The 2020 Ecommerce Product Photography Guide to Storytelling Success

Pattern Data Science

January 13, 2020

It’s easy for anyone to put up one or two crappy images that display their product on Amazon or other marketplaces. So what really makes your product images and photography stand out from the rest? After all, ecommerce product photography can make or break your product listings when it comes to conversion, branding, and even customer satisfaction.

The secret to successful product photography that converts is actually quite simple, and all boils down to getting one thing right: Storytelling. 

Pattern’s product photography experts are among the few in the ecommerce world today who understand that the difference between adequate and excellent listings is curating a brand story. Of course, a successful brand story not only translates your brand image, but also gives information to the consumer in a way that encourages them to make an informed purchase. 

Let’s dive into why storytelling for ecommerce product photography is so important, some best practices that’ll help you stand out from the rest, and then take a look at a few case studies that’ll put our money where our mouth is, so to speak.

Why storytelling is important for product photography

Picture this: You’re browsing for a product on Amazon. What catches your eye first? Is it the title? The shipping date? The price? All that’s important once your interested is piqued, of course, but before anything else, it’s most likely the product image that caught your attention. According to Vouchercloud, 93% of consumers say visuals are the top factor affecting their ecommerce purchase decision.

Whether consciously or not, your brain automatically runs through a checklist similar to this:

  • Does the product seem like what I'm looking for?

  • Does it look durable, nice, tasty, beautiful, or X characteristic that I need right now?

  • Do I trust that the product will be what I need?

You can tell all of these things and more in the milliseconds it takes you to glance down the first page of search result images. For sellers, having product photography that resonates with consumers is the small-but-extremely-important difference between a scroll and a click. 

There are two overarching reasons why you absolutely must get product photography right by incorporating storytelling:

1. Show don’t tell. Showing (and not just telling) a story with a product photography first and foremost gives you a chance to visually explain what a product is like before a consumer ever gets into the specifications outlined in the product description’s bullet points. You can easily call out things that customers care about (like size, form, and style) without a single word. Talk about effective!

2. Build trust. Consumers can tell if you’ve put effort into your initial product photography. If your initial image gives a good impression that you’re trustworthy, that your product is what they need, and that it’s better than your competition, you’re already far ahead of other sellers who could care less about their images. (Because what story does that tell the consumer?) 

Best practices for product photography storytelling

So what can be done? How does one tell a story through product photography? According to Scott Davis, Pattern’s Director of Photography, it’s a fine mixture of technical know-how, experience, and strategic decision making. 

Scott suggested these 5 best practices for ecommerce product photography that brands should start implementing to really start seeing results.

1. Make sure product photography gives context.

Scale, style, and use are important things to convey in an ecommerce product listing image. At its core, the idea is to make the online shopping experience as similar to a real life shopping experience as you can. 

Ways to give context through product photography:

  • Make sure your images and clear, sharp, and well lit.

  • Show the product in use in a lifestyle image. This will help consumers understand how the product can be used, and also give them an idea of how the product occupies space.

  • Show the product in action. If it’s a container, show it filled with something. If it’s a clothing item, show how it fits when worn.

More and more consumers are relying solely on online marketplaces to buy things they would normally find in physical stores. Ergo, brands who give consumers a more complete online shopping experience are bound to rise above the rest.

Take our brand partner Pandora. With charms and jewelry, it's extremely difficult to understand size and fit unless you show it. (Telling customers it weighs 1.3 grams and is 11.3 x 8 millimeters wide isn't going to do much.)

Look at these two examples of images on a product listing. Which one are you more inclined to buy? 

ecommerce product photography guide 2020

Probably the one on the right, right? It shows you how the charm fits on a bracelet, and also gives an idea of the item's functionality.

2. Take time to fully understand your brand story.

Do you have an in-house creative team? If you’re one of the lucky few that do, are they making decisions to consciously tell your story on Amazon and other marketplaces in a way that'll increase conversion? 

