If you thought that the new eBay image requirements were a challenge, then wait until you see the emails from Amazon.co.uk being sent to UK Fashion sellers.
What follows are is an email sent by the same Analyst in Amazon.co.uk to at least 3 sellers on Amazon.co.uk. Pull your chair closer, if this is actively going on for the fashion categories on Amazon UK, expect it for the other categories at some point in the future too.
In Violation of Amazon Style Guidelines
Note: I’ve highlighted the key sections in bold for you.
Your listings currently have product pages that are in violation of Amazon style guidelines. This negatively affects the customer experience and therefore may result in your seller account suspension. Good images, clear titles, and accurate product detail pages are key to ensuring our customers enjoy their browsing experience and can increase conversion. We would like to work with you to help fix your defects so that you can maximize your selling potential on Amazon.
Please find attached a sample of the ASINs that were audited; please note that both compliant and non-compliant images may be included. This is only a sample and may not be inclusive of all your listings, so please take the time to review and update all non-compliant images. We have found the following errors with your images:
Main image not angled to left hand side,
Main image contains multiple items,
Images containing labels/tags/packaging,
Images containing props/mannequins/models
To open attachment:
– Save or drag attached file onto your Desktop
– Right-click and extract file
– Extract within your preferred folder
– View images (note ASINS are displayed as image titles)
Please take the time to review our guidelines (for style guide – Click Here) and your whole inventory and either remove (by setting the inventory to 0) or update the non-compliant images within 14 days.
Remember that customers at Amazon cannot touch and feel your products, but they can still have a great shopping experience if your listings correspond to our style guide and have clear and detailed information. Please confirm that you have received this email and let us know if you have any questions.
Thank you for your cooperation.
A Break Down
Firstly, let’s be fair here, Amazon are absolutely right, not just for Amazon, but anywhere online with “customers at Amazon cannot touch and feel your products” so it’s our job as business owners to help buyers feel 100% comfortable with the product they are buying by providing outstanding product data, of which images are a key part of this.
But on the other hand, this was emailed to a seller with over 50,000 products on Amazon and given to the end of the month for their account to be reviewed. It was suggested that they can find their images from software tool (eSellerPro), download them to their desktop and edit them. Sure I’ll edit 50,000 images for you, hell I’ll even re-take all the images, it’ll only take 2 minutes by hand, not…
Let’s look to see what they’re picking sellers up on, as it’s boiling down to just 4 key areas:
- Main image not angled to left hand side,
- Main image contains multiple items,
- Images containing labels/tags/packaging,
- Images containing props/mannequins/models
Point 1 – Main image not angled to left hand side
We’re all fair people here, we know that Amazon has high standards and rightly so, they’re focusing on the customer just like eBay has done with their image requirements. And maybe angling the product in the image to a specific viewpoint across the board would help make pages of products look a lot better. But going back and editing even a dozen images, let alone tens of thousands of images, especially if they need to be retaken is verging on an impossible task.
Maybe, just maybe, a common-sense approach would have been to mentor the business owners so that the new products that they are adding are checked for conformity.
If there is just one thing I have learnt over the past 10 years, past data is past data, it’s old….. 80% of the products listed are likely not to sell any time soon and only 20% of them will do, so would it have made more sense that instead of dumping an impossible task on a merchant at this time of the year (if you’re reading this in 2014, it’s October) and instead identified the sellers top 20% of products and suggested that they re-edit those.
Am I being realistic here? Let me know in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
Main image contains multiple items
Client: “Matt, Amazon have told us to stop putting multiple colour images on items that come in different colours, but they don’t swap the images like eBay do, what do you suggest?”
Matt: “It’s Amazon, just nod & agree and sort it out. Just clarify exactly what they are looking for and do it.
Remember Amazon is like marriage to a super model, she wants everything, kids, fast cars (your stock), credit cards (that’s sitting on your money for 2.5 weeks) and a ring, but the nano-second you annoy her, she’ll kick you in the nuts and turf you out (suspend your account for 30 days or worse)”
But the thing is, that conversation was months & months ago and doing a quick search on Amazon today (see here) we can see that Amazon still have yet to get it to work like eBay have done. A specific example is the listing in the image to the right. We can see the preview image is showing all the colours, but in the listing (see here) we can see that there is a blue image for the blue dress, Amazon have elected not to show it. Facepalm.
This is also a reasoning point in their “Style Guide” which follows in a few moments, “This will result in increased traffic to product listings”, but actually right now this is not the case as shown above.
Oh and for a comparison, nip over to eBay, at least they have got it working properly now. Take a look here on eBay (screenshot below). Notice all the blue dress images being shown for the multi-variation listings?
Images containing labels/tags/packaging
We understand why this is, as unlike eBay on Amazon a product regardless of condition (new, used, refurb etc..) all share the same page.
But Amazon is swinging for quality here, to me this is a compromise. If you’re shelling out for a product, say a pair of shoes and see it comes in a stunning box so you know it’s protected on the way to you, how is this a negative thing?
Again, am I being realistic here? Let me know in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
Images containing props/mannequins/models
I agree with this to a point. Professionally cut out images look a lot better than images on a tatty mannequin. But….. models sell products.
Exceptionally important in women’s fashion, when a product is being viewed, that customer is believing (to a degree) that they are that model and they will look as great as she does in that dress, handbag or item of footwear.
Amazon Specifications (Style Guide)
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Amazon do this to sellers, with little to no warning, but this time dropping a bombshell with 14 days notice in October is frankly nuts. This time around they have put together a “Style Guide” for sellers in the UK Shoes, Handbags & Shoe Accessories categories. you can download it using the link below, but maybe it’s too little, too late and too close to Christmas?
Have a read of the PDF above. It’s probably the best guide I have ever seen from Amazon, they’ve gone to great lengths to include plenty of visual images and even went as far to suggest using http://www.google.co.uk/trends/ (although it’s a bit old now as Google insights is mentioned, but that’s now Google trends).
If you’re selling in the Shoes, Handbags & Shoe Accessories categories on Amazon.co.uk and your images are not up to scratch, you’ll be receiving the email above shortly. If you’re not selling in these specific categories, expect this to be rolled out to the other categories too in the future.