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Eight Ways To Improve Your ECommerce Product Page



By Yuri Filimonov
Expert Author
Article Date: 2007-07-09

Product pages of online shops are perhaps the most complex of the landing pages, as they have a lot of information, require some action and functionality.

Needless to say, there's a lot of room to work in in most shops.

What is a product page?

A product page is a page of an online shop, which contains:
* a product name

* a photo (and links to other photos)

* a description

* notes about sizes, color, specifications

* link to add the product to the shopping cart

* links and information about related products
In a way, it is vastly different from an occasional sign-up page or an article, which have clear conversion paths.

How to Improve the Product Page

Of course, the e-commerce page can be improved in any of its components.

- the product name

   should, obviously, describe the product ("Part 6345" or "Item_234_2" won't do)

- the photo

   should be suitable for the product
* for small, non-wearable items, small-medium photos are sufficient (maybe with a link to a full screen photo)

* for wearable items, the image should contain the item worn by a human and be somewhat medium and of good quality (with an obligatory link to a full-screen photo)

* luxury items, such as flats, furniture sets and so on should have medium photos (thumbnails) with links to high resolution (quality) photos
   I'd say that it is important to find the balance between making product page load fast, showing the product in an appealing way and having ways to view the product in other images.

   For shoes, for example, having a way to rotate it may help, while some predictable-looking goods, such as t-shirts or brushes, don't need excessive imagery.

- the product description
   should
* correctly guess the reason to buy the product

* highlight the benefits of buying the products

* also tie some of the unique features to the benefits
- additional information about the product
   should
* offer necessary options to adjust the order to the customer

* for international shops, the metrics should coincide with the measure system of the customer (inches vs centimeters, for example)

* the words used to describe the product should be understandable by the customer
- the "Add to cart" link

   should be clearly visible, either under the product image/description, or in the right-hand part of the screen.

- related products links

   should show:
* products truly related to the product

* products, complimentary to the product

* show products bought by customers, who bought this product
   Ideally, all of the above should be shown (Amazon does that, I think), but special caution should be used to layout the product page, then.

- provide clear path to follow

   on the product page, the visitor needs to learn all the necessary info about the product, how much he's going to pay (make shipping/handling fees available upfront) and so on. He also needs to know where to head next, such as add the product to cart, to checkout, etc.

- provide ways to earn trust with the visitor

   customer reviews, expert and media quotes about the product help to show that your product works, is useful and how the visitor will live better, if he uses it

Improving the product description

Product description is, perhaps, the most important element of the page, as it motivates the visitor to buy the product, explains why and how it should be used and so on.

That's why it is vitally important to point out the benefits of owning the product, ways to use it and also inspire the customer to buy it by using call to action.

Some even suggest that product description should educate the customer, while suggesting a way to use the newly-gained knowledge. This approach is a good one, but is suitable about the products that require education.

For simple items, the education is about providing the benefits of the very product and, possibly, by providing articles in another section of the site.

More information

Generally, the basic principles of an ideal product page are:
* focus: create the page about the product and the customer

* enough useful information: provide any information that a visitor needs before buying

* clear conversion path: have only one way to convert to the customer (add to cart, most likely)

* build trust: on the site and on the page, sprinkle information to earn trust with the visitor (reviews, quotes, personal information, informal information, etc)

* offer ways to choose related products to add to cart
Rounding up

When improving the product pages of your online shop, the only thing you need to remember about is the convenience for your visitors. They need to be comfortable with buying from you, which means you need to provide sufficient information (both about the product and about the seller). So, you need not only to follow the beaten path of design optimization, but also look at your page from the point of view of your customer and improve accordingly.

You can read more about improving a product page, which can serve as a landing page, here:

* E-Commerce Site Design: The Product Page

* Increase Landing Page Conversion Rates

* Optimizing Site Design (case studies, research and results)

* Great Tips for Increasing Online Conversion Rates - Educate and Guide Your Customers

* How To Make Sales Online by Directly Answering Your Customer's Biggest Questions

Comments

About the Author:
Yuri Filimonov is a freelance website optimization and usability consultant, who writes about improving websites to gain more visitors, customers and profit at his blog, http://www.ImproveTheWeb.com.

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