What are the
elements that make up a high converting e-commerce product page?
Jeff is excited about launching
his online business. He’s generating a ton of traffic to his product pages, but
his conversion rates aren’t so hot.
Upon further examination of his
product pages, he’s noticed they’re bland. Product descriptions are copied directly
from the manufacturer. The resolution of the images is low. Pages lack reviews.
The list of flaws goes on.
Right now, Jeff is asking himself
How can I increase conversions?
How can I boost sales?
How can I promote my company as a
trustworthy brand that sells quality products?
Have you been asking some of these questions?
I’m about to take you and this
person I just made up on a journey to explore the key elements of an effective
product page. We’ll also look at awesome examples of real product pages.
So, let’s begin.
What You Need to Know
While there is no magic formula
that will turn any product page into a conversion optimization machine,
research shows that a few factors heavily influence the success of a product
page. Here are some points to keep in mind.
Number 1: Write Jaw-Dropping Product
Every product description must
uniquely highlight the benefits of your product while clearly explaining its
Keeping your product description
unique will also keep you safe from Google’s ranking algorithm, which penalizes
pages with duplicate content.
Write for Your Audience
Your product description needs to
speak the tone that your customers expect. For example, the tone of a website
selling baby products should be warm. Meanwhile, you would not want to use a
tone that’s immature if you sell clothing to a sophisticated clientele.
Keep your tone consistent.
Remember, you’re building a brand. Your copy must reflect the feel of that
brand as it’s presented through your advertisements, your social media
channels, and everything else.
Check out the copy on the product
page for Fitbit Flex.
It’s a rather complex device, but
it’s most important features are described above the fold: “During the day, it tracks steps, distance, and
calories burned. At night, it tracks your sleep quality and wakes you silently
in the morning.”
The copy also contains words and
phrases that speak to Fitbit’s active audience
- “It’s the
motivation you need to get out and be more active”
The copy on the rest of this
long-scroll page maintains the same tone to explain the rest of its features
such as its compatibility to sync with other devices.
Don’t Forget SEO
After you’ve written awesome copy
for your product description, look it over and make sure its title and body
contains the key phrases you want to rank for.
Don’t go overkill with key words.
Just naturally weave keywords into your copy where they don’t sound awkward.
Triple checking your writing always helps.
This tactic is also beneficial if
your site has an internal search tool. Customers can’t find the products they
want if your descriptions don’t contain the words they’re looking for.
Number 2: Use Vivid Imagery to Sell the
When customers are shopping
online, they lose the benefit of being able to actually pick up an item and
examine it. Eliminate this issue by giving your customers a feel of the product
Make sure your product pages
include high-resolution images of your item at different angles.
Check out the pictures used on
Modcloth’s page for “With only a Wink Dress.”
The page displays images of the
dress at different angles. Each can be accessed without leaving the page. Using
a squared-shaped magnifier as a cursor, you can get into the detail of the
dress at every spot. Modcloth also personalizes the product by offering photos
of women wearing it and liking the way they look.
Go the Extra Mile
Your customers can’t miss a spot
of your product if you provide an image with 360-degree view. Simply Group, which runs several online
stores, reported that this feature led to a 200 percent increase in conversions
and a drop in returns.
Number 3: Go Even Further With Video
Images can only go so far in
showcasing the value of your products. Go a few steps further by featuring
Studies show videos are becoming
particularly effective for businesses.
- A report by Website Magazine
indicated that 52 percent of customers were more confident about aproduct and less likely to return it if they watched a video about it.
- StacksAndStacks shoppers who
watch videos are 144% more likely to buy than those who don’t.
- Several e-commerce businesses
experienced conversion-rate hikes after introducing videos to their product
- Ice.com boosted conversion rates by 144 percent and
dropped returns from 12 percent to 9 percent after adding videos to their
- Shoeline.com increased conversions by 44 percent with
- Zappos boosted sales and decreased returns after introducing
Check out this neat, instructional
video for Zoku’s Triple Quick Pop Maker, which makes
freeze pops in less than 8 minutes. It’s nicely embedded into the product page
preventing users from leaving your site.
It’s also accessed via a drop-down
tab in case customers don’t need any further convincing.
Videos can be especially useful
when you sell complex products with several features and uses.
Adding Video Can Boost Search
With metadata such as video titles
and description tags, pages containing videos have more material for
A video also has a better chance
of landing on page one of a SERP because there are not as many videos out there
as there are pages being constantly tweaked for SEO.
Here are some studies that examine
videos’ affects on search engine rankings.
