5 top ecommerce design strategies for Amazon sellers

Selling on Amazon is big business. In 2019, Amazon’s net sales were $280.5 billion USD. Yes, billion with a B. As of 2021, there are more than 9.7 million sellers and among them, 1.9 million active sellers. So if you’re planning on setting up shop and joining those almost two million active sellers, you’ll need scroll-stopping Amazon ecommerce design.

We spoke with George Reid, Amazon expert and author of georges.blog, about the best ecommerce graphic design strategies for Amazon sellers. Through his blog, newsletter and Facebook group for Amazon creatives, George curates the best Amazon content currently on the platform and categorizes it so sellers can see examples of the ecommerce design strategies that work best. Here’s the advice he has for any entrepreneur building a successful brand on Amazon.

illustration of woman finalising her amazon ecommerce design
Make the most of your storefront with the perfect Amazon ecommerce design, illustration by OrangeCrush

Amazon ecommerce design at a glance

First things first, to be a successful Amazon seller, your listings need to be optimized for the platform. That means creating images that are the correct resolution, knowing how to work with keywords, designing your listing pages to be mobile-friendly and adhering to Amazon’s terms of service.

Ecommerce design for Amazon has a lot of overlap with universal ecommerce design principles, but just like every other platform, Amazon has its own guidelines and requirements that sellers need to keep in mind when they’re getting designs for their Amazon stores.

sunglasses listing
Via Go Data Feed

Let’s look at some quick facts about designing for Amazon:

  • For regular product listings, it’s recommended to use at least 2000×2000 px for image dimensions. The higher the image quality, the better the user experience but remember these images cannot exceed 10mb.
  • JPEG is the ideal image type for regular product listing images.
  • The full product needs to appear in the image frame.
  • Watermarks are not permitted on product images.
  • Images may not contain graphics or text not related to the product.

Beyond these requirements, crafting Amazon graphics that get clicks is more of a subjective process. There are tried-and-tested strategies you can employ, but how to employ them requires creativity and critical thinking on your part.

5 ecommerce graphic design strategies for Amazon sellers from George Reid

Here are George Reid’s key strategies for Amazon sellers to implement when designing for their stores:

1. Differentiate

Differentiation is important everywhere, but it’s especially important for your main image because this first image is the first touchpoint a potential buyer has with your brand.

In marketing, a touchpoint is any contact a person has with your brand. It could be them seeing an ad in their social media feed, walking past your product on a store shelf, receiving an email from you or checking out your website.

Your main image is, without a doubt, the most important part of your whole Amazon listing.

As the very first touchpoint in what could lead to a sale, your Amazon main image has the big job of building intrigue and getting that click. Everything else becomes redundant unless you get the click.

Your main image has to be different from the main image everybody else is using for the same product. And not just different—it needs to grab the shopper’s attention as they scroll through listing after listing.

How? Clever graphic design that doesn’t violate Amazon’s terms of service. Take a look at this image used for Ugly sparkling water:

two Ugly cans side by side with an overlay
via Ugly

See the blue circles with the selling points? These overlays are the kinds of graphic embellishments that make an image stand out against competitors’ images of the same product.

Whilst Amazon stipulate you should not use overlays on your main images, many brands are getting crafty by tricking the algorithm into thinking the overlay is part of the products packaging, thus getting away with it. When all main images need to have a plain white background, this goes a long way to drive higher click-through rates.

You can also differentiate by using 3D renders instead of photographs, as well as considering angles, lighting, and what triggers are on your packaging.

infographic showing different touch points in orange, blue and light green circles
Via Sentisum.com

Your main image isn’t the only place where you need to differentiate. Your entire listing needs to speak to the viewer. On Amazon, it can be especially difficult to hold a buyer’s attention on a listing page long enough to make the sale because right on your listing’s page, the viewer’s seeing competitors’ listings. Don’t let those competitors snag your sale by looking better than you—build out that page with highly engaging, educational and emotion-evoking content.

Finish the job you started by converting that customer with highly engaging, educational, and emotion invoking content.

Evoking emotion through copy isn’t an art; it’s a formula. This guide to writing emotional sales copy lays out the different emotions that drive customers’ choice and ultimately, drive sales.

Additional tip: run Amazon advertising on your own listing so your competitors can’t, thus reducing the opportunities they have to steal customers from you. George also helps brands with Amazon advertising services.

2. Educate

Humans are visual creatures. In nearly all cases, the fastest, easiest way to communicate to buyers about your product is to do it through images and/or videos.

listing for ceramic owl planters
Via Seller App
infographics for nutrition brand
Image via George’s blog.

