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Ecommerce product pages are at the heart of Ecommerce conversions. Conversion rate optimization of user experience for these bottom of the funnel web pages in Ecommerce stores need to be continually optimized to close the hard earned sales process.
However, many Ecommerce stores treat the product page lackadaisically – and they are shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to making money and bringing in revenue. But, the shoddy and complacent thinking that takes for granted a user in buying mode can be rectified; mediocre product pages are not lost.
If you’re running an Ecommerce website, it is absolutely crucial to optimize your product pages for conversions and/or purchases. The product page represents a crucial step in the buying journey of your customer. The website user is in buying mode when they land on the product page, and if you present the right pitch, you’ll get money. If not, your competitor will – and there are lots of competitors.
Those numbers really are trillions of dollars, and Harvard Business Review said it best:
“Business leaders are scrambling to adjust to a world few imagined possible just a year ago. The myth of a borderless world has come crashing down. Traditional pillars of open markets—the United States and the UK—are wobbling, and China is positioning itself as globalization’s staunchest defender.”
Long story short, if you’re in the Ecommerce business right now raking in the dough, but you’re resting on your laurels, you’re in for a rude awakening. People are catching on to the internet shopping trend, and the competition will be ferocious in the coming years.
While a mediocre Ecommerce shop can still make money, they could be completely wiped out if they don’t clean up their lackluster ways in the near future. Furthermore, the product page is the money page. BigCommerce says it is the most important page on an Ecommerce site.
With the advent of Amazon, price and convenience are king. Web storefronts are now storytelling complements. Having great product pages, by BigCommerce’s estimation, will make or break Ecommerce websites.
Whether you use a paid tool like Inspectlet, a free tool like Google Analytics, or an awesome dedicated team, you need to measure what is going on with your product pages in order to continually gain insight and improve their performance.
Ideally, you want to track everything you can about how a user interacts with your webpage to help you enhance performance. You want to make sure the data is clean and the numbers are accurate so that you can feel confident in any changes you make to your product page. To this end, tracking conversions and any activity going on throughout the product page is mandatory.
Additionally, companies like Hotjar are giving additional insight into how users operate on websites. In the hyper competitive space of Ecommerce, every bit of an edge makes a difference. By getting constant feedback and interaction on your website performance, you’ll stay steps ahead of the competition and your revenue will grow.
Over half of users spend less than 15 seconds on a page. That study data came out in 2013, which seems ages ago. Regardless, you don’t have much time with users on your website. Just Google ‘attention span’ and you’ll get an idea of how quickly human minds are losing interest.
What this means for Ecommerce managers – and all website managers, for that matter – is you have to be concise and captivating, all at once. For product pages specifically, you need to provide information on the value proposition as fast as possible in a visually pleasing manner and in as few words as possible.
Since the main goal of a product page is to get the user to make a purchase of said product, it is imperative that the product page immediately draw attention to the ‘add to cart’ button. This is the main goal, and if the product page is a journalistic piece or an essay, then the ‘add to cart’ button is your thesis. Ingrain it in your Ecommerce strategy. You need to constantly be asking: How can I get my users to ‘add to cart’? What is holding them back from adding products to the cart?
Simply put, a product page cannot be the best it can be without high quality, eye-catching, and engaging visuals. Ideally, you want to showcase the product and the context of the product providing maximum benefits.
Product page images start with the featured image. Indeed, BigCommerce says that this is the single most important part of a product page.
BigCommerce recommends a centered, high quality image that you can zoom in on with light to no shadows. The feature image is like making a first impression. Here’s where attention span comes into play.
You need to capture the audience’s attention immediately. It makes sense that the feature image would be the immediate deal-breaker. It’s the thing the user gets when they give you their money. It better look good!
Via Stormy Kromer
After impressing your prospects with an awesome feature image, having a gallery of images showing your product at all possible angles is your next goal.
You can never have enough images, since prospects won’t get to examine the product in person before they decide to purchase. Because of this, you want to give them every angle possible so they inspect the product at detail to their heart’s desire. Some Ecommerce platforms have even added the rotating 360 shot for users to be able to adjust the product to any angle they please. Whatever method you choose, make sure you’re giving the user all the visual evidence they need to fire on a purchase.
The use of whitespace, in combination with engaging and clear photos, helps to focus the user on the important parts (i.e. the amazing product!)
Via AB Tasty
Whitespace optimization can be arbitrary, but if you implement tracking you can test out different variations of landing pages with different amounts of whitespace, keeping all other factors equal. Again, a visually pleasing experience is absolutely mandatory to focus your potential customers on the product in the best way possible.
Many people will be interested in the details of the product, especially as the product gets more and more expensive. Rightly so, since the user can’t touch and view the product in person. The better and more accurate the product can be seen online, the more likely the user will buy the product.
The product description has been shown to be more important than the price and reviews for a product.
