Shopping online is all about convenience. From consumers who don’t feel like visiting a brick-and-mortar store, to those who prefer to be able to compare deals across numerous eCommerce websites at once, an online store is a quick and easy solution.
Yet too often, poorly designed product pages deter potential, convenience-driven customers. No website visitor who is looking for an easy option is going to waste time trying to understand insufficient product descriptions or navigate an overly clunky site.
And while online shopping is certainly convenient, it also involves a lot of guesswork. Think about shopping online for clothing: sizing, fit, comfort, material, care, and quality are just some of the factors that customers must consider. Since online customers can’t try on clothing the way they can in stores, comprehensive and effective product pages become even more critical.
Even if you have incredible products to sell, if you don’t spend time optimizing your product pages, you risk losing buyers. Great product pages make a significant difference in how your customers experience and shop your eCommerce site.
5 Improvements for Product Page Design
While product page designs vary depending on industry, there are a few key elements that comprise all good product page designs. Each of these elements goes a long way in improving the user experience for potential customers, increasing the odds of making a sale.
1. Great Product Images (and videos)
At this point in the eCommerce era, product images are standard. Everyone has product images - but not everyone has great product images. Quality images can sell products on their own.
Think about how often you scroll past a targeted ad on social media, only for a stunning image to catch your eye. If the image is compelling enough to grab your attention, you might even click through to learn more about it, and ultimately purchase it.
Social media advertising is consistently bringing in sales at a low acquisition cost. That alone makes it worth investing in product images, but good images do double duty, serving as a cornerstone for well-designed product pages and the basis of numerous content marketing campaigns.
Additionally, the more effort placed into delivering stunning, interactive images, the more it will help the customer make an informed decision about their purchase. For example, consider including zoom-in capabilities, so that customers can see larger, more detailed views of items. 360-degree views are also helpful, enabling the customer to view the product in its entirety. At the very least, be sure to include product images that display the item from multiple angles.
If you sell clothing, model the products on a variety of people so that potential customers can accurately picture themselves wearing it. Be sure to use diverse, inclusive models: differing body types, heights, skin tones, etc.
If you sell tools, use images to depict functionality. Perhaps a tool is customizable or has interchangeable parts. Use photos to demonstrate how easy it is to assemble and disassemble for storage.
Or, level up and include product videos, not just images, on your page design. Customers can watch the tool in action, or see a model twirl in a dress to get an idea of how the fabric moves.
Commerce companies can strategically design interfaces to help guide the customer to ultimately making a purchase.
2. Robust Product Reviews & Ratings
Don’t underestimate the impact of social proof. Your products can be legitimately great, but self-promotion will only get you so far. A potential customer is far more likely to believe a customer review than they are a catchy tagline about what makes your company special. In fact, an astonishing 84% of people say they trust online reviews as much as they do a personal recommendation from a friend.
Take advantage of this source of influence, and curate and display great customer reviews on your product pages.
When a customer purchases a product, email them to write a review. If they’re dissatisfied, reach out to them directly. If they’re happy with their purchases, then display that glowing review right on a product page so that potential customers can see what verified buyers have to say.
Make reviews easy to identify and read on product pages. Many clothing sites include a sliding scale where customers can indicate if a product ran small or large, or even list their own body measurements for comparison. A tech website’s reviews section might include a searchable feature, where potential buyers can search customer reviews to see if someone has already answered a question that they may have.
Simplified rating systems (i.e. five stars) can help streamline a customer’s purchasing decision. Rather than forcing a customer to scroll down the page to the bottom to read reviews, think about displaying the overall average rating for a product at the top, with a link to “read more” or even “write a review” of their own.
3. Detailed Descriptions
It might seem simple, but great product descriptions should not only reflect the tone of your brand (engaging and fun, clear and informative, etc.), they also need to include practical data, like dimensions, measurements, and materials.
It’s important to think about how emerging technologies can fill in the gaps of online experience, specifically with sizing and fit.
