Best Amazon Listing Images and Photography Techniques ⎜ AMZ One Step ⎜ EP 37
Ryan Cramer: What's up everyone. Welcome to my corner of the internet. I'm your host, Ryan Cramer. And this is Crossover Commerce, presented by PingPong Payments, the leading global payments provider, helping sellers keep more of their hard earned money. What's up everyone. Episode 37 of Crossover Commerce, coming at you live on Facebook, on YouTube, not even Instagram, on LinkedIn, and on Twitter. For those of you who are going to listen to this later, thank you for subscribing to our podcast on both Spotify and on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you consume all of your information or audio content. But, today, we have a really great guest today, our CEO and founder of AMZ One Step. His name is Kamal Singh of AMZ One Step. Him and I have been connecting, talking about different topics, and we're just kind of floating around. They're specializing in Amazon product photography, and how they're going to use those different techniques to help you optimize your Amazon listing. And the whole adage and saying is," A picture's worth a thousand words." And this is what I've been using to promote this episode. So I'm super excited about it. I know it's not original, but I think it applies to specifically this topic. If a picture is worth a thousand words, it can also lead to thousands of dollars of revenue, both on e- commerce and on Amazon. So before we get started, again, if this is your first time listening to our show, welcome. Go ahead and add those comments in those descriptions below, whether you're watching on any of the social channels, or if you watch us and save this for later, to consume it at a different time when we're not live, go ahead and tag us in there. And we'll make sure that if you have questions about a specific topic, or idea that you have, if you're a seller, if you're a brand, go ahead and mention us. And then we'll be able to connect with you in that regards. Without further ado, I'm going to go ahead and bring on our special guest Kamal. I was telling you before, before I did this episode, I moved around all my monitors. So everything's different for me. So, Kamal, thank you for joining us live.
Kamal Singh: No, pleasure to be here, Ryan. It's good talking to you once again.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. I know we've been talking quite a bit, just because of our businesses. And what you guys are kind of focused on in 2021 are solutions helping you guys out on a business side. But we're really excited to really just hammer home and dive into this expertise area, where you guys are the go- to people, if you will. A growing agency, I wouldn't call you a newer agency. But when we were talking through all the different expertise areas, I really was focused on this photography aspect. Because not a lot of people either focus on it, but it's almost like a segment of their portfolio, right? It's like," Hey, we do PPC, we do listing optimization, and we do photography." But you guys really hammer home the photography fun. So maybe let's kick it off. Tell us who you are. Tell us your background, and where it lead to you to where you are today here in 2021.
Kamal Singh: Okay. No, perfect. So I know when I started selling on Amazon back in 2015, I started with a retail arbitrage. So I was buying products from Walmart, Target, and just flipping them on Amazon. So that's kind of how I started. And then jumped off the online arbitrage, same thing, buying stuff online, and flipping it on Amazon. So then I started watching some YouTube videos, and figured out what private label is. So I started a couple of private label brands. Started with phone accessories, obviously, that didn't work out that. But, slowly, when I was doing more and more research, private label did really well for me. And I'm currently in Edmonton, Canada. So I was organizing some meetups. And I was just trying to bring Amazon community together. So lot of people were asking me," What kind of photography services you use? Who's your copywriter? Who's your freight forwarder?" So I was just referring people, like," Go to this guy, go to that guy." From there, the idea came, then why not I start an agency? And I have all those freelancers, all those people under my banner. And that's how AMZ One Step started. So now we're a team of over 70 people, with multiple offices in different parts of the world. So that's kind of my journey in Amazon. So, in 2018, I have sold my Amazon brand, and just now working full time on AMZ One Step.
Ryan Cramer: That's awesome. So where did the idea of that name come from? Is it something specific that's referencing point? Obviously, AMZ refers to Amazon, but what's that title indicating for you?
Kamal Singh: No, I get that a lot. So the idea when we started this company, the idea behind was to become a one- stop shop for Amazon sellers, so that we could provide most of the services. Just wanted to be the Walmart of Amazon. But, the photography services, as you can tell, that has been super special. Our clients love it. And the brand has become from product photography. We do offer other services as well, but photography, listing images has become the major services. So that's where the idea came from. We wanted to be a one stop shop for Amazon sellers.
Ryan Cramer: Sure. And that makes sense. So what about photography got you most interested? Is your background in photography? What about photography made sense for you guys to form a business around, and say," Hey, we know that this isn't a major sexy component of everything, but there is a niche for us to step in and provide these services, or even just insight onto what Amazon sellers can do to optimize themselves moving forward and really use photography, right?" You can't touch or feel these things on e- commerce, so you have to really dive into these different kinds of components, whether it's descriptions or whether it's just visual cues, of what's going to make it stand out. What led you guys to that decision?
