This is a guest post by David Hoos, the Director of Marketing at The Good, conversion rate experts who turn more visitors into customers through detailed data analysis and testing.
Not considering every aspect of the customer’s experience on your site can be a costly mistake.
You may have all the elements of a great ecommerce site:
- A beautifully designed homepage
- A simple, straightforward checkout procedure
- Excellent product reviews
…and yet you’re still not getting the conversion rate you were hoping for.
What’s the problem?
It may lie in your product detail page. Let’s take a closer look at why this page of your site plays a crucial role in nurturing leads through the sales funnel.
Why Is the Product Detail Page so Important?
Consider two different websites. On the first, there is an abundance of information, including high-quality photos, a detailed product name, in-depth specifications, and even a short video demonstration. On the second, the photos are grainy, the shipping details are vague, and the product specifications are nowhere to be found.
Which page is more likely to generate conversions? Obviously, it’s the first. And while this may be a bit of an extreme example, it’s not uncommon for product detail pages to end up falling short like this, even for larger ecommerce stores.
The reality is that the product detail page is often what can make or break a customer’s decision to purchase something on your website. A well-designed, thoroughly optimized page carries significant weight in the customer’s overall buying experience.
The moral of the story? Neglect product detail pages at your own peril (and loss of revenue).
Of course, all this raises the critical question: What makes for a great product detail page?
Critical Elements of a Product Detail Page
There are three key, overarching elements of a successful product page. Each of these elements has a number of sub-elements within them. Here are the key elements you should focus on when optimizing your product pages.
Detailed product names: When it comes to naming your product, opt for longer, highly specific names. Every word in the name is a potential keyword that can turn up in an organic search. Additionally, longer, more specific names tend to implicitly suggest that the product is more valuable (because more features are listed) and are more likely to attract a visitor’s attention. Amazon is great about using highly-descriptive product names to help their customers find the exact product they’re searching for.
Comprehensive product descriptions: The copy on the product description should be compelling, easily scannable, and jargon-free, and should clearly spell out the benefits of the product. It should also seek to overcome any objections, as well as answer common questions that visitors may have. Nike’s product detail pages include product features and a brief history of the product.
Highly visible call-to-action (CTA): If you’ve done the hard work of presenting the benefits clearly, overcoming objections, and answering questions, then it’s time to call on the visitor to take action. Usually, this is going to be something simple, like adding the product to the cart.
The CTA should be crystal clear and easy to perform. In other words, visitors shouldn’t have to think hard in order to perform the CTA. This ensures that your checkout process is as smooth and seamless as possible.
Value-rich graphics and video content: High-quality photos and videos are a way of proving that your copy is true. In other words, you can show in pictures what you’ve already said in words. The more detail you can provide on the product, the more perceived value there will be from your customers.
A recent study from Wyzowl revealed that 33 percent of people prefer to learn about products by watching a video. The addition of product videos will increase the perceived value of your product because it gives customers the opportunity to see an immediate demonstration of the item they’re considering purchasing.
A product page from the online clothing retailer ASOS is a great example of how you can effectively use videos as a value-add for your product:
Social proof and user-generated content: The simple truth is that people trust their peers more than they trust marketers. And the statistics seem to back this up, with user reviews being twelve times more effective than manufacturers’ claims.
Leverage user-generated content such as product reviews, endorsements, social media buzz, and celebrity recommendations on your product detail pages. These forms of social proof help overcome common objections and assure buyers that they’re making a good purchase. Eighty-four percent of consumers say they trust peer recommendations above all other sources of advertising, so it’s time to start utilizing the content your customers are generating for you—it can have a larger impact on conversions than you’d expect.
Relevant product recommendations: It’s quite possible that the product being viewed by the visitor isn’t the ideal product for them. Including product recommendations gives you the opportunity to share similar products with the prospect, as well as complementary products commonly bundled together. Providing related product recommendations and comparing features/benefits between products can catch a visitor’s attention when they may be tempted to go elsewhere.
Apple has a subtle approach to cross-selling by offering complementary accessories after you’ve added a product to your cart.
Wish lists: Your customer may not be ready to buy when they first visit your page. Giving them the option to save products to a wish list can save the customer time and allow you to remind them of their wish list at a later date.
You can also use data from your wish lists to see which products are in the highest demand, linking product affinity to buyer types and offering personalized product recommendations.
Efficient customer service options: Customer service should be readily available to your visitors without being intrusive. The product page should make it abundantly clear how visitors can contact you and should provide a variety of ways for customers to get in touch. Providing instant customer service for your prospects has become commonplace in the ecommerce industry, especially with the rise of live chat and Chatbots.
Outstanding customer service can save sales, retain customers, and help customers know that you’ve got their backs.
Robust return policy and product guarantees: The stronger your return policy and guarantee, the more you back your products — the more products you’ll sell. If you have a strong return policy, show it off on your site. Make it clear that you stand behind everything you sell. Customers will be more inclined to trust you and buy from you if you have a robust return policy and guarantee.
IKEA is a company known for its no-nonsense return policy. The company allows its customers up to 365 days to return any product. Even if you don’t have the receipt, they’ll try to locate a record of the purchase in their system so you can receive a full refund.
Clearly displayed shipping details: Whatever you decide regarding your shipping—whether you go for free shipping, 2-day, or any other length of time—be upfront and clear about it. Also, be clear about how much shipping will cost. The last thing you want to happen is for customers to be surprised when they get to checkout. According to a report from Narvar, 53 percent of US online shoppers won’t purchase a product if they don’t know when it will arrive. If you’re up-front about your shipping policies, that builds trust with your customers.
The primary goal when it comes to shipping is to provide reasonable options and to tell customers when they can expect to receive their package.
The deal-breaker—price: Pricing is an integral part of marketing. Thankfully, ecommerce lets you adjust prices in real time, observe how those price changes affect consumer behavior, and then adjust again accordingly. Regardless of the industry (apparel, electronics, etc.), price is the most important factor that influences consumers’ decision to purchase. It’s vital to think strategically about how often you offer discounts and sales on your products, as well. While that can be a great way to increase sales, it also cuts into your margin.
Don’t Overlook Your Product Detail Page
When it comes to optimizing your product detail page for conversions, don’t cut corners or attempt to take shortcuts. Give visitors all the information they need. Highlight the benefits of your product, anticipate and overcome objections, and provide answers to questions that are sure to arise. With the right product detail page, you can lead the prospect along the path to buy.