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  1. #1
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    Images...Will they get better?
    OK. I had enough and had to break down and ask this.

    What is up with the low-res images that come through on the pops for the products? I know that these are not from PopShops themselves, but shouldn't there be a minimum resolution requirement?

    About 1 out of every 5 products I load up using the WP popper are of terrible quality.

    The only way the internet audience has to weigh these product purchase options is to see the item and read about it. None other of the senses apply, so why should we give them a blurry lens to view the product though?

    Please don't just reply, "those images are provided by the merchants". I understand that. But, isn't it someone at PopShops job to make sure the images in the feeds are up to product-popping quality?

    I am on the paid service. Perhaps for the paid service you could get a different feed going with higher quality images. Just a thought.



    -sfcom


  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador joyaz's Avatar
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    I agree many images are less than optimal - some of my merchants provide images at 120 px by 90 px, but when you actually right-click and copy such an image to view it, usually the whitespace constitutes about HALF of that, so the actual image is only 63 by 90. Tiny!

    Popshops can correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems they have made a recent change that makes sure these tiny images are not stretched beyond their actual size. In other words, I have shops with the style set at 160 px (which I thought was width but now I think it's actually height) and I would not want those 120 x 90 graphics forced into a larger size or they'd be pixelated beyond recognition.

    I don't see any way at all that Popshops could police the quality of the images for 29,947,131 products. I have had issues with NO images at all coming through for certain merchants and they have helped with that. I wish some of the images came through larger too, but I don't see it as Popshops responsibility.

  3. #3
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    "pixelated beyond recognition."

    Yes that happens sometimes too.

    If you really want to have a good idea of what I am talking about, take a look at some of Mondera's offerings.

    How in the world am I supposed to help sell a $200,000 emerald with an image like this? (see below)





    I believe PopShops is, in part, responsible for the quality of the images in the feeds. Perhaps there should be a quick screen of the merchant's image feed quality before they are accepted into PopShops.

    Really, the consumer has 5 senses and only 1 available in most product selection instances (unless music.) Shouldn't the emphasis be on getting them the best images available? Conversion rates are at risk here.

    -sfcom


  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador joyaz's Avatar
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    SFCOM - Just FYI - I get the following when I try to go to the "computers" category at the site referenced above...

    "1146 - Table 'computers.configuration' doesn't exist

    select configuration_key as cfgKey, configuration_value as cfgValue from configuration

    [TEP STOP]"

  5. #5
    Full Member JessieJ's Avatar
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    sfcom,

    I feel your pain and would love to have great images on all the feeds. Send me a list of merchants and I'd be happy to ping them.

    Some merchants are great about fixing feed issues (like poor images) and some are less than responsive. I am always happy to send an email to a merchant requesting a better image quality. It's usually most effective if a number of affiliates do so as well.

    Jessie

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador IOWNIE's Avatar
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    My images suck on I OWN WINE

  7. #7
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IOWNIE
    My images suck on I OWN WINE
    cheer up; those from officedepot are almost nonexistant.

  8. #8
    Full Member JessieJ's Avatar
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    If you let me know the merchants, I'm happy to send an email and pointing out the problem. Again, the more active (or prospective) affiliates that mention the issue, the more likely attention will be paid to the problem. You can always tell the merchant to contact us for more information.

    If you want me to check into a feed, please include the 1) merchant name and 2) network.

    Another thing, I am overhauling our merchant info page and will be including a suggested spec for data feeds.

    Jessie

  9. #9
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joyaz
    SFCOM - Just FYI - I get the following when I try to go to the "computers" category at the site referenced above...

    "1146 - Table 'computers.configuration' doesn't exist

    select configuration_key as cfgKey, configuration_value as cfgValue from configuration

    [TEP STOP]"
    I have no clue what you are referring to.

    -sfcom


  10. #10
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JessieJ
    If you let me know the merchants, I'm happy to send an email and pointing out the problem. Again, the more active (or prospective) affiliates that mention the issue, the more likely attention will be paid to the problem. You can always tell the merchant to contact us for more information.

    If you want me to check into a feed, please include the 1) merchant name and 2) network.

    Another thing, I am overhauling our merchant info page and will be including a suggested spec for data feeds.

    Jessie
    How about this---before you sign on additional merchants, make sure the image quality exists first.

    If I understand how things work with PopShops, the merchant pays you to be listed and make their feed available through PS. It doesn't mean that you should accept anyone who is willing to pay you that fee.

    As a paying customer of PopShops, I would think that there would be image quality control present. And, I don't potentially have to contact someone every post to fix it.

