When working on an ecommerce site, one of the places sapping lots of time and energy is in getting the product page to be just right. There are a number of elements that tend to perform well on product pages, by giving potential customers useful information and by showcasing the product well. Yet there are some that make for a better, more useful product page. As a result, making for happier customers.
So, without further ado, let’s have a look at some of the features that improve product pages.
Clear product images
Retail sites selling physical products should always focus on product shots. Big, bold and visually appealing product images help customers understand what they’re about to buy. This is all part of giving them as much information as they need to make an informed decision. If you have a product that you’re proud of, it helps both you and the potential customer by showing it off in all it’s glory.
Warby Parker use large, high-resolution images of their products.
Warby Parker are a great example of a site that makes use of very detailed and clear product images. For each pair of glasses they display a range of product images – including one with the product on a mod. They also gain bonus points for showing an enlarged version of the product on clicking the image.
Well Written Product Copy
Product copy can be an enormously important factor when it comes to creating a successful product page. Copy that informs is a given. Copy that promotes the benefits of the product as well as its features is even better. The success of a product page can live or die by the copy – it’s down to you to let the visitor know as much as they need to about the item. Stopping short can be unhelpful, which can also result in fewer sales.
Bellroy spend time explaining the benefits of their products within the copy.
Bellroy, who make slim wallets, are excellent at this. Ensuring that each of their products is introduced well, and talk through the benefits of the product to the potential owner. Rather than just giving stock information like materials used (which they do provide), they also talk about how hard-wearing the wallet is. How it’s useful to sporty types due to its water-resistant leather. Each wallet has its own selling points, and Bellroy have done a good job of writing informative copy for each.
It’s no fun finding the product you want to buy, only to discover that it’s not in stock. Great product pages let you know if stock levels are running low. This can give customers a heads up on when to place their order, and can help to reduce frustration. Ultimately, if you’re clear about which items you have in stock, you’re helping your visitors understand what their choices are.
Threadless do a great job, telling you exactly how many products are left in stock.
Threadless is one of the best examples at being clear about stock availability, as they only print a limited number of their t-shirts. When stock levels for a particular size drops to under 100, they list exactly how many are remaining so you know whether to order straight away or not. By showing an exact stock figure for when they start to run low, potential customers won’t suddenly discover that the t-shirt they’d been eyeing up is suddenly and surprisingly unavailable.
Good product pages make it clear to visitors exactly what they’re getting, and how much it’ll cost them. If you’re thinking about buying a product and are not sure of the price, or discover unexpected extras that increase the cost, it makes for a terrible experience. A good product page is upfront about the price because it helps to give the potential customer all the information they need to make their decision.
Apple clearly show the price ranges for each iPad model.
Clear pricing can be a little trickier if there are a many variants of the same product. In the example above, Apple have done a great job at making the price of each model clear – the price for each option is highly visible and can be seen and compared at a quick glance.
Vibrant, Visible “Add to Cart” Buttons
The “Add to Cart” button is arguably the most important button on the product page. It’s the button customers need to be able to spot at a glance, and it’s a good idea to make it big, bold and highly visible. Don’t forget that more and more people are using mobile and tablet devices, so making that button larger makes it easier to see and touch, even on a smaller screen. Your goal with this button should be to make it easy for potential customers to reach it without having to go hunting for it.
Nike make their “add to cart” button big and bright orange.
Nike have made their “Add to Cart” button bright orange which instantly makes it stand out. Anything that’s bright and vibrant, and that contrasts with its background, will make that button visible even at a glance. This may be unnatural at first, especially if you’re a designer. However, opting for a colour that blends in with the colour palette of the site means that you run the risk of having that button fade into the background. Nike have also done a good job of making the button chunky and large – which again helps mobile and tablet shoppers to click.
If you have a product that you’re proud of, showing customer reviews is a great way to help add social proof. It’s one thing for you – as the company behind the product – to promote it, but you’ll always be biased and customers know that. Other shoppers, however, are much more likely to speak their mind about the product. It’s important to also show all of the reviews – good and bad – so that it’s completely objective. Ensuring potential customers have all the information they need.
Zappos show the best and worst reviews for each product.
Zappos do this really well and have built up a reputation for honesty. They put the top positive review and the top critical review at the top. You can easily contrast the good points with the bad. Showing customer reviews for a product – the good with the bad – can be a great way of letting visitors know exactly how your product performs in the real world.
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Cross-promoting other products isn’t always the best plan for certain products, but for many retailers there’s a real benefit to doing so. By introducing visitors to other items they may be interested in, you can encourage sales of products they may not otherwise have seen. As a result you end up with happier customers, and more revenue.
Amazon does a great job of cross-promoting other products.
Amazon is well known for this. With every product page on their site, they also show similar products that other visitors have viewed. By doing this, they help their visitors see alternative or complementary products. Increasing the chance that the buyer gets the right product for themselves, and increasing the chance a visitor will buy a product they didn’t originally arrive for. The result is fewer returned items, happier shoppers, and more products sold.
If a product is available in a range of colours, then it’s important to show the visitor what the item looks like in their chosen colour. Otherwise it’s difficult to know exactly what you’re going to get.
If you show a product in black, but have options to also buy the product in red, green and blue, it’s not enough to show the customer just the item in black. This goes back to not giving them enough information to make their choice. When they can see the exact product they’re going to get, they can be confident they’ll get what they have in mind. This again leads to happier customers, more sales and fewer returned items.
At Radley we update the product images to reflect the colour you selected.
At Radley, we’ve made sure to update our product images so that they show the items in the selected colour. Selecting a colour instantly brings in large product shots of the item in the selected colour, which means there won’t be any surprises when the handbag shows up at the customer’s house.
Many products can benefit from having a video showing the item off from all angles. This can help the potential customer get a better idea of what it really looks like, or does. Some products can even benefit from going a step further, and having a video that describes the product in more detail, opening zips and moving it around so that you get a true feel for what it’ll be like when it arrives on your doorstep.
This isn’t necessarily the right choice for every product, but if it applies to you then it’s worth thinking about, as this can result in a richer, more informative shopping experience.
SimplyPiste often use product videos to help show off each item.
Skiwear brand SimplyPiste often make use of demonstration videos to show off their products. They’ll talk through the item in detail and will unzip jackets, show what the lining looks like, talk about the detail on the pockets and show off more than what just product images can do. All of this helps to give potential customers enough information to make their purchasing decision.Helping to recreate the benefit of shopping in a physical store, online.
Social Sharing Options
When you’re shopping online, it can be useful to gather your friend’s opinions on an item before you buy. By including social sharing buttons on the product page you can make that task easier for potential customers, and at the same time help to promote your products. Again, it’s important to point out that this isn’t necessarily the best option for every retailer out there. Though, if you have an interesting product, then you may find that introducing social sharing buttons will give potential customers a bit of encouragement to get a second opinion.
Etsy includes a range of social sharing buttons on its product pages.
Etsy – as well as many other retailers – make use of this. This works well for Etsy because they have such a diverse range of interesting, quirky and unusual products. So it seems only natural that people may want to talk about them on social networks. The introduction of the buttons just gives visitors a small amount of encouragement to do so, and helps to make it easier for them should they decide to.
A great product page doesn’t necessarily need all of these features, and it may well depend on the item itself. Keep in mind, spending time thinking about how to make the potential customer’s life easier, often results in a happier shopping experience. If you have any tips or ideas for making a product page more compelling and useful, I’d love to hear about it in the comments section.