How does adding a video to your listing help brand identity, trust and ultimately conversions
Adding video to your listing is incredibly powerful and engaging. It not only lets you give ample information in a short amount of time, video also allows you to showcase your brand in a way that still imagery cannot. In live video, you can talk about your brand’s mission, your values, and even your origin story.Show more
What to Include in your Video?
To get the most out of video, showcase what cannot be shown through still images. Most importantly, you should be filming your product in context. How will people live with and benefit from using your product in their lives? Show how easy it is to use your product, the features and the overall effect it has on the user.
The best videos get the shopper excited about the product and are often the final element that a shopper will look at before they convert.
A good video will answer all the shoppers’ questions. So, make sure to spend time really thinking about what those questions are. A good starting place in Customers Questions & Answers.
What NOT to Include in your Video?
Amazon videos have several restrictions that you should be aware of before you start down the path of creating a video for your Amazon listing. Here are 10 things you can NOT have in your Amazon Video for your product.
Video Format Requirements
To upload a video, you must make sure you have the copyrights to the specific video you would like to upload. It goes without saying that your video must be high resolution. Your video should be a minimum of 1280 by 720 pixels, but the ideal resolution is 1920 by 1080 pixels.
The video formats that Amazon allows are mp4 and mkv files. Videos must be under 500 megabytes. When uploading a video, you must also upload a thumbnail image, which can be either a JPEG, or PNG file.
Currently, the option to upload videos to your product listings in Seller Central is only available on the US marketplace. If you want to upload videos to your listings in marketplaces outside of the US, you must do this through vendor central (UPDATE: Video is now available through Seller Central in all Marketplaces)
Updating Video via Seller Central
So, to upload a video through Seller Central, login to the seller central dashboard. Ensure that you have the US marketplace selected at the top of the screen (If this is where you are uploading the video too, if you are uploading the video to your UK listing select the UK marketplace and so forth)
Then go to the >inventory drop down menu and select >upload and >manage videos. Here’s where you can upload, update and remove videos.
To get started, click >upload video in the top right corner. This will take you to the upload video portal. If you forgot what video requirements Amazon requires, they have it listed right here at the bottom of the screen. Here, you will have to name your video and insert the ASIN that you would like to add the video too.
You must also include a video thumbnail. To get the thumbnail requirements hover over the camera icon. Amazon recommends uploading an image that is 1280 by 720 pixels and requires a JPEG, PNG, GIF, or BMP file under five megabytes in size. Once you’re done importing all the required information you are ready to submit.
Typically, videos will appear live within 24 hours. However, during the occasional peak period, it could take up to seven business days for your video to become approved and live. If you don’t see your video live, make sure to check back to the upload and manage videos page.
To check for rejected video. Hover over the rejected video and click >manage the rejection The rejection reason will display at the top of the page.
To upload videos in vendor Central, go to the vendor central dashboard at vendorcentral.amazon.com. To get started, go to the items drop down menu and select, >upload and >manage videos. Here, we have the option to upload a video in the top right corner. We also get a view of previous videos that we have uploaded our current status and a sense that the video has been added to.
We also have the option to manage or delete the video from the screen.
To get started, click >upload video.
You can either upload a video from your file browser or drag a video to start the upload process. If you forgot the video requirements that Amazon requires, they have it listed right here at the bottom of the page.
You will then have to name your video and add your custom thumbnail. To get the thumbnail requirements hover over the camera upload icon.
Then, simply click >Submit and you can check the status of your video at the upload and manage videos page.
Main Product Images Requirements
Product images submitted to Amazon must meet the following technical specifications:
Supporting Product Images Requirements
The supporting product image requirements are not as quite restricting as the main image. With the supporting images, you are allowed to use the following:
With your supporting images, your product and supporting graphics should fill up 85% of the frame. Amazon isn’t a huge stickler about this, but it will improve the legibility of your image and ultimately help in conversion.
The next type of image is the image call out. This type of image works the best when paired with the lifestyle image. The image should do most of the talking.
The call out just reinforces and drives the selling point home. In this example for vacuum, we see this show and excellently when we see the image of the woman holding the vacuum, this already tells us that the vacuum is lightweight.
