Retailers seeking knowledge on how to optimize product pages, look no further. Here are six strategies for building better listings that generate increased sales.
Quell Consumer Concerns
One of the most significant hurdles eCommerce merchants must overcome is a shopper’s concerns that arise from the inability to see and touch a product personally. Naturally, this produces questions surrounding an item’s fit, return policies, accuracy in sizing and similar anxieties.
Product pages must address a consumer’s hesitations. Retailers can accomplish this in a myriad of ways such as:
Displaying return policies on product pages
Including sizing charts and customer feedback on if the fit is true to size
Moreover, clear, descriptive copy and high-quality visuals aid in helping to relieve customer worries.
When including elements such as instructions or size guides, it is wise to deploy these as pop-ups. Doing so will keep the shopper on the page, while also providing the necessary information compactly.
An excellent example of this concept at work is theproduct pages on Zappos.com. Many of these listings contain sizing pop-ups from the manufacturer and sizing info from the retailer, as well as customer feedback on an item’s fit.
With all these elements present, shoppers are far more likely to feel confident in making a purchase.
Parade Phenomenal Product Photography
Again, potentially the most vexing problem for retailers is helping customers “get a feel” for an item through the screen.
Because of this obstacle, superb product photography plays a significant role in product page optimization.
The plain fact is thatproduct photographyhas the potential to make or break an eCommerce website as, in this case, consumers absolutely judge books by their covers.
Additionally, the value earned from stellar product photos goes well beyond product pages that live within the digital storefront. Unique product photos, when optimized properly, cansurface in the visual SERPs for Google, Bing and similar engines. Therefore, it is essential to capture product images that are professional, exclusive and alluring.
Retailers should ensure that products feature numerous photos from multiple angles that enable customers to zoom in on an image and get an up-close look at an item’s finer details. Featuring a variety of photos helps inform customers on what they are buying and aids in minimizing returns.
Furthermore, if a product has variants (multiple colors, patterns, capacities, etc.), retailers should feature photos for each as this can aid inincreasing eCommerce conversion rates. This is partially because customers may not know what the color “cotton candy” looks like or even because the color “blue” has a multitude of shades and tones.
However, merchants should note that not all visuals need to be static images. Video content is becoming increasingly more critical as this visual aid can assist in informing customers even more than product photos.
Craft Creative Copy
Captivating on-page copy should seem like a no-brainer. However, a massive number of retailers neglect this element by producing wholly uninteresting, utterly monotonous product descriptions that turn off potential buyers. Or, worse yet, sellers simply copy and paste the description provided by the manufacturer.
Both are monstrous mistakes.
In the uber-competitive world of eCommerce, it is not enough for retailers to write humdrum descriptions laced with their ideal keywords. While product images are powerful, lousy copy can undo the persuasion abilities of even the best photos.
The copy helps to build excitement for the consumer. It aids in convincing them that the product is the exact one they’ve been seeking.
If the copy is terrible, the whole page is terrible.
Therefore, merchants should take their time in crafting copy that sings the product’s praises, highlights its finer details and selling points and is fun and relatable for the target audience. In the world of eCommerce, sellers have the opportunity to be creative and not take things too seriously.
“What’s better than smelling like a man? I’m so glad you asked, because the only thing better than smelling like a man is smelling like a man who knows how to smell manly. I’m talking about the sophisticated scent of a man who uses Old Spice. Original remembers what it’s like to be an upstanding citrus and clove scent, before manscaping was a thing.”
Additionally, in the brand’s ratings and reviews section, customers can rate the item on its “Awesomeabilitiness,” “Performancemanship” and its “Smellgoodedness.”
How’s that for captivating copy?
Showcase Customer Reviews
Here are some familiar stats for those who regularly read this blog:
91 percent of shoppers consult customer reviews before buying
The bottom line here is that prominently displaying customers’ reviews on product pages is nothing short of a necessity.
Customers’ reviews are, in many ways, the deciding factor on eCommerce pages as this element provides buyers with the necessary social proof to feel comfortable in moving forward with a purchase.
The term “social proof” was initially coined by Dr. Robert Cialdini in his 1984 bookInfluence: The Psychology of Persuasion, in which he states that “we view a behavior as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it.” Therefore, when a shopper sees that others have purchased and enjoyed a product, they are more likely to convert as well.
Customer reviews establish trust for a product as well as a brand.
However, reviews are not always the most effective means of communicating social proof. If a product is tied to personal outcomes such as an acne cream for clearer skin or better aim for archers,customer testimonials might serve as a more compelling medium. This format goes well beyond mere stars and gives others a more intimate glimpse into a product’s effectiveness for real people.
ChowNow’s customer testimonial page is an excellent example of such endorsements as the company not only uses quotes from its customers but also invests in them by sending a video crew out to capture the testimonial for their website’s audience.
Employ a Wishlist
Customers don’t always intend on making an immediate purchase when viewing a product page. They may want to save an item to compare with another similar product. Sometimes they see something in passing that interests them, but that they want to save for later as it is not the actual item they are seeking. Often, shoppers want to bookmark things that they intend to buy as a gift for someone else.
No matter the situation, providing visitors with the option tosave products in a wishlist prior to purchasing allows for a degree of comfort for shoppers to not feel pressured into making an immediate decision.
When considering how to optimize product pages, the ability to add items to a wishlist is paramount. The placement of such a button near the “Add to Cart” CTA encourages shoppers to revisit (and potentially buy) products at a later time that they would otherwise pass over entirely.
The wishlist function enables consumers to mentally set an item to the side while they conduct other matters. This ability dramatically enhances the customer experience.
Honestly, who here doesn’t have an Amazon wishlist?
Furthermore, the wishlist option gives retailers an additional means of procuring a visitor’s information as a favorites’ list necessitates the creation of an account.
Once merchants have obtained a person’s email address, they can then send reminders to those individuals to come back and buy items, notify them when items in their wishlist are low in stock or have recently come back in stock or provide discount codes to motivate a purchase sooner than later.
Additionally, when items do run out of stock, sellers should supply an on-page option to sign up for email notifications for when an item is replenished. Again, this provides a means of contact info collection but does not require an account.
Upsell and Cross-Sell Related Items
Product pages are designed to move merchandise. However, retailers tend to lose out on scores of sales via product pages in two significant ways:
By failing to include links to related items to encourage upsells
By packing a page with an excessive amount of additional offers
However, as with all things, moderation is key. Retailers who cram their product pages with related items, links and banners come off as too aggressive and can provide customers with too many choices, thereby resulting in no action at all–a phenomenon known asthe paradox of choice.
Connecting additional, related items to a product page can make a massive difference in enhancing AOV and can make the initial product even more alluring.
A quick look at Amazon’s website shows how to implement this strategy. However, it is questionable whether Amazon packs its product pages too full, and overcrowding can lead to a dip in sales.
Product pages are the lifeblood of every eCommerce store’s existence. Those that are poorly constructed, under-optimized or lackluster in presentation stand to frustrate customers and leave lots of money on the table.
By learning how to optimize product pages and taking the time to do so, retailers can not only increase conversions but their store’s reputation, notoriety, customer loyalty and SEO performance.
There is a lot to be gained from well-implemented product pages.
Ronald Dod is the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder of Visiture, an end-to-end eCommerce marketing agency focused on helping online merchants acquire more customers through the use of search engines, social media platforms, marketplaces, and their online storefronts. His passion is helping leading brands use data to make more effective decisions in order to drive new traffic and conversions.
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