword list.

If the term is relevant, then review the product description in detail to see if the keyword is being properly showcased throughout your product listing.

Going Even Deeper: The Competition

After you have performed an audit of your own PPC campaigns, the next step is to check out the competition. How are your competitors performing and what could you be doing to improve your own results?

  1. Determine who your biggest competitor is and go through their product listings to collect ideas on how to optimize your own product description page.
  2. Perform a reverse ASIN search to see what keywords are driving sales to your competitor’s listing. There are various tools available like Sellics and Keyword Inspector that will allow you to find this information.
  3. Look at their reviews to determine what customers like or dislike about the competitive product and bring those important insights back to your own offering.

Auditing your competitors’ listings brings great insight to your own and helps you understand why customers may be purchasing comparable products from different companies.

It can be challenging and often time consuming to actively manage your own PPC efforts on Amazon. Third-party SEM Managers that perform regular audits and lead your campaigns for you are often more accurate and of higher value to your business.

Selling Products on Amazon? 5 Reasons Why Your Brand Needs an Amazon Advertising Strategy

With more and more online shoppers turning to Amazon to search for and purchase products every day, there is a higher expectation for quality content and more competition than ever before. If you are a brand that is currently selling on Amazon, then you know first-hand that this is true. Last week, we wrote about a new update to Amazon PPC ad placement that changes the way advertisers leverage Amazon as a strategy, and can lead to massive returns.

If you are not already advertising on Amazon, it is now more important than ever to get started. Here are the top five reasons you should be taking advantage of Amazon ads.

1. There are over 300 million customers on Amazon

Not only that, but the number keeps growing. The people who own these 300 million active Amazon accounts are shopping regularly in every category, meaning you don’t necessarily want to reach every single one of them, but the odds of your target audience being represented within that 300 million is extremely high. Leveraging Amazon PPC, you can target by keyword to ensure you’re zoning in on those users that matter the most to your brand.

2. Over 50% of American consumers use Amazon as the first step in a product search

Google is still a search powerhouse but when it comes to products specifically, Amazon is the resource most often used as a first step in research. As online shoppers compare products in their early searches, your own products could be showing up through high quality, targeted Amazon ads. If you need help gauging what high quality Amazon advertising looks like, learn more about our Amazon PPC services or schedule a call with us to find out.

3. Shoppers see your ad when their purchase intent is high

Reiterating our last point, more people in the United States use Amazon to search for products over Google. When these shoppers are viewing your Amazon ads, they are doing so while they are already in the mindset to make a purchase and are one step closer to adding a product to their shopping cart. With engaging copy and visuals, your product ads on Amazon have the power to lead shoppers to click on your product over that of a competitor.

4. You can choose the type of ad that works for your brand

There are currently three different Amazon PPC ad options that you can choose from, depending on your account type, unique brand and products, business objectives, and of course budget. Sponsored Product Ads show up above search results and have recently begun appearing within organic search results based on the keywords you choose to rank for. Headline Ads now appear in Amazon’s header area, sidebar area, or below search results, and are typically more generic based on relevant keywords. Finally, Product Display Ads – available only to Amazon Vendors – are located on the sidebar of related product listing pages. The types of Amazon ads you choose, as well as their landing pages, are strategic in nature and based on your unique brand.

5. There are experts available to help you

Whether you are completely new to Amazon advertising, or don’t have the bandwidth to manage your campaigns internally, the geekspeak team is available to help. With 15 years of industry experience, our team of SEM Experts live and breathe Amazon. From an audit of your Amazon Marketing Service or Seller Central account,  to ongoing PPC management, geekspeak can work alongside you every step of the way. We are up-to-date on Amazon’s changing trends and will ensure you know about the important updates that are relevant to you like new ad placements or upcoming changes to your dashboard.

Is Amazon Changing Its Ad Placement? What This Means for Amazon Advertising and Advertisers

Anyone selling on Amazon knows that it is not only a great marketplace to showcase your products, but it’s also very competitive. Sellers on the platform, especially those leveraging Amazon advertising management services, have often taken advantage of Amazon’s Sponsored Product and Headline Ad features to grow sales. These features have seen some changes through the years and it seems new updates may be on the way.

