The Snap36 Blog
The Guide to Amazon 360 Product Photography
When Amazon started in 1995, it was a platform that only sold books. Within a month, the company had shipped books to over 45 different countries. Since then, Amazon has become one of the world’s largest e-commerce retailers, accounting for nearly $232 billion in sales last year.
With 54% of shoppers starting on Amazon, and 40% of shoppers purchasing at least one item a month on Amazon, it has become the ultimate eCommerce shopping center. In this guide, we’ll explain how we’ve worked with brands and retailers to provide an easy and affordable way to maintain their brand consistency, improve the mobile experience, and increase sales figures with 360 degree product photography on Amazon.
The Launch of 360 Degree Capabilities on Amazon
Product photography on Amazon is unique because the vendors have 90% control of how to showcase their product content. While there are many ways to present your products, Amazon was introduced to 360 degree imagery back in 2018. There was a bit of a hold up at first because the team was challenged to figure out how to roll out this capability to millions of sellers at one time. The potential for technical and quality issues was incredibly high if the execution was not well controlled. Therefore, Amazon began with a pilot project to better control the launch.
So far, the results have been very encouraging. After the initial 60-day pilot, Amazon began introducing 360 degree capabilities as a standard feature for select vendors which is a very short testing period compared to the norm. After seeing higher conversion rates across the select vendors, Amazon expanded 360 degree product photography capabilities to a multitude of product categories, including Home Improvement, Furniture, Home, Lawn & Garden, Lighting, Kitchen, Sports & Outdoors, Camera, Toys, Automotive, Pets, and Baby.
Why 360 Degree Imagery is Important on Amazon
Amazon 360 Provides An Interactive Experience
360 degree imagery and product spin provide both the most efficient and elegant way to capture product images, as well as providing the full product detail and control of the process that consumers now expect. Giving shoppers the freedom to interact with products online as if they were making the purchase in person gives customers the confidence they are purchasing the right product, the first time.
Amazon 360 Helps Maintain Brand Consistency
The most important factor for Amazon customers favoring one brand to another is consistent experiences no matter how or where a customer interacts with them. Your brand should build awareness and develop trust and loyalty with customers. 360 degree imagery ensures brands are creating more scalable and consistent content creation processes across the board. Brands can ensure their products are represented as they wish using the highest quality product imagery possible.
How To Get Started With Amazon 360
What Are Amazon’s Spin Image Requirements?
First of all, in order to enjoy the 360 degree feature, you must be an Amazon Vendor and not a third-party seller. As stated earlier, right now Amazon has chosen to limit this capability to only vendors to maintain control of the process. However, the goal is to eventually allow third-party sellers to use spin. Next, your spins must comply with Amazon’s Product Image Requirements:
- TIFF (.tif/.tiff), JPEG (.jpeg/.jpg), GIF (.gif) and PNG (.png) format
- Image pixel dimensions of at least 1000 or larger in either height or width preferred
- sRGB or CMYK color mode
- File names must consist of the product identifier (Amazon ASIN, 13-digit ISBN, EAN, JAN, or UPC) followed by a period and the appropriate file extension (Example: B000123456.jpg or 0237425673485.tif)
What Is The Process?
Ship Products to Snap36
Prior to the project kicking off, our team will meet with you to discuss shipment dates to and from the Snap36 studio. Once the products are received, our team unpacks your products, catalogs them in our production platform, and spot-checks for product or packaging flaws that could later interfere with photography. During our check-in process, we offer additional services such as product weights and dimensions.
Our professional studio photographers use leading 360-degree automated robotics to capture your product from all angles. All products will be photographed as a spinset in a single row with 24 images per row. Static images will be included along within the spin.
After our quality control specialists review your images, we provide you with previews to ensure we’ve met your needs. We also handle post-production services, such as image retouching. Once you’ve confirmed the images meet your expectations, they are considered approved.
Amazon has a unique and specific naming convention in order to successfully upload product content to its 360° viewer. Final files from Snap36 will be delivered to Amazon using the current specifications.
Send Spin Files to Amazon
Snap36 packages the files into a .zip file and then sends them to the Amazon Vendor portal. If Snap36 has photographed your products in the past, and you are interested in deploying those to Amazon, we can also rename and transfer the files for you.
What Should You Monitor Once Live?