- A Comscore survey shows that siteswith videos keep users’ attentions about two minuteslongerthan sites without video. Amount of time spent on site
- Aimclear data shows that video
results have a 41 percent higher click through rate than text results.
Think SEO when Devising Video
- Optimize the title of your video,
the body of its description, and its tags for keywords. But, keep the title
under 66 characters. Otherwise, Google will truncate it on search results.
- Provide a link back to your
website as well as the rest of your social media channels in the description of
- Keep videos short as users still
have small attention spans and bounce rates negatively affect search
rankings.Think of the promotional
videos you commonly see online. Do several run longer than 90 seconds?
YouTube may seem like the obvious
choice to post your video. But, promoting your videos through other services
such as Vimeo can expand your videos’ reach and increase the opportunities for
Make Sure Your Video Carries the Right Thumbnail
The video thumbnail is essentially
the face of your video, so it can have a huge effect on whether people play it.
YouTube selects a thumbnail for
your video based on three different points of your video. So, you might have to
edit your video with this in mind to ensure YouTube selects the best options
For a formula on how YouTube does
this, click here.
Number 4: Show Reviews
Research shows customers highly
value what others have to say about your products.
- A Revoo survey
indicated that 88 percent of respondents sometimes or always read reviews
before making a purchase. 60 percent of them said they are more likely to buy
from a site that offers reviews.
- According to a Nielsen study, 40 percent of subjects said
they wouldn’t buy electronics without having looked at reviews.
So, include user reviews on your
Amazon keeps a link to product reviews below
the headline for a product. The link is cleverly placed next to a star-ranking
system based on customer ratings. You can click on the link to read all reviews
or click on the stars for a glance at reviews.
Including reviews can also serve
as SEO because it provides your site with more unique content.Don’t be afraid to keep a few bad reviews. A
study by MIT shows that including negative reviews can boost sales if
there are few of them as opposed to only positive reviews.
Number 5: Experiment with Your Calls to
If built right, your Call To
Action button launches your customer into the checkout funnel and lands them at
the point of purchase.
It’s one element on your product
page; however, several factors influence its success.
Its design, color, size and even
copy can have major effects on your conversion rate.
Although there is no definite
formula to create the most enticing CTA button, there are a few things you
should keep in mind when creating one.
Place your CTA where it demands
Creating white space or distancing
your CTA from other elements on your page creates contrast making the CTA stand
Say the Right Words
The most effective CTA buttons
usually use action words that create a sense of urgency.
But, only your customers can tell
you if they are more motivated by “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now.”
You should run several experiments
with different copy. Here are a few CTA case studies to get you thinking.
- Fitness World, a Scandinavian gym
chain, increased conversions by 213.16 percent after
switching the copy of their CTA from “Get Membership” to “Find Your Gym and Get
- Matchoffice.com saw a 14.79 percent increase in conversions by
changing the CTA copy from “Order Information and Prices” to “Get Information
and Prices.” Notice how the latter implies the customer will be rewarded while
the former implies only a demand.
- Counter verve and Unbounce ran a test on a PPC’s landing page by switching the word “your” to “my” in the phrase, “Start Your
Free 30-Day Trial.” The result was a 90 percent increase in conversions. The
term “My” may have come across as more warm and personal.
These examples are only meant to
emphasize the significance of copy on your CTA’s success. Your experiments will
determine what copy works best for your business and your customers.
CTA and Color
Another way to make your CTA stand
out is to design it with a hue that highly contrasts the color scheme of your
However, it’s important to keep
color psychology in mind when designing your CTAs. Specific colors are known to
generate certain emotions and perceptions. Check out Unbounce’s detailed post about colors and their meanings.
With this in mind, run A/B tests
using different colored CTAs.
Number 6: Let
Your Customers Know What’s Available
So, your prospect has read through
your detailed descriptions and examined the vivid imagery of your product. He
noticed the eye-catching CTA and clicks – only to find that the item is not in
Don’t let this happen.
Availability should be indicated on your product pages.
Boden cleverly does this by presenting stock
information through a color-coated grid via a light box. The grid also lets you
know when an item would be available if it’s sold out.
Displaying stock details can also
drive sales as research shows that people tend to have more desire for products
that are about to run out. Exclusiveness creates a sense of urgency that could increase conversion rates by 332 percent.
Number 7: If you Can Offer Free Shipping, Do
Today, most customers expect free
- An E-tailing study revealed that
free shipping is the number one criteria that subjects were influenced by when
making an online purchase.
