Imagine yourself in a shop. Everything looked good on the outside but as you begin to explore you start to notice a few things. Firstly, the shelves are disorganised and messy.
Then, when you find something you like, you can't see any price on it and the tag that would normally tell you the size and the care instructions is missing. Then, when you want to pay, you can't find the till or even any staff to ask for help.
Does this sound like a good shopping experience? – Of course not! But it could be similar to what customers are experiencing on your eCommerce site if your product pages are not optimised.
Product pages are where your customers make the decision to purchase or look elsewhere, so the focus should be on improving those pages.
When optimising your product pages, the most important thing to remember is that everything must have the customer in mind. You need to create the smoothest user experience possible by answering as many of their questions as you possibly can. If you can do this well, your customers will be less tempted to look elsewhere and will be more likely to complete their purchases and return in the future.
Product Images: Clear and Concise
Visual tools are the single most important sales tool in eCommerce, so optimising your product images is a great place to start.
People would much rather see something than read about it, so show them your products from as many angles as you can. On top of this, give them indicators of the scale and show them what it looks like in action.
The clearer picture you can paint your customers of how the item will benefit them, the more likely they will convert.
Your product images are what a customer will remember the most, so you need to make an impression – investing in quality is a wise choice.
Product Videos: Product in Action
Short videos or even simple gifs let users see a product in action and are a perfect accompaniment to striking images.
There are specific questions that even the best images won't be able to answer that videos can, like how a piece of clothing moves when worn. Informative clips like this make it so much easier for a customer to imagine themselves with a product, giving them the confidence to convert.
Videos are becoming ever more common in eCommerce, so getting used to producing and incorporating them into your product pages now is a good idea.
Product Description: Leave the Customer With no Additional Questions to Ask
Your descriptions need to have all the information that your images can't show. People want to understand what they're buying, and product descriptions offer that insight.
When writing product descriptions, it's important to know what your customers want to know. For example, if you sell essential DIY parts that customers need to replace regularly, a simple approach will do, whereas if you sell designer jewellery, your customers will want to know the story behind your products.
Understanding your user's intent will tell you what information you need to prioritise. The most important information should always be at the top in order to answer as many of your customer's questions as early as possible.
Be clear, be compelling and be concise. Relating to your customer's way of thinking will form a connection that will reflect your conversion rates.
Be Clear on Price and Delivery
Again, this is all about making the customer's experience as fluid as possible. The less they have to search for information, the better, so having prices displayed clearly on the page is a must.
Having this information readily at hand shows the customer that there are no strings attached and encourages them to head for the checkout. Delivery details are an essential part of this. Letting the customer know when they will receive their item, whether it qualifies for free delivery or if it's part of a deal, can put their mind at ease.
Hidden or unexpectedly high p&p charges are some of the leading causes of customer drop off – do all you can to avoid nasty surprises.
Customer Reviews: Word of Mouth Online
Word of mouth is the most potent form of advertising, and customer reviews are the best way to tap into this.
Having a simple review section on your product pages lets your customers hear about your products from people like them. Good reviews will do more to build trust in your products than any marketing or descriptive writing you could ever do. Using existing customer testimonials in this way shows your customers that what you're saying is true and will have a massive benefit to your conversion rates.
Trust badges are also a great addition to any eCommerce site. Having recognised validation is a visual label to your credibility.
The scarcity principle is one of the main psychological tools used in eCommerce. The concept is simple, make customers feel like they could miss out if they don't buy quickly.
Showing a product's availability is the easiest way to do this. Take eBay's Buy it Now listings, for example. Displayed clearly next to the price the number of sales the item has and how many are left. If customers can see that loads of people are buying a product or that there are only a few left, then the pressure is on to purchase or risk missing out.
Clear CTA buttons
As the access point to the final purchase, your call to action buttons needs to stand out on the page.
Customers should have no problem in finding where to go to complete their orders, so keep them clear and keep them simple – now is not the time to overthink.
Keeping these buttons at the top of the product information will be one of the first things a customer sees and makes the journey to purchase completion that much easier.
Moreover, giving your customers the option to add products to a wish list and complete the purchase later can make them feel more at ease and show confidence in them and your products.
Good Loading Speed
We have got used to a world where everything is instant, and even seemingly insignificant delays can have a tangible impact on an eCommerce user's experience.
Google has known this for a long time and their recent algorithm update has make loading speeds a search ranking factor. The Core Web Vitals update will place labels next to search results that perform poorly in this area, so if your site is not primed for this, it could have severe implications for your SEO and drive away potential customers.
Using modern image formats, incorporating pre-loading into your site's code and prioritising the loading of a page's most significant elements can all improve loading speeds.
Good Mobile Version
Mobile sales are projected to make up 54% of all online retail by the end of 2021. This is a 40% increase on the 2017 figure and shows just how influential mobile technology is becoming in eCommerce.
The sheer scale of mCommerce means that you can't afford to let your site's standards slip when it comes to mobile optimisation. Your mobile pages need to be as accessible and straightforward as your conventional pages. You need to consider everything, from loading speeds to how your call to action buttons fit on the page.
It's a whole different ball game, but a strong investment here will have a massive impact on your conversion rates and traffic.
Live Chat: Online in-store Help
Live chat is consistently ranked as the most essential support channel in improving UX and boosting conversion rates.
Knowing that their questions can be answered quickly and through a person to person conversation helps to form a connection between your customers and your business even if they don't use it. This bridges the gap between the real world and online shopping that plays on a customer's sense of familiarity.
Let your product pages be the workhorse of your site:
These are just a few tips to get you started, and there are still many more things you can do to optimise your product pages. Every eCommerce site is different, so some of these will apply to your site while others might not.
But, regardless of what your site is, the rule always remains the same – let your product pages do all the customers work for them. All they have to do is take it in.