George recommends applying the following rule of thumb to check if your images provide enough information. Take a look at your product page right now and ask yourself this: if you delete all the copy, does the viewer have enough information to make a well-informed decision about buying the product?

If the answer is “no,” you need to up your graphics game. Creating informative graphics is one of the core tenets of Amazon ecommerce design. Through these images and videos, you need to exclusively solve the problem the buyer is facing. As they scroll through your page, they’re thinking about the problems they have and—sometimes not even consciously—how the product they’re looking at can fix them.

infographics for bed company
Image via George’s blog.

Give your viewers a couple of different kinds of images to learn from: 

  • Infographics
  • Lifestyle images showing your product in use and how it fits into their life.
  • Comparison images
  • Packaging images
  • Reviews

Make sure your images communicate the benefits your product delivers. By doing this, you’re educating the buyer on how your product helps them and why it’s the right choice.

imagery for menstrual health brand

3. Evoke

Remember how we mentioned you have to evoke emotion in your buyers?

Beyond being part of differentiating your product and your brand, evoking emotion also works to bring buyers closer to you. If you do it effectively, you’ll build a personal connection with buyers that other sellers just don’t have.

mother holding her baby in a wrap
Via Helium10.com

To help you determine if your graphics are emotionally effective, George advises to ask yourself the following question while looking through the images you are using: “Do prospective customers feel something upon landing on your page and browsing your content?”

Emotion-evoking imagery can be a powerful tool that can make people want to buy your product. George explains: “Apple are best in class when it comes to this. Their images are mesmerising, they alone fill us with emotion and an urge to buy the product. It’s what makes us float around their website for longer than necessary, because it’s genuinely an enjoyable experience, it makes us feel good.”

stills from Apple “fumble” ad
Via Apple

As you choose images to evoke specific emotions in buyers, think about your why. Why is your product a better choice for them than your competitors’ products? Why do they need to buy it in the first place, and why do they need to buy it from you?

How do you know what your customers want and need? Researching keywords doesn’t just show you which keywords are landing with buyers—it shows you what they’re thinking about and what they care about. After all, these are the keywords they’re searching for—and they wouldn’t be searching them if they didn’t care about them. Tools like Sellics can help you research keywords and optimize your listings for SEO.

4. Lifestyle

Your product doesn’t exist out in a void somewhere. It exists to make your buyer’s life better. So to do that, your images need to engage in a practice known as future pacing.

Help the customer visualise what their life might look like with your product in it.

collection of lifestyle product images
Via Fix the Photo

Future pacing asks the viewer to imagine themselves in the future. More specifically, it asks them to imagine themselves in a future where they have a specific product. How is this product making their life better? Show it in the images you choose. Help viewers visualize themselves owning and using your product.

5. Validate

George explains: “It doesn’t matter how great the graphic designer, photographer, etc is. If the content doesn’t resonate with the audience, then it’s not going to work.” That’s why you always need to validate your ideas.

The key to knowing which images really work is split testing them. But there are a few things to keep in mind when doing so on this marketplace.

graphic showing split testing
Via Neil Patel

Amazon doesn’t have the feature available yet for you to split test main images, though you can split test A+ content. If you wanted to split test pages online, you’d have to create two separate listings on Amazon, which would drive traffic to different places. This is not only unadvised but it’s actually against Amazon’s terms of service (TOS).

But there are strategies you can implement to test your content. Pickfu, for instance, is part of the Amazon Creatives group and it allows users to access their panel to test pages offline. This works pretty much the same as split testing online, only you are testing it with a sample audience, not your actual one.

Another option is to explore changing your main image over a 2-week test period, ensuring you don’t change anything else (e.g. increase ad spend). Which one garnered more clicks? Which one resulted in more sales? The data you collect will help you determine which graphic is the most effective one to use.

Make your Amazon designs stand out

Every ecommerce platform has its nuances, and Amazon is no different. If you follow the expert strategies above, you can take your listings to the next level—and skyrocket those clicks and sales.

If you’ve got a great eye for design you can easily put all of these tips into action yourself. Not a design pro? An experienced graphic designer can make your Amazon listings stand out from the crowd.

These strategies are continuously developing, so it’s important to keep your brand updated with the latest trends to achieve sustainable success. Keep testing and keep improving. If you want to stay informed, listen to the podcast It’s Always Day One and check out georges.blog to stay ahead of the game.

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