You Only Get One Shot!

During one of my many strolls through Etsy I noticed that I was bypassing a lot of items, mainly because I couldn’t tell what I was looking at. Two things were causing my confusion

1) the image was either blurred or too far away and
2) the background was to cluttered and the item blended in.

When searching Etsy, I would assume that most buyers use the list view, by default. Etsy gives you a 75px x 75px square image to grab a buyers attention. I know that I don’t read the listing title unless the image has caught my eye. Lets compare…uploaded to Etsy before editingthumbnail on Etsy

The top image is straight from my camera before any editing has been done.  If you take that image and upload to your listing, Etsy crops it to 75px x 75px resulting in the image shown on the bottom.  This photo it is dark and small.  As a buyer… I’m not bothering.

Now, here is the same picture.  I used a basic photo editing program, Windows Photo Gallery, and first edited the exposure to brighten it up.  I then cropped it square, the way I wanted it to look in my thumbnail.  As you can see I cropped the image so that my product fit snugly in the square, so it is not so far away.

Etsy thumbnail – edited version

The second thing that deterred me was that I had no idea what I was looking at. I think that there should be some element of staging in a photograph, something interesting or just adding a little texture. However, if it is too busy buyers may not know what they are looking at, resulting in low clicks.

Here are a few shots using patterned backgrounds and elements.  I’m not feeling any of them.  I find that it is distracting and the beautiful print on the fabric gets lost. Like I said, there could be some element in the staging of the photo.  You just need to find the right balance so that your product does not get lost.  Here is one photo from Katrinshine that really caught my eye.  I love the subtle use of and element, but what she’s selling is clear.  It gives the photo just enough texture.

Now, in the gallery view you have a rectangular box which is 170px x 135px. You only get one shot to catch a buyers eye. Make sure your image displays nicely in both the square and rectangular boxes.

Believe me, I am no expert. It has been trial and error for me all along and there is always room for improvement. However, I am a buyer. It is difficult when you are so close to your product. You know every detail of it. I try to step back and look at my product photos from a buyers perspective. I think to myself “If I were a buyer, would I click?”. If this is too difficult, ask your friends and family to take a peek at your shop and let you know what’s working and what could be improved.

So, what do you think?  What tips do you have for staging your products?

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