The basics of product image optimisation

28 February, 2020
4 minute read
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When it comes to main product images on Amazon, there has to date been only one recommended way to do things. But Amazon has and is evolving, the competition has become more fierce, and outstanding main product images are a key tool in converting page views into sales. In 2020, it is important that vendors and sellers take advantage of all available options. It’s time to fine tune your methods and include main product images in product optimization plans as part of your Amazon best practices.

What is a main product image?

Main product images are the first thing a customer usually notices about a product and are proven to be instrumental in customers’ decision to make a purchase. When selling online, these images are super important in allowing a customer to know more about your product. The main product image will default to appear on search and browse pages on Amazon:

Amazon Listings Oreo Motts Jack Links Fruity

Once a customer clicks on a product and goes to a detail page, the product images appear next to other details, such as the title, feature bullets, and description.

Nilfisk Amazon Listing

Amazon typically shows seven product images and one video (video is only available for vendor or US seller at the moment). Historically, there have been some basic requirements for file types, sizes, image styles, and more, but the rules set by Amazon have not been overly clear.

Why basic product images aren’t enough anymore

Amazon has advised both vendors and sellers to share their products on a white cut-out background, from multiple angles, and maybe include a lifestyle shot to show the size. As a vendor manager at Amazon, I had always recommended this as the smartest method, and also to show the product to scale. I’ve personally purchased the wrong sized product too many times, and I like to think I know my way around the internet. My favorite mistake was buying a washing basket, which arrived and was only big enough to fit a few socks. As a seller or vendor, you will certainly want to pre-empt any customer issues such as this.

Including product images as part of your optimisation process

As the playing field is evolving, I now recommend using the main product image section of the detail page as an opportunity to point out the key selling features of your product to the customer. Every customer will have a preference for how they consume information. While some are happy to scan text, others are influenced by images and pictorial representations of the benefits and thus infographics can also work really well in this section.

You should have every avenue covered. While you may already have a good title, detailed features/bullets, a keyword heavy description, keyword field and A+ content, there is now a new part of the page to optimize. This is a trend we’ve seen really grow. And only very recently. This is uncharted territory for Amazon. We have yet to see any official guidelines from them.

Right now, you have the opportunity. It is time to show your brand personality and really bring it to life with lifestyle images, font, tone of voice and more. Optimizing the image slots while this is still quite new to Amazon can let you get ahead of the competition.

Best practices

When working on your image optimization strategy, it’s a good idea to work with a designer or agency. This is your brand you’re representing, and great images can have a huge impact for on-page conversion rates (unit/session).

Keep your main image clean and simple for search and browse pages, always on a white cut-out background and filling at least 80% of the white space of the total image. Your supporting images can (and should) include other information to help customers make an informed purchase.

Start by creating an image brief that details what each image should include. Write out the copy to be included on each image – focus on your key selling points. Zero in on your key selling points and what differentiates you from the competition and then shout about it.

Share what lifestyle images to include from your own stock photography or look to online libraries. (Make sure to include your brand guidelines when briefing a designer, too). Include some good examples to share with your designer, what images you might like to include.  (I recommend using lifestyle images, where possible).


Here is an example of some optimized images on Amazon. It’s clear how much more information is being conveyed to the customer than just showing a product from various angles. The lifestyle images, text of key selling points, and showing the product actually being used are very beneficial to the customer, while still being Amazon-friendly and on-brand for the businesses:

Play-Doh Amazon Listing

Portland Pet Food Company Amazon Listing

Graco Car Seat Amazon Listing


While there is no quick fix or template to optimize your images, you can start with top products or new products and test what works for your brand. This strategy is effective for both sellers and vendors, and for any type of product. It all comes down to utilizing your key selling points and presenting them to the customer. Here is an example of multiple images for the same product in the consumables category:

Peppersmith Amazon Listing

Peppersmith Chewing Gum and Mints Amazon Listing

Peppersmith Chewing Gum and Mints Amazon Listing

Need expert help?

If you are interested in optimizing your products, including product images, eCommerce Nurse can help. We are well-suited to help with all of your needs, including copywriting, design projects, translation, and more. We can even write the image briefs for your designers or our own. Contact us for examples of our work or specific questions. We love nothing more than working together with sellers and vendors to help you achieve your best results on Amazon.

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Dani Thompson

Dani Thompson

Dani Thompson is the senior marketing manager for eCommerce Nurse and Vendor Society. As an ex-Amazonian, Dani has experience in merchandising, e-commerce strategy, and ensuring customers have an exceptional overall on-site experience. She is passionate about helping vendors and sellers optimise their presence on Amazon.

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