Kamal Singh: Yeah. So the common problem with an Amazon seller community is, when they're looking for a product photographer... So let me take a step back. So Amazon photography, or Amazon listing images, it's not just product photography. It's a mixture of product photography. It's also about graphic design, the market research, and the art. So when you combine these four things, that's when you create good listing images. So if you hire a photographer, he's going to do amazing photos, but those will not be Amazon ready. Because, on Amazon, you need some infographics. You need lifestyle images which can talk to the target audience. And, a lot of time, lot of the photos, if you notice that it cannot be done with photography. You need a Photoshop expert to really tell the meaning behind that image. So it's a combination of everything. So what we noticed, that people are going to the freelancers, they are really good in the editing, but they're not good in photography. Or they're good in photographer, but they're not good in infographics, or they're not good in graphic design. So these are all different parts of Amazon listing images. When you combine them together, it becomes a really deadly combination of great listing images. So that's where the idea came in, and we decided," Okay, if we could focus on this piece, and give everything to the Amazon sellers." So there is no Amazon specialized agency who were doing photography. People were going to random freelancers, or random regular photographers to get their product photographed. So that's where we created this combination, to deliver a product to Amazon sellers.
Ryan Cramer: No, I love that. I mean, it makes sense. Because you have all these different capacities, and people just think... Gosh, I was talking on our first episode about product photography and who owns those copyrights. And maybe we can dive into that too. You as a seller, who owns that? Is it you as a AMZ One Step, or as a seller? But when we were chatting back with the legal aspect of it all, the biggest problem was copying and pasting either branded products or wholesale products from the manufacturer, and just uploading them through Photoshop, or just taking them with your camera. And everyone knows that's a very bad no- no, obviously, for Amazon. It's not going to drive results. It's going to sink to the bottom, in your listing. I've seen some pretty bad photography in Amazon listings, both as a shopper, but also as a service provider. So what's the psychology about photography, that you guys really tried to tell? Is there stats that you provide, in terms of like," Hey, it's bringing this much lift to your sales, from when we change it from X to Y?" What are those basic, high level, key points that you always tell?
Kamal Singh: Yeah. So if the listing is already up and running, so we know what the conversion rate is, what's your impression, how many impressions you're getting. But after we make the changes, we do new photography, upload new images. What happens? We can immediately tell how much conversion rate has been improved. That's what happens on the existing listings. But let's say if the listing is brand new, so you can't really tell how to get the results. So if you're getting more than 5 to 7% of conversion rate, we consider it a good conversion rate. The reason why, because it's a brand new listing, and you have no reviews. If you have reviews, then the conversion rate can be as high as 35, 40%. But, if you have good reviews, anywhere between 15% is considered to be a good conversion rate. So there's a metric in your seller center, you can track unit session percentage. That is your conversion rate. And also you can check your impressions and click through rates. So you can tell your results through PPC as well. So there's different metrics that you can use to track if your listing images are performing well or not. Let's say, if you're getting impressions, but you're not getting clicks, that means you need to work on your main image, right? So there's a few things. When the buyers perform a keyword search on Amazon, we think obviously that price and reviews are the most important thing. But, psychologically, the first thing they look at is your main image. If they search for the yoga mat, psychologically, they're going to confirm their confirmation bias. Okay, this is the yoga mat. And then they look at the price and reviews. But, most of sellers, they think that reviews and price is important. Definitely, it's super important. But, before that, there's a psychological step, to confirm that the keyword matches with the image, and then they go to the price. So if you're not getting good CTR, you need to work on your either product title or your main image. And the main image, around that is the key to success on Amazon. We have tested it over. A good main image gets you a lot more clicks. And if the things are done right, chances are you have already got your buyer in a funnel. Now you have won half the battle. So now it's just a matter of conversion. The first step is getting click through rate. Spend as much time as possible on main images. A lot of people, they don't know what split testing is. It's absolutely necessary to do split testing on main image. We can think, as a seller," Oh, this is a good image." But, buyers, you will be surprised when you see the results in the split testing. So it's always a good idea to do split testing, maybe with two images or three images, and get to the optimal CTR. And that will only come with a great main image. Since we're talking about the main image, there's different ways to make your main image stand out. Because Amazon's super hard on Amazon's main image. They don't want any text or logo or badges. So there's few things that you can do to make your main image stand out. So yeah.
Ryan Cramer: Okay. Yeah. So, with that being said, there's obviously almost a playbook, if you will, that's somewhat updating constantly with all the TOS. But I would feel like, in terms of what does well, obviously is the white background for that main image. What's the basics for that main image? What are you looking for? What do you try to always tout as like," Hey, these are the key components that we look at, and you should obviously have, has to have XYZ." What are those top things?