In fact, according to a OneSpace study, 76% of customers indicated that product specifications were the most important factor to them when making a purchase online, outranking reviews, images, and other product page design features.
Even the crispest photos won’t give a customer all the details they may need, and often visual aspects, like a product’s true color, may display differently on different devices and screens. Detailed descriptions can prevent confusion and dissatisfaction (ex. “I thought this car would be a glossy red, not pearlized”).
There’s a big difference between a silk blouse and a cotton one, or between a portable charger that’s only compatible with Apple products versus one that also charges Android devices, and photos alone can’t convey this information.
Carefully consider what products you sell and what information would be helpful. If you sell travel products, you’ll likely have customers who need to know the dimensions of your carryon suitcase. If you sell makeup, a potential buyer may need to know its ingredients to determine if they have an allergy.
Walkthrough every bit of information that a customer might need to know in order to make an informed decision, and then determine what design will present this information in the most digestible manner. For example, this could mean a bulleted ingredients list for makeup, or a photo with dimensions clearly labeled on each side for a suitcase.
4. Relevant Merchandising
Utilize the power of suggestion. An easy way to increase sales is to design product pages so that they have “suggested” or “related” products listed supplementarily to the main product being showcased.
For example, if a customer is browsing a power tool, suggested products could include a companion charger. If the product is instead a Smart TV, maybe a cabinet or stand that fits the television’s dimensions would be helpful.
While not as explicit as a call to action, strategically placed related products can often encourage customers to make an additional purchase, or can rescue a sale if the product the customer is looking at doesn’t quite meet their needs. Perhaps this pair of tennis shoes isn’t quite right, but one of the five suggested below will work.
5. Add to Cart Button
Most importantly of all, be sure that the “Add to Cart” button is prominently displayed. Make it a color that stands out and is visible among the other information on the product page. It doesn’t have to be an obnoxious color, but it does need to be clear, big, noticeable, and central - no matter the device or platform on which the customer is browsing.
When the customer actually leaves the product pages to see what’s in their cart, make that page incredibly functional, too. Clearly display shipping, delivery, and pick up options (and associated costs) as unexpected shipping fees are the number one reason for cart abandonment.
Prioritize the checkout button and make it easy for customers to update their cart, add promo codes, check your return policies, etc.
Include alternate payment options, not just credit cards, but Paypal and other convenient purchasing options that don’t require a customer to go track down a payment method.
“Buy Now, Pay Later” options are increasingly popular - and with good reason. Thanks to advances in fintech, payment processors like Sezzle, Perpay, Afterpay, etc. have reinvented layaway for the eCommerce era.
The customer can purchase their item and receive it immediately. The brand gets paid in full by the payment processor, and then the customer pays back the payment processor via installments. There’s no interest, fees, or additional costs to customers, allowing businesses to reach different audiences, increase conversions, tap into younger customer bases, and generally make their products more accessible to buyers.
Take the time to evaluate your product pages and see if you are offering robust, appropriate information to potential customers. How can you make your design even easier for the customer to navigate? What will encourage them to make a purchase?
Consider how emerging technologies can fill in the gaps of online shopping experiences. Even just designing with this goal - conversion optimization - in mind can double your sales revenue, according to Blue Stout.
To that point, make sure that all of your eCommerce product pages are designed with multi-platform browsing in mind. Customers don’t shop in a linear fashion, but often hop in and out of the shopping process via varying devices.
In Q1 2019, smartphones accounted for 65% of all retail site visits worldwide, per Statista. Mobile is now the preferred device for browsing online, with desktop accounting for only 30% of online retail visits. As voice ordering and other technologies emerge, the purchase pathway becomes increasingly complex.
Product page design that function across platforms, and provide robust information to customers, will help eCommerce companies convert more buyers, build brand loyalty, and minimize the costs of acquisition. To learn more about how Object Edge's experience design can drive your business, schedule a call here.