Product pages might just be the most important part of your website. They have to succinctly sum up your value proposition, explain potential use cases of the product, and make it easy for your audience to actually take that next step and make the purchase.
It's not an easy task. Overdo it, and you confuse your audience and reduce their likelihood of buying. Don't pay enough attention, and your audience becomes just as unlikely to complete the sale. You have to find the right balance, which requires careful thought and strategy.
Fortunately, it's far from impossible. With some pointers and best practices, you can build product pages that naturally drive your potential customers to the purchase and set the stage for a successful, long-term customer relationship. That starts with these 10 must-have elements to elevate your core e-commerce pages and grow your business.
1) Superb Visuals
It might not surprise you to know that visuals sell. We're an inherently visual society, processing images and video 60,000 times faster than text. Your product page needs to show, not just talk about your product to be at its most effective.
That can take a variety of shapes:
- Simple product photography (preferably with a white background) to show the product itself.
- Photos and videos of potential product use cases to make it real in the eyes of your audience.
- Visuals linked to customisation options, such as one image for each colour your audience can choose.
Of course, that's just the beginning. You don't have to rely on a professional photographer for these visuals. Plenty of online tutorials can help you get started on a more DIY approach.
2) A Clear Call to Action
Just as important as that first visual impression is the last step your audience takes once the product page has done its job. That's the call to action, which has to be clear and obvious from the moment visitors start browsing your site.
Most likely, your call to action here will be a prompt to purchase or add the product to the shopping cart. It should be easy to see and understand for both new users just learning about the product and those who are coming back after some initial research just for the sale.
3) A Singular Focus
Most e-commerce websites are broad. They cover anything from company history to the specific products sold. Product pages, however, need to retain that singular focus. Your users are here for that specific product; don't stray from it.
The best approach to ensure that this is the case is to define your purpose in the value proposition of the specific product. Then, integrate that written statement (in full or partial form) into a variety of elements on the page:
- The product description, which should be short and distinct.
- The introductory text, making a case for why your audience should purchase the product.
- Headlines and sub-headers throughout the page.
- Your meta description that summarises the page in a search-friendly way.
4) Search-Optimised Copy
No modern e-commerce business can survive without an emphasis on search engine optimisation, the process of making sure that your website ranks at or near the top of relevant Google searches. According to one study, the average e-commerce firm derives almost 40% of revenue from these organic searches alone.
Some of these searches may be general in nature, but most will be focused on specific products or needs that your product can fill. The key to success is finding these keywords and then optimising your product pages for them. It's a complex process that we've broken down elsewhere in more detail, but one that has to be a core component of any product page design and development.
5) Mobile-Friendly Layout and Text
More than two thirds of all e-commerce activity now occurs on smartphones. That's a drastic shift from just a few years ago, when most users still preferred online shopping on your desktop. Your product pages need to account for that fact through a variety of elements:
- Responsive design that shifts your layout and content automatically depending on screen size.
- Short paragraphs, bullet points, and sub-headers to minimise 'walls of text' on small screen sizes.
- A layout hierarchy that places the call to action and visuals first, without requiring much vertical scrolling.
Of course, these are only the beginning. The more you can optimise your pages for mobile devices, the more likely you'll become to turn visitors into customers.
6) Transparent Shipping Info
You have to be transparent. Again and again, e-commerce vendors lose customers because of deceptive pricing and informational practices, and much of that comes down to shipping information. If your visitors get to their shopping cart and realise that shipping is much longer or more expensive than expected, they'll never make it to the sale.
In fact, sticker shock on shipping is one of the most common reasons for shopping cart abandonment. Avoiding it has to start with your product pages, which near the call to action (but below visuals and CTA in hierarchy) has to explain the basics about duration, pricing, and other stipulations. The more transparent you are, the better.
7) Detailed Pricing Info
When you're the cheapest on the market, you can get away with just highlighting the price as a selling point. But as soon as at least one of your competitors has a lower price in place, you have to adjust and include details.
Explain the reasons behind your pricing. Talk about quality materials, country of origin, customer service, and other factors that go into the price point you set at the onset of your product launch. When sold correctly, a higher price (justified the right way) can actually become a proof point for your value proposition.
In addition, a similar principle of transparency applies to pricing when compared to shipping. If you have extra costs such as taxes, don't be afraid to list them here. You want those who add your product to their cart already know exactly what they're getting into.
8) Effective Social Proof
Social proof is among the most powerful tools of persuasion an e-commerce merchant has at their disposal. We're predisposed to trust others like us, so why not leverage that psychological concept in your selling efforts online?
For your product page, that can mean a number of things:
- Product reviews, as long as they're authentic.
- Testimonials in text and videos from customers who have used your product.
- User-generated videos and photos of the product in action.
- Live social media feeds related to your product.
- Expert reviews and product recommendations.
You won't have space for all of these elements on a single page. But you can integrate at least a few of them on every one of your product pages, convincing your potential customers to buy your product on a more comprehensive scale than just taking your word for it.
9) Consistent Branding
All of the above tips and elements are core parts of a successful product page. Unfortunately, they will all fail if this page does not fall naturally in line with the rest of your business and the communication your potential customers are exposed to on a daily basis.
Even with a different layout, it needs to 'feel' like the rest of your website. The same colours, navigational structure, and fonts should all be incorporated here as well. The same is true for consistency with your other marketing efforts, from your social media content to printed materials.
Through this consistency, you can build a level of trust you couldn't otherwise achieve. That trust and credibility adds up to a higher likelihood of that all-important click to the shopping cart.
10) Aspirational, Human-Sounding Content
Finally, even amidst all of the technical and structural best practices above, it's crucial to keep the human element on your product pages. The copy has to sound aspirational, and you should avoid talking on a level that's too corporate at any cost. The more your audience can relate to your content, the more they can relate to your product.
Writing on a conversational level is not always easy. One way to accomplish that feat is through aspirational language. Your audience likely wants your product because it solves a need or problem. Consider talking about scenarios in which the problem is solved through your product's help. This writing style is more naturally human and less technical, helping your voice get on the right track for this application.
Build Your E-Commerce Site With Your Audience in Mind
Combine all of the above elements, and you get to one overarching theme: when it comes to your product pages (and your e-commerce website as a whole), your audience has to be at the centre of your efforts. When in doubt, make a design, writing, or development decision that benefits your potential customers.
That focus shift can be significant for small businesses who naturally want to talk about themselves. That doesn't make it any less crucial. You might need some help in getting there, but that's where a reliable partner comes in. Our experience in web design and e-commerce business can be a core piece of your marketing efforts to build a better website, one that encourages online sales and enhances your audience experience.
Contact us today. Let's talk about the opportunities we have for a partnership, and how you can build your e-commerce site and grow your business with your audience in mind.
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