It’s important that your creative team takes enough time to fully understand your brand and your story, inside and out. Unfortunately, many brands turn to creative agencies to deliver product images or mockups for product listings who could care less about digging into a brand story. The disadvantage there is that many agencies just want to get a job done—they’re not looking for long-term growth or watching out for brand equity.

At Pattern, Scott explained that one of our greatest advantages is that we operate almost just like an internal creative team with our partners. Since we’re actually invested in the product’s success because we purchase it up front, we’re not just selling a service. 

“An agency or another service provider can easily take photos of your products for you,” Scott said. “But Pattern can help recommend the types of images that are going to help your product sell better. There's a difference between doing what you're asked and being a partner and understanding your brand enough to help do the right thing for your brand.”

3. Be strategic.

You need a creative team who can make strategic decisions on your behalf with sales in mind—otherwise you might end up wasting a lot of valuable time and resources on things that (at the end of the day) don't convert into more sales. 

Some basic strategic practices include:

  • Take inventory of the types of content you’re displaying and its usefulness to you. Do you have computer generated renders of your products? Should you? Are you using spins? Videos? Do you even need them?  

  • Then take inventory of what types of content you should or could display that would help your product sell better. Would a 360 spin image help your customer get a better idea of your product? What about a video?

Remember, the goal here isn’t to be willy-nilly about including any and every type of content that you can, but to decide strategically what product lines and which specific ASINs could benefit from some extra love.

4. Utilize content offerings on different marketplaces. 

We’ve hit on product photography and images so far, but those aren’t the only ways you can tell a brand story on Amazon or other marketplace product listings.

  • Use A+ Content

Options like A+ Content (formerly Enhanced Brand Content for Vendors) can really help your brand shine on Amazon. Even eBay, Walmart.com, and Google Shopping offer sellers options for customizing their product content and listings.

Check out this example for A+ Content from our brand partner Thymes. Learn more about incorporating A+ Content on your listing here, here, and here.

A+ Content on Amazon helps your product convert

  • Use image slots correctly.

Of course, then there's the basic things like having one or two different images on a given listing. Amazon gives you up to 9 product image slots on a given product listing. While they usually only display 7 at a time, more are available if consumers click into your listing. You'll want to make the first main image a simple photograph with no graphic text. You want the image to stand out, but not at the expense of the product.

Of course, if you can clearly tell your product story in 4 or 5 images (which Scott recommends as a minimum image count), don’t waste your energy on pumping out more images just for the sake of it. As Scott said, there may not be a benefit to going above 6 or 7 images, but there is a clear disadvantage if you’re only giving 1 or 2 images.

5. Don't forget to get the technical elements right.

Finally, if you're going to make the effort to tell your brand story on a product listing, at least make sure you get the basic requirements for photo size and color down. You can go through all of Amazon's product image technical requirements here

In addition to the minimum requirements, we recommend you do the following:

  • SizeAmazon requires images of at least 1000 pixels or larger in either height or width, but those hardly show up well when a customer is zooming in or examining a product more closely. Scott recommends using at least a 2560 x 2560 pixel image (note that there’s a 10,000 x 10,000 pixel limit). As 4K and 5K monitors become more and more common, it's important to have larger images to make sure your product photography and imagery on a product listing can look great even on the largest monitor.

  • ColorAlthough Amazon says images in either sRGB or CMYK are acceptable, the reality is that Amazon will end up converting your image to sRGB anyway. Take the effort to convert your images to sRGB first to ensure the best color experience for your customers. After all, if you do something that makes your colors look bad on your end, chances are it'll only get worse on a consumer's end of things.

Pattern product photography case studies

We’re proud of the creative work we do for our partners, and we’re committed to going above and beyond expectations to make sure we tell their brand story right on the marketplace. Here are examples of our favorite product imagery and photography that we’ve done for our brand partners.

Pure Encapsulations

As a premium vitamin and supplement brand, we made sure Pure's Amazon listing looks and feels just as excellent as their product. After using our images and Enhanced Brand Content for a month, Pure’s increased units sold by 325.7%. 

