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BigCommerce image size guide: how to optimize images and size your e-commerce photos

February 13, 2022
-
1
min

building a successful e-commerce site isn’t just about creating the perfect layout or snapping incredible product photos. it’s also about optimizing every. little. detail. to make sure you’re closing the deal when customers visit your site. making that magic optimization happen can feel like a daunting (and somewhat impossible) task.

we’re here to let you in on a little secret: it doesn’t have to be that way. you’re in luck because we’ve done the hard work for you.

so settle down and grab your favorite beverage of choice as we simplify all the deets you need to know about optimizing your product photos for your BigCommerce site.

image sizing: why does it matter?

image sizing can seem like a trivial thing. but here’s the thing: it can become a make or break kinda thing for your site. that’s because image sizing can impact your site's user experience in three different ways. here’s the breakdown:

customer experience

image sizing plays an essential role in creating a crave-worthy customer experience. you know - the kind of experience that keeps customers coming back for repeat purchases. properly sized images will help make shopping on your e-commerce site a pure delight.

images can make all the difference between a great first impression and a lackluster one. the first thing customers see is your product photos when they land on your product pages. make that first step an unforgettable one by optimizing your images.

website performance

large or uncompressed images can bog down your site. it can make your page load speed go from NASCAR to turtle speed in a hurry. and that’s the last thing an e-commerce site needs.

don’t dismiss the importance of your website performance. data shows that customers have very little patience for slow-loading sites. fun fact: each additional second of page load time decreases conversion rates by 4.42%. that’s the power of image optimization.

customer perception of your brand

your BigCommerce image sizing also plays an essential role in helping you manage brand perception. yep. we said it. that’s because customers have become more particular and discerning than ever.

and when it comes to closing the sale - it’s all in the little details. like your e-commerce images. it’s not enough to simply take great pictures. you also need to understand how to size them correctly for your site. poorly or inadequately sized images can lead to image quality issues that can impact the perception of your brand.

standard BigCommerce image sizes by image type

understanding the importance of image optimization is only the first step. now comes the fun part: understanding standard BigCommerce image sizes by type.

but rounding up that info can feel daunting - so we did it for you! here are the image sizes you need according to the three different types of BigCommerce images: product. standard thumbnail. and navigation.

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product image size

optimizing your product images for BigCommerce is a delicate balance between image size and image resolution. you should aim for 1280 x 1280 pixel square images for your product pages. larger images will only slow down your site - especially for mobile users.

standard thumbnail image size

thumbnails are much smaller than your main product photos - which means you don’t need massive images to get the job done. a 1000 pixel square (or less) is perfect for thumbnails across your site. keep in mind that some product images can be automatically scaled down in BigCommerce to be used as thumbnails.

navigation image size

you might have the option to add images to your drop-down navigation menus (depending on your theme). these images tend to be a bit smaller since they need to fit in the navigation menu. a 267px x 267px square image ensures your images are optimized for the navigation menu.

how to optimize product images for BigCommerce

there’s more to image optimization on BigCommerce than simply making sure you’ve nailed image sizes & image types. here are a few other optimization tips you should consider when creating product photos for your BigCommerce site.

choose proper image sizes (pixels) and file sizes

size. size. size. in this case - it is all about making sure images are properly sized. but it’s not just a matter of ensuring you’ve got the best physical size for your images. it’s also about making sure you don’t slow your site down with large file sizes.

✨ pro tip: you can use third-party apps (like Tiny PNG) to compress your images and dramatically reduce their file size without compromising viewing quality.

show your products from different angles

optimizing your product images also means you should be offering your customer complete or alternative views. why? because online shopping doesn’t provide that touch and feel kinda experience. this can be one of the most significant barriers to completing a purchase for your customers.

you know how we feel about capturing every good angle of a product. 360° videos are best for this purpose. but if you don’t have the technology for that - product images featuring multiple angles and crops can get the job done too.

use correct picture format

BigCommerce recommends JPEG file type format for all images across your site. that’s because JPEG images are easily compressed - without any loss of resolution. this means that customers can still enjoy the unadulterated beauty of your product images without slowing your site down.

but BigCommerce supports more file types than JPEG. you can also upload different image formats like PNG or GIF.

we recommend only using PNGs for images that need transparent backgrounds. this is because PNGs tend to be larger files than their JPEG counterparts. and GIFs are primarily good for thumbnail images or small icons because they tend to be low-resolution.

use alt text

alt text is copy that’s embedded with images. this text will appear in place of an image if it fails to load when customers land on your site. you should include alt text on every image on your site.

this portion of image optimization serves a few different purposes.

first - it’s an easy way to optimize your site to be accessible for everyone. alt text offers visually impaired readers an easy way to navigate your site and get the full brand experience.

second - alt text is essential for SEO purposes. search engines prioritize sites with alt text optimized images. that means that adding alt text to your images is an easy way to boost your search engine rankings and generate additional organic traffic.

