Two Billion Dollars.
That’s how much Apple has spent developing their retail stores. It amounts to almost $10 million per store, and is one of the reasons why Apple is so successful.
Steve Jobs realized that it’s not just the product that matters but also the experience around that product. They invested heavily in designing their stores, and controlling the shopping experience, and this directly translates to increased sales. $4,551 per square foot to be exact, the best for any US retailer.
With eCommerce, the shopping experience may have gone online, but the concept remains the same. A well-designed and beautiful shopping experience will drive up conversions and sales.
That’s why it’s shocking to see so many eCommerce stores neglect their product pages. They put in a lot of time and money marketing their products and bringing people to their site, and then they drop the ball with ordinary pages.
In this post we’ll look at how you can improve your product pages and increase conversion rates.
Improve Your Images
Easily the most powerful component of your page, and yet the most neglected. Your entire business is built around physical products, so why wouldn’t you showcase that in the best possible light?
The image is the first thing customers will notice about your product and it’s a critical factor in purchasing decisions. In fact, a study shows that 67% of consumers consider images “very important” when they buy.
There are three factors to highly converting product images:
Don’t scrimp on image quality. Your images should be beautiful and should capture the essence of your product. If you can, hire a professional product photographer.
Take a look at an image of a McDonald’s burger to see what high-quality product photographs can do. They spend hours in a professional studio getting their photos just right. The end result is an extremely realistic image that makes people crave a quick bite.
Large, hi-res images are a trend in web design because they look great. In eCommerce, they allow consumers to look closely at the details and bring them close to an offline shopping experience. In fact, increasing image sizes grew conversion rates for Skinner Auctions by 63%.
If you don’t have space for a larger image then allow consumers to zoom into images. Some sites need you to click on images to open up a light box while other have a zoom feature on hover.
You want consumers to have a look at every angle of your product, so you’ll need multiple images. Show them close-ups as well as photos of real people using your products.
If your products have multiple sizes, colors or styles, dynamically changing the product image will give consumers a better idea of what each option looks like when they pick one.
Greats, an eCommerce shoe store, is doing product photography the right way. Large, high-quality images allow you to look at each stitch, while the rotating feature lets you view it from every angle.
Write Persuasive Copy
Most people tend to underestimate the power of good copy. There are a lot of eCommerce sites out there with boring, technical descriptions on their product pages. Sure, technical details are important, but that’s not what converts shoppers into buyers.
Build a story around your product. Show consumers the benefits of using your products and talk about how they’ll feel. Let them create an emotional connection that will persuade they need your product.
There’s no standard method for writing product descriptions. Yours will depend on your audience. Do some research on them; find out what they like and what their interests are. Then write your description in a language that resonates with them.
Take a look at Apple and Amazon. Both sell tablets but their customer profiles are vastly different. Apple caters to creative professionals so they craft stories around the creative aspects of their products. Amazon is more about practicality and value so they focus on the benefits of using their products.
You’re probably not selling high-end tablets with multiple features, but don’t let the type of product you sell limit the way you describe it. You can still write interesting descriptions even if your product is pretty commonplace. Stories about how your product came about, or how customers use your product are always interesting.
Here’s an example of good copy for a leather bag on Whipping Post. The product description is short, yet interesting because it tells a story. The technical details come later in easy-to-digest bullet points.
On the other hand, look at the product description for a similar leather bag on Amazon. There’s just a bunch of bullet points about the size and material, but that’s it.
Even with the $100 price increase, the Whipping Post bag probably has a higher conversion rate because it has an interesting personality that customers can relate to.
Optimize Your Call To Action
There’s a lot of content out there about A/B testing sizes and colors for CTAs, but in eCommerce all you need to do is keep it simple. If your images and product copy have hooked the shopper then they’ll click the purchase button. All you need to do is make it easy for them to find it.
First, they’re looking specifically for a button. That’s how it is on other sites so that’s what they’ll expect. You don’t need to differentiate yourself by using links or other UI elements. That will only lead to confusion.
Next you want your CTA to stand out. That just means it needs to be big and have a contrasting color. Take a look at the Whipping Post CTA above. There’s no way you can miss that, and that’s the point.
You also don’t want anything else to compete with your CTA and distract shoppers. For example, you might have a secondary CTA for adding the product to a wish list. In this case, you’ll need to make sure that your primary CTA comes above the secondary CTA in your visual hierarchy.
Finally, don’t mislabel the CTA. If clicking on it takes shoppers to a shopping cart then use the words “Add to Cart”. If it takes them to the checkout page then “Buy Now” would be more appropriate.
Add Reviews And Ratings
Social proof is a powerful persuasion tactic when it comes to making purchase decisions. More product reviews and higher ratings mean better conversion rates.
Figleaves ran an experiment to see how product reviews and ratings affected conversion rates. They found that products with reviews had a 12.5% higher conversion rate than products without. More importantly, the conversion rate for the same product after adding reviews was 35.27% higher than it was before adding reviews.
They also found that number of reviews mattered a lot. Products with 20 or more reviews had a whopping 83.85% higher conversion rate than those without.
You’re obviously missing out if you don’t have reviews set up on your product pages. Again, when you set it up, you want to make sure shoppers can find them on your page.
Amazon does product reviews best. At the top of the page, right under the product title, they show a star rating. The stars are in yellow so they immediately stand out.
As you scroll down the page you’ll find an entire section dedicated to reviews. There’s a breakdown of the star ratings so that you can see how many individual ratings are three stars or below.
Then there are customer reviews. The most helpful ones, as voted by other customers, form the main content while the most recent ones show up in the sidebar. You can comment on each review, vote them up or down, and even click on the reviewer to see if the person is real.
Just like Amazon, make sure you focus on authenticity on your product page. Be open and transparent about reviews, showing the bad ones as well as the good ones. Verify reviewers so that shoppers know these are real people and not fake reviews created by you.
Some people even use Facebook comments for reviews, because each review is tied to a Facebook profile, which provides some credibility. Facebook comments are also very easy to integrate into any eCommerce website that gives you control over the templates, like LemonStand.
Show Shipping, Warranty and Returns Policies
Your customers may be ready to buy but there’s always that last-minute resistance. They might want to know how long it will take to reach them, or whether they can return it if it breaks. Answering these questions on your product page will go a long way in building trust and easing their concerns.
The most important part is your shipping rate. Shoppers hate being slapped with a shipping fee at checkout so show this on your product page, preferably right next to the product price. Also let them know how long delivery usually takes so they know when to expect the product if they order it.
Take a look at the Shipping policy on Not On The High Street. It’s very detailed and shows the estimated time and price for every region they deliver to.
A clear warranty and returns policy will seal any doubts about shopping on your site. No one wants a broken or defective product, but if you allow returns and it’s covered under a warranty customers won’t have anything to worry about.
Now Get To Work
Today’s technology makes it easy to create a product page. Unfortunately it also makes it easy to be lazy about optimizing for conversions. With a few clicks, a couple of images and some words, you can publish a new product page.
Differentiate yourself and improve the various elements discussed in this post. Hire a web designer if you have to and your investment will translate directly into higher conversion rates and revenues. If you use an eCommerce solution that’s clunky and too difficult to customize, switch to a solution like LemonStand to make it easier.
Don’t forget to track and test the changes you make with an A/B testing tool such as Optimizely.
We have also created a handy infographic called The Anatomy of a High Converting Product Page that you should find helpful!
Optimize Your Product Pages With LemonStand
LemonStand gives you complete control to customize and optimize your store’s design, including product pages and the checkout process.