    Isn't that the whole point of PS..."pop" it in and you're done. Not "pop" it in and then "pop" it out because you have a poor image and then pick another and "pop"....oops...."repop"..."pop" "pop" "pop". How was this simple again?

    -sfcom


  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador IOWNIE's Avatar
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    My images look fine now! So forgive me for the above statement. Don't know how it happened but they used to be bigger, pixillated, and fuzzy - and now they are the right size and clear. GREAT SERVICE! Thanks!

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager harrymond's Avatar
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    Dear Sfcom,

    Check your email, I just sent you a reply on the same.
    Cheers,

    Harry.
    Mondera Affiliate Manager
    http://www.mondera.com/affiliate_support/
    Winner of the LinkShare 2004 Golden Link Awards "Affiliate's Choice Award"
    Winner of the 2002 Abestweb.com "Best Affiliate Program Award"

  13. #13
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrymond
    Dear Sfcom,

    Check your email, I just sent you a reply on the same.
    email received Harry. Glad to hear you are proactively working on the issue.

    Every merchant should do so. They will see conversions increase if the customer doesn't have to look through a blurry lens.

    -sfcom


  14. #14
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    > "If I understand how things work with PopShops, the merchant pays you to be listed and make their feed available through PS. It doesn't mean that you should accept anyone who is willing to pay you that fee." <

    That's definitely a misunderstanding -- PopShops collects no fees from the vast majority of merchants whose feed they carry. Instead, they collect fees from merchants who "sponsor" Pro accounts for their affiliates' use. I assume they may look for other revenue sources, such as charging for use of the merchant tools they're working on, but the real value of PopShops to affiliates is its inclusiveness.

    But PopShops doesn't include every merchant that offers a datafeed; they exclude many merchants whose feeds don't "work" properly for affiliate needs, including merchants who are frequently offline, consistently have invalid image links, or include out-of-stock products in their feeds. They also remove merchant feeds if they learn that the feeds are not valid or useful for affiliates. Jessie emails affiliates and posts in this forum each time a merchant is removed from PopShops.

    Quote Originally Posted by www.popshops.com/faq/merchants
    > Does it cost anything for a merchant to be listed in PopShops?
    > - No, it costs nothing to have your feed listed in PopShops and we don't take commissions or percentages of your affiliates' sales.

    >How can I get my datafeed into PopShops?
    > - Send an e-mail to merchants(at)PopShops.com letting us know you'd like to be listed in PopShops.

    >Do I have to do anything special to my feed to have it listed?
    > - No.
    http://www.popshops.com/faq/merchants

  15. #15
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    > "As a paying customer of PopShops, I would think that there would be image quality control present." <

    As a paying customer, I actually don't expect PopShops to proactively screen merchant images (and I think most folks on ABW will agree that I am quick to complain when my expectations are not met).

    Instead, I'd expect that if affiliates contact PopShops support about poor-quality images from specific merchants, then PopShops would contact the merchant to inform them of the problem.

    I'm not really sure I'd want PopShops to exclude merchants who have "lousy" images but allow merchants who have no images (or "placeholder" images) for many products. I would expect PopShops to exclude feeds if images are "invalid" [either broken-picture icons, or the wrong image] and the merchant doesn't cure the problem within a few days.

    When I encounter a category where the datafeed images are very low quality, or where there are no images for more than half the products listed on a page, I generally use a template that doesn't include images.

  16. #16
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    ...I'd expect that if affiliates contact PopShops support about poor-quality images from specific merchants, then PopShops would contact the merchant to inform them of the problem.
    See my post above where I had stated:

    "Isn't that the whole point of PS..."pop" it in and you're done. Not "pop" it in and then "pop" it out because you have a poor image and then pick another and "pop"....oops...."repop"..."pop" "pop" "pop". How was this simple again?"

    Anyway, your experience with PopShops may not necessarily be the same as mine. If you are fine with the contacting them every time you find an image that is poor, then you must have more patience than I do. Alternately, if you just skip the image altogether then you are accomplishing something that can be done without PopShops (i.e.: Triggit).

    Again, I was looking forward to using the advertised simplicity here, but it just won't work if there are many poor quality images in the merchant's feeds. And, I do not feel that I need to become an un-paid employee of theirs by monitoring image quality and having to report every image that is low resolution.