Sell the benefits, not the features. What are the outcomes? What are the emotions that come with the outcome? Relief from a hard job getting done? Lessened anxiety from a timesaver?
What are the unique value propositions? How is your product different from your competitors? What are the differentiators?
Know your audience. The benefits that they want may not be the typical benefits. Consider tailoring product pages to specific audiences.
Square Via Neil Patel
Those who want to start selling their products anywhere can use Square, and the descriptions above hit all the major benefits and outcomes of using Square with easy-to-read bullet points with complementary icons.
When writing your product description, you want to think about the who, what, where, when, and how of your product. You’re a storyteller. Think about your product as the main idea or protagonist in a story. What compelling story can you tell to get users to click the ‘add to cart’ button? That is your singular goal.
Via Crazy Egg
As you can see in the example above, your product description doesn’t have to be cookie-cutter. Indeed, standing out with an interesting story can get prospects to click that ‘add to cart’ button more often than not.
Think about who your product is for. Is the product for men, women, or children? What age range would be most interested in your product?
What are the basic measurables of your product, materials it is made out of, product features, and functions?
What is the context of users using your product? Think about when and where a user would ever use your product. Now, think of the percentage that each of these situations apply. Try to cover at least the main uses, and then focus on minor applications. If you can describe all possible uses in a concise manner, then more power to you.
Why is your product better than your competitors’ products? What differentiates you? This is absolutely necessary to describe, because otherwise, you’re just another brand and then it will come down to price. However, if you can describe what separates your product, then price will matter less, because you’ve given the user a reason to put pricing on hold.
Oh, and you need to say all of this in as few words as possible. You didn’t forget about that annoyingly short attention span that keeps getting shorter, did you?
Onzie Via BigCommerce
The images stand out for this product, and those are clearly the most important parts of the product page. The product description is bulleted, conversational, and gets to the point with a size guide to help answer any questions.
K7 Via BigCommerce
Bulleted points with nice whitespace make it easy for the user to gather the most important information. The product description highlights the differentiators. The title is strong and descriptive and none of the written aspects overwhelm the most important aspect, which is the feature image.
While this product has many aspects of a successful product page, the descriptive icons at the top show an alternative way to describe benefits in a short and easily digestible manner. If the user has more time to read, they have a lengthy description to which they can refer. The security badges and payment options are awesome and we’ll talk more about those later, but just having those there makes a big difference in building trust, as you can see.
Adjust product pricing often to test different margins and revenue volumes – and also to purposefully boost sales. It would be ridiculous to ignore pricing as it is one of the top reasons many people decide to purchase a product. You need competitive pricing, especially with the anticipated influx of more Ecommerce competition, which we discussed at the beginning.
Additionally, shipping costs – which are related to price – are one of the top obstacles for online shoppers.
How do you combat this obstacle? First, you want to be completely transparent with what shipping costs entail, and do not deviate from the expectation you set. Nothing causes a user to bounce from an Ecommerce site faster than getting hoodwinked on shipping.
If you can afford it, just give free shipping. This is how Amazon has made a living. By baking in the costs of shipping into its Prime subscription, Amazon has relieved one of the biggest stressors to online shopping in one fell swoop.
If you can’t offer free shipping, perhaps you can offer a flat shipping rate that is baked into the pricing of all of your products. Get creative. Remember those competitors coming to get you?
And don’t just include the shipping costs. How long will it take for users to get their shipped item? When will it arrive? The more details you give on this front, the more relaxed you’ll make the user. And the less anxiety the user has, the more likely they will be to click that ‘add to cart’ button. Remember, that’s your overarching goal.
Reviews, testimonials, and ratings build trust for products and websites.
Via Crazy Egg
David Feng, Co-Founder and Head of Product at Reamaze, says this: “My #1 piece of advice is to focus on aspects of your product page that instill trust while diminishing anxiety. These usually come in the form of reviews, shipping, return policies, etc.”
Genuine social proof is the best. Don’t get too obsessed with a few negative reviews here and there because they bolster the rest of the positive reviews by lending them credibility.
Website shoppers are putting faith into the fact that once they enter in their credit card number, they’re going to get the high quality product that they think they’re getting based on their online research and their research of your website and product page.
Any credible evidence that you can give that boosts their opinion of your product will allow them to trust you more. The upvotes of others will build that trust even more, because they are supposedly third parties that are presumably without any bias.
What are some other trust signals you can use on your page to build the trust you need to get an online shopper to make a purchase?
Contact information of the seller is as important as ever, and this includes a physical location, an email and a phone number. While online shoppers continue to reach record growth rates, they worry about identity theft and the stories that come out reminding them that cyber security is still an issue today.
Via Crazy Egg
Here is a simple example of trust being built with contact information on a website. It doesn’t have to be flashy or too salient. Users just want to know that there are ways to contact you. Here’s another example.