The textures reinforce this point, and ensures you don’t misinterpret the image. The fifth image similarly uses imagery to drive a point home and then uses text to show you the extent of that particular benefit. From their image call outs. You get a really good idea of the overall product and if it’s right for you.
First up is the lifestyle image. The lifestyle image is essential to any detail page. Lifestyle images show features, give the shopper a sense of scale, and arguably most importantly, how will you live with this product in your life.
Lifestyle images provide clarity can say a whole lot without any words. Take this example of a cast iron skillet in the second image. While there is no text, you learn a lot about this product. First, we know that this skillet is oven safe. Second, we know that the handle of the pen conducts heat since the user has a towel over the handle.
As we move on to the sixth and seventh images, these images give us what the previous lifestyle image we were looking at was missing by photography of the skillet. Next to things that we do know the size of such as these mushrooms, we get a pretty good sense of what the scale of the skillet is. In case you skipped over the title, or you can’t visualise what 10 and a half inches is the product photography is also well shot with food that actually looks appetising. They’re trying to get you in the buying mindset by getting you excited about cooking.
While we have been talking a lot about telling a story with your listing images, there’s no point unless you can get people to click on your listing from the search results. For the sake of example, we’re going to do a search for dog beds.
Out of these first four listings, which one would you click on all our well-established products on Amazon, with 1000s of reviews, with at least a four star rating. Based on the images alone, the beds at the dog inside them provide a more immediate connection with the shopper. The addition of the dog helps display the scale of the bed. The third image includes some toys as well, and the packaging, which adds a lot of personality to this listing.
The fourth image on the right includes a small badge. But the problem is that it’s not very legible and does nothing to persuade the shopper. Keep in mind that images three and four are going against Amazon’s restrictions, because they have included additional elements that are not the product. The third uses toys and the fourth uses the badge. You have to be careful using these types of images because Amazon can suspend your listing. That being said they are effective because they help their main image stand out from the crowd.
Perspective, Showing Scale
Next up, is the Perspective Image, essential to telling the full story on your product. Perspective images, show the shopper, the scale and dimensions of your product. This can be done in three ways. The first is the silhouette image. On this watch listing, we can see that the fourth image utilizes an illustration of an arm to help showcase the size of the watch relative to someone’s hand the image gets across the message just fine.
But, it is not very interesting for a watch brand. You expect to see lifestyle images that could equally and effectively showcase the dimensions of the wine. Silhoutte images are often used for smaller household items. The next perspective image is the simple product shot with dimension callouts as seen in this food processor example by Hamilton beach.
This image is very straightforward and clear, but the problem is; it makes you think! Not everyone can easily picture in their head, what 17 inches looks. The easiest solution would to be, to add in a secondary element in this photo that you could position next to the food processor that would help show scale.
Lastly, it’s a lifestyle perspective image and this Breville espresso maker listing, we can easily understand the size of this espresso machine because the photographer places croissants, a cutting board and a cup in the foreground. If the shopper is really concerned about dimensions, they can easily scroll down to the product dimensions to ensure the size, but the lifestyle image paints a pretty good picture.
Overall, the lifestyle perspective image is the best option because it gives your product context, you get to show the shop per how the product can live in their home or in their life.
Charts, The Nitty Gritty
This listing by Helly Hansen showcases one of the less used types of images. The chart images are displayed as their fifth and sixth listing images. Charts, well not visually exciting tell you a lot about a product in a short amount of space. For the clothing space, it really makes sense to have a measuring guide chart in order to minimize the risk of returns.
More often than not, businesses will bury these charts down in their A+ Content. If we scroll down, we can see that Helly Hansen makes use of the comparison chart module. You can add a lot of the same information, but you don’t get to control the visual layout of the information. With listing images, you get complete control over all the elements since you must create the image yourself.
Updating Images in Seller Central
Updating Images in Vendor Central
To upload or update images in vendor Central, go to the vendor central dashboard at vendorcentral.amazon.com. To get started, go to the >items drop down menu and select >upload images.
