July 9, 2016

IDEA Tip of the Week: Image Type

Did you know that the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) has an “Image Type” field? Manufacturers can use this field – added in January 2016 – to communicate what type of image they are supplying to the IDW. This ability helps manufacturers struggling to achieve compliance or excellence if they do not have an actual image of their product(s); rather than using a placeholder image, they can populate the “Image Type” field to better inform their trading partners.

Where can the “Image Type” field be found?

“Image Type” can be found on the B7 view. If the field is not populated but a URL is provided, then the image is defaulted as an actual image of the product. Having good images is beneficial to developing a successful eCommerce strategy, so it is important to distinguish the image type to allow the end user to know which type of image it is. 

What types of images are available?

There are three options: Actual, Family and Representative Photo.

1. A for Actual: A photo of the specific item for which the URL is loaded. This image type is ideal for items with different colors or sizes to depict each available variation of the product. Actual photos guarantee the clearest representation, and this is the preferred image type. The example below represents the black variation of the product, so it is loaded in the IDW as “Actual”. All other color variations are loaded individually, as “Actual”, to represent their given color. 

2. F for Family: Can be used to display several items in one image of a family group. For example, if an item is available in various sizes, and those different sizes are displayed together in one image, it would be identified as a “Family” image type. Note: A “Family” picture might lead a buyer to assume that all the items in the image are included in the final purchase. Attributes, along with a clear catalog description, should accompany any item with this designation.  

3. R for Representative Photo: Can be used if the photo loaded into the IDW shows a variation in size or color of the product, but the item pictured is not the actual item being sold. Using the “Representative” image type helps the distributor distinguish that the image may not be the actual product, but instead represents the product. Using this image type could allow for multiple catalogs to be populated, which can assist with compliance and excellence. This image can contain text on the image stating it is a “Representative” photo, and the same picture may be used for several items in the IDW. However, it is important to note in the description field the color and size of the actual item the photo is representing. Refer to the “Image Guideline” for specifics. 

Are your images the latest?

Along with identifying the type of image they are making available through the IDW, manufacturers should also take care to review their images submitted to the IDW. Many times, manufacturers are not using the most up-to-date picture, so reviewing their images will ensure that they are using the most up-to-date product image.


If you have questions regarding the “Image Type” field, please contact your Data Management Specialist, or email info@idea4industry.com.