- A Compete Pulse study showed that free shipping
even made some customers want to shop more, and its absence was the No. 1
reason people reported having a negative online shopping experience.
- A ComScore survey found that 72 percent of online customers will abandon a site not offering free shipping and search for one that does.
- An Invesp study showed that the leading cause for shopping cart abandonment was high-shipping costs.
How To Offer Free Shipping without
breaking the bank
Offering free shipping does not
have to be economically unsound. Here are some steps you can take to give
customers what they want.
increasing product price by a set percent to cover the cost of free shipping.
- Offer free shipping after a
certain threshold is met. Amazon.com offers free shipping on orders priced more
2 Big Feet, a shoe retailer, boosted sales by 50 percent after offering
free shipping on orders priced at $100 or more.
This move may even entice
customers to buy more in order to get free shipping.
“For whatever reason, a free shipping offer that saves a customer $6.99
is more appealing than a discount that cuts the purchase price by $10” said
Marketing Professor David Bell in an article published by Wharton University.
My Ecommerce devised a neat formula you can
use to budget a free shipping option.
If you do offer free shipping, don’t be shy about it
Sites like Zappos make sure you know they offer free
shipping when you’re on their product pages.
If You’re Going to Charge for
shipping, be crystal clear about it
One of the most important aspects
of a good shipping policy is being upfront about all charges.
gives no surprises when it comes to fees. Its order form clearly displays each
delivery option along with its price, carrier, and estimated day of arrival.
One option reads “USPS
Budget (4-8 Days) - 6.99.” Being the least expensive, this option is selected
as the default – another great move.
Because fees such as tax may vary
depending on location, use tools that calculate these costs by using your
customers’ zip codes. Services such as Zippopotam.us
provide free zip code databases and plug-ins for auto detection.
Number 8: Not All Sales Are Final
Customers want to be confident
that you’ll have their back in case anything goes wrong. As no business is
perfect, you’re going to have to deal with customers who want to return their
items at some point and you’re going to have to help them. You can start by
presenting a clear return policy on your product pages.
ASOS, which offers free returns,
clearly explains this through a “Returns Tab” on their product pages. The tab
is located below the CTA. Clicking the tab displays the policy which is
embedded on the page. The policy is clear and easy to understand. It also
contains a link for more information in case a customer still has questions.
Of course, not every business can
offer free returns. This disadvantage should not make your customer service any
less superb. A clear return policy still answers several questions your
customer may have such as:
- Who is paying for the return?
- What mail class will be used for
- Will returns be exchanged for
another item, store credit, or cash?
- What fees are involved and why are
they being made? Maybe you charge a restocking fee. Be clear about all extra
Good Copywriting Applies to Return
Don’t clutter your return policy
with legal jargon. Write it in the tone your customers expect— the one
consistent throughout your product page.
Our good friend Andrew Youderian, from Right Channel Radios, follows good copywriting as well as customer-friendly language.
Don’t use any threatening
Practical Ecommerce examined a site that
presented enticing visuals and promoted “superior products” at the “best
prices.” The language on their return policy was not as flowery. It contained
sentences such as “If it’s your fault, we will deduct a 50 percent restocking
fee,” and “We will refuse any package without an RMA.”
In general, avoid words such as
You should come across as eager to
help them make a return instead of sounding like you want to punish them for
making the return in the first place.
Give your Customers time to return
An unreasonably-brief return
period makes you seem sketchy. A long one, however, can boost customer
confidence in you products.
- 3rd Power Outlet, an
urban-clothing brand based in Atlanta, saw sales increase and returns drop
after extending the return period from 14 to 90 days.
- Zappos is known for its 365-day
return policy— a perk they proudly boast on their return policy, which even features a video!
“Extending the return period makes
customers feel more comfortable about making the purchase in the first place,”
said Rob Siefker, head of
the Customer-Loyalty Team at Zappos, in an interview with Entrepreneur.com.
Number 9: Don’t Stop Optimizing
Remember, running an ecommerce
store is a process of continuous improvement. Start by adding one of the steps
outline in this post today. Then do this again tomorrow.
Soon your product pages will be
converting like crazy.
Know of any other tips for
creating effective product pages or have more examples of awesome product
I’d love to hear about them. Feel
free to drop a comment!
David Crowther built his first website back in 1997 (yes the internet did exist then) and has looked back many times since and thought how ugly it was. Fortunately he's improved since then and now works full time telling people how ugly their websites look. Does your website struggle at making leads or selling? You can hire David to convert more of your website visitors into customers.