Customers want the best products for their needs. In physical stores, it's easy—a salesperson assists them in making a quick buying decision. But it’s not so for online shoppers.
Online, customers are left wondering, “Which of these products is the best for that specific need?”
If you don’t want shoppers to buy elsewhere, on-site product comparison can work the magic for your brand. That’s why Amazon uses it.
Sixty-six percent of consumers start their product search on Amazon and 74 percent of these searchers return to Amazon to buy.
In this article, we’ll look at 11 best practices to follow when creating a product comparison chart (used by the eCommerce giant themselves).
1) Make it intuitive to compare
Amazon product comparison is pretty straightforward.
The shoppers don’t have to dig through its overwhelming categories to compare products. They could quickly do this by clicking compare with similar items below the product description.
Amazon auto-populates the comparison chart with three other best similar items, saving customers the stress and time of finding products to compare.
Here are the top three things we love about this strategy:
- Customers don’t have to waste time thinking about the products to compare.
- The auto-populated chart takes care of inexperienced shoppers and could get them going in an instant.
- By placing the comparison link directly after the product description, Amazon makes it easily accessible.
2) Don’t miss any product detail
Amazon comparison parameters are comprehensive.
From specs to prices, Amazon covers every detail about each product that’ll allow customers to make informed decisions.
Amazon shows additional information for just the main product, not the similar items—like warranty, customer reviews, and best sellers rank—below the comparison chart.
It also shows the product’s technical details like the manufacturer, model number, color, product dimension, and others.
Shoppers could easily see this additional information for the other similar items by navigating to the product pages and comparing them.
Here are some of what we love here:
- The product comparison details are broad and completely covering.
- You never know what each customer cares about, so Amazon always has every detail that’ll enable shoppers to compare the products on the charts thoroughly.
- By spotlighting the main product, Amazon keeps the shoppers focused and made the product comparison chart less overwhelming.
3) Showcase your social proofs clearly
Eighty-eight percent of consumers trust user reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Amazon probably understands this. They display the ratings and the number of reviews for each product to make it easier for customers to pick the best out of the lot.
The product comparison page also contains some third parties’ video reviews, and Amazon also makes it intuitive for users to upload theirs.
Here are some of what we love here:
- The rating helps build trust.
- It validates and simplifies the buying decisions.
- Shoppers can easily dig into the ratings to learn the percentage that finds the product unsatisfactory.
- The video reviews from third-party websites make the buying decisions more seamless and trust-based.
4) Tag bestsellers to help customers take a quick decision
Amazon tags their best sellers to guide their shoppers in making the right decisions.
They also rank the products in specific categories (for example, #3 in electronics, #4 in furniture).
The Best Sellers Rank is an indicator of how well a product is selling in the categories and not in relation to the similar items.
Here are what we love about this strategy:
- The tags give shoppers a quick glimpse of the best-selling products, making purchase decisions easier.
- The best seller ranks enable shoppers to know how the products are performing in specific categories.
- It removes the guesswork from buying decisions.
5) Make buying easy with a direct & clear CTA
Call-to-action helps marketers to guide visitors through the buying journey.
Use a visually salient CTA button to make checking out effortless. Avoid using unnecessarily large lettering or CTA buttons in the comparison chart in a bid to make them stand out. It makes them look pushy and threatening—shoppers have a distaste for such things.
Consider making the CTA button sticky when shoppers scroll the chart. It helps the CTA button stay on their faces all the time without being intrusive.
Amazon uses a CTA button to usher shoppers to the next action. They have an “Add to Cart” CTA button under each product, allowing customers to checkout faster from the comparison chart without navigating to the product page.
Here’s how it looks clicking the Add to Cart button.
Here are what we love about Amazon’s product comparison chart’s CTA button:
- Amazon uses the right contrast color to make the CTA the most prominent element on the chart.
- The CTAs are clutter-free; it’s clear, concise and to the point.
- It’s actionable and intuitive.
- The CTAs’ placements make them easily accessible.
- The straightforward checkout saves shoppers unnecessary steps and details.
6) Keep information unbiased and non-Pushy
Yes, Amazon is a marketplace for almost every product. But the best part about their product chart is that they don’t pitch any single product; they let the customers decide based on their needs and interests.
Here are some of what makes them unbiased:
- The ratings are from customers.
- The video reviews are from third-party websites.
- Amazon displays the sellers’ names on the comparison charts and the links to their Amazon stores.
- They update the Sellers Rank hourly based on Amazon sales.
7) Think customer first navigation
Amazon adds customer ratings to the comparison chart to make screening faster for the shoppers, but you could extend this idea by adding some of the latest customer reviews to each of the compared items.
Amazon shows customer reviews for the primary products, meaning shoppers have to navigate out of the comparison chart to the product page of any of the other three compared items to read the reviews.
Navigating in and out of the comparison charts to read reviews for the other compared items could discourage some shoppers or might make you lose engagement with shoppers.