Notice that we have 7 different product images and video for customers to go through here. The main image is basic, clean, and crisp—it is even able to highlight small physical details like the raised name around the bottle.

Pure Encapsulations increased sales by over 300% with Pattern's product photography experts on ecommerce

Next, we have great supplemental (pun intended) images of the product, including the pills, as well as lifestyle imagery that tells Pure's story in a unique and effective way.

ecommerce product photography example

Popsockets

Popsockets uses 3D renders of their product. However, for an item like Popsockets, it’s important to give context about what the product does. 

Popsockets ecommerce product photography 2020

For example, the first simple render of a Popsocket doesn't tell us anything about the size and use of a Popsocket. However, once you show the Popsocket in use (as in the images below), the whole narrative changes.

ecommerce product photography for popsockets

Jewelry Brand

For this jewelry brand, scale and contextual images are extremely important because of the size of their product, as we mentioned earlier. Our creative team added lifestyle contextual images to their product image list to give consumers a better feeling of each product's use and style. 

ecommerce product photography example for Pandora

using lifestyle images for ecommerce product photography helps sales grow

Paslode

Adding lifestyle photography helped Paslode give consumers a good sense of how a Paslode nailer could be used. We helped Paslode develop out their product images in a way that gave consumers a better idea of what the would feel like and look like in real life. 

Paslode's ecommerce product photography got a life with Pattern's creative team.

Having multiple images for ecommerce product images helps grow sales.

Contact us below to see how Pattern can vamp up your product photography (at no added cost to you!) through a Pattern partnership.