BigCommerce tools for optimizing product images

there are also a handful of BigCommerce tools that can help you in your quest to optimize your site images. use these tools to help increase customer retention and conversion.

Google PageSpeed

every ecommerce business owner should make Google’s PageSpeed tester their BFF. this tool tests your site to see which pages need optimization for better page load speed. page load speed is a measure of how long it takes for a page to load on a computer or mobile device.

but page load speed isn’t just essential for keeping customers on your site. it’s also one of the largest factors that search engines use to rank your site. the better your page load speed - the higher you’ll rank in search results and the more organic traffic you’ll attract.

content delivery networks (CDN)

content delivery networks are designed to help boost your page load speed by storing images in servers with close proximity to the users of your site.

for example: someone from Japan visits your ecommerce site. this would typically require extra page load time as their computer retrieved the images stored on a US server. but what if the photos were stored closer to them (i.e. in Japan)?

that’s what a CDN does. BigCommerce has numerous CDN nodes across the world: London. LA. New York. Sydney. Tokyo. Sao Paulo. Hong Kong. and even Singapore. this is especially important for ecommerce owners who do business across the globe.

image manager tools

one of our favorite BigCommerce tools is the image manager. this magic maker can simplify the image optimization process and make your life a heck of a lot easier.

this integrated tool lets you upload your images from your computer onto your BigCommerce site. from there - images can be placed across your site with ease: product descriptions. categories. web pages. and blog posts.

but that’s not all. this tool (and others like it) will help automatically optimize the size of your images depending on where you place them.

searching for the perfect images for your BigCommerce site? get started with soona

optimizing your BigCommerce product images doesn’t need to be confusing. it’s simply a matter of understanding how to frame. scale. and save your pictures in the best image formats. don’t forget to take advantage of the wide selection of integrated and external product optimization tools. add in a bit of alt text - and *chef’s kiss* - let the images speak for themselves.

but all that optimization still takes time.

need help getting those scroll-stopping optimized images? contact soona today and we can help get that task checked off your to-do list.

building a successful e-commerce site isn’t just about creating the perfect layout or snapping incredible product photos. it’s also about optimizing every. little. detail. to make sure you’re closing the deal when customers visit your site. making that magic optimization happen can feel like a daunting (and somewhat impossible) task.

we’re here to let you in on a little secret: it doesn’t have to be that way. you’re in luck because we’ve done the hard work for you.

so settle down and grab your favorite beverage of choice as we simplify all the deets you need to know about optimizing your product photos for your BigCommerce site.

image sizing: why does it matter?

image sizing can seem like a trivial thing. but here’s the thing: it can become a make or break kinda thing for your site. that’s because image sizing can impact your site's user experience in three different ways. here’s the breakdown:

customer experience

image sizing plays an essential role in creating a crave-worthy customer experience. you know - the kind of experience that keeps customers coming back for repeat purchases. properly sized images will help make shopping on your e-commerce site a pure delight.

images can make all the difference between a great first impression and a lackluster one. the first thing customers see is your product photos when they land on your product pages. make that first step an unforgettable one by optimizing your images.

website performance

large or uncompressed images can bog down your site. it can make your page load speed go from NASCAR to turtle speed in a hurry. and that’s the last thing an e-commerce site needs.

don’t dismiss the importance of your website performance. data shows that customers have very little patience for slow-loading sites. fun fact: each additional second of page load time decreases conversion rates by 4.42%. that’s the power of image optimization.

customer perception of your brand

your BigCommerce image sizing also plays an essential role in helping you manage brand perception. yep. we said it. that’s because customers have become more particular and discerning than ever.

and when it comes to closing the sale - it’s all in the little details. like your e-commerce images. it’s not enough to simply take great pictures. you also need to understand how to size them correctly for your site. poorly or inadequately sized images can lead to image quality issues that can impact the perception of your brand.

standard BigCommerce image sizes by image type

understanding the importance of image optimization is only the first step. now comes the fun part: understanding standard BigCommerce image sizes by type.

but rounding up that info can feel daunting - so we did it for you! here are the image sizes you need according to the three different types of BigCommerce images: product. standard thumbnail. and navigation.