On the next screen, we can see that on the left hand side of the page, we can search for products in our catalogue, by name, or by ASIN. In the centre of the page, we have our catalogue list. Find the product you would like to change the image of click on the check mark to the left of the image. Once selected, navigate to the top right corner and click >Manage images. You will then be taken to the Manage images page. Here, we can upload images, view image requirements, and get a snapshot of images that are currently live.
Product Images Minimum Number
We recommend using at least five images in your listing, the more, the better. Obviously, in Amazon, you don’t get the luxury of allowing a shopper to physically hold your product. So, you must paint the most detailed picture as possible.
This requires a lot of images to properly showcase your product. Show your product from a variety of angles and in several different contexts and scenarios. You want to close the imagination gap as tightly as possible.
At the bare minimum, you must have one high quality, professionally shot image of your product. This is the image that will show up in search and is your first touch point with the potential customer. Making it essential in order to get someone to click on your listing.
What are Amazon Variations
Variations, also known as Parent Child relationships, are sets of products that are related to one another. Listings with good variation relationships allow buyers to compare and choose products based on different attributes such as size, colour, style, or other characteristics from the available options on a single product detail page.
Here is an example of how a variation appears to customers. For example, a customer searching for a shift dress might click on product detail page for a shift dress that comes in seven sizes, extra small, small, medium, large, etc. and two colours, red and black. Rather than a cluttered view of all possible colour and size combinations, the customer can select a preferred size and choose the colour from the two available colour variations.
If variations were not utilised in this listing, we would get a whopping 14 listings instead of one listing with all sizes and colour options.
Think of the work from the shopper’s side to find the size that they would need. Examples of good variation families are items of clothing that come in different sizes, like small, medium and large items that come in different colours, anything from shades of lipstick to patterns on water drinking bottles, rugs that come in different sizes and patterns, different scents and bodywash different quantities, less pack sizes. All these examples and much more benefit from a parent child relationship.
Fundamentals of a Variation Relationship
There are three components to a parent child relationship. First is the parent listing. The product listing is a non-viable entity used to relate child products. The listing displayed only in the seller Central’s search results. Amazon catalogue uses the parent listing to establish relationships between the child products.
For example, if two dresses have the same parent, then they’re related and are considered child products. The parent product is the initial image displayed on search result pages. Remember, you need a parent title. For example, in the automotive category, Amazon stipulates through their style guides. This is the format for parent titles in this category, parent – brand + model +product package title
Two, child products. These are viable products related to each parent listing. The child product is an instance of the parent product. You can have many child products that are related to one parent product. Each child varies in some way, for example, by style, or by colour, the child products or the products that are related to each parent and display when the variation is selected by the buyer. Now let’s remember variation titles for children. Let’s stick with the automotive category. Here we see Amazon stipulate that all child titles must be in the format of child + model + product package title + variation size + variation colour.
Third, is the variation theme. The relationship between the child and the parent. The variation theme defines how related products differ from each other. Depending on the category chosen to list your products. Variation themes also vary. For example, in the clothing, accessories and luggage category. Child products can differ from each other by size or colour or package quantity. And Child listings in the beauty category can have different flavour, scent size and colour.
Poor Variations and How to Avoid them
The best way to show a poor variation is to compare listings with good variation structure. With listings that have poor variation in structure, it will become clearly evident from the examples what a bad variation actually looks like, and the effect it will have on the product detail page.
Here’s an example of a variation that could cause customer confusion. The item comes in different pack sizes and different flavours. The parent states that this is a 40 pack, but when you click on a different flavour variation, the 40 pack title goes away and the pack is changed to ounces. A customer might end up not buying because they are unsure of their favourite flavour comes in a 40 pack.
The brand should have split the variation themes like this example, where the flavours and packs are clear, there is no room for error. While product variations can help boost conversions, a negative customer experience can damage product sales, and a brand’s reputation.
Amazon has guidelines and policies are in place for a reason. And brands should always adhere to them if they want to boost conversions and increase success on Amazon. Let’s look at another example. And dig in again. You can see here that style was chosen as a variation, colour would have been a better choice. And instead of button options filled with text, colour and image swatches would have been a more dynamic presentation to the browser. Check out this competitor for water bottles to see variations done a lot better. So, we have two similar products, both using variations and both using them in totally different capacities. Which one do you think wins? Which one do you think converts better?
