Product Photo Differentiation

Product photo differentiation may sound like it is really complicated, but it is actually a fairly simple way to get your product listings to stand out in search results.

TL;DR – Watch this video for a quick overview of product differentiation with main photos.

Product photo differentiation basically just means that you are trying different ways of using your main image to draw more attention when your listing shows up in a customer’s search. Think of it this way, “You want to be a zebra with different colored stripes.”

For example, when you search for ‘flatware’ on Amazon, all of the main photos look basically the same. And I mean, almost exactly the same. So how is a customer supposed to know which listing to click on based on just the main photo if all of their options look the same?

This is why product photo differentiation is so important. It’s likely that if there isn’t much of a visible difference in the product photos, then the customer is going to look for the item that is cheapest, or closest to their budget. They also might opt to sort the search results by average customer review and choose the listing with the best reviews within their budget.

Of course, customers can certainly do these things anyway. But if your main product photo helps you to stand out in their first set of search results, they are going to be more likely to click on your listing and make a purchase. Even if your product is basically the same as a lot of other sellers, there are some ways you can arrange your products in the photo to help it stand out on the page.

Going back to the flatware example, there are a couple of photos that stood out to me when I was doing the initial search. Here are a few of my favorites and why I think they work best for product photo differentiation.

Product Photo Differentiation: Use Some Color

product photo differentiation

This is probably the best illustration of “being a zebra with different colored stripes” for obvious reasons. However, this set of flatware may be really cool looking, but it probably won’t be most customers’ first choice.

Product Photo Differentiation: Show the Extras

product photo differentiation

This photo is interesting because it shows all of the pieces laid out, including some serving ware, which most other sets do not have. It also shows the box the set comes in, which some customers might like to see.

Product Photo Differentiation: Showcase the Quality

product photo differentiation

I liked this listing photo because it looks like a high-quality set that comes in a nice box for storage. It also looks like the product will not get damaged in shipping. I also like how the photo tells me boldly how many pieces are in the set.

Product Photo Differentiation: Surprising Bonuses

product photo differentiation

The coolest thing about this listing is that it includes metal straws and a straw brush. This is a good example of adding relevant bonus items to a product that is trending and popular. Metal straws are becoming a hot item with the push to eliminate plastic straws. It’s very likely customers looking for a new set of flatware might buy this set because it includes a couple of metal straws.

Product Photo Differentiation: How Does Your Product Make the Customer’s Life Easier?

product photo differentiation

If I were actually looking to buy a new flatware set, I would definitely click on this photo because it comes with an organizer. Buying this set would make my life easier because I wouldn’t have to find a drawer organizer. Any time your product offering can make the customer’s life easier, you want to try to showcase that in the main image and attract more customers to click on your listing.

Product photo differentiation doesn’t have to be difficult. The best place to get ideas on what you should be doing to set your product listings apart from other listings in search results is to do some searches and see what other main images look like. Try to take pieces of the ones you like best and combine them to help your listing really draw the customer’s eye. The more eyeballs you can get on your listing and the more clicks you can get, the more likely it will be that you’ll get sales!

If you want to learn more about shooting your own product photos, check out this video!

Meet the Author: Jessica McCune

Jessica's creative problem solving skills, combined with her background in digital and social media marketing and her experience in community management makes her a perfect liaison between Marketing and Sales. When she's not brainstorming new ideas across the organization or developing and delivering solutions for sales and their clients, she likes to spend time with her husband and daughter.

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