Web design conversations frequently focus on the homepage. While the homepage may be the "virtual storefront" of your e-commerce business, most of the "action" on your site doesn't happen on the homepage, but rather on your product detail pages. According to Salsify, 88% of shoppers say that product content is highly important to their purchase decision.
Product detail pages (PDPs) serve three purposes: inform, entice, and convert. They're a key decision point for customers - to add-to-cart or abandon. When optimized for design and user experience (UX) best practices, product detail pages generate customer loyalty, establish trust, maintain brand identity, and of course, capture revenue.
Think of your product detail pages like an interview. The customer is the hiring manager and each product they research is a candidate. How are you ensuring your product pages seal the deal? Are they providing the right information, impression, and experience?
Here are five product detail page must-haves to improve customers' shopping experience and maximize revenue.
1. Compelling Product Names and Descriptions
Each product detail page should prominently feature a unique and descriptive product name. The product name distinguishes the product from similar items and should be specific and meaningful to the audience, incorporating keywords.
For example, internally, you may refer to a couch as "The Ashley", but this generic name means nothing to your audience. Instead, your product name could be "The Ashley 3-Piece Chaise Sectional, Gray". This not only enables a customer to refer to the product by name, if they're in your store or talking to sales or customer service, but it also offers information for customers searching for the right product.
Invest some time performing keyword research to develop a list of terms your audience is likely to search. Then, include those keywords in your product names, page titles, and product descriptions.
Next, write a clear and concise statement that describes the product and its key features and benefits, as well as high-level details that answer common customer questions before they arise. This is where planning ahead and doing your research to understand your customer really comes in handy, so you're able to anticipate their needs or problems that your products can solve.
Always front load your product descriptions with a clear value statement for the customer - how does the product benefit them, how is it used, or why will they love it? Your product descriptions should attempt to recreate the in-person experience, by describing feel, function, size, and other important details. Include specifications, materials, dimensions, and product options, including sizes, colors, or other available choices. Make sure these are consistent across your website. For example, list all dimensions in the same unit of measure, and refer to color options the same way across items.
It's important to keep in mind when designing product detail pages that more and more, customers are showing a preference for shopping on mobile devices. According to an Optimizely report, 53% of those who said they shop online every day rely on their smartphones. Format your product listing for easy scanning from mobile devices, by using bullets and consistent typecases.
Build trust by being straightforward in your product descriptions. Indicate if the product requires set up or assembly by the customer, and any specific care instructions.
Bonus points: Take your product descriptions a step further to include tangible guides on materials that are frequently used across your products. For example, Loft's Lou & Grey brand provided their Feel Guide to give customers a better idea of the textures and "feelings" of each textile they offer.
2. Price, Purchase Button, and Policies
Of course, list the price of the product, and any item-specific charges or policies, including shipping times or availability. This information should be clear and easy to find to earn your customers' trust, especially access to FAQ or customer service, in case they have additional questions.
Your "Add to Cart" call-to-action must be easy to locate and seamless to use. Make sure buttons are working and large enough to be pressed from mobile, as conversion points must be equally easy to navigate across devices. Include feedback, via visual cues and pop-ups, to let customers know that the item has been added to their cart for a better user experience.
Bonus points if you're able to provide available inventory, like "only five left" for items soon to be out-of-stock. Take this a step further by giving shoppers the ability to sign up for an email or SMS notification when items come back in stock. Not only does this improve a customers' experience, but it also gives your marketing team opportunities to continue to engage customers and motivate a repeat visit.
3. Product Images
Good product photography sells products. In fact, Weebly found 75% of e-commerce shoppers say product pictures are very influential when deciding to buy a product. If that isn't convincing enough, the same survey found 22% of online product returns are because an "item looks different than the photos."
Quality product photography prevents customer confusion and dissatisfaction. It should avoid visual clutter and help customers imagine possessing the piece to entice conversions.
Just one image won't cut it. According to eMarketer, customers expect to see anywhere between 5 and 8 images per product. Include multiple images to showcase size, angles, color combinations, materials, and quality. Boost customers' experience with easy-to-use enlargement and zoom functionalities and include at least one image alongside a common everyday item or worn on a model to demonstrate scale.
Bonus points: Quality product photography can be expensive, so leveraging user-generated content is a great way to build a robust, diverse catalog of images, while giving prospects a look into your products in real life. Encourage customers to share photos using your products through reviews or social media.
For example, Creative Co-Op uses a branded hashtag that helps fans easily find related posts across social. Creative Co-Op's website pulls posts from the hashtag to feature at the bottom of their homepage.
4. Customer Reviews
According to Trustpilot, 89% of consumers report that they make an effort to read reviews before buying products. Allowing customers to leave a review on a product lends credibility and trustworthiness, because it shows potential customers that you stand by your products. By showing new customers opinions and insights from their peers, reviews give products a level of accessibility and tangibility that can't be achieved by product descriptions alone, ultimately boosting overall brand credibility.
Like user-generated images, reviews provide online shoppers with verification on the claims in product detail pages, making them an effective form of social proof.
It's basic psychology: people want to belong. If they see that enough people are using and enjoying a product, they will mirror their actions, or more simply, buy your product.
5. Product Recommendations and Related Products
Your product description and specifications sometimes make it clear to a customer that the item they are viewing is just not the best option for their needs. Include related product recommendations to encourage the customer to stay on your site and continue browsing to see how your other product offerings can fulfill their needs. Product recommendations can also increase the average order value by suggesting products that customers may enjoy together.
For example, by implementing Optimizely (formerly Episerver) Web Product Recommendations on their website, our client, Creative Co-Op, makes it easier for customers to discover additional products across their site, increasing their overall online revenue by 13%.
Not only do product recommendations improve conversion and boost revenue, but data-driven, personalized product recommendations impact brand loyalty and encourage return customers. In fact, according to Accenture, 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who provide relevant offers and recommendations.
Optimize Product Detail Pages to Sell More Products
Time spent optimizing your product detail pages is time well spent. Remember, this is where conversions happen, so you want to get them right. Many of our must-haves, like basic product descriptions, can be implemented with very little technical expertise and have far reaching impact, by improving your site's search engine optimization. While others, like improving product images and data-driven product recommendations may take heavier lift on your own.
This is where we shine. If you're ready to take your product detail pages to the next level, get in touch and see how we can help you optimize your product detail pages for maximum results.