Best Practices for Creating Variations
Customer experience. When creating variations, the customer experience is crucial. The first thing to consider is if adding a variant enhances the customer experience, or leaves room for possible confusion. You really do not want to confuse the browsing shopper, as this will result in negative customer experience, and possibly negative product reviews and feedback, not to mention any impact it may have on your brand’s reputation.
For example, if you’re selling protein powder, and one size comes with the free shaker, you may mention this in the bullet points. But what if the customer selects the size variant with the free shaker, reads the bullet points, sees the shaker is included and then decides to select a smaller size but doesn’t re-read the bullet points, they may still be expecting our free shaker. While this information is accurate on the listing, you cannot assume the customer will re-read the product information for every variant they choose.
If the customer then received the smaller size without their free shaker, they might then leave a negative review and return the item. As you can see in this example, there is a free shaker when you purchase one size, and not when you purchase a smaller size.
But these are all on the one listing by means of using variations. And if we take a closer look at the reviews, we can see that this is exactly what is happening. Negative reviews from customers thinking they’re getting a free shaker, when in fact it is only included with the larger size to variation themes.
When creating a variation, there are different themes you can select from. These themes vary by product, category, and type. The most common are size, colour, scent, flavour, weight, and pack size. A product should naturally fall into one of the variation themes for that category. If it doesn’t, you should question whether the product should really be a variation.
As you are aware by now, Amazon has strict policies and guidelines when it comes to variations. Failure to meet these and you put your listings and account at risk of suspension. Don’t put your products at risk for the sake of making an additional few sales.
Yes, indeed I hear you. Other sellers are doing this. But that doesn’t mean you should follow suit. If you want to have a long-term viable Amazon business, play by the rules, or at least as close to the rules as possible.
Remember different categories have different rules. The formatting of variations differs across product categories. This is known as style guides. In some categories where a variation exists, the product content will be visible at the parent level. This includes titles, bullet points, product descriptions, and images.
Even A+ pages must be created at the parent level. This means the product page content will not change when the customer selects a different variant. In other categories, the content is visible on the product page at child level, meaning it changes when a variant is selected. This is a far cleaner experience for customers. If the content is visible only at the parent level, there is more chance of creating confusion. If the product features vary across child skews.
Test user experience and scope out the competition if you are dubious. The first thing to do is test the user experience and ensure the variation does not cause any confusion. Then research the competition to see how they are using variations on their listings. How have they created them? What themes do they use? Is the customer experience enhanced? Or is there room for confusion?
How do I Create Variations for my Amazon Product
There are a couple ways to upload or update variations that we will go over. The first is through creating a new product listing. To get started, go to the seller central dashboard. Then go to the >inventory drop down menu and select >Add a product. Under list a new product, click >Create a new product listing. The first step is to find your product category. For the sake of example, we are making a listing for a sports water bottle. Once you find your category, click >Select. Under the variations tab, here is where you’ll choose what type of variation you would like to use. Since our product is water bottles, we just have different sizes and colours. So, we are going to choose size name and colour name. Then just input your different sizes and colour variations. This is the manual way of adding variations and is best used when the number of variations is relatively small, say less than 10.
The next way to handle variations is through the new variation wizard. Go back to the add a product page to get started and then click on >variation wizard at the bottom. Now, we have the option to either add to or update an existing variation family or we can create a new variation.
If we click >add to or >update an existing variation family, we get the option to input a child or parent to create a variation from if we input a parent ASIN we will see a table that gives us the variation theme and all the child products. Here, we cannot change the variation theme, but we can add a new product under this variation. If you go down to the bottom left of the page and click on the button. If we click >Create a new variation family, Amazon gives us a list of steps that we need to take in order to create a new variation. The first step is downloading the correct category template. Then, use the inventory template to create parent and child skews and follow the instructions listed here.
