Thanks to affordable and accessible ecommerce website building platforms like Squarespace and Shopify, it is easier than ever to create an online store for your business and list an entire catalogue of products. However, just because it is easy to create a page to list your products, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get it right.
Ecommerce has become a huge business over the last several years, which means that people are more ready and willing to buy products online without ever having stepped foot in a store or seen the product in person. But ecommerce buyers also have higher expectations than ever. They want to shop on sites that are fast, secure, well-organized, and that make it easy to find all of the product information and specifications they need. If any of those things are missing, buyers won’t hesitate to find some other store that is giving them what they want.
So, how do you keep buyers on your site and make them feel comfortable and secure in making a purchase? How do you list your products in a way that meets and exceeds buyers’ expectations? What is it that makes a product page great?
Here are the most important features that every product page needs to have present, and done well:
Product photography might be the single most important aspect of any product page. As mentioned above, when a buyer goes to an online store and decides to make a purchase, they are likely sending their money to a complete stranger in a faceless, nameless interaction without any tangible proof that the product looks and functions as promised, or even exists at all. This requires a ton of trust on the buyer’s part, yet remarkably, it is something they are willing to do.
But you’ve got to help them out.
One of the best ways to do that is to acknowledge their inability to see the product in person, to pick it up, to hold it – by giving them great product photos. This means well-lit, high resolution, professional images. They should show the product from every angle, in every available color and size option. And if the product can be shown in real-life usage, all the better.
Different types of products will lend themselves to different styles and lengths of descriptions, but no matter what your goal is the same. Provide as much information as is possible and necessary to inform the buyer of the details they need in order to make a purchase. Maybe this means listing sizing information or technical specifications. Maybe it means talking about the materials used or the production process. A lot of information is okay as long as it is well-organized and easy to understand.
In a brick-and-mortar store you would have a human salesperson to walk customers through the purchase, provide information and answer questions. Think of your product description as the script you might give your salesperson, because in an online store, that’s all you’ve got.
Product Name & Price
What is it called? What does it cost? Two of the most basic questions that go into any purchasing interaction through the history of time and space.
In fact, it is so basic, buyers will be very thrown off if they can’t find this information readily, clearly, and at all times. Make your product names and prices large, clear, concise and placed prominently on the page so they are very easy to find.
Ratings & Reviews
We’ve talked before about the importance of online reviews. One of the major takeaways? As high as 88% of people trust online reviews as much as they would trust a personal recommendation.
Again, with an online store you can’t earn trust with your customers the same way you’d be able to with a brick and mortar (though I’d argue reviews are super important there too), but including online reviews and ratings right on your product page is a great way to signal to your customers that you are trustworthy.
First off, you are making yourself vulnerable by leaving the door open for negative reviews. That feels honest. Second, when consumers can see that others have taken the leap to trust you by making a purchase, they will feel more inclined to do so,
However, when you are first starting out or introducing a new product you won’t have any ratings or reviews yet, and displaying a spot for ratings and reviews on your product page with nothing in it can work against you. You can speed up the process by incentivizing customers to leave feedback (though pushing hard for a positive review is both bad form and unnecessary – if you are asking at all, they understand why). Also, you might be able to leverage shared product reviews through companies like Yotpo (available as a free add-on in the Shopify app store).
In more ways than one, Amazon has set the bar for ecommerce. One of the things they do very well on each and every product listing is bring up other related or recommended items.
Users now have it set as their expectation for ecommerce sites that you will be able to show them other items they might be interested in on a product page, and that would be an effective way to browse your offerings. Not only does this help in meeting consumer expectations, it is also great for you since these related products create more opportunities for purchases.
There are so many ways to set up and organize your ecommerce product pages, and different layouts and features will make sense for different types of businesses. But including these core features is a great start for almost any type of business, and will help set the right foot forward for meeting your buyers’ expectations, and giving your products and your store the best chance to succeed.
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