A Thorough Checklist for E-Commerce Websites: No.5: Product Pages

04 Oct

When you are creating a website, there are a few things you need to make sure are there. These things take the perspective of the consumer into consideration, pay heed to what bigger e-commerce businesses have done after resourceful research, and finally look at what really is going on by using analytics and feedback from the site.

In this blog series, we take you from the general site-wide checks to individual page-wise checks that you need to do to set-up a good foundation for the website and for further digital marketing efforts, without falling into the traps of common mistakes and oversights.

The product page, as the name simply suggests, is the page where the product is displayed. This is the real deal. All other pages are manoeuvres to nudge visitors along a certain desired path. This is the page that talks to your core – who you are and what you do.

The Product Page Checklist

  • If they can’t take the page in in 3 seconds, you’ve generally lost them already. This page must be the clearest of all pages because this is what your business does, and this is where you need to demonstrate to shoppers.
  • Declutter the entire page. Nobody will read anything if you try and cram all your information into this page.
  • Speed and responsiveness slightly trump excessive design. People would rather have a product image that loads quickly rather than a glorious lifestyle image that took over 3 seconds to load.
  • You product shots must be excellent and include a variety of angles, both close-up and long shots. Display pictures of a product from the front, back, top, bottom, sideways, diagonally… Include the option to show a magnified view of the product when the mouse is hovered over that part of the product photo. It makes it more real-world similar.
  • Take it a step further and add a video. Show your product in use. Video is catching up in popularity and saves people from having to read text or decipher images without text.
  • Concise copy with only relevant details is the order of the day. You could include these details:
    • succinct product description
    • colours it is available in
    • models
    • sizes
    • price & offers
    • availability
    • shipping information

Make them bulleted points for readability and to be able to quickly digest the info in one go. Using bold or highlighted text appropriately makes those details instantly visible. Add ‘read more’ or separate tabs if more text needs to be added. The best way to know what to put down is to answer the seller’s potential questions in the description of the product.

  • ‘Buy’ or ‘Add to Cart’ call-to-actions (CTAs) must be prominent and distinct form the rest of the page without seeming aggressively suggestive. Using a bolder colour to differentiate the button from the rest of the page, and placing the button in a convenient area at the top and the bottom of the page saves shoppers either from having to scroll for it, or from getting distracted looking for it.
  • You want to add a wish-list button as well so shoppers can always think about it and come back for it later. However, don’t make this as prominent as the Buy CTA because you want them to seriously consider making the purchase, and offer wish-listing only as a last resort so as not to lose them entirely.
  • Allow wish-lists without forcing users to sign-up. But prompt them to leave their coordinates with you via an e-mail/mobile registration or a mobile app download so you can re-market to them.
  • Use collaborative filtering to suggest options to go with the buy. E.g. people who bought this also bought this. Or show related products. These batteries go with that camera. Also try to up-sell. Upgrade to the x-plus version which comes with extra memory space.
  • When displaying a product, list the options available. 16GB option available instead of 8GB. Show related options so they don’t drop out of the funnel completely for silly reasons that you could have otherwise helped them out with. These boots come in leather as well as vegan leather.
  • UX experience is sometimes what people respond to more than your actual product. Haven’t there been times when you chose to use a website because the UX was so much better even though their competitors were offering some enticing offers?
  • Confidence builders are the assuagers of the common fears of shoppers. These are a few:
    • number of people who have already bought that same product
    • testimonials
    • product reviews from media to boost social proof
    • return policy details
    • customer service commitments

These give peace of mind. Use third party review systems to show objectivity. If a negative comment comes in, make sure someone from your team has responded to it in a way that shows you are paying attention and taking care of the issue.

  • Use trust seals, supplier logos, certifications of quality etc. as proof of authenticity and to give them more peace of mind, and as a pre-assurance of a secure check-out.
  • If stock of a product goes below a certain level, display an ‘x nos. remaining’ to create a sense of urgency to purchase before it runs out.
  • If something is out of stock, either don’t display it, or don’t make it conspicuous. Offer the option for them to leave an e-mail id so you can notify them when it’s back on the inventory. This is another way for you to get their e-mail id without arousing suspicion.
  • Clearly show the money saved or the benefits for products on sale or that have offers.
  • Make it easy for customers to use social networking links like share, like, pin to get the word around.

Make sure you dazzle customers with this page, neither underplaying nor over-doing anything. While each page in a website is important and serves a specific purpose in the overall marketing cycle, the product page is the one that actually shows shoppers who you are and what you do. So make it count! If you get them here, the rest of the sales cycle will be a smooth sailing.

This checklist pertains to details about a website’s product listing or catalogue pages. To read on for other individual-page checklists or even a site-wide checklist, you can follow this series on our website.

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