    -sfcom


  17. #17
    Full Member JessieJ's Avatar
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    Merchants do not pay to be listed
    If I understand how things work with PopShops, the merchant pays you to be listed and make their feed available through PS. It doesn't mean that you should accept anyone who is willing to pay you that fee.
    For the record, we do not charge merchants to be listed in PopShops, nor do we take any kind of commission for the service. I add feeds as they are requested by affiliates and try my best to to respond to any issues that are brought to my attention.

    I understand how frustrating that is, but the more affiliates complain, the better the feeds will become for everyone.

    Jessie

  18. #18
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    I for one, do NOT expect PopShops to police image standards.

    It is up to us as affiliates to notifiy the merchant or affiliate manager that their product images are of low quality.
    Those are probably the same images on their website, so what does it matter if the Popshop image is good when the merchant's site has a poor image.

    What PopShops can do:

    1. Clearly inform merchants of typical display sizes and resolutions that should be in a feed.

    2. Make a tutorial for merchants and affiliate managers on how Popshops works and how image resolution is affected.

  19. #19
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JessieJ
    For the record, we do not charge merchants to be listed in PopShops, nor do we take any kind of commission for the service. I add feeds as they are requested by affiliates and try my best to to respond to any issues that are brought to my attention.

    I understand how frustrating that is, but the more affiliates complain, the better the feeds will become for everyone.

    Jessie
    Sorry about that. I made an error.

    So, we (the paying customers) are your only income from this venture then?

    Since this is your business model, built around simplicity and function, why don't you then have greater interest in the quality of images?

    Better images equal better conversions and equal more word of mouth referrals to PopShops (free and) paid services.

    So, I would not look at the image issue as a "you point it out to us and we will see what we can do" type of issue. You can certainly be more proactive on your end of things. You could even hire someone to take a look into higher dollar items to make sure images are quality ones. People might buy when a low res image of a box of cereal is present, but I doubt they will when it comes to jewelry or clothing.

    I realize you guys are busy on the programming end of things. But, just imagine if you didn't have affiliates bugging you with "image x is terrible" or "image y is terrible". Saves you time and grows your business, right?

    -sfcom


  20. #20
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    We are looking at ways to track the quality of the feed, including the image quality, and express this quality to our users.

    As far as the 'pop','repop','repop'. It sounds like you are using the WordPress plugin which is definitely a bit more limited in the image preview you get. Using the ShopBuilder you definitely are able to get a better feel for image quality and change your products before popping it in to your site.

  21. #21
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danharms
    We are looking at ways to track the quality of the feed, including the image quality, and express this quality to our users.

    As far as the 'pop','repop','repop'. It sounds like you are using the WordPress plugin which is definitely a bit more limited in the image preview you get. Using the ShopBuilder you definitely are able to get a better feel for image quality and change your products before popping it in to your site.
    Yes, I was referring to the WP plugin, as shown in the pic above. That is all that I use (so far).

    -sfcom


  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Caseyfern's Avatar
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    Overstock - Linkshare (recent additions)
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  23. #23
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    You know what, it might not be the merchants at fault here.

    I was just looking at the Popshops HTML code and the CSS has this line which is trying to constrain the image to 200px if it's larger than 200px.

    #PopShopxxxxx a img {border:none;max-width:200px;max-height:200px;width: expression(this.width > 200 ? 200 : true);}

    If the image is larger than 200px then that causes the jaggies. Remove the height/width restraint and you get a beautiful image and no jaggies - but it doesn't "fit". Part of the image appears under the product description text.

    My suggestion to Popshops is to invest in software which can automatically resize whole batches of images without deterioration in quality. That way you can accept any size image from the merchants and just automatically process them to fit different formats of product pages.

    For example, I often use Photoshop to resize batches of photos. Say I have hundreds of images of various sizes. Photoshop allows me to point to a folder, specify a size/format, then run a batch job which resizes all of those images automatically with no loss in quality like we're seeing here. I'm sure there is other software out there which does the same thing.

    This route would certainly be easier for the merchants as they won't have to make any extra effort. You wouldn't have to keep bugging them either.

  24. #24
    Full Member JessieJ's Avatar
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    We can't resize the images because we don't host the images. The images are hosted by the merchant.

    We request from the merchants three sizes (small, medium, and large) and use the size most appropriate to the context (small for thumbnail situations, large for bigger layouts).

    One thing we can (and are getting) better at is messaging. Any merchant can contact me or Angel for a data feed standards spec. And we're slowly, but surely, reaching out to the merchants.


    Jessie

  25. #25
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    Blast! There goes that idea.

    Although I like the idea of PopShops hosting the images. It's one approach, I suppose, since I'm sure images are rarely updated.

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