Did you know that the total global ecommerce retail sales reached a whopping $22.049 trillion in 2016—a six percent increase from the previous year—and that those numbers are estimated to climb as high as $27 trillion in 2020? Well, that’s just how vibrant the ecommerce industry has become—and is expected to continually boom in the near future. While this is obviously some much-welcomed news for traders in the industry, it also means that competition in the space will go a notch higher as business owners grapple for relevancy and profitability.
And with that, the margin of error when it comes to having good product pages is going to be really small, more than it already is. Keeping this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the ways in which you can optimize your product pages, along with some best-practice tips for exceptional product pages.
A product page is the quintessential section of your site that not only plays the pivotal role of capturing the attention of customers, but it also informs your target audience about your products and compels them towards making purchases. Ensuring that your product page is well-designed, easily navigable, inclusively informative and visually appealing is therefore extremely important for you site, especially if you are to maximize your conversation rates and keep the customers happy time and time again.
One of the biggest factors when it comes to strategic marketing of product and services over the internet is the ranking of a page on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, among others. And when your product pages are not SEO-friendly, your rankings will be low on the search engines, leading to less traffic to your site and therefore lower conversion rates. Additionally, without well-written product descriptions, the site visitors will most likely end up being bored.
To ensure that your products pages are appropriately optimized for quality ranking in search engines and visitors are easily converted into paying customers; it’s important to create pages that contain unique text content—of course alongside unique photography—and that the copy in your product descriptions is SEO-friendly. This can be in many ways and using several tips, including (but not limited to):
• Find and use well-tailored keywords that are related to your products in order to boost your ranking on search engines. However, ensure that you don’t overuse or stuff too many keywords, as Google has algorithms that can detect and penalize you for trying to cheat its ranking system.
• Avoid copying product descriptions from manufacturers’ websites or other competing sites, as doing so means you are duplicating content that already exists on the web, so Google and other search engines won’t give you much credit for it. On the flipside, new and unique content will separate you from the many copy-paste sites out there, leading to good rankings, good traffic and therefore good conversion rates.
• Communicate your value proposition in a brief and punchy way while ensuring that you answer all the key questions (like main benefits, potential risks, standout features etc.) that may be asked by potential customers who are reading your product pages.
• Just like in product descriptions, remember to make your product titles catchy and attractive. Such titles can greatly increase the number of clicks on your product pages.
• To make your product pages easily readable for your customers, make an effort to break up the copy into useful sections such as a general description of the product, functionality, price, size and manufacturing details. By doing so, customers can skim through the product pages easily and navigate the site to find the exact information they need before purchasing.
• In case you are not good at writing original content, you can hire talented freelancers to help in creating quality copy for your site.
If there’s one thing you should never forget about in how to optimize a product page, it is the value of having clear and high-quality images. According to a recent content marketing report, 67% of the surveyed consumers said that images are extremely important in helping them decide whether or not to buy a product. Not only are quality images crucial in capturing visitors’ attention, but they can also be used to highlight important benefits and features of your products.
Along with having high-resolution photos, it’s highly advisable that you give your customers a variety of options and/or tools to view the images. Some of the options to keep in mind here include:
• Zoom in/out options on the products
• Availability of tools or options for viewing multiple photo angles of products
• Use of clean background to help the customers focus their attention on the products
• Use of models to advertise product lines. This gives a more realistic look of the product, and in an attractive way (because of the models). This tactic is particularly common in online fashion houses such as Victoria’s secret.
Like the aforementioned point, this tip relies on the premise that customers should have a variety of options and/or tools when it comes to choosing products on the basis of color, size and quantity. On top of these options being available, ensure that your product pages are optimized such that customers can find and test these size and color options in the most seamless and expedient way. In doing so, you will avoid the risk of losing a customer just because you don’t have a size or color that is appropriate for them at that particular time.
From the use of size widgets to having color panels that auto-update themselves with selected colors when you click, the possibilities here are virtually infinite—only limited by your creativity, imagination and budget.
