One of the best used websites for small businesses right now is Etsy, an online marketplace designed for independent creative retailers to sell their wares to buyers from anywhere.  It’s the perfect one stop shop for many who are looking for something handmade, something crafty or vintage. 

The simple business behind it is that Sellers set up a storefront, Etsy charge a listing fee and a transaction fee for each item sold.  So, it’s similar to how Ebay functions but with a much more targeted appeal. 

As with all platforms, navigating your way to the best way to show off your stuff can be a minefield.  Today I’m going to make one area of this much easier for you by giving you quick tips to size your photos for this brilliant marketplace…

Many clients with an Etsy site often start out by asking me what size their photos are supposed to be and that they just don’t understand what Image Optimisation is, what the terms Ratio’s or Pixels refer to or often used “DPI” term is.

First things first!

My first piece of advice is to talk to your photographer, explain to them where the images will be used and make sure that any image they send through to you specifically for the purpose of your Etsy site, that way they should know in advance how best to shoot the products you want photos of.  Why is this important?  Because it will affect the composition of the frame when they shoot, the format they send it to you in and, of course, take into affect each of the above points too.

Moving on…

So let’s look at each of those original points in turn.

📷 What is Image Optimisation
📷 What Size & Ratio to use
📷 What is DPI and how it affects you

Image Optimisation

To maximise your opportunity to attract a customer and keep them interested, images need to load quickly.  Really quickly.  Ideally you need them to be in Jpeg format and 1MB or smaller.  This means they are small enough to load and be seen nice and quick.  If the size of the photo is too big you can reduce the quality of the Jpeg to 80% and not be compromised on overall quality.

Ratio & Size Matter

Ratio is how wide the photo in comparison to it’s height.  You may have seen ratio options when you are editing, they are in most of the options on a smart phone today, the same is true for major photography editing software.

In Etsy the ‘container’ they provide you for your images is set at a Ratio of 4:3, which means the photos are slightly wider than they are tall.  When you don’t use this ratio the chances are part of your image could be cropped out by the Etsy system, which could be critical and if customers can’t fully see what they potentially buying you run the risk they’ll leave your site for a competitor.

The size of a photo/image is the determined by the horizontal and vertical dimensions and measured in Pixels.  These are often abbreviated to ‘px’.   Photo size for Esty is 2700px on the long side, which means with your 4:3 Ratio in place the photo will be 2,700 px wide and 2,025 px high.  Getting the correct size also means when customer zoom in then the detail shouldn’t be affected.

For those of you taking photos for your business on your phone then the system they use creates an initial size of over 4000 px in most cases.  So as long as you only crop with the 4:3 Ratio in mind and request a size of 2,700 on the long side then you’ll be good to go!

What is DPI & How does it affect you?

Oh my word these three little letters can cause unnecessary stress at times, generally because they are being used in the wrong context.  In the world of print media any photo submitted for print needs to be a certain DPI – which stands for Dots Per Inch.  The DPI has an impact on the quality of the printed version of the photo.  Therefore it’s really important to get this right too.

However in the online world, DPI means nothing to a digital photo at all and in fact it’s a metric that isn’t actually uploaded to your web with your image.  So if someone asks you for a DPI of 300 or 72 or 100 or anything else, it’s not relevant at all to your website!

Just be aware of it for print though…

Hopefully this really gives you a really quick insight into those areas and gives you a better head start into life with creating content for and managing your Etsy storefront, but also on the kind of things you need to discuss with any photographer you employ to create your product photography.

For now,

Rachel x

I offer a range of options for business looking for product or service based photography.  Why not remove the doubt from whether an image can be used or not and if the image truly suits your own business by gaining your own authentic stock library.  Don’t forget the options to have your business images sent through ready sized for social media use!

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