Kamal Singh: Okay. The first thing is, when we're looking at the main image, how unique your image is. If it's something similar to your competitors, chances are you're going to share the clicks, the click share. You're not going to get the click, because your main image looks like your competitors. The first thing is how different or how unique we can create your main image. And second thing, obviously, the quality of your main image. If the image is very sharp, you can tell in your search results, people can see when they're looking at 20 images, if you have a super sharp main image, people can tell the difference, that this is a high quality product. That is one thing we look at. And the next thing is when you're doing the editing part, Amazon recommends that you should have 85% of the image, or the product, covered in its main image. But you can go as high as maybe 95%. Try to cover your product from corner to corner, so that there's no extra white space. What that's going to do, that is going to make your product look slightly bigger than your competitors in search results. So that's going to stand out, and that way you will get more clicks in your search results. So you can't really do any graphics, text, logos. Amazon doesn't like it. But other thing that you need to make sure is if you have... If you're selling it as a bundle, make sure most of the packages, most of the products, they are part of the main image. You don't want to hide something. And just come up with a nice layout. So these are the only few things that you can do, and this will help you make your main image stand out. But not to forget, split testing is the most important. Even though you're following all the steps, you still need to do split testing, so that you can get the best results. Even 1% or 0. 5% extra click share, or extra impressions, can be a game changer. Because your listing is getting tens of thousands of impressions, right? So even half a percent will get you so many clicks.
Ryan Cramer: So when you're touting this kind of split testing, are you suggesting to sellers that they constantly are doing this? Or is it you do for a certain of time, when you're either launching, or you're just trying out everything? And then when you start to see that natural lift from one over the other, you're just going to go with the one that's naturally converting more? What's kind of that process?
Kamal Singh: If your listing is brand new, or if you're just starting with finding your optimal CDR, you can do three or four times in a split testing in a month, just to get the best feedback. Once you know that this is the right main image I'm going to go with, you can do it every quarter or every six months. But you don't have to be that aggressive after that. Just look through your competitors. If someone has come up with a nice idea, you can test that out too. Or if your brand is registered with Amazon, you can go to brand analytics, search for the keyword, your main keyword, and you can actually see what are the top three listings who are getting the most click share. So that's a really cool way to figure out if your main image is doing good or not. So if it's not, see who's getting the most amount of clicks, and try to do something similar.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah, absolutely. We did have a quick question from the audience. And, again, for people who are listening on LinkedIn, YouTube, or watching on Facebook, again, definitely ask those questions real time. And if it's as simple as this question, we're going to make sure that you understand, because we want you to walk away with certain nuggets. Lincoln Davis on LinkedIn, he asks the question," What is split testing?" And, for you and me, that's obviously an easy question to answer. But for a lot of people that are like," I didn't know that you can do one versus another, in certain aspects." So what would be your best definition, Kamal, in that?
Kamal Singh: Split testing is basically, in simple words, called AB testing. So you have image A and image B as a main image. The first option is you can maybe upload image A, and test it and check your numbers, see what's your click through rate. And upload the second main image next month and compare your numbers. So that is one way to do it. But there are some really cool software out there. I personally recommend PickFu. It's$ 50 for 50 votes. You can give both options, and you can ask the question to your audience," Hey, which main image would you click on, or which main image is something you like?" You can ask any question, any custom question. And you can choose your audience as well. Let's say, if you're testing main image, you can choose Amazon Prime members who do a lot of shopping on Amazon. You can do the same thing with your packaging design, even before creating the Amazon listing images. When you're creating your brand logo or brand packaging design, you can do split testing there as well. So I'm not too sure about the pricing, if you go more than 50 votes. But that will give you results in about half an hour, with detailed comments, what exactly people are liking about your main image. So, yeah, testing two images is a split testing.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah, we actually had Anthony Cofrancesco, and did a walkthrough, a part A and part B of their solution. So this is a great shout out to a former friend of the show, and then also Justin Chen, who's the CEO. Basically, the concept is around... You can test out different concepts, whether it's, in this case, imaging photography. Or if it's product packaging or logo, you can actually test multiple different ideas in real time, get results back from different audiences around the world, or different segments that you want to actually test those against, whether it's a older age group, a younger age group, male, female, so on and so forth. But they specialize in, obviously, Amazon and e- commerce, they do e- gaming, and they also do books, and other images and stuff like that for publishing. So great shout out to a friend of the show. And that's a great service. Because I think a lot of the concept around that, Kamal, is people think that it will work in one thing you could be partial to, like," Hey, that's my favorite logo, or that's my favorite picture," in this case. But you can be sorely mistaken, and say," That's not going to convert." People think," What am I looking at? Or I don't understand the whole concept around this product. Pass." And I think our decision- making is being... It's so quickly, when you're scrolling on your phone, or you're scrolling through on your computer, you have to make those impressions quickly, otherwise they're going to just move past you. So you have any thoughts on any of that concept? Or what's the main thing that you're looking, in terms of that? That's how you validate those ideas, right, with solutions like PickFu?
Kamal Singh: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. It's a great software that you can use. It's not just for, as I mentioned, the main image. You can do it for packaging design, logo design, even your website page. Yes, sometimes, as a seller, we can be biased, but the numbers don't lie. When you actually look at the data, that is something we should follow. I did a split testing, in our office, when we have a team of photographers and stuff. So we asked everybody," Hey, which image do you like?" The photographers choose how they were looking at the image, but the research team and someone who's not a photographer like me, we chose a different image. So every professional has a different mindset of how they look at things. But we need to think from the Amazon buyer's perspective.