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Sept 29, 2022

How Global Soccer Scores with U.S. Shoppers

**How Soccer Leagues & FIFA World Cup Influence U.S. Consumer Demand** In this analysis, Pattern evaluates changes in U.S. consumer demand for soccer products. This report will help uncover: * When are soccer products in highest demand in the U.S.? * Major League Soccer vs. English Football League * Does the FIFA Club World Cup influence consumer demand? * Do FIFA World Cup group announcements impact consumer demand? * Which soccer player jerseys are the most popular among U.S. consumers? * North American players * South American players * European players * How ecommerce retailers can prepare for the World Cup and more The [FIFA World Cup](https://www.fifa.com/tournaments/mens/worldcup/qatar2022) is hosted every four years, and the next tournament will kick off on November 20, 2022. With soccer top-of-mind for many consumers, we thought it would be a great opportunity to evaluate how consumer demand is impacted by soccer events in the U.S., Europe, and globally. To help ecommerce retailers and social media strategists better meet their consumers’ preferences, we also analyzed which player jerseys were the most popular among U.S. Amazon shoppers. **When are Soccer Products in Highest Demand in the U.S.?** Unsurprisingly, consumer demand for soccer products appears to be highest when league-specific events are in play. What is interesting to note, however, is which leagues have the strongest influence on consumer demand. Despite what one may believe, it isn’t North American activity that drives the most demand for U.S. shoppers. **Major League Soccer vs. English Football League** In the U.S., Major League Soccer is the official league for soccer players. Similarly, the English Football League is the official league in the United Kingdom. When comparing change in U.S. consumer demand month over month from 2019 – 2022, we found some noteworthy behaviors. As can be seen in the 2019, 2020, and 2021 charts below, there are moderate increases in consumer demand for soccer balls and jerseys when the Major League Soccer season starts across all years: <iframe title="Change in U.S. Consumer Demand for Soccer Products in 2019" aria-label="Interactive line chart" id="datawrapper-chart-Y5KoK" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/Y5KoK/3/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="400"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> At the start of the Major League Soccer season in 2019, demand for soccer cleats rose by 43%, demand for soccer balls rose by 38%, and demand for soccer jerseys rose by 28% compared to the month prior. <iframe title="Change in U.S. Consumer Demand for Soccer Products in 2020" aria-label="Interactive line chart" id="datawrapper-chart-byv7E" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/byv7E/1/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="400"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> Again, at the beginning of the Major League Soccer season in 2020, demand for soccer balls rose by 28%. During this same period, however, interest in soccer cleats and soccer jerseys fell by 46% and 38%, respectively. This is likely due to the fact that the Major League Soccer season’s 2020 start date nearly coincided with the formal announcement of the COVID-19 pandemic. <iframe title="Change in U.S. Consumer Demand for Soccer Products in 2021" aria-label="Interactive line chart" id="datawrapper-chart-cBDJT" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/cBDJT/4/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="400"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> In 2021, the start of the Major League Soccer season in the U.S. saw a 46% increase in demand for soccer balls and 16% increase in demand for soccer jerseys. However, demand for soccer cleats fell by 24% during this same period. While moderate changes can be observed each year at the start of the Major League Soccer season, even more significant increases can be seen when the English Football League season commences. Here’s how consumer demand was impacted across all three years at the start of the English Foot League season: * **2019:** 47% increase in demand for soccer cleats; 0% increase in demand for soccer balls; 10% decrease in demand for soccer jerseys * **2020:** 54% increase in demand for soccer cleats; 47% increase in demand for soccer balls; 19% increase in demand for soccer jerseys * **2021:** 66% increase in demand for soccer cleats; 38% increase in demand for soccer balls; 40% increase in demand for soccer jerseys Except for 2019, consumer demand for soccer products in all three categories was higher at the start of the English Football League season than at the beginning of the Major League Soccer season. This suggests consumers are more closely following the English soccer season than the American league. **Does the FIFA Club World Cup Influence Consumer Demand?** As aforementioned, the FIFA World Cup occurs once every four years. However, the [FIFA Club World Cup](https://www.fifa.com/tournaments/mens/clubworldcup) is held every year. In 2020, the FIFA Club World Cup was originally planned for December; however, this got postponed until February 2021. As we can observe in the graph below, demand across all three soccer product categories reached their peak for the year during this time: <iframe title="Change in U.S. Consumer Demand for Soccer Products in 2021" aria-label="Interactive line chart" id="datawrapper-chart-cBDJT" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/cBDJT/4/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="400"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> This same trend was not observed during the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup tournament. During the timeframe of the tournament from December 11 – 21, 2019, demand across all three soccer product categories was relatively low: <iframe title="Seasonal Change in U.S. Consumer Demand for Soccer Products in 2019" aria-label="Interactive line chart" id="datawrapper-chart-d4ECO" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/d4ECO/3/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="400"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> Several factors could explain why consumer demand increased coinciding with