10 Customer-Approved Best Practices for Building a Better Product Page
As we enter the dog days of Summer, I’ve been thinking about buying a new grill. There are a ton of different places to buy completely unique and high-quality grills online, so I’ve been doing a lot of browsing. It’s frankly overwhelming, and the process has me thinking about the importance of product detail pages.
Nothing gets me to close a window faster than a bad ecommerce product page. If the pictures don’t clearly show off the product (or there aren’t enough), if there isn’t a lot of information, or if it’s hard to figure out the cost, I’m out of there. I’m an ecommerce retailer’s worst nightmare
That’s because when I’m on a product page, I’m looking to be convinced. There are so many options for anything I want just a few clicks away. Why should I spend my time on your page if I’m just not finding what I’m looking for fast enough? And I’m not alone.
As of July 2019, the average ecommerce conversion rate is 2.04%. SalesCycle’s report on 100 global retailers illustrates the dropoff directly, showing how of the 43.8% of shoppers who visited a product page during their session, only 3.3% actually made it to checkout.
That’s a huge dropoff. The product page is the gateway to purchase, and if it isn’t doing its job, it can be a huge impediment to conversion—no matter how excellent your products are.
To that end, here are Bread’s product page best practices, based on what consumers are really looking for.
1. Use high quality images.
2. Use the right trust badges.
3. Display customer reviews.
4. Leverage FAQs.
5. Try educational or entertaining content.
6. Be deliberate about design.
7. Clearly display payment options.
8. Minimize load times.
9. Highlight similar products.
10. Offer live support.
1. Use (a lot of) high quality images
Appearances are important, especially on product pages. A variety of attractive, legible, and detailed images is essential for giving your customers the look and feel of your products that they can’t get as easily when they’re browsing online rather than in-person.
Besides being well-lit and professional, product images should display your offerings from every angle, and give special attention to key details that are important to your customers. Show your products up-close out of context so shoppers can appreciate these features, as well as in use and in context so they can get a better sense of what their purchase will look like in the real world.
BBQ Guys does a good job of both, showing each part of their grills broken down from different angles, as well as what they look like grilling in action.
2. Verify trust with badges and statements.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a trust badge says just as much about your company’s trustworthiness. They may be small, but they communicate a great deal of value to customers—which is why seals, badges, and statements deserve a prominent place on any product page. These seals can attest to your site’s technical security and encryption, certify your trustworthiness among consumers, and more. A study by the Baymard Institute found that Norton, a technical seal of security, conveys the strongest sense of trust. However, a mix of different seals, including ones that are specific to your product or industry, will have the best effect and cover the widest range of customer concerns.
3. Put customer reviews front and center
Before the internet, we had to rely on word-of-mouth testimonials as to whether a product was high quality. Now online reviews and endorsements serve the same purpose, even if they’re from people who aren’t in our immediate networks. In fact, 84% of shoppers trust reviews they read online and recommendations from friends and family equally.
Craft storage solution The Original ScrapBox has more than 1,000 reviews from satisfied crafters, and prominently displays them alongside photos of real customer workspaces. This helps new customers vet their products, as well as showcases the many different ways that the ScrapBoxes can be used in each individual home.
Adding customer pictures in reviews is an especially good way to show off products, as browsers can see your product “in action.” If your product is highly customizable or more expensive, this kind of social proof shows that real people have already taken the plunge and are satisfied with their decision.
4. Use FAQs to resolve shoppers’ questions
Customers have questions—and before they buy, there’s a good chance they’re going to want them answered. Instead of burying FAQs elsewhere on your site or forcing them to ask your customer service team, consider adding FAQs right to your product page.
Home gym equipment manufacturer PRX is a great example, letting customers ask their questions and get answers for each and every product they offer. This cuts down on confusion and incoming requests to the customer service team.
5. Offer educational and storytelling content
Your product page isn’t just a place to answer questions, it’s an occasion to educate customers on your offerings and tell your brand story—all of which helps form a deeper connection and encourages them to check out.
Just like an FAQ section, providing extra educational content builds buyers’ confidence in your product, making them feel more comfortable about completing their purchase.
Specialty cooking appliance company Thermomix takes a unique approach, including hybrid-testimonials that share different uses for using their products from the perspective of actual customers.
6. Keep your design clean.
In a joint study by Harvard University, researchers found that the only universally agreed upon principal of website design is that more visually complex websites have less visual appeal. Make sure CTAs, price, and other elements are clear and stand out. Use appealing colors, white space, and contrast to make sure they’re unmissable.
Innovative hearing aid brand Eargo has an incredibly clear and legible product page—there’s no second-guessing the cost or what you need to do next. Note the other best practices they employ as well (they have a Norton seal, high quality imagery, live chat functionality, reviews, and clearly-displayed financing options.)
7. Put payment options up-front.
Alternative financing is a great way to convert customers who might otherwise pass on making a purchase, and the product page is one of (but not the only) place to make them aware of consumer financing. 30% of shoppers who used alternative financing said they wouldn’t have made the purchase at all if they hadn’t been able to pay over time. Financing can also result in a 17% increase in incremental sales, plus Bread’s data shows that consumer financing can triple the average order value. These options need to be big and bold on your product page to ensure your customers are considering them.
Outdoor furniture retailer Yardbird puts financing front-and-center right when customers are intent on buying.
8. Make sure your site loads fast.
If your site doesn’t load quickly, customers won’t buy. It’s a simple fact, but hard to swallow. 53% of mobile users leave a site that takes longer than three seconds to load, according to a Google study. There are a lot of technical solutions to this problem, but the remit is clear: Speed up, or lose business.
Gaming PC retailer Digital Storm proves that you don’t have to sacrifice lush, attractive product pages for the sake of loading speed—they have both in spades.
9. Add similar product suggestions (upsell and cross sell).
Personalized recommendations on product pages will help you cross-sell customers with a curated selection of items. This will drive customers deeper into your site and product offering, encourage them to complete a set of purchases, and increase the time they spend on your site.
When shoppers can explore more of your inventory—because you pointed them to items you know they’ll like—they’re more likely to purchase more from you during that browsing session. Salesforce reported in 2017 that 52% of customers who clicked on recommended items purchased one of them and that customers who clicked on a personalized recommendation had a 10% higher AOV than customers who didn’t.
Wheelfire, a tire and auto parts retailer, includes a suite of similar products, as well as additional cleaning items to purchase, on each product page.
10. Offer realtime support.
If customers have more questions, then having live chat onsite will help them get the answers they need, when they need them. Waiting in a phone queue or holding out for a reply over email breaks up the shopping journey and takes momentum out of the buying process. Instead, a fast answer to a question over live chat can be all it takes to convince them to purchase.
Mattress brand Big Fig offers live chat on their product page so customers can ask questions at any point during the purchase journey.
As an ecommerce brand, your product page is your last, most crucial chance to secure a sale. Don’t let all your hard work come to nothing at this final hurdle. Follow these shopper-approved tips, and you’ll be on the way to higher conversion in no time.