A Quick Guide To Shopify Image Optimisation

As the world’s leading e-commerce platform, Shopify delivers a range of benefits to merchants with websites that are powered by the solution. While images may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, they have a big impact on brand perception as well as website performance. The following post details everything you need to know [...]

As the world’s leading e-commerce platform, Shopify delivers a range of benefits to merchants with websites that are powered by the solution. While images may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, they have a big impact on brand perception as well as website performance.

The following post details everything you need to know about Shopify image optimisation, including how to optimise them for the best results.

Is There An Ideal Shopify Image Size?

Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple yes or no. That being said, there are some best practice guidelines that you can follow to achieve the best possible results.

The largest dimensions allowed for images on Shopify are 4472 x 4472 pixels and files sizes cannot exceed 20 MB. But while it’s possible to upload images of that size, it’s not always advisable to do so. This is due to the impact that large files have on website speed. Shopify’s recommended image dimensions are actually 2048 x 2048 pixels for square images. With these dimensions your store will look more aesthetically pleasing and allow for improved zooming functionality.

Balance File Size & Quality To Optimize For Site Speed

As most products are listed with multiple pictures, e-commerce stores already come with a higher volume of images than most other types of websites. This makes image file sizes even more important, to optimise SEO performance. The smaller the image file sizes, [the faster pages will load] (link to Shopify Store Speed article).

When it comes to file formats, JPGs are the most common type. This is because of their combination for image quality along with their compression capabilities. PNG images are also popular and come with slightly better image quality. However, it also means that they typically have larger file sizes as well.

The key is to find a perfect balance between image quality and file size. There are numerous free online tools such as Compress JPEG and TinyJPG that will give merchants the ability to compress image file sizes with little to no visible dropoff in image quality to the naked eye.

shopify image optimisation - adding attractive pictures to a website

The Available Image Display Options For Shopify Stores

There are a few different image display options that merchants can use to promote their products on the Shopify platform. More details on this below.

Product-only Images

A product-only image is typically a standalone product picture displayed on a white or neutral background. It will normally be the main product picture or thumbnail image that search engines also pick up and show to users outside your e-commerce website.

“Product in use” images

As the name suggests, a “product in use” image displays the product being used. If you’re a clothing brand, for example, the image might be that of someone who encapsulates your target audience wearing one of your designs. When you present the product image in this manner, it helps your potential customers better visualise themselves using or wearing your products, which his can positively impact sales.

Product Images With Graphic Overlays

Product images with graphic overlays include the standard product image and then add text or smaller graphics on top. The graphic overlays highlight key benefits and features. They also display any other useful information that potential customers may find useful for making a buying decision.


In the context of image display options for Shopify stores, graphics refer to images that serve the main purpose of providing informational value. This means graphics can show different product variants for easy comparison or size charts.

shopify image optimisation - someone taking a quality picture

How To Achieve The Best Shopify Image Results

After finding the perfect balance between image quality and file sizes, optimizing your pictures further is not an exact science. It comes down to your industry, the types of products you’re selling or even a touch of personal preference.

Regardless of this, there are some basic best practice guidelines you can follow. This will ensure Shopify image optimisation that presents pictures professionally in the most visually appealing manner to pique customer interest.

Maintain The Same Style For Thumbnail Images

When it comes to e-commerce the little details matter. One way to give potential customers a great first impression is having consistency in the way your products are presented. This means using the same style of image for all thumbnails or main product pictures to ensure uniformity. It will give your website a clean look and feel. This enhances your brand’s credibility in the minds of potential customers.

Add Multiple Images To Individual Product Pages

Once you’ve established consistency in the style your brand uses for all its thumbnail images, it’s time to turn your attention to individual product pages. When website visitors click through to specific product pages, it’s good to have a variety of images showing your products.

This could include close-up images, images showing different angles, and “product in use” images among many other options. The rationale is to provide potential buyers with as much visual information as possible to help them make a decision. It will give them more confidence in the look and potential functionality of the product in question. This can boost conversion rates.

Test, Test, Test

One of the best ways to achieve results is to test to see what works and what doesn’t. For example, it would be easy to assume that a product-only image with plain white background will work best for your type of product when in fact you’d receive more clicks for a product image with graphic overlays.

Blindly following standard industry practices may not necessarily be the best approach. To remove all doubt, conduct A/B testing to see what performs best in terms of clicks and conversions. Such methods are a way to gain small competitive advantages. They will accumulate and make a notable impact on your business’ bottom line in the short and long term.

shopify image optimisation - man editing images on desktop

Optimise Your Shopify Images To Drive Results

When you’re selling on Shopify, image optimisation is extremely important. Everything from image quality, to dimensions, file sizes and how they look to website visitors has a huge impact on website performance. With a better understanding of the available image options and how to achieve the best images results for your Shopify store, you can put your brand in the best position to make informed decisions that lead to higher sales.

To learn more about Shopify image optimisation, contact us today.

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