Amazon dictates what kind of variation you can use, depending on your product category. To see what kind of variations are available to you, go to the seller central dashboard and click on the >inventory drop down menu. From here, click on >Add a product, scroll to the bottom of the page and click >Create a new product listing.
Now, we can either search for our product category, or manually go through the product categories to find our specific category. For the sake of example, we’re going to search for the variation themes for a sports water bottle. So, we’re going to go to sports and outdoors, outdoor recreation, accessories, and then finally, sports water bottles. Once you find your category, click >Select. Go to the variations tab. And here right at the top, you will have your list of variations themes.
How do I Maximize Color Swatches?
I hear you ask, what are colour swatches? What have they got to do with listing variations?
What comes to mind when you think of colour swatches, renovating your home most likely, the tiny swatches of fabric for your new carpet or drapes you have required along with paint swatches, all used to render an idea in your mind a visualisation of what they will look like in real life at a grander scale. Well, this image isn’t too far from what we’re talking about, in terms of variation swatches on an Amazon listing.
Let’s dive in and take a look at a wonderful example of variation swatches on Amazon. These were originally all individual separate listings, but we pulled them together and created variations under colour. But we did not stop there. We created colour swatches for each variation. You can see them here. Each swatch has representation of the design on the bracelet. Shoppers are instantly wowed visually, it’s dynamic and creates instant appeal.
Now, let’s look at the same brand. But without colour swatches. In this case, we have not created and uploaded swatch images. Instead, Amazon automatically uses the main listing image in the variation buttons. So which listing do you think converts better? I hear you say the first and you would be correct. The listing with the swatch images converts far better than the latter listing without.
Here are some tips for when you go to create your own variation swatches.
Advantages of Variations; Do Variations Increase Sales?
If variations are used correctly, the answer is yes, variations can help increase sales. During this video, we will tell you why you should consider using variations and why they help with conversions and sales.
One reason is Customer experience. Variations streamline the customer experience by offering a variety of choices on the same listing. As improves conversion rates, increases the number of units per transaction, and pulls your reviews together on one listing.
Variations create an easier buyer experience allowing the customer to see all product options on one page. Instead of having to browse to see all the variations of the same product spread across different pages. Every time a browser clicks off your listing is another chance for you to lose them, and ultimately, the sale. So having all the options on one page negates the need to leave that page. Thus, increasing the chances of the browser seeing something they like and making the sale. It’s easier to buy a dress when you can see all size options and colour options on the same Detail page rather than having to search for your specific size and colour.
A word of caution at the other end of the spectrum, if using incorrectly, variations can cause confusion for the buyer. They can result in the buyer purchasing the wrong item or misunderstanding what they are purchasing. For example, if your detail page says that the variations differ by colour, but they actually differ by colour and quantity, the customer may expect to receive a different quantity than they ordered. This will then lead to all sorts of problems, negative feedback, ese claims, returns, and so forth.
When adding a variation to your product listing, really think about it. We suggest taking pen to paper and drawing out the listing at least for the first few times until you become accustomed to structuring your listings. Put yourself in the place of the customer and determine if the listing is crystal clear – no confusion whatsoever should be present.
The sometimes aggregates feedback and reviews. When merging existing listings, reviews can become merged. It is based on category. In some categories, the reviews will merge automatically. When you merge together certain listings, you may also need to contact seller support to get the reviews merged. And unfortunately, we’re also seeing that in some categories, Amazon is refusing to aggregate the reviews. So, what does that mean for your brand?
Let’s pretend you have an existing product listing with a single ASIN without any variations, and the product has ten 5 star reviews. You also have some similar products with only a handful of reviews on each of their listings. Well, you can merge the listings, create variations and merge the reviews. Suddenly, your poor sellers perhaps due to only having a few reviews are now showing twenty 5 star reviews. A larger number of reviews, boost algorithm optimization and customer conversion. Let’s look at this MK watch listing. Is it better to have these watches listed individually with the reviews all separated? Or is it better to list them with colour variations just like here, definitely here.
Now, let’s work through an example for the same brand where a variation has not been created. We can see on the search results 176 reviews, 111 reviews and 38 reviews. But would it make sense? Would it cause confusion to the shopper? Or would it enhance the shoppers experience and help with SEO and the ability to win the buy box. Potentially the latter.