the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup compared to the 2019 tournament, including: * **Pandemic Worries:** While the global pandemic was not officially announced until March 11, 2020, initial reports on the coronavirus outbreak began in December 2019. Consumers may have been less interested in recreational activities and more focused on the emerging updates coming out of Wuhan, China. * **Tournament Planning:** The 2019 FIFA Club World Cup was formally announced on September 30, 2019 (only about two months from the tournament start date). By contrast, the 2021 tournament was announced in September 2020, originally slated for December 2020, and finally postponed until February 2021. The added anticipation and game delay could have contributed to more buzz around the tournament. * **Seasonality:** Since December marks the height of the basketball season in the U.S., consumers were likely more focused on basketball-related events than on soccer. This could also explain why more consumers were interested in soccer products during the FIFA Club World Cup in 2021 than in 2019. **Do FIFA World Cup Group Announcements Impact Consumer Demand?** We were able to take a look at how U.S. consumer demand changed following the 2022 FIFA World Cup group announcement. As it turns out, U.S. consumers actually experienced decreased demand following the announcement on April 1, 2022: <iframe title="Change in U.S. Consumer Demand for Soccer Products in 2022" aria-label="Interactive line chart" id="datawrapper-chart-lX0B6" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/lX0B6/1/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="400"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> Since the FIFA World Cup announcement coincided with the end of March Madness and the start of the 2022 National Basketball Association playoffs, this could explain the decreased demand in soccer products among U.S. consumers. **Which Soccer Player Jerseys are the Most Popular?** Our team wanted to see which soccer player jerseys were most popular among U.S. consumers. To find this, we compiled a list of the most searched-for players in North America, South America, and Europe. From there, we tallied up all the searches in each category for all players from 2019 – 2022. Then, we compared the total searches for each individual player to the total for all players in their category. **North American Players** When it comes to soccer player preference for North American players, U.S. consumers have a clear favorite. According to our data, 95% of all searches for North American player-specific soccer jerseys between 2019 – 2022 were for American soccer player, Christian Pulisic. <iframe title="U.S. Consumer Demand for U.S. Soccer Team Member Jerseys 2019 – 2022" aria-label="Bar Chart" id="datawrapper-chart-fBlO2" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/fBlO2/2/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="255"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> While Pulisic is an attacking midfielder/winger for the United States national team, he currently plays for the Premier League club Chelsea in the United Kingdom. Since U.S. consumer demand for soccer jerseys is highest at the start of the English Football League season, this could explain Pulisic’s extreme popularity among U.S. shoppers. **South American Players** Consumer preference for South American players is a little less cut-and-dry; however, there is still a clear winner in the category. It turns out that most U.S. consumers (49%) prefer to support Lionel Andrés Messi of Argentina when it comes to South American soccer jerseys. Since many of these players also play in Europe, it makes sense that U.S. shoppers would be more interested in their jerseys than in U.S.-based players: <iframe title="U.S. Consumer Demand for South American Soccer Team Member Jerseys 2019 – 2022" aria-label="Bar Chart" id="datawrapper-chart-0dK9s" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/0dK9s/1/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="255"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> **European Players** When observing the top searched-for European players, we were surprised to see that no players from the English Football League appeared at the top. However, there was a clear favorite again in this category for U.S. consumers: Kylian Mbappé. With 88% of total searches for European players, Mbappé’s popularity among U.S. consumers is undeniable: <iframe title="U.S. Consumer Demand for European Soccer Team Member Jerseys 2019 – 2022" aria-label="Bar Chart" id="datawrapper-chart-cIRiH" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/cIRiH/1/" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="width: 0; min-width: 100% !important; border: none;" height="279"></iframe><script type="text/javascript">!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r<t.length;r++){if(t[r].contentWindow===e.source)t[r].style.height=e.data["datawrapper-height"][a]+"px"}}}))}(); </script> **How Ecommerce Retailers Can Prepare for the World Cup & More** Understanding how U.S. consumers follow and respond to soccer leagues, both nationally and internationally, is essential for ecommerce retailers to anticipate and satisfy changes in demand. Using this data, online sporting retailers now understand the relationship between higher consumer demand for soccer products and gear to the start of the English Football League season. Empowered with this information, they can plan their supply chain and marketing calendars more effectively, ensuring all inventory, advertising, and customer support needs are met. Here are the top takeaways ecommerce retailers should prepare for based on our knowledge: * While demand is higher during the English Football League season start than the Major League Soccer season start, demand for soccer products is higher than the seasonal average at both times, so prepare accordingly. * The top three most popular soccer player jerseys among U.S. consumers are for Christian Pulisic, Kylian Mbappé, and Lionel Andrés Messi. * The FIFA Club World Cup may also have an impact on soccer product sales, so it’s a good idea to ensure products are well-stocked during this time each year. **If you’re interested in uncovering more data like this to empower your ecommerce strategy, [request a demo](https://pattern.com/contact-us/) from Pattern today!**
Sept 29, 2022

