When it comes to UX, every aspect of your ecommerce website’s design is indispensable in increasing conversions. To ensure that your ‘buy’ button sees a healthy rate of clicks, all the pages of a website should work seamlessly together, like cogs in an intricately designed mechanism, creating an easy and unified customer journey that funnels towards a purchase. Certain pages mark particularly crucial points in this journey, and chief among these is arguably the product page.
Whether your website sells a small, specialised range of products or a whole warehouse’s worth of varieties, incorporating the right elements into your product page can make the difference between a visitor backing out at the last minute or going ahead with a purchase. The product page is your final opportunity to convince the customer before the all-important proposal of ‘buy now’ is put to them.
The role of your product page
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that if your customer has reached this stage and searched specifically for your item, only a nudge is needed to get them across the line. Not only are you competing with everything from social media distractions to page load speeds until the purchase is complete, but with the rise of organic search it’s unlikely that your customers have journeyed all the way from the homepage.
Every page of your website is an entry point, giving you only a few crucial seconds between click-through and conversion (or click-through and bounce), depending on what’s on your product page. Here’s how to make the most of those seconds…
1. Write product copy that really sells
You know you’ve got a great product, so how do you convince your customer of that? Whether it’s a stylish lampshade, a cordless vacuum cleaner or a comfy pair of slippers, the temptation is simply to start typing – and end up with at least one or two chunky paragraphs that wax lyrical about the product’s features and why it’s far better than anything else on the market.
This is a key mistake – not because what you’re talking about isn’t important, but because customers only read around 28% of the text on any given webpage. By bulking it out in this manner you risk drowning out the key selling points that will maximise conversions.
Successful product copy means putting yourself in the position of the customer and singling out what’s genuinely important. In most cases, your customer isn’t interested in clever wordplay or detailed descriptions – they simply want concise, clear and easy-to-read text that helps them make an informed decision.
An effective product page should include the following, and little else:
- Product name
- Size and colour options
- Payment methods
- Delivery and returns information
- Size and colour options (if applicable)
- Size guide (if applicable)
All of this information should be presented as you see it above – bullet-pointed, clearly ordered and not lost amongst reams of irrelevant copy. Crucially, it should appear above the fold. In a mobile-first market, making sure that customers don’t have to scroll down in order to see your value proposition makes a real difference to conversions.
The only exception to this rule should be the product description itself. This needs to be specific in communicating the product’s USPs and mentioning things that the reader can’t glean from looking at the picture, while remaining completely accessible and easy to read.
Starting copy with a verb, as in the example below, is a highly effective way to induce a sense of action in the reader. Rather than merely describe the product, it creates a clear mental image for the reader of a situation where it might be used, and links the product and the customer more closely together.
The above examples merge evocative language with a functional list of features. While they’re clearly laid out and scannable, specific features are best listed individually like in the below example. Copy presented in paragraphs, even if those paragraphs are only a line long, should be kept to the bare minimum.
Your product descriptions should follow a uniform structure right across your website. Three sentences is a good rule of thumb – it reads well, and gives you space to outline features and make the product tangible without overdoing the length.
Above is a poor example of product copy. The long description conveys no sense of urgency and its structure makes it difficult to pick out what the main selling points and keywords are.
Information is written out repetitively in full where it could be compressed into a few concise bullet points, and there is also no visible CTA or other options for the customer to choose.
2. Create a sense of urgency
You’ve convinced the reader that they should buy your product. But why should they buy it now? Even when your customer is sure that a product is right for them, they could still be a significant leap away from parting with their hard-earned money. They might decide to wait until later in the month, discuss it with someone else, or look around other websites to see if they can find a similar (or the same) product at a cheaper price.
Where a traditional market seller might start employing aggressive sales tactics at this point, your ecommerce website can adopt some simple, effective and unobtrusive techniques to create the idea that for the customer, it’s now or never.
Incorporating a subtle sense of urgency into your product page isn’t about being pushy or making the buy button as big as possible. It’s as simple as signposting a few additional facts about the item that you might not previously have thought to include – such as how many are left. There are three main ways to create urgency:
- Quantity limitations such as “only X left in stock”. You can add to this effect by including information such as “X customers are currently viewing this item”
- Time limitations such as how long the product will remain at the current price
- Contextual limitations which link the product to an upcoming event, such as “perfect for Valentine’s Day
3. Put good reviews front and centre
If you’ve got a great product, the one thing that’s better than shouting it from the rooftops is letting other customers do it for you. Consider incorporating customer feedback into your page, whether via conventional starred reviews that they can add themselves, quotations from reviews of your product on another site or embedded social media posts.
There’s nothing wrong with correcting spelling or grammatical errors in a customer’s review if you’re quoting it on your product page, as long as what they are saying remains unchanged. Customers can easily tell genuine reviews from fake ones, so whether an anonymous and unverified source is being positive or negative about your product, you should always steer clear.
4. Include an FAQ accordion
If you’ve got a relatively small range of products and your customers regularly ask specific questions about each one, take one step out of the selling process and address their queries directly with a collapsible FAQ accordion on the product page. This not only ensures that customers get exactly the information that they’re looking for – making an informed buying decision more likely – but brings additional benefits on the SERP itself.
Key information such as stock levels, that isn’t directly visible on your product page, can be pulled through to the search listing, giving you greater and more eye-catching use of your SERP real estate, like in the example below.
5. Make use of secondary CTAs
It goes without saying that ‘buy now’ or ‘add to basket’ are the most important calls to action on your product page. But they shouldn’t be the only ones.
You can increase conversions by making the decision of whether or not to buy a less black-and-white one, with one or more of the following CTAs:
- Add to wishlist will help to retain the customer’s interest in the product and make the decision to buy easier on a second visit
- Find in a store is useful for customers who want to examine a product in person before buying it. If you’ve got a retail space then you can increase the chance of them being inside it when they do decide to buy
- Call or email might help a customer to get the additional information they need before making a decision to purchase there and then
If a customer is interested in the product, there are a few routes away from the page that might attract them even if they are not intending to make a purchase just yet.