The next line of reasoning once you conclude variations are a good idea is to determine how you would merge them. These are all the same Bradshaw MK watches, but they have two differences the size of the face of the watch and their colour. Based on this categories variation theme, the variations would be size and colour.
If these listings were merged, and variations created, you would have one listing with a total of 325 reviews. A definite boost to algorithm optimization and thus conversions and sales.
Introduction to Amazon Style Guides
Style guides are a tool provided by Amazon that helps give you guidance to create effective and accurate product detail pages. Style guides are category dependent, meaning they differ between Amazon categories.
So for example, if you sell sports equipment, you will have a different style guide the jewellery seller.
Style guides include key information on title styles, branded manufacturer information, key product features, product descriptions, and image requirements and restrictions. The style guides for each category will provide you with helpful examples, but each topic and tips and tricks on what to do and things to avoid.
Generating Style Guides
To access the style guide, first log into your seller central account. From the seller central dashboard, go to the >inventory drop down menu and click >Add products via upload. At the top of the page, you will see three tabs. Make sure you have the download an inventory file tab selected, scroll down and click on >category specific inventory.
Under file name, you will get a pop up with the inventory file templates. Scroll down to the second table and you will see a section specifically for style guides. On the left hand of the table, you will see the corresponding categories. Find the correct category and click into the guide to get all the information you’ll need. Included is a table of contents for you to find the exact information that you’re looking for. You can always download style guides as a PDF, so you don’t have to keep coming back to this page. But keep in mind, Amazon does update these style guides so always make sure that you’re using the most recent one.
Prioritize; Gather your Best Selling Points
After we have done all the research and found the gaps in our current listing, it is time to organise an outline for our content. What is the number one thing you want people to know about your product? What gets people the most excited? What feature or benefit Do you have the nobody else can claim? Try to pare down your selling points to five to seven to save room for the main image, and a video if you have one. Once you have your list, try and rank them in terms of importance.
This process allows you to craft your listing images with their goals first, instead of just trying to use your existing images to fit your new goals. And this example for an espresso machine, they begin their story by telling you all the things you can make with their particular coffee machine. This is crucial front of mind information that the shopper needs to get to get excited about the product. Then they go into the more detailed features. Lastly, they provide two images that do scale, saving the lifestyle images for the end. The sequence of information is clear and effective and gives you a full picture of what this product is capable of.
Look at your Current Product Listing with a Critical Eye
The first step to creating core content is to go over your existing listing with the critical and analytical eye. There are several questions you must ask yourself. First, what am I trying to communicate? What is the goal? Second, what is the hierarchy of information? What is the need-to-know information? And what can be buried at the bottom of the listing? Third, is that information clear and easy to understand? You have seconds to capture someone’s attention and hold it. So, use your limited space wisely.
Fourth, is your content interesting? Or is it boring? Do your images get people excited about your product? It goes without saying that your content has to look really good with well shot photography and properly placed text. Once you’ve answered these four questions, you should have a pretty good idea of where you’re at.
At this point, you should comb through your customer questions and reviews and look for patterns. Are there reoccurring questions, or people claiming that your products are faulty? Here is an opportunity for you to uncover potential customer purchase barriers. Once you know what is stopping people from converting, you can create a listing image that directly responds to your findings. Don’t just look at the most positive and most negative reviews. Because these are often made from emotional responses and are highly subjective. It’s arguably more helpful to review the two-to-four-star reviews because they usually provide more constructive feedback that we can use to optimise our content
You wouldn’t be doing your due diligence. If you weren’t up to date with what your competitors are doing on Amazon. Look at your biggest competitors. What are they doing well? What are their customers saying about their products that you could say about your own?
There are a lot of things to unpack when looking at a competitor. But it’s important to frame your analysis in order to be the most productive. Go into this exercise with a mindset of how can I make my content better than theirs? What you shouldn’t do is simply copy their exact techniques. If your competitors are using colour images with icons, ask yourself.. How can I use call outs and an even more visually interesting way?