Unfortunately, Amazon does not allow the capability to track exact numbers or percentages in sales lift or conversion rates that are directly associated with Amazon sales. There are third-party tools, however, they are fairly expensive and lack a level of granularity. Therefore, vendors need to find alternative routes to monitor performance metrics once their spins go live.
There are a few measures you can take:
- Look at your overall company sales numbers and conversion rates since the launch of your 360 degree spins and monitor the increase or decrease.
- Keep track of your product rankings on Amazon before and after the launch of your 360 degree content.
- If you want to look outside for help with your Amazon strategy and data management, here are a few agencies we recommend contacting: Indigitous, Pacvue, Lean Channel Management, and Marshall.
And, if your product becomes a #1 best seller in its category, consider this a huge success!
In a perfect world, Amazon would allow vendors to directly access analytics associated with its products, and maybe that will happen in the future. But for the time being – if you aren’t doing anything to enhance your product content, then you won’t improve your products rankings which will negatively affect your Amazon sales.
Benefits of 360 Degree Imagery on Amazon
Enhances the Mobile Experience
In 2018, 58% of site visits were from mobile devices, and mobile devices made up 42% of total time spent online. As sales processes increasingly move towards mobile, Amazon has placed a huge emphasis on its mobile platform. 360° imagery is the best way to optimize screen real estate, allowing customers to drive the experience at the touch of their fingertips. The ability to move a product with your thumb in multiple directions is a huge improvement from just scrolling horizontally through multiple images in the image carousel. Consumers don’t typically remember what was on previous images, not to mention on an image five swipes back.
Additionally, Amazon recently put its video search ads into beta. Amazon’s goal for the new video units is to make them as informational as possible – ensuring they’re useful to customers and help to make purchase decisions. Companies spend thousands of dollars on product videos, however, it is possible to show your entire product in a 360 degree spin video in under 9 seconds. So why wouldn’t you spin? It’s cost-effective, efficient, and provides superior product information.
Advantages in Visual Search
Amazon is always one step ahead and strives to change up the way consumers are shopping. The eCommerce retailer recognized the lack of visual browsing capabilities. Therefore it has added a browsing option called “Scout Search” which allows shoppers to give products a rating with a thumbs up or thumbs down. If shoppers give it a thumbs up, it will load similar products — basically allowing people to browse with only photographs.
In order to have a visual search platform recognize your product, high-quality imagery is essential. But that isn’t quite enough, you will also need to properly name those images to match your visual search platform. By adding 360-degree/3D photography, the technology gap can be closed much quicker.
Increase Sales & Conversion Rates
It is essential to give online shoppers the best overall experience in order to stay ahead of the competition in the eCommerce market. Since Amazon launched 360-degree photography, many first-mover companies have taken advantage of the capability and seen positive results. 360 degree imagery has been proven to be the most influential type of product content that drives conversions and increases top-line sales. Amazon knows this, and now the vendors do too.
We’ve worked with numerous companies to help deploy their 360 degree spins on Amazon, such as Sawyer Products in the outdoor category and Gold Eagle Company in the automotive category. Check out the success they’ve found since using 360 degree imagery on Amazon:
Sawyer Products recognized a need for a more seamless digital experience, especially on Amazon. Their team worked with Snap36 after retailers opened up the door to 360 degree content on Amazon. Immediately after launching 360, they saw a 4% sales lift on Amazon, breaking even on their investment in under a week and becoming Amazon’s #1 best seller in the outdoor category.
Gold Eagle Co. partnered with Snap36 to become the first to spin in the automotive category. Within the first couple of weeks of adding 360 degree images to their product pages, the company saw a 6-8% lift in conversion rates. Since Snap36 provides the file syndication in any format, the overall delivery process to Amazon was seamless for the Gold Eagle eCommerce team. Gold Eagle has also become a #1 best seller in their category since adding 360 degree product content.
Additionally, we have partnered with Bosch, 3M, Hinkley Lighting, Fein, Klein Tools, ECR4Kids, Kenmore, Sterno Home, Conair, and Panasonic to deploy product content onto Amazon.
With 360° viewers available on Amazon product pages, shoppers now have another confidence booster from their favorite shopping platform. 360 degree images will soon be the standard; increasing conversion rates & customer satisfaction, while reducing product returns. And, as sales processes increasingly move towards mobile, 360 degree imagery is the best way to optimize screen real estate, allowing customers to drive the experience at the touch of their fingertips. From creating more scalable and consistent content creation processes to growing conversion rates and sales on Amazon, brands using 360 degree imagery are reaping the benefits.