{{studio-ad="/external-components"}}

product image size

optimizing your product images for BigCommerce is a delicate balance between image size and image resolution. you should aim for 1280 x 1280 pixel square images for your product pages. larger images will only slow down your site - especially for mobile users.

standard thumbnail image size

thumbnails are much smaller than your main product photos - which means you don’t need massive images to get the job done. a 1000 pixel square (or less) is perfect for thumbnails across your site. keep in mind that some product images can be automatically scaled down in BigCommerce to be used as thumbnails.

navigation image size

you might have the option to add images to your drop-down navigation menus (depending on your theme). these images tend to be a bit smaller since they need to fit in the navigation menu. a 267px x 267px square image ensures your images are optimized for the navigation menu.

how to optimize product images for BigCommerce

there’s more to image optimization on BigCommerce than simply making sure you’ve nailed image sizes & image types. here are a few other optimization tips you should consider when creating product photos for your BigCommerce site.

choose proper image sizes (pixels) and file sizes

size. size. size. in this case - it is all about making sure images are properly sized. but it’s not just a matter of ensuring you’ve got the best physical size for your images. it’s also about making sure you don’t slow your site down with large file sizes.

✨ pro tip: you can use third-party apps (like Tiny PNG) to compress your images and dramatically reduce their file size without compromising viewing quality.

show your products from different angles

optimizing your product images also means you should be offering your customer complete or alternative views. why? because online shopping doesn’t provide that touch and feel kinda experience. this can be one of the most significant barriers to completing a purchase for your customers.

you know how we feel about capturing every good angle of a product. 360° videos are best for this purpose. but if you don’t have the technology for that - product images featuring multiple angles and crops can get the job done too.

use correct picture format

BigCommerce recommends JPEG file type format for all images across your site. that’s because JPEG images are easily compressed - without any loss of resolution. this means that customers can still enjoy the unadulterated beauty of your product images without slowing your site down.

but BigCommerce supports more file types than JPEG. you can also upload different image formats like PNG or GIF.

we recommend only using PNGs for images that need transparent backgrounds. this is because PNGs tend to be larger files than their JPEG counterparts. and GIFs are primarily good for thumbnail images or small icons because they tend to be low-resolution.

use alt text

alt text is copy that’s embedded with images. this text will appear in place of an image if it fails to load when customers land on your site. you should include alt text on every image on your site.

this portion of image optimization serves a few different purposes.

first - it’s an easy way to optimize your site to be accessible for everyone. alt text offers visually impaired readers an easy way to navigate your site and get the full brand experience.

second - alt text is essential for SEO purposes. search engines prioritize sites with alt text optimized images. that means that adding alt text to your images is an easy way to boost your search engine rankings and generate additional organic traffic.

BigCommerce tools for optimizing product images

there are also a handful of BigCommerce tools that can help you in your quest to optimize your site images. use these tools to help increase customer retention and conversion.

Google PageSpeed

every ecommerce business owner should make Google’s PageSpeed tester their BFF. this tool tests your site to see which pages need optimization for better page load speed. page load speed is a measure of how long it takes for a page to load on a computer or mobile device.

but page load speed isn’t just essential for keeping customers on your site. it’s also one of the largest factors that search engines use to rank your site. the better your page load speed - the higher you’ll rank in search results and the more organic traffic you’ll attract.

content delivery networks (CDN)

content delivery networks are designed to help boost your page load speed by storing images in servers with close proximity to the users of your site.

for example: someone from Japan visits your ecommerce site. this would typically require extra page load time as their computer retrieved the images stored on a US server. but what if the photos were stored closer to them (i.e. in Japan)?

that’s what a CDN does. BigCommerce has numerous CDN nodes across the world: London. LA. New York. Sydney. Tokyo. Sao Paulo. Hong Kong. and even Singapore. this is especially important for ecommerce owners who do business across the globe.

image manager tools

one of our favorite BigCommerce tools is the image manager. this magic maker can simplify the image optimization process and make your life a heck of a lot easier.

this integrated tool lets you upload your images from your computer onto your BigCommerce site. from there - images can be placed across your site with ease: product descriptions. categories. web pages. and blog posts.

but that’s not all. this tool (and others like it) will help automatically optimize the size of your images depending on where you place them.

searching for the perfect images for your BigCommerce site? get started with soona

optimizing your BigCommerce product images doesn’t need to be confusing. it’s simply a matter of understanding how to frame. scale. and save your pictures in the best image formats. don’t forget to take advantage of the wide selection of integrated and external product optimization tools. add in a bit of alt text - and *chef’s kiss* - let the images speak for themselves.

but all that optimization still takes time.

need help getting those scroll-stopping optimized images? contact soona today and we can help get that task checked off your to-do list.

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