Amazon has changed its ad placement for both Sponsored Product Ads and Headline Ads.

A quick view on Amazon today will reveal some of these changes. For one, Sponsored Product Ads have traditionally appeared at the top and bottom of a search results page, making it obvious and recognizable for the consumer that what they are seeing is an Amazon Ad. Now it seems however, an online shopper can search for a term and be presented with a results page that appears to show Sponsored Ads both at the top of the list AND displayed amongst the organic results.

Additionally, Amazon advertisers who are interested in purchasing real estate in the form of Headline Ads can do so with up to five placement options. Prior to today, Headline Ads were placed in only one available position – the traditional headline position (at the top of the landing page) all advertisers know.


This update is great news for Seller Central brands advertising on Amazon. For Sponsored Product Ads in particular, advertisers could see higher click through rates because middle placement ads blend into organic search results, making the “Sponsored” notice less glaring to the shopper. Consumers tend to skip over Headline Ads and top-level Sponsored Product Ads so this update allows brands to catch the eye of a consumer who may have previously missed out on their sponsored product.

In addition, this update could lead to fewer bidding wars for top positions, which will positively impact cost per conversion and present more opportunities for Amazon sellers with limited advertising budgets.

When it comes to the news surrounding Headline Ads, more placement options mean a lower cost per click and Amazon estimated cost per click. That being said, advertisers who want to ensure their ads are hitting that traditional headline position at top-of-page should bid aggressively and exceed Amazon’s recommended bid.


In summary, the key takeaways in this very important Amazon update are;

• Advertisers can expect higher click through rates on their Sponsored Product Ads that show up in a position between organic results

• Consumers tend to skip top-level ads, so this update allows brands to catch the eye of shoppers they may not have accessed previously

• Ads mixed between organic results could mean fewer bidding wars for top positions, positively impacting cost per conversion and helping brands with low advertising budgets

• More placement options for Headline Ads mean a lower cost per click for advertisers


The task of selling products on Amazon can be a challenging one. Chances are if you are reading this article and are interested in Amazon A+, you already know this – because you have experienced the level of effort and determination it takes to craft a quality product and sell it successfully. The strategic presentation of your brand and products to your buyers online – and on Amazon specifically – is a critical step in the selling process. According to research, over 50% of consumers in the United States use Amazon as a first step when searching for a product.

With quality Amazon product SEO and an exceptional Amazon A+ page to support your product listing, the sales numbers continue to speak for themselves. Amazon A+ content has been proven to boost sales, according to Amazon, by 3-10% on average.


Amazon A+ content is a long-form product page that lives below your basic listing and enhances your product’s story through lifestyle imagery, feature breakouts and the ability to create a narrative that speaks to potential buyers. Single product vendors and large-scale retailers alike can benefit from this custom content that brings a brand to life and helps shoppers envision themselves using your products.


The short answer to this question: Yes.

Our experience in creating hundreds of Amazon A+ pages for small to large-sized Amazon Vendors, tells us that A+ content has immense value.

If your goal is to drive sales on Amazon through high-quality, strategic Amazon product listing optimization, we can help.


Design: Amazon A+ is similar to third-party Amazon Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) in terms of its overall purpose and design capabilities. Where Amazon EBC offers full templates for easy design as well as modules that lead to creative flexibility, Amazon A+ is all about the modules with the addition of interactive elements like comparison charts that further enhance your product’s story against a lineup of similar offerings.

Content: Amazon A+ content typically includes a narrative that introduces the brand and product, a selection of features and benefits, a product comparison chart outlining other brand offerings, and high-resolution imagery showcasing the product in different situations.

What You Need: A product, an Amazon Vendor Central account, and a rockstar team of copywriters and designers who understand how to sell.