Ryan Cramer: Absolutely. Good point. And, again, that's not our first thought process going into it. I think everyone has their own perception of what's going to sell and what's going to do better. So that makes complete sense, in terms of the hero image or the main image for the listing. So, as Amazon's evolved and grown, all the different things you can have in terms of visual cues to your listing, they've done it from the hero image to... I think seven images is what you can do now, plus a video, for most listings. Is that the correct number?
Kamal Singh: Yeah.
Ryan Cramer: Okay. So when you're walking through-
Kamal Singh: Six plus one. Yeah.
Ryan Cramer: Six plus one, sorry. So, yeah, the math is seven. So, if it's six plus one, what are the main objectives in those other... Besides the hero image and the main image that we're talking about, what are you trying to convey in those other selective... And this is obviously a small section that you have to get across every single aspect of your... How it's used, where in the setting that could be used for. What are the main takeaways that you're trying to push upon in there?
Kamal Singh: Yeah. So, when we're creating the images, let's say, the seven images deck, the first thing that we should do is understand your target audience, and understand your buyers, and understand the product. So these are the two things that we need to do first. Let's say, understanding the product first. When you do receive a product, check everything. What are some of the features that this product offers? Note them down. Let's say, if you're doing, let's say, a stroller organizer, okay, oh, this has extra pockets. Or maybe this has a detachable pocket. Write down each and every thing. What are the features? And what benefit they provide to the buyer. So write down features and benefits. That is understanding of your product. Some sellers will be surprised. There's a listing that we did a few months ago. The client ask us... It was a grip strengthener. You could squeeze the ball, and you can play all in games. And, on your app, you can actually tell how strong your grip is. So that was the only feature or benefit explained by the client to us. But when we actually did the research, okay, you know what? Maybe this is silicone made. We can use this as a stress ball. Now you're targeting one more keyword, and now you explored one more feature. Or maybe, if you do get an injury, it's easy to rehab, right? It's the next feature or new benefit. It helps in the hand injuries, and it's perfect for combat sports players, or the boxers. It's good for them too. So sometimes we think that the product only has one feature or one benefit. But when you sit down and do your research, you will come across so many other benefits that your product provides, or so many other problems that your product can solve. So write down everything. That is one part. Second part is who's going to buy the product? Let's say you're selling something for kids, but it's not the kids who are going to buy that. It's going to be either their mom or dad. So what are the top questions that the mom or dad can have? Is it easy to clean, maybe? Is it safe for my kids? Right? So we need to understand, from the buyer's mindset, what exactly they are thinking. And write down each and every thing. And the next part is also the research part. It's going to your competitors negative reviews and positive reviews. Seeing what are some of the things that people are mainly complaining about. And look at the commonly asked questions. So you will find so much good information from there. And note it down. And, from there, your whole story image, two to image seven, it will automatically flow in a nice sequence. You don't have to go outside. You don't have to go to an expert. All you need to do is just take a step back, think about all these things. Your whole storyline would be in front of you. Let me give you one other example.
Ryan Cramer: Yep. Sure.
Kamal Singh: So there's a category, right? We're looking at all the negative reviews. And everyone is talking about instruction manuals missing, or I'm not sure how to assemble this one. All we need to do is just two images, one, write on infographics that instruction manual is included. If it's not, create an image which gives them instructions. So these are the problems that we can solve with the images, which cannot be solved in a small bullet point or a title. Right? So, as I mentioned in the beginning of this podcast, that image speaks a thousand words. So this is what it means, that. Yeah, so image two to seven, it flows naturally once you know your audience and once you know your product.
Ryan Cramer: Gotcha. I mean, that was beautifully put. And, obviously, there's different ways to shoot those photos and have them listed. Maybe walk through the different concepts. Because, obviously, on your website, you have lists there like," Hey, it's lifestyle image, it's still image, or it's in action, or with a model," or whatever that may be. What are those main mixes that you typically throw in there for this photography?
Kamal Singh: So it's mainly three. One is hero shot. That includes the main image, and maybe one or two based on how complicated that product is. And the second is infographics, what information that we can tell the buyers through text and images. So it could be the features image. It could be the dimensions image. It could be package includes. When we write something on the image, that is infographic image. And the next part is graphic design. I mean, the lifestyle images. So the lifestyle images, that can be broken down into separate too. Either you go with the stock images or you go with the real life photography. So, yeah, we can talk about that later. So these are the three main things that you're looking at, hero, infographics and lifestyle. But when you further break it down, there's 11 or 12 different types of photos that you can create on your deck. It could be before and after, it could be comparison chart, could be features image. Yeah, there's lots of different things that you can do, but the only thing you need to keep in mind is these three things.