How Pricing Changes on Walmart.com Affect Your Brand

Walmart.com has announced important changes regarding the “Was Price” and promotions on the digital marketplace. These updates make it more important than ever to optimize your price through implementing proper strategies, controlling your distribution channels, and being intentional about your pricing strategy.

And, as with all digital marketplaces, succeeding on Walmart.com requires performing well in all areas of The Ecommerce Equation. Which means as you optimize your listings’ pricing, as well as traffic, conversions, and availability, your revenue increases.

Pattern has the resources ecommerce brands need to optimize on marketplaces for each factor in the ecommerce equation. We have the technology and strategists to help you improve your traffic, the brand dedication and passion to help you achieve greater conversions, connections to econtrol specialists who help brands regain marketplace control, and the data you need to be able to make smart forecasting decisions for better product availability.

Below, we’ll cover how Walmart.com’s recent platform changes impact ecommerce brands’ ability to drive traffic and conversions for their products and how to strategize around them to work best in your brand’s favor. But first, let’s go over the changes themselves.

Walmart.com’s “Was Price” and Promotional Changes

Walmart.com’s newest changes reflect their mission to be the leader in low, everyday pricing. Therefore, Walmart’s customers come to the platform and expect low prices no matter what. Overall, these updates give consumers more visibility into the value they’re experiencing and hold brands more accountable in the pricing information they display.

Promotional Policy Changes

  • Due to Walmart’s updates, in order for your products to qualify for a strikethrough and show “Reduced Price” or “Clearance” flags on Walmart.com, your product’s promotion must be at least 10% off the “Was Price.” (Note: “Reduced Price” is the most common type of badging. Your teams can request this badge when filling out promotion upload files.) 

  • To specifically qualify for “Clearance,” the product needs to be discontinued and no longer replenished after selling through the remaining inventory.

  • Although “Rollback” is sometimes seen on site, it is a form of 1P-only badging.

  • Walmart now prohibits promotions lasting longer than 365 days.

“Was Price” Changes

  • Walmart’s “Was Price” was previously loosely defined and manually inputted on Walmart.com as an MSRP. Now, stricter rules are in place with regulations in the broader market to encourage enforcement and protect consumers. 

  • The “Was Price” is now defined by these terms on Walmart:

    • Either the 90-day median price paid by customers for the item on Walmart.com (excluding special promotions like holiday campaigns, limited time deals, rollbacks, and clearance);

    • Or the median price offered by Walmart or Marketplace sellers for the item on Walmart.com for at least 28 out of the last 90 days (excluding special promotions like holiday campaigns, limited time deals, rollbacks, and clearance).

How to Strategize for Success

1. Plan for Promotions Well in Advance

To protect your “Was Price” from price erosion, be intentional when planning promotions. To be most effective in your promotion, you’ll want to be able to give your customers a large enough discount to qualify for the slash-through and reduced price badging. 

Without the right pricing strategy in place, your products are in danger of falling into deeper and deeper discounting as you chase the ability to achieve slash-throughs and proper badging. Without the slash-throughs and badging, you’ll lose the ability to easily communicate the increased value of your product and the traffic and conversions you’re trying to earn by running the promotion in the first place. 

2. Keep Pricing Consistent

It’s important to keep your products’ prices as steady as possible to protect your promotion periods. As you prevent high-low price fluctuations, you’ll be able to use slash-through prices and promotional badges like “Reduced Price” and “Clearance” to your advantage in driving better traffic and conversions for your listings.

Without the ability to display badging, a promotion falls flat even if the price has been dropped. With steady pricing over time, you’ll be able to keep a stable “Was Price” and ultimately enjoy more rewarding promotional periods long-term.

3. Establish Excellent Brand Control

It’s important to remember that the “Was Price” policy also applies to 1P and other 3P sellers representing your products on Walmart.com. Unfortunately, your other strategies will be ineffective if other sellers are breaking your MAP policy or playing the high-low price game. So, it’s more important than ever for brands to be conscious of their distribution channels and keep rogue and unauthorized sellers in check.

