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Bigger Amazon.com CD, book images

bigger, but are they better?

4:09 am on May 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Seemingly unannounced (did I miss something?), Amazon.com is increasing the size of (some of) its product images, for example for CDs, books, and other entertainment items.

Is anybody else seeing this?

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I suppose that the bigger image sizes are more appealing and will get more clicks.

On the other hand, I place the product images in my sidebars, carefully designed to accommodate ad boxes and other items of 125 pixels wide or less. The new larger images exceed 125 pixels and are messing with my page displays.

Fortunately, Amazon.com is increasing the size of its product thumbnails also. Where size is an issue, I am recoding my CMS to substitute thumbnails for the full-size images. The larger thumbnails are not as attractive as the full-size images, but they are better than the old-style tiny thumbnails, and more to the point, they are easily less than 125 pixels wide.

Did Amazon.com announce these changes anywhere?

Another point. Amazon.com seems to be phasing in these new larger images gradually. On many of my pages, I now have a random mix of over-sized and normal-sized images, and tiny and enlarged thumbnails. The effect is a bit weird.

Sigh. More adjustments needed. No rest for the weary...

6:07 am on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I saw it for several weeks on my site. Only in IE, not in Firefox. My sales plummeted dramatically. I no longer see it on my site, and sales have somewhat recovered.

I can only assume they are doing a test, and I hope they STOP with the stupid test because it's not working. They didn't alert us anywhere as far as I know, but then, they never do.

5:07 pm on May 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The old-style CD and book thumbnails were so tiny that I have to think the new, somewhat larger size is an improvement and will garner more clicks.

As for the full-size images, the older size was just fine. I don't see the point or the gain of increasing the size by 10-20%, especially since it messes with my carefully planned and executed page layouts. Now, wherever the page layout justifies it, I am substituting the new larger thumbnails for the new larger full-size images.

I can't say yet if this is affecting my CTRs.

Yes, advance notification and/or explanation of the change would have been nice.

We publishers don't get no respect.


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