Amazon basic listings are just that… basic. While required, and optimizable with strategic copy and imagery that enhance your product, the best way to fully maximize your Amazon listing is with the customized storytelling capacity of Amazon A+. That being said, it is not enough to throw together a one-pager and hope for results. There are specifics to Amazon A+ content and we are the specialists.

Visual Commerce: How to Enhance Shoppers’ Online Experience with Captivating Imagery

Online Shopping and the Importance of Visual Media

When considering the number of products are available online for purchase and the number of retailers competing for sales and customer loyalty, it’s obvious that a great first impression is essential. While accurate and engaging copy is important, product photos are necessary to truly capture customer attention at first glance. Research shows that visuals are the most influential factor affecting a consumer’s purchase decision.

Great images bring written product descriptions to life. Once a potential customer has arrived at your website, it means they’re interested. You now need to provide valuable, accurate information that will result in a sale. High-quality photos, 360-degree rotating images, and product videos are powerful ways to showcase your products and enhance a consumer’s online shopping experience.

Visual Commerce and Online Retail

Visual commerce is all about driving online sales by enriching the customer experience with powerful, inspirational and appealing image content. This approach continues to gain momentum among online merchants because It encourages their shoppers to engage with a brand or online retailer, forming a connection that results in sales.

To execute visual commerce effectively, it’s not sufficient enough to simply post a few photos of your product. You need to take it a step further with visual content like 360-degree views, videos, customer photos, and even a virtual try-on feature. Aspirational lifestyle and larger images create a connection with customers, helping them to visualize your product as a part of their life. Adding shoppability layers to visual content on your website allows users to click on photos that bring them directly to the product pages, creating convenient shortcuts.

Display Real Customer Photos on Your Website

A key element of visual commerce is the use of user-generated photos that show your product in use. Studies show that user-generated photos are more engaging than stock or custom photography—just look at the visual nature of social media. It’s also very easy and commonplace to take and post photos from a smartphone, which most people have handy at all times.

Photos from customers create trust and increase conversion rates. When shoppers see others using a product, they connect on a personal level and see themselves using the product. Requesting customer in-use photos and allowing photos to be added to reviews are great ways to encourage customer engagement.

Make Sure Your Visuals Work Across All Platforms

Shoppers are spending more time on smartphones than ever before, averaging five hours per day in the U.S. Usage covers a wide array of activities from texting and video calling to social media and shopping. Shoppers will often research products on their smartphone even if they end up purchasing from a laptop, desktop or in-store. The number of consumers making mobile purchases will only increase as mobile payment systems grow in popularity.

This means that the brand and product information you provide needs to be rich and accessible on all platforms. Smartphones feature smaller screens and powerful cameras that favor less written content and more visual media and visual communication.

The potential of versatile and engaging visual media for online shopping is huge. It’s important to stay on trend to compete for customers in a growing ecommerce world. Through high quality and engaging visual media, you can create a story that brings your products to life and asserts the lifestyle you want your brand to represent.

Conversational Commerce and The Rise of Chatbots–Automation with a Personal Touch

While mobile devices have always served as tools for communication, the way we interact with these devices is quickly changing. Personal calls and texts are commonplace activities but more and more, online time is spent in communication between consumers and retailers. Increasingly, new tools are allowing brands to communicate with customers through mobile devices in new, innovative and personalized ways.

The idea of conversational commerce, coined by Uber’s Chris Messina, speaks to this growing trend of communication between businesses
and consumers through messaging apps. Rather than just clicking through pages on a website or emailing and calling companies to get information, users can now communicate with businesses instantly and in real-time through chatbots (automated chat agents), for a more personalized and conversational experience.