Find Marketplace Confidence with Pattern

By allowing Pattern to be the authorized seller of your brand’s products and working with Vorys eControl law firm to eliminate rogue sellers, you can be confident in creating and executing a powerful  selling strategy on Walmart.com and other digital marketplaces. As a 3P seller partner, Pattern is truly invested in our partners’ success, we’ll help you to create and execute a strategy that truly prioritizes the long-term performance of your products on digital marketplaces.

Contact us today to learn more about the changes on Walmart.com and how you can optimize your performance.

Sept 27, 2022

Leslie Hensell Key Takeaways: Taking Charge of Your Amazon Strategy

Pattern’s Accelerate22 event, the global ecommerce acceleration summit, provided a way for participants to learn from each other and leading experts about building a successful ecommerce presence. During our Brand Control and Compliance track, Leslie Hensell, co-founder of Riverbend Consulting and an Amazon expert, spoke to attendees about “Bezophobia”—the fear of losing brand control on Amazon. She talked about the importance of having a clear strategy to help you perform your best on the digital marketplace and the fact that achieving that is much harder to do in a 1P Amazon relationship.

With better control, which is more achievable in a 3P relationship, brands can let go of their fears and more richly enjoy the inherent benefits of selling on Amazon. If you think you could have a case of Bezophobia, read below for three important areas every brand should have control over when selling on Amazon.

Prioritize Consistent Pricing

Pricing is a huge concern for brands selling on Amazon—in most cases, Amazon prioritizes their customers’ happiness and providing a great experience for them on the platform over brands’ best interests. So, they want to offer their customers the best price available at all times. 

This seems harmless enough until a rogue or unauthorized seller enters the ecommerce space. They’d like to capture your consumers’ interest as well, and often list your products at a lower price than you’d authorize. When Amazon notices the change, whether on its platform or on another, they drop your listing price to match. 

Many brands seriously struggle to raise their prices after events like this occur, leading to what we call the Profitability Death Spiral. As your product prices fall, it’ll be harder and harder to raise them again, especially if you’re operating with Amazon as a 1P seller.

At Pattern, we know brands can’t achieve marketplace acceleration without brand control. So, we partner with econtrol firm VORYs to allow all brand partners to better understand their distribution channels and how to address control problems that ultimately lead to pricing issues.

Gain Total Visibility into Product Selection

The next key area of control brands should be focused on is their product selection on Amazon. Leslie spoke about this being a common issue for brands—as mentioned above, Amazon doesn’t see your brand as its top priority.

Many brands provide a certain assortment of their products to Amazon to sell, then find that their expectations don’t match Amazon’s efforts. Leslie has worked with many brands that have believed that Amazon will list, market, and move product the way a brand would if they were managing their Amazon presence themselves. 

But, in a 1P relationship, it’s difficult to get true visibility into what’s really going on. If Amazon buys your products without putting the effort in to represent your product selection in the way you think, it can cause big, long-term issues that are very difficult for brands to reconcile.

Marketing and Advertising

In Leslie’s experience, this is a brand’s most important area to have control over on Amazon. Your ability to sell products is completely dependent on how you’re able to showcase those products through your content. And, in a 1P relationship, brands lose the ability to have the final say over how their products appear to consumers. 

Leslie has seen many cases of brands’ sales dropping inexplicably, only for them to discover that their vendor has made significant changes to product detail pages and other marketing materials, such that they no longer reflect the brand.

Pattern understands how important your brand representation is on digital marketplaces like Amazon. So, when we agree to partner with brands, we provide a suite of creative services to help your products look their best, including a studio team for fully-optimized pictures and videos and an expert advertising team that knows how to write descriptions and copy that really help your products stand out among the competition.

Achieve True Brand Control with Pattern

If you’re able to get ahead and get in control of your Amazon strategy, especially in your pricing, selection, and marketing efforts, you have no need to fear the digital marketplace. As an Amazon expert and ecommerce accelerator, Pattern knows what it takes for brands to truly succeed, and is committed to helping all brands take charge of their strategy to achieve long-term success.

Set up a call to talk more about Amazon and ways Pattern can help you make the platform work better for you.