Via Crazy Egg
Again, the contact information aspect of this page is not formatted in any special. They have simply posted their physical address, phone number, email, and social media icons in their footer to help the user know how to reach their social sites easily. The idea is just to have these elements on your site.
Security badges and forms of payment options also let the user know that your site can be trusted to receive their payments in a safe way.
Have a SSL certificate installed across your site. Also, use McAfee or GeoTrust security badges across your site.
The bottom line is you’re taking a user’s money, and giving them assurances that your site can be trusted is a big, but uncomplicated, signal to send. The presence of these signals goes a long way in building that trust.
While the ‘add to cart’ mantra applies throughout the whole product page optimization process, the reality is that there will be a percentage of those that don’t ‘add to cart’. And you’ll want to hedge your bet a little by showing other, similar products.
Some Ecommerce stores also have pop-ups that ask for email addresses after a certain amount of time (probably calculated to reflect the average time it takes a user to absorb the product page and click ‘add to cart’). While these pop-ups can be annoying, it is a last ditch effort to gain some value from the user before they bounce so that the Ecommerce store can follow up with additional offers.
Ecommerce companies that have the resources are now showing videos to give the user another alternative to get to know a product. For example, Sportbike Track Gear has videos for almost all of their products that shows someone going through all the ins and outs of a product – putting it on, pointing out the features and talking about the benefits.
Via Sportbike Track Gear
While videos are resource-intensive to make, they are an incredible tool to reduce all friction for a user to click the ‘add to cart’ button. You can include in your video script all the obstacles that you encounter from customers in your research.
Live chat capabilities are becoming ubiquitous among Ecommerce storefronts. What better way to have all of your questions answered than to have someone actually answer all of your questions online while you shop?
Users are simply more likely to buy and stick with a company that has live chat capabilities.
Not only will you be serving customers better and answering their obstacles to buying, but you’ll also be getting constant feedback on your product, your product page, and the common confusions that your customers are encountering.
Consider this story from VentureHarbour about a client that sold music contract templates, but they left out the templates part. When the client corrected the terminology on their website to let users know that they weren’t, in fact, selling music label contracts, but rather templates to help musicians out, their conversion rate on their product page increased by several percentage points and their customers became less confused.
The learning feedback loop associated with live chat – along with the benefit of having any questions or reservations of your potential buyer answered instantly – make it a no-brainer.
Live chat has many options these days, and choosing the right live chat option can be hard to figure out. Crazy Egg reviewed 15 live chats by installing them and using them as a website owner might, and the reviews are useful.
Having a transparent refund policy can overcome the last remaining shreds of doubt your prospect might have in the Ecommerce process. As long as you set realistic expectations and are as clear as possible about all the different situations that can arise and how you deal with them, then you’re doing better than most Ecommerce stores. The more transparency and details that you provide to set customer expectations, the better.
What are the procedures for returning an item? Does the customer use the original packaging? Is there a timeline in which refunds can happen? Who pays for shipping? There are many possible answers to all the questions above, which can lead to follow-up questions from the user. Your prospect is thinking ahead to all the ways in which the process won’t work out for them, and these anxieties need to be addressed upfront.
At the same time, conciseness still applies. You don’t want to confuse your user and make them too worried about the return scenario or else they’ll think it is a common occurrence.
Customers realize that returns are inevitable sometimes, so just knowing that they have a transparent process they can refer to makes adding products to the cart much easier.
If your product has sizing options for the customer before they ‘add to cart’, then have a size guide chart that is as thorough as possible for the user to determine their correct size with as much precision as possible. Imagine getting the wrong-sized product and having to return said product and wait even longer to get the product. In the instant gratification world we live in today, if your prospect can’t find a way to verify that they are going to get the right-sized product, then that’s an immediate bounce a high percentage of the time.
As much as Ecommerce is growing, mobile usage might be one of the few aspects of the internet that are exploding just as much. That said, mobile Ecommerce transactions will become more and more a part of the norm. People are simply moving away from desktop and using the computing power and ease-of-use of mobile phones to do everything a consumer might want to do these days.
What this means for Ecommerce product pages is that you need to have a mobile product page – optimized for mobile devices. Responsive websites are mandatory now, not an option. Additionally, product pages need to be even more agile and to-the-point.
Via Big Commerce
Images are still important, as you can see, but you simply don’t have as much space. Attention span actually coincides well with the limited space you have on mobile devices. Your space and time is limited more, but this just makes it easier to distill your message to its bare bones.
Simple layouts are the best, and just think about your user’s ability to look at images and be able to zoom-in on the right features.
The product page can be one of the biggest joys in running your Ecommerce store. There is no greater satisfaction than making changes and watching your conversion rate increase and your bank account fill up. While there is some effort involved in getting all the aspects to work together correctly, if you focus on empathizing with your prospect, being as concise as possible, and always focusing the goal of ‘add to cart’ then you’ll make great headway. If you don’t have the time and resources to give the product page what it needs and deserves, outsource your online store activities to our expert shopping management team.