Ryan Cramer: Awesome. So when you're kind of going through those mix with people, do you think that people try to do too much with photography? I feel like, from my perspective, I have a visual communications background. So I have a visual design, I could see things a different way. And, a lot of times, people just don't self edit themselves. They think like," Oh, I need to make sure the baby is being carried and swaddled in this blanket that I'm trying to sell. And I want people to be happy, then I want to have like a logo on it," all these different things. You have to almost coach people through that concept of like," Hey, in this case, less is more. The less you're saying, the more they can interpret that product in their own lives.
Kamal Singh: Yeah. So it's a mixture of both. When we do the research, it's more collaborative work. It's always a good idea to hear what seller has in their mind, what they are trying to do. Maybe they're more trying to do their brand awareness, or maybe they're just starting for a social cause. So it's more collaborative work. So after listening to the client's feedback, then we create an image plan, see what would convert really well. So a few things that we can't ignore is, when we're creating the lifestyle images, the first thing is, is that lifestyle image, the product, being interacted with the model. Otherwise, there is no point. Otherwise, we can just use a stock image. So the product has to be interactive of the model, or the shot should be product focused. That is one thing. Yeah. So, collaboratively, we can get to a nice image stack.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. That makes sense. And I never think about too, in going through all the services and the things, concepts you have to really think about. And, again, everyone, if you have a question about any of these kind of topics, or these definitions, feel free to submit them through, and we'll kind of monitor. I'm doing this on my end, too, watching all of our different social media channels. If you're listening to this at a different time, we'll try to break this down, as best case for you. If you have a question, submit it live. Or if you want to go ahead and tag us, we'll get the contact information for Kamal and his team later on. So thank you for joining us again live, for everyone who's watching on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. The other thing, when I was going through the different types of imagery on Facebook, or not on Facebook, on Amazon, I never think about infographics. And I feel like that has come on strong, specifically later in 2020, and really in 2021, where it's just a space where either brands or just... You can put so much information in this infographic, but I never know what's the specifications that a seller has to use. Does it have to be so big of an image? It can only contain so much content? Maybe walk through what Amazon deems as a good infographic.
Kamal Singh: Yeah. No, the first thing that infographics... And a good question. The first thing that we need to make sure, that we're not making any claims, because that's against Amazon terms of service. Anytime we're writing something, please do not make any claims. The infographics is more to tell about your product that we're trying to tell through the bullet points, or the piece that we cannot show in the image. Let's say, people would read bullet points once they are interested in buying your product. First, they are just going to go through the image deck. So the infographics are really important to tell the top features. Maybe, as I mentioned, easy to install, or maybe easy to clean, things like these ones, durable. All those product features, you can put it in as infographics. So, that way, you're telling the whole story in those images. For example, there's so many products... For example, I was giving the stroller example. So the stroller has features, like the pockets and stuff like that, on the front side. And it also has a few things in the back side. But the picture won't show both sides, so the infographic can tell those pieces which cannot be shown in a picture. Or you can do before and after. You can tell people what are the results before and after. So using these infographics, maybe the comparison chart, what's your unique selling point? When you're doing your product research your product has, it should have any unique selling point that you're trying to sell on. So that can also be part of your infographics. And there are some simple products. Let's say you're selling a coffee mug. It's a ceramic, and there's not really... In the image, people can tell that what's the volume, if it's a 16 ounce or 20 ounce. So those are the things which are hard to judge on an image, but you can tell that in an infographics. So not just the features, you can also show the benefits. Or you can do branding to the infographic. So it's super important, what you're trying to say in those images. There is no limit how much you want to put it, but you don't want to make it look too busy. You want to keep your focus on the product. And you don't want to write too much. Because if people really want to read, they can go back to bullet points. You want to make it short and concise and meaningful. So these are the few things that we need to keep in mind when writing the infographics.
Ryan Cramer: Absolutely. And that makes complete sense to me. And hopefully it does to any other sellers out there who are just getting started or enhancing their brands. Another thing that... I never think of these different topics. So it's kind of cool to walk through each of them with you. And, again, all this is on our website, so it's really cool to consume, and real- time talk about it. The before and after shot. I never think about, before you have a problem or a solution, that's ultimately why entrepreneurs are there. They're there to solve a problem or a task < or help be a benefit to some mundane task that's going on, and bring some sort of benefit to you as a seller, to help that selling to a buyer, to help move along in the process of that sale. Two questions for this one. At what point can you get in trouble for falsified claims? For example, if I take a supplement, you show a really skinny guy and he'd take a supplement before. And then he'd take one in the after, he's super jacked or bulked up or something like that. At what point is it too far for a before and after claim image or things like that?
