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How to split test your main image

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Online shoppers take only a split second to decide if they want to take a closer look at your product. Your main image is usually the deciding factor in whether they click on or move past your product. This critical decision moment is one that deserves careful consideration.

Split testing

Split testing your main image is a proven way to judge what imagery improves sales. To split test photos, you could rotate images on your listing or use software to automate the rotation. But because the subjects of this kind of split test are your store’s actual shoppers, you risk losing sales and could potentially endanger your search ranking if a new photo performs worse than your old one.

At KenjiROI, we prefer to split test outside of a live marketplace like Amazon. This way, we have confidence in our decisions before we implement any major changes. We can even test images before a product is for sale to ensure its best chance for success at launch.

In order to do this, we use a polling platform called PickFu.

PickFu is an instant polling service. You ask questions to real people who resemble your target market (a popular group is Amazon Prime members). PickFu helps you understand what shoppers are drawn to and how they react to your product photos — all in just a few minutes.

Examples of split testing

How To Split Test Your Main Image

Online seller Bumblebee Linens used PickFu to poll 50 female respondents to see which image of cloth napkins they preferred. Where a traditional split test might take days and sometimes weeks, the results of this poll came back in less than 20 minutes. The 50 women decisively preferred a new photo over the old one. When the seller updated the listing to feature the new photo, sales improved by 209%.

You can see that the addition of a simple prop (the live flowers), can profoundly affect how shoppers perceive the product. With PickFu, you not only see a tally of votes, but each respondent also writes a comment explaining their vote, such as the following:

  • “The purple flowers against the green backdrop and white napkins is gorgeous.”
  • “It’s like a recommended serving suggestion – it just looks great and makes you picture using it.”
  • “… the flowers make it more interesting and make the napkins look a bit more fancy.”

At KenjiROI, we are always looking for ways to give your products that edge — some small detail, lighting feature, or setting that makes it look special.

Beyond simply helping you choose the main image, PickFu provides insight into why one photo tested better than another.

For example, in this poll, a seller of exercise bands asked 50 women to choose which photo they preferred. Option B included a ballerina using a band to stretch her leg, while Option A showed only the ballerina’s leg. (We should mention that KenjiROI did not take these photos… you’ll soon see why!)

How To Split Test Your Main Image

The women in this poll showed a strong negative reaction to Option A’s lone leg:

  • “A phantom ballet leg just hanging over a product is creepy.”
  • “I don’t like the one with just the foot as it seems very random and odd.”
  • “[Option A] just looks strange with just the leg there.”

Other words that respondents used: weird, strange, awkward — not exactly how any seller wants their product to be described.

PickFu helps you see the why behind reactions to your product photos. This will help guide your photo choices in the future.

Get feedback from the people who matter most

All feedback is not created equal. Just because your spouse, mom, or coworker liked something, it doesn’t mean it’s going to sell.

When this e-seller asked 50 respondents to choose which main image they preferred for an exercise belt, the sexy, skin-baring photo won. But the poll results revealed a gender divide. Most males preferred the risqué Option B, but most women preferred the demure Option A.

How To Split Test Your Main Image

Some of the women polled even had a negative reaction because of the model’s bare midriff. “[Option B] looks like they are just using an appealing body to sell it,” one woman commented. “[Option A] looks much more appropriate.”

Think about who your target customer is — who is more likely to buy your product? If women were the target of this fitness product, polling just women would probably be more helpful than asking a mixed-gender audience to weigh in on the main photo.

PickFu enables you to poll audiences based on a wide range of demographic and behavioral traits. For example, you can target people who frequently work out, dog owners, vegetarians, people who take nutritional supplements, and many more.

Optimize your main image with PickFu

We’re always preaching about the importance of Amazon product photography, but we back our decisions up with data and insights. It’s not enough to take a few pictures and expect the orders to roll in. Split testing is an effective means to understand how the creative changes you make affect sales and other performance indicators.

While live split tests on Amazon or other marketplaces can help you optimize your listings, these tests are time-consuming and risk an adverse effect on sales and ranking. For us, PickFu is a faster, easier way to choose which studio image to feature and to learn how to improve secondary content, such as lifestyle photos and infographics.

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