5 Things Most eCommerce Brands Get Wrong on Their Product Pages
Amazing product pages are crucial for eCommerce brands to make sales. Still, many brands fail to realize exactly how important product pages are, and this leaves room for mistakes.
“While every junction in the customer buying journey matters, the product detail page is, arguably, the most important,” says Jon MacDonald, president and founder of conversion rate optimization firm The Good. “The detail page is the decision point, the moment when they decide to either place an item in the shopping cart or shop elsewhere.”
Below are five common product page mistakes that compel eCommerce customers to shop elsewhere.
1. Their Visuals Fail to Capture a Product’s True Look and Feel
Customers need to get a good feel for products before they make their purchases. To compensate for the fact that they can’t touch the product, brands need to give eCommerce consumers excellent visual experiences.
But not all products will require the same type of visuals. “Some products lend themselves more to visual comparison than others,” writes Manish Dudharejia, President and Founder of E2M Solutions Inc. Laptops might need just a few high-quality images and angles. Clothes, on the other hand, will seem more appealing if consumers can see the product from a 360-degree view and on different models.
The technology that’s still maturing will push these consumer demands even further. With augmented reality, for example, consumers are better able to visualize how certain products will add value to their life. Virtually trying on glasses, testing makeup or furnishing a home are all ways to give consumers a better understanding of the product.
Better visuals not only boost sales, but also cut the costs of returns. Ronen Luzon, CEO of MySize, says that returns are costing eCommerce apparel brands between $3 and $12 per order. That’s why his company’s smart measurement app enables users to take accurate body measurements with their smartphone. They can upload those measurements, sync to the sizing charts of their favorite retailers, and be given sizing recommendations ensuring they are buying apparel that will fit. For customers, that kind of near-in-store experience reduces the chance that they will buy something that disappoints when they try it on. For brands, minimizing risk of returns brings down the cost of fulfilling orders.
2. Their Product Descriptions Are Uninspiring or Unhelpful
Crafting helpful, inspiring product descriptions requires skill. Product descriptions can’t be too dull and loaded with technical details, nor can they be doused in too much marketing language.
“In your quest to add pizzazz and variety to product descriptions, don’t forget that shoppers also need details and specifications,” writes Marcia Yudkin, founder of No-Hype Marketing Academy. “How wide is it? Will the colors still be bright after a wash? Is it suitable for kids under five? And so on.” Product descriptions can have an attention-grabbing opening, but the helpful information needs to be easy to find, too.
Another way to improve product descriptions is to make them personal. Get into your customer’s mindset and show how your product will truly benefit them. “Don’t just describe features, describe benefits,” says Greg Shuey, managing partner at Stryde.
“For example, if you’re selling a snow boot with a felt liner, focus on the value this feature brings your customers: Is the liner removable and washable, and how does this make their experience more convenient? Does the boot feel softer, warmer, more comfortable?”
Don’t simply list the specifications the supplier provides. Show how the product will impact your customers’ lives.
The key is to find the balance between intrigue and information. You want to appeal to consumer emotions and desire, but also to empower them with the practical details they need to complete the purchase.
3. They Offer No Information to Let Shoppers Compare Products
Customers don’t make their decisions without considering other options first. Product pages that don’t show comparison charts or link to comparison tools do a disservice to customers. Make shopping decisions easier by highlighting what features can make different products more useful than others.
Lindsay Kolowich at HubSpot uses Helix Mattresses’ product pages as an example of comparison features done well. Someone looking online for ways to help them sleep (“It’s one thing to sell a mattress,” Kolowich writes. “It’s another thing to sell a good night’s sleep.”) can read about different mattresses in a chart that lists the firmness, ideal sleep positions and support provided by each mattress.
“If you want to convince [a consumer] to buy your product after a detailed comparison based on facts and attributes, provide lots of copy and facilitate the comparisons,” marketing consultant Kate Harrison writes. Determine how your target customers make their decisions, test what content appeals to them and use that information to drive sales.
4. They Have No Reviews or Guarantees to Earn a Buyer’s Trust
Consumers are more comfortable buying online than ever, but there is still an element of risk when shopping online that they don’t experience in physical stores. The most successful eCommerce brands assuage those fears by being clear about the details of fulfillment: return policies, shipping options, payment security, product quality.
In other words, your product page needs to make consumers feel confident in their purchasing decisions.
Consumers seek out that confidence on their own by reading customer reviews. “Reviews and testimonials are an age-old way of influencing purchase decisions,” writes Nadine Burzler, marketing manager at ASMALLWORLD. “… With consumers becoming increasingly aware of marketing tactics, reviews are much more effective when real people, with real experiences, are featured.”
Consumers would rather know about the real limitations of a product than be left in the dark. Without that kind of transparency, at best brands see potential customers bounce from their product pages. At worst, dissatisfied customers return their purchases in droves, driving up costs.
Another way to build trust with consumers is to clearly list your return, delivery and shipping policies. If you offer a 100-percent money-back guarantee, make that clear. If consumers know they can return a product that doesn’t meet their expectations, they will be more likely to take a chance and buy your product.
5. They Don’t Anticipate a Customer’s Last-Minute Questions
Brands that find the most success with eCommerce understand customer journeys and anticipate the final objections someone might have before committing to a purchase.
“Whether or not the visitor is able to articulate these questions in his or her mind is irrelevant,” writes Stoney deGeyter, VP of Search and Advertising for The Karcher Group. “The questions may be conscious or simply reside somewhere in their subconscious mind. But until answered, they remain there, nagging like a toddler struggling to get his mother’s attention.”
Empathize with your customer, and think about what someone needs to know about sizing, or product use cases or gift potential. In many cases, you can handle those objections with a FAQ. For products that might beg more specific questions from potential customers, you could incorporate chat features into your product pages. Chat lets shoppers initiate the interaction with a sales representative without demanding too much time; ideally, a sales rep’s response time would take just seconds.
Product pages need to inspire and inform consumers. Beautiful design and images, interesting written content and practical answers give your visitors the chance to connect emotionally with your brand while also enabling them to critically assess how your product could enhance their lives.