Kamal Singh: Okay. Yeah, that's a good one. When you're doing, let's say, supplements or something, when it's related to the health and it's a long- term process, then I'll try not to use before and after. Before and after is mainly for, let's say, you're vetting... The common product these days is face mask. You're wearing a face mask, that's a before. But now there's face mask straps too wide, your ears, the itchiness or something. So those are the more products that you can do before and after. Let's say, the posture corrector, okay? Maybe you have a bad ulcer, you put in a posture corrector, and now you're... So then it's most straightforward. Another example, that is inaudible exerciser. You can Photoshop that, you're going to have... And once you use this product after six months, this is something that this can look like. It's just to sell your product. The main goal of the image is just to give the conversion rate. So we don't want to make any claim which is harmful. Let's say if it's a supplement, it's really risky, you don't want to make a claim that can put someone in trouble, right? So before and after is more on the easier, or more on those products which makes more sense. Maybe a heated coffee mug, when you pour coffee in it, the cup color changes. Those are the more products where we can use before and after. The claims where you want to be really careful is your copy. Because Amazon bots would find it maybe right away, or a week after. So, images, people can't really know. Your listing won't go down, unless someone reports. It's mainly the main image, when Amazon takes it seriously. And, recently, there was Amazon policy that you can't really have FDA free or BPA free. These are also the claims that Amazon doesn't like to have on the images.
Ryan Cramer: I was going to say, another one I would think of top of mind, hot button issues like prevents COVID- 19 or something like that. I'm going to falsify a claim where you can't really show background or proof on that kind of stuff. So when you mentioned masks or any kind of PPE, or even just supplements or things like that, you, you definitely want to make sure that you're careful with those kinds of claims as well. What is the one category maybe, Kamal, that people don't... They under- utilize photography. And maybe you're just like,"It's so frustrating. This happens all the time with category XYZ. I never know why people don't do it better." And it's kind of a pet peeve, if you will.
Kamal Singh: Yeah. So the main is any product which is the vendor product or the wholesale products, I see there's a huge potential there. Because vendors with private label product, there's a high competition. Someone's going to make a better listing. And everyone's going to start doing that. But the wholesale products, because they are relying so much on the brand name, and the older reviews that they have. So they are very under- utilizing their main image. So that is the reason, the private label sellers, they are able to compete with the bigger, bigger brands. Because there's such huge areas of improvement. They will just snap one image, and the product would still sell just because of its brand name. So, those brands, they have a really high potential, where they can improve their listing images. Or the other products would be, let's say, if the product is super reflective, or it's made of a metal, or industrial products. That's where you see a lot of areas of improvement. Because you can see there's a reflection on the images, and the product is not visible nicely. So these are some of the areas where you can improve a lot. But, normally, the private label products, it's competitive. You're going to see some really good images there. And the common mistakes, that reminds me of poor Photoshop, when they're using the stock images. It's super hard to Photoshop that product in a stock image. So it just throws people off when the product is a badly Photoshopped, or it doesn't reflect its true color or true size. So these are the common mistakes in private label photography that we see. But, the overall private label sellers, they're a lot better than the wholesale or other products.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. That makes complete sense to me. What about going back to... And this is in the same light. When you're working with copyrighted images, or you're doing almost not sponsored but branded goods, whether you're working with a supplier, or just you're directly buying from a specific manufacturer or whatnot, how does one seller go about knowing what images that they own, and images they have to get actual approval for to use, whether it's lifestyle imagery, or any other listings out there?
Kamal Singh: Okay. So, on the images, if you are taking the photos, you're naturally... If you're clicking the photo, you naturally own the copyright. Or, let's say, if you use any freelancer, if they're taking photos from scratch, they own the copyright. And the only where you're violating the rules, if you're using someone's photo. That's a no- no. Or if you're using photos from Google or some other websites, which are not licensed. So there's two options, I've been talking about it. One is stock images. Stock images, for some of the people who don't know, the stock images are the common pictures of people, lifestyle, environment, or any stock image that you can find on adobestock. com, shutterstock. com. There are some free ones. They are licensed, okay? They are licensed images. And you Photoshop a product in there, you should be fine. As long as you're not downloading that illegally, that should save your listing images. So other option is real life photography. If you're having the real models, getting the photos in the real life environment, your photographer or your agency naturally owns those copyrights. If someone does steal your photos, what you can do, you can reach out to your agency. What happens with us is if someone's stealing our client's photos, we would send them a legal... Our lawyers would send them a legal notice, and they can get this listing shutdown. But the common practice is just do not use any Ali- Baba photos, do not use any Google, do not use a competitor photos. That will get you in trouble. And it's not just about your listing suspension, but it's also about you're losing sales for that period of time when your listing is down. You're losing ranking, right? You're losing money on... Yeah. Just get everything done nicely, and you should be fine. If you do need a copyright, your agency or photographer can give you... They can give you a document where they said that,"You have legal rights to use these images commercially." And yeah.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah, that's all very scary to think about as a seller too. Because if I'm a seller, I took away, obviously, don't copy and paste anyone. Just don't do it. It's bad. Obviously, it's not the original image. If it's not yours, you can get legally in trouble. And that's where a lot of people don't think about. It's just like," Hey, it's the same product. So many people are selling it. It's from the manufacturer." Hey, always just triple check, make sure that you can use those images, get that in writing. Hey, if I can use this image, what are the different ways I can do it? And don't infringe upon that agreement. Because you can have almost a handshake, if you will, with an influencer. And we talked about this with a couple other guests, and maybe you can kind of touch on that, Kamal, of when you work with other ways to brand your products on and off Amazon, what are the ways that you were working with clients, to say," Hey, these are great images for Facebook, or for social media, to drive traffic to potentially your listing, or just to build that brand offsite."
