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Mastering Product Photography: Shoes and Footwear
With the launch of Amazon 360, vendors on this online marketplace can now utilize spin photos to boost product listings. Amazon aims to increase conversion rates through enriched visuals, and there are several solutions that exist to produce 360-degree photos that meet their image requirements. In this guide, we’ll look at the benefits of using Amazon 360, how to get started, and, most importantly, simple and cost-effective solutions to drive sales and improve conversion rates on online marketplaces with 360-degree photography.
Vendors around the globe in 2020 are using Amazon 360 to showcase their product content to online shoppers through visually-rich 360° photography. One of the world’s largest e-commerce retailers, Amazon accounted for nearly $280.5 billion USD in sales in 2019 alone, and it has become one of the first places where consumers begin their shopping. Luxury jewellery brands, car manufacturers, and large online sellers are making the most of this platform and, especially, the potential of spin visuals.
Amazon first introduced 360-degree imagery in 2018, starting slow with a limited number of select retailers. After an initial 60-day pilot, the results were promising, showing higher conversion rates across all of the select retailers, and Amazon began launching this feature across its platform.
Since then, the company has rolled out this capability to millions of online sellers as a standard feature for a range of product categories. These include products like automotives, cameras, home and home improvement, furniture, lawn and garden, the kitchen, jewelry, sports and outdoors and more.
The goal for Amazon is to increase conversion rates by enhancing product imagery. For retailers who want to utilize this feature, however, this means finding cost-effective solutions to produce 360° product visuals which meet Amazon 360’s image requirements.
Thankfully, there are several solutions available for retailers, from external service providers to suppliers of studio equipment for in-house product photography. At PhotoRobot, we design product photography equipment to fit any studio or workspace, and to make it not only easy to manage and automate photoshoots but also to instantly upload imagery to e-commerce websites or online marketplaces like Amazon or Shopify.
PhotoRobot solutions exist for any product large or small, from the size of an earring or the intricacy of a microchip to automotives and heavy-duty warehouse equipment. Whether it’s for a home-owned retailer website or an industrial-scale photography studio, PhotoRobot hardware and software provides sellers with tools to create consistent, perfect product photos no matter if there is an amateur or a professional photographer at the controls.
360° animations are an assortment of JPEG or PNG format images, ranging from 24 to 1024 photos. This assortment of images is often created by a complete 360° rotation and image capture of a product which is positioned on a turntable.
Take for example PhotoRobot’s TURNTABLE or the CENTERLESS TABLE. Depending on the size and weight of the object you need to shoot, you can use either of these robots to find the perfect center of an object and capture photographs in sync with the rotation of the turntable.
Software controls make it easy to control the shooting, and it is also the software that assembles all image files to generate the resulting 360° animation in HTML5 format. This format makes these visuals readable across all types of media, and is all you need to distribute your in-house animations to your e-commerce website or to online marketplaces like Amazon.
After an HTML5 file is created, it is then hosted on an FTP server or on the cloud. From here, an integration link is extracted, and a simple copy and paste of the code onto your website immediately creates and displays the animation.
It’s even possible to utilize PhotoRobot software to automate repeatable tasks and set up a workflow for future projects. You can capture photos of products while simultaneously automating the creation of your 360° imagery and uploading it to your website.
One of the main obstacles to remote sales is establishing buyer’s trust with your online shoppers. These shoppers want a hands-on experience, so your product photos should come as close as possible to replicating the real-life, in-store shopping experience.
Your 360 degree photography should not only allow shoppers to spin a product as if it were in their own hands, the photos should also provide a deep level of zoom so shoppers can inspect all the minute details of your product. You also want product imagery to stand out among competing images online, and likewise to generate valuable SEO for your website.
In this regard, the richer the product experience, the better. When shoppers have the freedom to interact with the product online just as they would in the shop, they will have the confidence that they are making the right decision at the moment of purchase.
By providing the highest quality product imagery online, brands build trust by showing that they strive to provide shoppers the best possible product experience.
When this product experience is consistent across all platforms, from retailer websites to online marketplaces like Amazon and Shopify, retailers generate more awareness and customer loyalty. Shoppers become more likely to not only trust the brand but also to purchase the products.
Ultimately, what brands must demonstrate is that they are building and utilizing consistent and scalable content creation processes from online distributors, to retailer websites and major online marketplaces.
At the moment, in order to use spin animations on product images on Amazon, you must be recognized as an Amazon Vendor. While in the future Amazon does intend to allow third-party sellers to use the spin feature, for now these sellers must wait.
For vendors, Amazon has guidelines on their product image requirements:
Unfortunately, with Amazon, it isn’t easy to track analytics, numbers or percentages without third-party tools. You won’t be able to see your sales lifts, conversion rates, or anything directly connected with Amazon sales. However, there are other methods for vendors to measure performance metrics when spin imagery goes online.
The goal on Amazon is to reach high rankings for your products, and you can’t do that without constantly enhancing your product content. Ultimately, the better and more consistent the content, the higher Amazon ranking and the higher sales.
There can be no doubt that ecommerce is booming in 2020, with ecommerce revenue representing 10.7% of total U.S. retail sales, and 47% of that representing transactions in ecommerce. That is 5% of all U.S. retail sales transacted online and a contributing factor to why Amazon recently surpassed Walmart as the world’s largest retailer.
As these sales processes shift from in-person to desktop to mobile, digital presentation of products is becoming increasingly and rapidly more important for brands to succeed online. And for Amazon, this means ensuring their app and mobile platforms provide as much value to shoppers as desktop versions, while also continuing to improve the user experience overall.
One way Amazon is considering doing this is by means of product video search ads, hoping to make informational videos to help shoppers make purchases with confidence. For some vendors, this means spending lots of money on video production, but it doesn’t have to be that way -- especially with Amazon 360 and spin photography. It can be not only cost-effective but also provide just as much valuable information to shoppers when using spin rather than video, all the while enriching your mobile product experience.
The next advantage to using spin photography to showcase your products on Amazon is in the retailer’s visual browsing features such as “Scout search”. In this feature, users can rank product images with a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down, and when the user likes a certain product, Amazon will show them a range of similar products.
The more visually-rich and informative your product imagery is, the more likely your product photos will be recommended to shoppers using image search features. This is where 3D images, spin photography, and 360° photos can help you attain more visibility and the potential to generate more sales.
Finally, with 360-degree imagery now the most influential category of product content when accounting for sales and conversion rates, you have yet another reason to take advantage of Amazon 360.
With interactive product experiences providing spin and zoom capabilities, any vendor on Amazon can start boosting their product listings today. Spin imagery will soon become the standard on online marketplaces, and as sales processes shift even more towards mobile platforms, vendors will need to make the necessary steps to ensure their product experiences are accordingly scalable across all devices and platforms where they sell their products.
The competition is now in imagery optimization, and there’s no better way to increase conversion rates, boost customer satisfaction, and reduce overall returns on Amazon than with 360° spin photography.
Contact us today to receive a free consultation with our support technicians and learn how PhotoRobot can help you automate, simplify, and perfect your product photography, whether it’s for 360° modeling, 360° photography, or still images.