Amazon has come a long way since it was founded in 1994. It’s now the largest product and service provider on Earth, amassing $21.33 billion in revenue in 2020 alone! This staggering figure is more than twice as much as that of Walmart and Target combined.
With such dominance, Amazon is having a huge impact on how we shop – especially with the rise of online shopping.
As an Amazon seller, new trends can make or break your business. Every trend presents new possibilities, and how quickly you adapt determines whether these possibilities will yield opportunities or challenges for your business.
The most critical Amazon trends that can impact your business are as follows:
- Stock imagery & low quality photos create mistrust.
- Mobile optimization remains critical to success.
- Amazon’s fulfillment capabilities improve efficiency.
Read on for an insightful discussion as I delve deeper into these trends and what they mean for your e-commerce business going forward.
How Your Product Photos Affect Sales
When online shoppers buy on Amazon, their purchase decisions are primarily based on photos and reviews of the product listings. Thus, optimizing your photos for the best customer experience can make quite a difference in your sales figures.
Poor quality photos are the 3rd largest reason shoppers don’t make a purchase, and the use of stock imagery within your product photos is increasingly being associated with online scams. This is a big deal when it comes to customer perception of brands that are largely unknown.
On the other hand, original, high-quality product imagery adds credibility to your brand, captures shopper’s attention, and makes it easier for them to inspect the products just like they would in a physical store.
In doing so, it helps draw in more leads, increases conversions, and sets you apart from the growing sea of competition.
While every Amazon merchant wants all these benefits for their business, not all realize them because some don’t know what exactly makes high-quality photography.
At the bare minimum, product photos need to be original (read “not photoshopped into images obtained from stock photography platforms”). They also meet Amazon’s product image requirements.
If you’ve already been allowed to list your products on Amazon, it means that your product imagery loosely meets those conditions. If you haven’t, be sure to check out that somewhat lengthy list.
While meeting the bare minimum requirements is a great starting point, there’s more to product photo optimization than that. Depending on how far you go past the bare minimum, optimizing your product imagery can give you a competitive edge.
Some of the most effective ways you can optimize your product imagery to stay ahead of the curve include:
- Ensuring that product imagery captures all the essential visual information with special emphasis on highlighting the positives. This helps sell potential customers on the product (through its image) before they even check out its description. It also helps keep the customer on the product page long enough to read reviews, watch demo videos, and interact with any other marketing information you might be using to boost conversions.
- Ensuring that product images’ resolution is high enough to work with Amazon’s zoom function. Even when shopping online, your customers will want to be able to inspect what you’re selling like they would in a brick-and-mortar store. There are several ways to facilitate that, and ensuring that your product imagery’s resolution allows customers to zoom in/out of different parts of your products is one of them.
- Showcasing products in their intended use/surroundings. For instance, if you sell shoes or clothing, including a professionally photographed image of a model wearing your products can give customers a better idea of how they’ll look in your products and potentially convince them to buy. If you sell kitchen tiles, including pictures of a kitchen floor fitted with those tiles may have the same effect.
- Showcasing products from multiple angles. Amazon merchants upload multiple images per product, and you can leverage that provision to showcase different angles of your product. This is part of the “allowing your customers to inspect the product like they’re in a brick and mortar store” initiative I just mentioned above.
As you can see, there’s quite a bit to product image optimization, and we haven’t even exhausted everything. Check out our article on the best practices, as well as the different types of product photography.
To save yourself the headache of figuring out everything, it might be a good idea to outsource the creation of your product photos. When you do this, be sure to work with a provider with a proven track record of taking great product images as per Amazon’s and other seller-level optimization requirements (i.e. someone like us, for example).
Mobile Optimization Remains Critical to Success
While some e-commerce merchants may still be stuck in their ways, believing that desktop remains king when it comes to web traffic (and conversions), they’re doing themselves a huge disservice. More often than not, shoppers want as much convenience and ease of buying things online through mobile devices as possible.
Mobile shopping has been gaining popularity for a while now, and it doesn’t seem like that trend will slow down anytime soon.
So, mobile optimization should be a priority. With more people shopping on their tablets and smartphones, you need to optimize your online store, website, or any other online platform you use to engage customers to provide the best possible experience for mobile shoppers.
According to Statistica.com, mobile e-commerce sales have been steadily rising since 2016. Out of the $2.3 trillion in retail e-commerce sales made in 2017, an incredible $1.4 (58.9%) was made through mobile devices. More incredibly, the market specialist in market and consumer data expects mobile e-commerce to account for 72.9% of total e-commerce sales in 2021, raking in about $$3.5 trillion.
What does this mean for your business?
If you don’t optimize your online selling platforms for mobile, you’ll miss out on potential sales. Three of the most critical aspects of mobile optimization you’ll want to take care of include:
- Optimizing the checkout process for mobile. According to Baymard Institute’s Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics, 18% of American online shoppers are likely to ditch an order if the checkout process is long and complicated. So if your site or online store isn’t designed to provide fast and straightforward checkouts for mobile shoppers, you’ll miss out on potential purchases.
- Optimizing your website for mobile. If you run a website for your business (which is highly recommended, by the way), you can’t afford to have its mobile version looking like a crammed-up form of its desktop version. Instead, you want your mobile shoppers to enjoy the same functionality and ease of navigation as those using desktops.
- Developing a web app for your online store. Web apps typically have faster load times on mobile than websites. As a bonus, they allow your customers to save pages they’ve previously visited and access them later without an internet connection.
Amazon’s Fulfillment Capabilities Improve Efficiency
Amazon’s fulfillment capabilities (and speed) have improved tremendously over the past few years. More recently, Amazon has been working on expanding its shipping options to a wider range of products and services.
While there are emerging warehouses for Amazon sellers, it’s quite difficult to compete with Amazon FBA.
Recently, postal services and carriers like UPS and FedEx have struggled with deliveries. With online shopping skyrocketing, particularly during the Coronavirus pandemic, the number of package deliveries somewhat overwhelmed postal services and major carriers, causing delays and delivery restrictions.
Upon recognizing this gap in service delivery, Amazon responded by building a logistics system that delivers packages to customers within a day.
A freaking DAY.
About 400,000 new employees were hired to sort, pack, stow, and deliver products from the e-commerce giant’s warehouses countrywide. Meanwhile, 12 Boeing 767-300 cargo aircraft were leased, and an additional 220 package facilities were acquired.
With an air fleet of 80 jets, hundreds of new package facilities, and hundreds of thousands of employees to support it, Amazon’s new logistics system can rival thought industry leaders like UPS and FedEx. As an FYI, the retail giant has previously implemented such a system in the UK, and it’s thriving.
What does all this mean for you as an Amazon merchant?
Simple: If you’ve been struggling with order fulfillment, Amazon might be the only answer. Through Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), you can leverage amazon’s improved logistics capabilities to boost the speed and efficiency of your product deliveries.
Indeed, high-quality product imagery and mobile optimization remain critical elements of success for Amazon sellers. This trend looks set to carry on for the next few years as the consumer experience becomes even more critical to buying decisions. Meanwhile, Amazon’s improved logistics system could come in handy for merchants struggling with order fulfillment.
Note that trends in the Amazon marketplace may change, and so might their implications for your business. As such, keeping an eye on the larger eCommerce sector for new patterns should never be a trend: it should be a part of your ongoing business management.
If you need professional help in standing out from your competitors, contact us today for product photography designed to meet your needs.