Kamal Singh: Yeah. So yeah. So we do get that a lot. So, for example, the Amazon listing images are different. For example, if you're coming from Shopify, Shopify images wouldn't work on Amazon. But Amazon images would work perfectly fine on Shopify. Because it has a lot more information. But when it comes to the social media, let's say the Instagram or Facebook, we kind of have to design in a different way, because the audience is different. On Amazon, consumer behavior is pretty much the same. But on Facebook or Instagram, or other social media channels, you really have to grab attention of the audience in different ways. Facebook, it also depends on what... Video ads are working really well, video assets. Facebook has their own policies when it comes to the running digital ads, if you're using your image. So Amazon is totally different. Those images can work on Shopify. But for Facebook, Instagram, and other channels, we have to slightly make some changes, which would work more on that platform. But, generally, we haven't really seen great conversion rate with Amazon images from Facebook, and other methods. But EBC images can work on website.
Ryan Cramer: Okay. So why do you think that they're... Why they're not converting as well on one versus the other? Is it just because of why people go to those platforms and what they're expecting to see? For example, if I go to Instagram, I'm going to expect either just a certain cadence of how images are being shown, or video, how things are being shown. And when you flip it over to Amazon, it's going to be completely different mindset. Is that kind of where the basics are?
Kamal Singh: Yeah. So when someone's coming on Amazon, they're already coming with a buyer intent. And they go through the images, we know that they're for this product. And we have seven images to show to tell the story. But, on other platforms, it's not. There's just one image where we want to grab the attention, where we want to sell them. And we want them to click on a landing page. Right? So it's a different buying behavior on those platforms. On Amazon, it's a different. So that is the reason that they don't convert really well. But I'm not saying that you need to create everything from scratch, just the minor tweaks, which would suit that audience a lot better.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. That all makes sense to me. And when people start thinking about it more in detail, when you start putting it out loud and talking through it out loud, why are people... What do you think is the number one reason why people are just missing these key components? Is it just because lack of experience? What are those things, the main reasons, you think?
Kamal Singh: I think it's a lack of, I would say, listing education. Sellers, they have developed so many advanced techniques in ranking, in PPC, in keyword strategies. But everyone thinks that the photography is so basic, that there's not a lot to know more about. But, in reality, it's different. Basically, that is your main storefront where you're selling your product. So, yeah, I think it's lack of education, when it comes to the listing, is the main part. And also it's maybe the budgeting problem. Maybe the buyers, they don't see the value, that paying someone for this task is important. I'm not sure what exactly the reason is. But you would see a lot that... You mentioned about missing components. Some listings, you would see that it's even missing the dimensions image. Right? And sometimes the package includes image. The minor images, which are minor things which has a huge impact on the listing, are missing. So I think, yeah, there's lack of education in that part.
Ryan Cramer: So, for each marketplace, obviously, because it's not just all on amazon. com, are you guys focused on just dot com clients and shoppers? Or are you guys expanding internationally, to help in different marketplaces, in different cultures?
Kamal Singh: Yeah. We're mainly helping Amazon sellers for the Amazon listing images. We do get clients who want images for the Shopify. But, to be honest, our specialty is Amazon listing images. So we-
Ryan Cramer: Is that just for dot com, or is that for dot Canada, or what other?
Kamal Singh: It's for all Amazon. So the only things that we have to keep in mind, if you're in Canada, then in the US there's a metric system here. So if we're putting dimensions, it's in centimeters. Same thing with the kilos and pounds. So these are the things, based on the different marketplace, we change it. And some copy does get changed. But, overall, everything stays the same.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. And, going back to a specific image thought, on this podcast, when we talked about on our season finale last year, when we were talking about the Japanese marketplace for Amazon, and when we were just going through a real life scenario of just... I think it was dishwasher or some sort of household good that you can use to like wash clothes. And the imagery looks so completely different, because it was just loaded with detail, loaded with content. It felt overwhelming to me as a shopper on dot com specifically. So I didn't know, in terms of the cultural aspect, how are you always thinking, how is this going to be perceived culture- wise?
Kamal Singh: That's a good one. To be honest, the majority of the sellers, 99% I would say is either USA, Canada, UK, or Europe. So we haven't really seen that culture gap. But when I do come across any Japanese lifestyle imagery, I would find out.
