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Earphones that look sleek, sound sharp, and don’t cost a fortune.

This is what customers have come to expect from our client, a popular e-commerce electronics manufacturer based in China.

The brand, which launched on Amazon in 2018, has a loyal customer base in the U.S. and across Europe and Japan. Monthly sales are in the six-figure range. Customer reviews are consistently positive.

“Absurd gut!” — Absurdly good! — wrote one happy customer on Amazon Germany.

For a single product launch, the company may spend upwards of $80,000 on research and marketing. The key to that strategy? Testing product images and ideas with its target market to find opportunities and fix weak spots.

In the few months since discovering PickFu, our client overhauled main images for several products and brought conversion rates up — in one case, 15% higher than what had been its bestselling style of earphones.

Here’s why this manufacturer doesn’t start production without first turning to PickFu.

The problem: Identifying main image improvements

The manufacturer began selling a new braided-cable style of earphones in two colors, black and gray, on Amazon Germany. As with its other products, the new earphones got high ratings. Still, conversions were just…OK.

“We know the product is good. People who buy it like it. But something wasn’t working,” said the company’s product developer.

He focused immediately on optimizing the main image, a crucial element of any Amazon listing but even more so for the electronics category.

“Shoppers in our niche don’t want to spend a lot of time reading the listing. They want the product to look good and have a good price,” he said. “The main image makes a good product stand out.”

And a good main image drives clicks and conversions.

The existing image showed the left and right earbuds and part of the cord. What was missing from the photo? How could it be better? The company hired a new photographer and set out to answer those questions.

The solution: Start small and test each change

Several months after launching the earphones, our client ran the first in a series of PickFu polls targeting Amazon Prime members.

First up: a competitive test of the current main image versus that of the top-selling product in the category on Amazon’s U.S. marketplace.

The brand enlarged the photo to match the size of the competitor’s photo. That minor tweak made a big difference. Not only could respondents see the earphones better, but they also preferred its sleek style over the competitor. Our client won the poll with 58% of the vote.

“It takes months to develop a new product, and you simply don’t want to invest in something that people don’t want or like in the end.”

For another poll, the brand added accessories to the photo, including the carrying pouch and three sizes of earbud covers. The layout of the accessories would change slightly in later polls, but the results of each poll highlighted a key point: shoppers want to see more, not less.

“We noticed that even making small changes to the image influenced the polls quite a bit,” said the product developer. “With each of these tests, we acquired more knowledge.”

More polling, more learning

Our client ran yet another competitive test a month later. This time, it put the image showing the earphones and accessories against the actual main images of seven top-selling earphones in other European Amazon marketplaces.

“Which one would you buy?” the poll asked a panel of 100 Amazon Prime members, who ranked the options in order of preference.

Our client’s image won again with nearly 60% of the vote.

The results gave the brand more confidence. Still, there were details to finalize and validate. For example, what was the best way to show that the earphones were magnetic?

Cue another PickFu poll. This one tested two nearly identical images with one blink-and-you’ll-miss-it difference. In one photo, the earphones are spaced slightly apart; in the other, they’re stuck together.

Interestingly, the version with the earphones spaced apart won the poll. However, our client ended up positioning the earphones together for the final image. Why? Because respondents repeatedly mentioned the word magnetic in this poll and previous polls, signaling the importance of this particular feature in their purchasing thought process.

The result: Main image makeover pays off

Each round of testing — nearly 30 in all for the two colors of earphones — had a different goal. And each uncovered insights that led to the next iteration of the main image.

The brand relaunched the earphones with the new images on Amazon Germany in conjunction with a pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaign. Even with a gradual price increase, sales rose and the earphones climbed from 70th in the rankings to the top 40.

While the price for these earphones is now about 10 euros higher than before the image swap, the conversion rate remains strong — 15% higher than the brand’s previous bestselling earphones, which are the same price and have four times as many reviews.

Our client ran a similarly exhaustive series of main image tests with an older model of earphones. Again, the results speak for themselves.

“We were even able to raise the price two euros and keep a higher conversion rate” — 5 percentage points higher than before changing the image, said the product developer. “The change is stunning and to us, this is incredibly valuable.”

The PickFu advantage: Listen to your audience

Our client’s initial goal was to optimize the main images for its existing products.

Now, it uses PickFu polls to guide and validate nearly every decision, from naming its products to deciding the message for thank-you cards placed inside the packaging.

The company even created a new pair of earbuds entirely with consumer feedback from PickFu.

“PickFu helps us to avoid a lot of mistakes and risks before we start production,” said the product developer. “Maybe we think that a certain product looks amazing and has some potential. Then, after a couple of polls, we realize it was not the case.

“It takes months to develop a new product, and you simply don’t want to invest in something that people don’t want or like in the end. This way, we save a lot of money and time.”

Optimize your product images with PickFu. Try it for free.

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Janet Rausa Fuller

Janet Rausa Fuller (she/her) is the content marketing manager at PickFu. She could live without dark chocolate, but she’d rather not.