The explosion of online mobile device use in recent years has forced businesses to reinvent how they engage consumers; mobile devices accounted for almost 2 in 3 minutes spent online in December 2015, and more adults accessed the internet via mobile only than desktop only. While most adults still use both platforms, one in five Millennials (18-34) are mobile-only.  With this move to mobile, messaging apps like WeChat, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have become the go-to for communication on mobile phones. Thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, we can easily converse with chatbots (automated chat agents) in our messaging apps, much like we would any other contact. They can assist with everything from online shopping, to calling a cab and order food for delivery. We also interact with digital assistants like Apple’s Siri, Google’s Now, Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa. Essentially, consumers are getting used to talking to machines

A big reason chatbots are increasingly popular, is the fact that people are tired of downloading an app for everything. With the exploding popularity of messenger apps, an alternative to creating yet another new app is to offer your service inside an app they already have. Sites like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter are introducing integrated bots to help with shopping, booking and customer service. These chatbots will answer customer questions and serve as a first point of contact for a brand, through text or even voice.

While chatbots offer a solution for ecommerce business owners to manage a high volume of one-to-one conversations, there are risks. Bots can lack personality and conversational flow, and often can’t deviate from a programmed script.  Also, when a bot launch goes wrong, it can be pretty embarrassing, like Microsoft’s chatbot Tay on Twitter.  Many retailers are experimenting with a mix of live support staff and automation for customer service, sales support and other commerce-related functions. Chatbots are intended to improve the user experience, not replace real people, and the right mix can make all the difference.

Ecommerce is becoming increasingly integrated into our lives in a more personalized and conversational way. Businesses are creating new and innovative touch points to reach consumers and sell their brand. With the amount of time consumers spend on mobile devices every day and the huge popularity of messagin

Seeing is believing: New product imagery trends for ecommerce

Successful online retailers know how important product photography is. Online shoppers don’t have the benefit of touching, smelling, or trying on products, so they rely on images to help make a decision. Professional photography is crucial for presenting products because it helps reduce the number of returns and exchanges, not to mention disappointed customers.

Consider these four product photography trends when planning your next photo shoot session:

What’s behind the product?

According to BigCommerce, 76% of the seven million images they analyzed had the original product background replaced by pure white and an additional 16% opted for transparency. The rest kept the original background, which was usually white.

But a new trend is taking hold for category pages: Solid colours, themed backgrounds, or even on location images are popping up on eCommerce sites. Clothing store, Zara, for example, uses dramatic solid colours on their category pages mixed in with traditional neutral and white backgrounds.

Not surprisingly, the actual product pages still favour neutral-coloured or transparent backgrounds. This provides an opportunity to focus on images highlighting the product, as opposed to eye-catching backgrounds enticing the customer in.

Hover and highlight

More of a display option than actual photography, the hover-over is nonetheless gaining in popularity. Sports and fitness tracker FitBit features the hover-over effect on their home page. The different FitBit trackers are pulled forward or rotated as the mouse hovers over the image.

E-commerce stores are able to use the hover-over effect to flip, angle, zoom, and fade images for dramatic effect and to allow the customer to see multiple sides and angles.

360° Imaging

Bang and Olufsen, long recognized for their superior images, use 360-degree imaging to display loudspeakers from every angle. The view-from-every-angle image mimics the instore experience where a shopper can physically pick up a product and turn it around to see features on the front, back, and sides.

Wiggle is a U.K. bicycle shop that uses 360-degree imaging to show all angles of a bike wheel. Steve Mills, head of eCommerce at Wiggle, told digital marketing firm, Smart Insights, “Through multi-variate testing we have seen adding 360 images lead to double-digit conversion increases across certain categories.”

In fact, according to eCommerce site Internet Retailer, when images are rotated automatically, the conversion rate on products sold on those pages is approximately 27% higher than for standard two-dimensional images. Although the 360-degree view has been around for several years, product image photographers have finessed and refined polished images specifically for eCommerce sites.

Mobile zoom options

One of the most popular trends in eCommerce product photography is the sleek zoom or mobile zoom image. This is used on many sites, including clothing and accessory pages. Hover the mouse over an image and it is automatically enlarged.

The benefit of this type of zoom is to give the consumer a detailed, close-up view. For example, New York’s Kate Spade uses zoom imagery successfully to show close-up details of products.

Professional product photography is key to converting sales. Whether you choose still shots on exotic backgrounds, all-around video clips, hover and zoom functions or all four, realistic and detailed images are certain to increase sales and reduce returns and exchanges.