Etsy's New Thumbnail Image Format Revealed!

Etsy's New Thumbnail Image Format Revealed!

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Changes in Etsy Thumbnail Images
  3. Background on Aspect Ratios
  4. Etsy's Recommendations for Image Sizing
  5. Testing and Changes in June 2023
  6. Optimizing for Mobile Devices
  7. Understanding Different Aspect Ratios
  8. Recommendations for International Sellers
  9. Recommendations for North American Sellers
  10. Responding to Etsy's Testing and Changes

Article: Understanding and Optimizing Etsy Thumbnail Images

Are you a maker on Etsy or a member of Facebook groups for makers? If so, you may have noticed a flood of questions regarding changes to the thumbnail images on Etsy. Many makers were wondering if Etsy had changed the thumbnail image to a square and what aspect ratio should be used. In this article, we will dive into the details of these changes, provide insights into aspect ratios, and offer recommendations for optimizing your images on Etsy. Let's begin!

Changes in Etsy Thumbnail Images

Thumbnail images on Etsy have been a topic of discussion for some time now. In February 2023, it was revealed that Etsy displays thumbnail images in three different aspect ratios: 5:4, 4:3, and square. The actual display depends on where you view the images within the platform and the type of device you are using to shop on Etsy. However, in June 2023, it was observed that Etsy had started testing and making changes to how the thumbnail images are viewed within the browser. This article aims to clarify what information is still relevant and what information has changed since then.

Background on Aspect Ratios

Before we delve further into Etsy's recommendations and recent changes, let's briefly discuss aspect ratios. Simply put, an aspect ratio is the proportional relationship between the width and height of an image. It is typically set during the editing process, using the crop tool. Etsy's recommendations for image sizing are based on specific aspect ratios.

Etsy's Recommendations for Image Sizing

According to Etsy's seller handbook, there are several key recommendations for image sizing. First, Etsy suggests uploading images in a horizontal or landscape orientation, meaning the image should have more width than height. Additionally, Etsy recommends a 4:3 aspect ratio, which means that for every four units of width, there will be three units of height. This aspect ratio is widely recommended as it provides versatility across different devices.

Etsy also advises that images should have a minimum of 2000 pixels on the shortest side. For a 4:3 aspect ratio, this results in pixel dimensions of 2667 by 2000 pixels. It is important to note that images larger than one megabyte in file size may have difficulty uploading, especially on slower internet connections. Therefore, Etsy recommends keeping the file size under one megabyte. In addition, it is crucial to ensure that thumbnail images have enough border space to be cropped to a square without losing any product details.

Testing and Changes in June 2023

As of July 2023, Etsy has not made any changes to its image recommendations within the seller handbook. However, it is clear that Etsy has been conducting testing and has introduced changes to the way thumbnail images are viewed within the browser. These changes have been observed on shop homepages, where some sellers see a square aspect ratio while others still see a 5:4 aspect ratio. It appears that Etsy is conducting testing based on individual accounts, leading to varying results.

Optimizing for Mobile Devices

With 67% of Etsy sales coming from mobile devices, it is crucial to optimize your photos for mobile viewing. Etsy has been focusing on enhancing the shopping experience on mobile and tablet devices. Square thumbnail images take up more screen space and allow shoppers to see the product better. This shift towards square thumbnails on mobile devices may be driven by Etsy's aim to accommodate the growing number of mobile sales.

Additionally, Etsy now allows shoppers to preview listing videos and additional photos without clicking into the listing itself. This feature enables shoppers to swipe left and preview all 10 images and the listing video within search results and shop homepages. To ensure this feature is effective, it is essential to follow Etsy's image recommendations for all listing photos, not just the first thumbnail image.

Understanding Different Aspect Ratios

It is important to understand how Etsy adjusts aspect ratios to display images on different devices. Let's explore the three common aspect ratios recommended by Etsy: 4:3, 5:4, and square.

If you upload images with a 4:3 aspect ratio, Etsy will crop them to display as a 5:4 or square depending on the device. The loss of image content is minimal in this scenario. Similarly, if you upload images with a 5:4 aspect ratio, they will be cropped to display as a 4:3 or square on different devices.

However, if you upload images in a square aspect ratio, the cropping process becomes slightly more complicated. Within the square crop, some portions of the image, such as the top and bottom, may get cut out when displayed as a 4:3 on Android devices or as a 5:4 on computers and Apple devices. Therefore, while square images can work, they require careful framing to ensure that the product's key features remain intact.

Recommendations for International Sellers

If you are an international seller or cater to international customers, it is recommended to use a 4:3 aspect ratio. Android devices dominate the global mobile operating system market share, meaning more people will view your listing image thumbnail in a 4:3 aspect ratio. It is advisable to shoot your product photos horizontally on your smartphone and follow Etsy's pixel dimension recommendations, with a file size ranging between 500 and 700 kilobytes.

Recommendations for North American Sellers

For sellers who primarily target customers in North America, it is advisable to use a 5:4 aspect ratio. Apple devices hold the majority market share in North America, resulting in more people viewing your listing image thumbnail in a 5:4 aspect ratio. It is also recommended to shoot horizontally on your smartphone, follow Etsy's pixel dimension recommendations, and aim for a file size between 500 and 700 kilobytes.

Responding to Etsy's Testing and Changes

As an Etsy seller, it is essential to stay informed about the platform's testing and changes. While there may not be a definitive recommendation amidst the ongoing testing, it is crucial to be mindful of how Etsy crops your images based on your chosen aspect ratio. Ensuring that your product stays within the square crop guarantees that it will not be cut out in search results or on your shop homepage.

It is important to note that Etsy's homepage displays various aspect ratios. However, for optimal results, focusing on search results and your shop homepage is crucial. At this time, using either a 4:3 or 5:4 aspect ratio is acceptable. The most important aspect is to keep your product within the square crop when uploading images. It is advisable to monitor Etsy's updates and changes for any future transitions in aspect ratios.

In conclusion, understanding Etsy's thumbnail image changes and optimizing your images accordingly can make a significant impact on attracting customers and increasing sales. By following Etsy's recommendations, being proactive in adapting to changes, and keeping your product within the square crop, you can enhance your product photography and provide a better shopping experience for buyers on Etsy.

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