As web designers involved with many ecommerce sites, we have always closely followed the latest techniques, technologies and trends involved in creating the best online shopping experience.
What a customer sees and reads on a product page forms a large part of their purchasing decision. As Syrox has developed its ecommerce offering, we’ve learned better ways to improve the experience for the online customer. Product page designs have become more efficient and beneficial for users, offering your customers a great shopping experience; to make them happy so that they will return to shop again.
The objective is an obvious one, to offer a product or service for sale in the best possible way and to lead the user towards the all important “Buy Now” button and beyond.
The following features are a must for any product page. This is the basic information that customers want to see before making a purchase decision.
- A well staged picture of the product for sale
- Short descriptive information arranged in easy to scan bulleted points, prioritised in order of importance.
- A clear prominent call to action prompting the user to enter the payment process.
Use the best possible Images
Product images affect the purchasing decision, a good picture of your product can be worth a thousand words (and a thousand sales!) so it’s important to take the time and effort needed to get it right. Good imagery helps users to better understand products and differentiate between similar items.
It might not be so important for items such as DVDs and books, but with other products good photography is essential, especially for items such as clothing as people cannot try items on as they would in a high street shop.
Compare these two eye tracking studies of ecommerce category pages (gallery listings of products by category) from Pottery Barn and Amazon.com:
The images of the bookcases were studied a lot more compared to the images of the TVs.
The difference between these 2 screenshots is obvious: the TV photos offer little help in deciding between the products where as the images of the bookcases set a scene and can evoke an emotional connection.
Users pay attention to information-carrying images that show content that's relevant to the products purpose. Of course this depends on the nature of your products or service but where possible show people using your products, in most cases showing people with your products will help the sale.
For a richer experience include a photo zoom feature to allow customers to easily zoom into your photos to see product details products from all important angles
The more quality photos that you can show of your product the more opportunities your customer will have to better understand the product. Include as many quality photos as you can. If you are showing a lot of photos, or even slide shows of how to use your products, include a photo gallery so customers can quickly scan through the photos.
The next generation of ecommerce site have already started to include more use of video to present products. Video is able to deliver a direct and clear message to a broad audience as well as focus viewers on something particular. Short filmed demonstrations help customers better understand your products by seeing them in action.
Investing in good photo shoots or a great photographer can certainly add a fortune to your website's business value.
Provide helpful product descriptions
It may seem obvious but by describing your product well, you’re holding the customers attention where you want them. It’s important that your product copy is interesting enough that a customer is going to want to read it. Make sure it’s not too long and includes your ever important search engine friendly targeted keywords in the copy.
Using bullet points for descriptions and key information is worth while as they are easily absorbed buy the user as they scan across the page.
Its good advice where possible to avoid overly lengthy pages, with the current popularity of cheaper and smaller display notebooks and iPad type devices, pages that require a lot of scrolling to reach important information are failing their users. Therefore if you have a lot of information to display on a product page, include tabbed product details functionality. This will condense the length of the page so customers don’t have to scroll through a long page.
Its is important to provide clear details of price, stock availability, delivery times and charges, these are some of the most important factors in a consumer’s purchase decision, so it’s vital not to force customers to have to search around for this information. Put customers at ease and build confidence in your customer service by clearly indicating how they can find out more information on delivery charges, returns policies and warranty information.
User Generated Content
Providing customers with an easy to use system to ask questions about products is a great way to open a dialogue. It has become increasingly popular to publish the answers to customer queries on product pages as Customer Q&As.
Including product reviews and seller ratings is a very strong way to convert customers. Allowing customers to read other customers experience with your site and products gives them an impartial opinion and additional comfort level to purchase.
Adding reviews that have featured in the press and media can add valuable credibility to your products, by also including the media logos and a link to these reviews it build on the customers’ confidence.
Call to action
The most important button on the product page is the “buy now” or “add to shopping basket” and therefore should be bright and in clear view. These need to be very clear and leave the customer in absolutely no doubt about the next step they need to take in order to make a purchase.
One thing is common among the more successful sites that we have been involved in, and that is the “buy” button is basically button like! Using subtle bevelling and shading can give the illusion of a tangible, familiar (and clickable) object. The wording should convey the action they are expected to take. It should start with a verb that conveys action; 'buy', 'add' etc. and be familiar as users expect to see phrases like 'add to basket' and 'buy now'. The position of this button is also important; it should be placed toward the top of your product page and not at the bottom.
Cross selling and up-selling
It is a good idea to give your customer the opportunity to see other similar products that you offer. By suggesting related or similar products in your range at the bottom of your product page you encourage multiple and repeat purchases. The Syrox ecommerce system can automate this process by creating relationships between categories and products which are then displayed on the product page.
Promote user sharing by ensuring that the design of the product pages includes popular social linking tools such as the “like” functionality for sites like Facebook and Digg.
Although there are many common elements to all good product pages, it is important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to designing product pages for e-commerce sites. What appears to work well on one site may have a quite different effect on another.
Show good quality product photos (it is even better if you can show them in use or in context) because they can tell a lot about a product from a carefully planned image.
Give your customers what they want to know (e.g. product image, succinct description, price and delivery) as quickly as possible. Avoid overloading them by offering a simple and clear (not colourful or long) page. Make it as easy as possible for customers to ask for further information if they required it and include third party opinions.