Ryan Cramer: You should go. And I challenge everyone who hasn't gone into the Amazon Japanese marketplace. If you're just searching on Google, obviously it'll direct you. It will be only listings that you can buy in Japan, clearly. But just going through the product photography, it was with Ritu Java from PPC Ninja. And her specialty is the PPC side of business on Amazon. But it was really she's honing her craft into the Japanese marketplace. And that is talking about four different kinds of... It's almost like four different languages you have to speak, in terms of your listings and your imagery and your PPC campaigns. And it was just mind blowing, how much more you had to do, because that was the culture. They have to talk in these kinds of different languages, obviously, in spoken word, and also just picture, and English, and so on and so forth, that you wanted to make sure you're optimized for all of those things. So, thinking internationally, what's maybe the next... Maybe internationally, but growth in general for 2021, where do you see innovation happening for images and product photography? Because we haven't even touched on 3D imagery or rendering and things like that. Where do you think that innovates moving forward?
Kamal Singh: Yeah. So I'm glad you mentioned about 3D rendering. So that is one of the growing services, and a lot of sellers are getting aware of 3D rendering. So that is one thing that will be pretty huge in coming years. And second thing, a lot of the sellers' awareness, they are getting brand registered. More and more sellers, they're getting their brand registered on Amazon. That comes with A- plus content. So that also has design, photography, and images in it, also the launchpad, A- plus content. So these are some of the things which will be pretty big in the coming years. Also, if your brand is registered, you can do display ads or video ads. So the creative work is going to be very important in the coming years, if you want to compete on the top level.
Ryan Cramer: Awesome. And while we're wrapping up and coming up to the top of the hour, or I should say... Yeah, top of the hour. My clock's backwards. What am I doing over here? So, for 2020, maybe just kind of recap for me. What were the biggest struggles for you guys, and maybe where you think you're excited about moving into a new year, refocusing on the business? Or what's that mentality for you, as in business owner, CEO, influencer, if you will?
Kamal Singh: Yeah. So what I'm looking forward to in 2021, if COVID ends, if we're able to go back to the conferences and expos, that would be the best thing. That's one thing that I've been missing. Also it was our organizing meetups locally, that has completely shut. We're doing online, virtual meetups here and there, but nothing beats the live events. So I'm really looking forward to meeting experts, meeting other people, Amazon sellers at the expos. So, yeah, if that can be done in 2021, we can get back to our normal life, that'll be the best part.
Ryan Cramer: Here's hoping and wishing that we can finally get out from under our desk, and travel a bit safely and securely. I know a lot of people are itching. As networkers and people in terms of the service industry, we're not focused on our seller side, we're focused on in terms of building partnerships, connecting with sellers. And that's hard to do, and stuff like meeting up and grabbing a drink at a bar. Or just obviously meeting them at the booth and walking through all your services. So definitely a difficult struggle. But I agree with you, Kamal, in terms of that aspect. Hopefully, we can meet with people in person here in the new year. But super excited to have you as a friend of the show now. Thanks for jumping on. And before we obviously cap off, where are the best places that people can connect with you, or the company AMZ One Step?
Kamal Singh: Yeah. You can visit us at our website, www. amzonestep.com. Or you can find us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, it's AMZ One Step. Yeah, it's the name itself. And Twitter is easy, One Step. You can also reach us out at info @ amzonestep. So you can find us all over the place. Yeah.
Ryan Cramer: I love it. You're on all the social channels. So if you find and you search AMZ One Step, that's our takeaway for today. And thank you so much again for jumping on educating. I think we grabbed a lot of great... Went through a ton of information. Just no one really thinks about photography as such a, not convoluted, but a very specific and detailed layout of what you can do to innovate and grow as an Amazon seller. Because, again, it's super important to stand out, helping people make that decisions and conversions. It's all a part of it.
Kamal Singh: That's really it.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. So, Kamal, thank you so much again. For those who are, again, friends of the show, if this is your first time listening, thanks so much for joining us on another episode of Crossover Commerce. Again, my name is Ryan Cramer. I'm the host of the show. We go live four days a week. It's crazy that we're growing this thing into bringing experts and industry leaders, not just on Amazon, but also in e- commerce, and different faculties and different ways that they can bring information to you. Again, we go live on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. So go ahead and subscribe to our channels on PingPong Payments or PingPong Global on multiple channels, and subscribe for future episodes. You can follow me on social media. But, again, if you want to listen to this in audio format, and don't want to watch our beautiful faces appear live almost every day, you can go ahead and listen on Spotify and on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you consume your podcasts. Thanks so much for joining us, everyone. Again, we'll go live on Friday. We'll take a break tomorrow. On Friday, we'll be talking with Ian Reach and Chris Freiberger, talking about connecting partners, as well as service providers and sellers. So it was that marrying capacity of how we can connect and find the right kind of services for Amazon sellers. So tune in live, again, on her social media channels. I'm the host Ryan Cramer, for PingPong Payments. Thanks for joining us.
Ryan Cramer of PingPong Payments talks with Kamaljit Singh, Founder and CEO of AMZ One Step, about the best Amazon Listing Images and Photography Techniques.
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