The use of product videos as part of an ecommerce marketing strategy is a rather new concept, but a crucial one nonetheless, going by the raving reviews many content marketing experts have given about it. For example, the head of search at ao.com recently had this to say:
“Video gives us the opportunity to wow our customers and this, in turn, delivers results. We have tested and proven that when someone watches our video reviews they’re 120.5% more likely to buy, spend 157.2% longer on the site, and spend 9.1% more per order.”
In another report from Hubspot and Hyperfine Media, 90% of the interviewed users asserted that product videos are very useful in their purchasing decision process.
It should, however, be noted that using videos is not a must for all product pages. In most cases, a nice picture and a good copy will do just fine. However, when dealing with some complex product descriptions—particularly in technical fields (like when buying a car engine); it would be best if you employed the use of videos, which will make the explanations more digestible.
In case you are not sure about how to use videos on your product pages, or you are still not sure fully convinced about whether or not videos would be befitting for your site, simply check out this helpful guide to help answer such questions and more.
Whether you look at it from a product user or owner’s perspective, the bottom line is that user reviews are extremely important in shaping opinions on future purchases. Bad reviews and ratings mean that most of the customers are unsatisfied, which calls for action to change on whatever the customers complained about. Conversely, good reviews encourage more buying decisions.
Obviously, having a section on the product page for customer reviews and ratings—as is popularly done by Amazon—is an iffy option that can backfire, especially when a product attracts a lot of negative attention. But then again, if you have done your due diligence in terms of designing and selling a good product; then the comments, reviews and ratings shouldn’t worry you, right?
For the most part, trust signals is a term often used to refer to the presence of stickers such as your site being 100% secure, or 100% virus free, or being a 5-star rated merchant, and rightfully so. But in ecommerce, trust signals go beyond that, answering more questions like: How soon will the product ship? How much is shipping? How soon will the product arrive? What are other people’s experiences with this product? How can I return the product if I don’t want it? … among other questions.
If you can find a way of answering these questions within your product page, you will save yourself a lot of time and avoid unnecessary inquiries from clients that often end up slowing down your conversion rate.
Besides the above-discussed best-practice pointers, you can additionally optimize your product page using the following general—but equally important—tips:
The URL you choose for you product page must give a clear indication of where the site visitor will land once the link is clicked. If the URL is dodgy or unclear, it can cost you a lot of useful clicks.
By adding a section for recommended products or similar products other customers viewed to your product page, you encourage the page visitors to check out more products, which in turn increases the chances for conversion. In line with this strategy, you can also show other products that have best reviews or are the best sellers in the same category—a hot ecommerce marketing trend that is popularly known as cross sell and upsell.
Social media is the craze today, so it’s self-explanatory when you are reminded to have easy-to-use social sharing buttons on your product pages. These buttons encourages users to share your products in their social circles, which helps in generating social traffic to-and-from your site while also marketing your products to new potential customers. To maximize this point, encourage your visitors in a friendly way to share your products and product pages using tactics such as offering rewards when a given number of shares are reached by the visitors.
Call-to-action buttons like “Buy now”, “Add to cart”, “Get it”, “Add to favorites” and “Add to wish list” play a crucial role in buying decisions. They should therefore be easy to find and be clearly highlighted in your site; otherwise you’ll risk throwing away many potential customers.
Most customers don’t like sending emails, or filling contact forms or even making calls, considering these communication options can take a lot of time before one gets a feedback. This can especially be troubling when a customer needs an urgent response. By having a live chat button, such challenges are easily avoided.
Do we even have to talk about this? It’s really simple; a fast page means convenience and quick navigation through the site, which often encourages quick purchasing decisions. Unless otherwise, it’s advisable to go with a minimalistic web design because less clutter on the site allows the product pages to load quickly.
More than half of the global ecommerce marketing and trades happen via smartphones. If your site is not mobile-friendly, you therefore risk losing customers who will seek other competing sites that can be easily accessed from their mobile devices.
At the end of the day, there are many ways in which you can optimize your product page. Following into the ecommerce industry trends is cool, but your decisions should be ultimately guided by the specific needs of your site instead of what others are doing. It is only by doing so that you will be able to stay unique and relevant, key ingredients that are sure to enhance customer satisfaction and maximize conversion rates for your business sooner rather than later.