The 2014 global B2C e-commerce sales will hit $1.5 Trillion. That is $4.1 billion dollars spent every single day on consumer end products. Now while I let these figures sink in, can you honestly say that your e-commerce product pages are the best that they can be? Are they converting your customers? Or are they scaring them away?
Keep reading to find out if you are following the basics of successful e-commerce Product Pages, and elements that you should definitely consider in the near future.
Capture Attention Quickly
The Most Important Above the Fold Elements.
Just like with every brick and mortar store, first impressions matter. You do not see stores that are disorganized or with rubbish everywhere with huge lines out the door, and you certainly wouldn’t purchase anything if you didn’t feel comfortable to do so. So let’s begin with the basics – 8 must have elements all e-commerce product pages should have.
Use the Whole Screen
Is your design dated?
Why do you limit your potential for a great product page by limiting the space you are working with. Almost every product page I have come across has limited their product real estate by some form or another, giving them less room to capture the user’s attention at the most critical time – the first split second.
A great example of self sabotage is Williams-Sonoma. Williams-Sonoma has dedicated a whopping ⅓ of the page from the top for navigation – something that adds no value to the customer’s final decision of purchasing a product. Along with this, with my 21” screen, they have wrapped their entire content into 990px – losing almost 50% of the screen for nothing.
I don’t mean to be solely critical on Williams-Sonoma, they are by far not the only culprit of dated web design limiting their potential for greater success.
Have your CTA above the fold!
The Buy it Now/ Add to Cart is your money maker, don’t be ashamed of it, show it off! Unfortunately, sites like Wayfair believe that other elements are more important. I am not going to drag this out because this is simple stuff – PUT YOUR MONEY MAKER ABOVE THE FOLD.
Bigger Images are always Better Images
No more pixelated images!
This has been drilled to death with e-commerce conversion, but there are still sites not maximizing the visual effect that great photo’s have on buyer motivation. Apple understands this, with each of their products they have clear imagery. They understand the effects imagery can have on purchasing intentions, that is why you see their products in use, with a video, 360 degree look. All these elements illustrating their products gives their online consumers a very detailed look of the product so they understand exactly what they will receive, regardless of whether they have touched the product or not.
Are you Enticing or Describing?
Use your product description for more than just manufacturing details.
Your product description is one of the first pieces of copy consumers read (behind price and title), so are you taking advantage of this or leaving it full of nonsensical manufacturing numbers and letters? IKEA can show you how brief sales copy can make the entire product page more welcoming. Instead of listing out all the dimensions and weights of the bed (which they do in detail further down) they leave the most important copy to entice their consumers. This, in conjunction with the other clean elements such as price and imagery, gives the whole page a smoother user experience.
Reviews are Vital, but…
Think about the user experience of the current customer!
My constant research into effective e-commerce has created an annoyance of the current use of reviews in the majority of online stores.
Please understand that the people looking at your store are there to purchase, NOT REVIEW. Remove the dreaded “Write a review” link, this process should be after a customer has purchased your product, not when someone is trying to purchase. Plus, how many times have you gone back to the specific page of a product you have purchased already… I haven’t yet.
One 1 star review will impact your sales. Let’s imagine that a disgruntled customer purchased your product, and no matter what you did they would still give a bad review. Now imagine that this is the only review for that product… I am sure you do not want to advertise your 1 star product, even though it is a great product. What about instead, collect at least 5 reviews before advertising your star rankings, like Zappos has done.
Remember your ABCs
Always Be Closing!
With the King of upselling, Amazon, leading the way in cross and up promoting on their product pages, the spike in “Related Products” is easily visible. However, not every cross-selling attempt is equal in its effectiveness. A great example of a company that keeps their consumers always in mind is Victoria’s Secret. They have illustrated some key points to cross-selling:
- Have your cross-sells just below your main product
- Give as much detail on the upsell as possible
- Give your customers the options to customize the cross-sell within their original page
- Give your customers a quick way to add the upsell to their cart
Don’t Miss Out on $25 Billion…
Be Mobile Optimized!
It is 2014, if you are not mobile optimized, you need to be! Consumers comfortability of mobile purchasing is constantly growing, now with consumers spending more time at e-retail stores on their mobile device than their desktop. However, it is not just enough to have a mobile site, considering your objective is sales, your mobile site must also be optimized.
Skinny Ties is a great example of a site that understands their mobile users. They have ensured their product sites have:
- Big buttons for easy thumb usage
- Large and clear imagery
- Fast loading time
Let’s Wrap it Up!
E-commerce lives for the success or failure of the product pages. Unfortunately, if you have a terrible product page you are more than likely not going to see much success in the future. However, the benefits of living online is that it is the simple elements that can have the greatest impact. So be sure to follow the basics, make sure the correct elements are above the fold, constantly think about your customer’s process through your site and you should see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Good luck in your e-commerce endeavours!
About the Author Joel Smith
Digital Marketing Assistant, Powered by Search
Just arriving from The Land Down Under (Australia), Joel is excited to help businesses with their digital marketing on an international level. Passionate about SEO, CRO and E-Commerce, he is always open for a chat on LinkedIn or Twitter.