Another setback with this arrangement is that Amazon auto-populates a new comparison chart when shoppers navigate to a product page. As a result, shoppers have to rely on the back button to access the original chart to continue comparing products.
For instance, here’s the original comparison chart we got when we compared the first product in the image below.
To read reviews of the blue-colored hard drive, shoppers have to navigate to its product page, and Amazon pre-populates the comparison chart with different products, as seen in the image below.
Shoppers have to use the back button to get back to the original chart. The only reasonable way to sidestep this is to open the reviews in different tabs. But then, you’d have to switch tabs to compare the reviews—this clicking around dampens the user experience.
But you could streamline this process by adding some reviews under each product in the chart.
That structure would work for these reasons:
- It helps shoppers compare reviews on the fly.
- It saves shoppers the stress of having to navigate around to read reviews.
- It helps retain and convert shoppers right on the comparison chart.
8) Bundle products that go well together
Existing customers are enormous assets to eCommerce brands.
Adding a “Usually Bought Along With,” “Customer Also Bought,” or “Frequently bought together ” offers sellers the opportunity to upsell or cross-sell shoppers to increase their average order value.
A study found that upselling increases revenue by 10 to 30 percent on average, and it’s 68 percent more profitable than acquiring new customers. On average, about 70 to 95 percent of the revenues of companies that offer upsells come from upselling and renewals.
Adding this section to the product comparison page could help shoppers refine their choices or become aware of needs they don’t know they have.
Shoppers buying an external hard drive might not know they need a pouch to carry it around safely. Having this section and upselling them the pouch could make the shoppers aware of this need.
Here are what makes having this section an excellent idea:
- It could help eCommerce brands improve sales and average order value.
- It’s easier to sell to existing customers than getting new ones.
- It could help shoppers be more self-conscious of their needs.
9) Remember the magic number 3
Cutting down noise makes the product discovery experiences seamless.
A good product comparison chart engages visitors, roping them in with clear and easily understandable information. If shoppers can’t differentiate products on the charts, getting them to buy could become tricky.
Use three columns to make the comparison chart less overwhelming.
Research found that words grouped into three are more appealing and easier to remember. The human brain can efficiently process up to three ‘chunks’ of information in our short-term memory, and it’d need to work harder for anything above that.
The Prägnanz law also gives credence to the above assertion—the law states the human mind deconstructs complex and ambiguous images into simpler forms to understand and act on them.
Three is the magic number, but four to five columns are not bad either.
Here are why keeping it simple works:
- The human mind requires much effort to process complex information.
- Having three to five columns makes the chart less overwhelming and noisy.
- Shoppers love websites that are easily comprehensive, clutter-free, and without distractions.
10) Address shopper’s concerns using FAQs
What happens when shoppers run into questions while comparing products?
Navigating out of the comparison page for answers shouldn’t be an option because some might not return. More than half of U.S adults said they might abandon a site if they can’t find an answer to a question.
So make it effortless for shoppers to find answers.
Adding a FAQ section to the comparison page could help them quickly resolve their issues without overwhelming customer service.
Amazon uses user-generated FAQs to address shoppers’ concerns.
Here are why it makes sense to use FAQs on the product comparison page:
- It helps shoppers compare products to find answers immediately.
- FAQs makes customer service self-directed—helps shoppers quickly find help, reducing over-dependence on the customer service team.
- It improves user experience.
- It creates a sense of trust for brands and could make website visitors feel more confident about doing business.
11) Eliminate Guesswork With A/B Tests
A/B tests the chart to find what works for the shoppers. And here’s how to do it the right way.
Why A/B testing the comparison chart works:
- It eliminates guesswork.
- A/B test helps brands deliver product comparison experiences shoppers find helpful.
- It helps businesses identify growth opportunities.
Ready to follow in the footsteps of Amazon and build a killer comparison chart? Then action these ten high-converting ideas to transform your eComm product comparison chart into a conversion machine.
- Add customer reviews to make product screening faster.
- Upsell shoppers to increase their average order value and drive more sales.
- Use between three to five columns to make the comparison chart sweet to the eye.
- Enable shoppers to find quick answers with a FAQs section.
- Use live chat to provide real-time support and guide shoppers to quick conversions.
- Make the CTA buttons easily accessible and intuitive.
- Drive more conversions with smart discounts.
- Use free shipping to entice shoppers
- A/B tests the comparison chart to eliminate the guesswork—use an A/A test to ensure the accuracy of the A/B test.
- Use customer surveys to listen to customers.
Product Comparison 101
1. What is a product comparison?
A product comparison is an analysis that allows you to compare two or more products in terms of their features, benefits, and drawbacks. This can be helpful when customers are trying to decide which product is right for them.
There are a few things you should keep in mind when doing product comparisons:
a) Make sure you are comparing products that are similar in terms of features and price
For example, if it’s electronics, be sure to mention compatibility with other products, how the price differs for different models, colors & sizes, etc.
b) Take the time to read reviews to get a better idea of how the products compare in terms of quality and performance
Is one product better in terms of compatibility and lifestyle usage but the other fares better where more technical surveillance is required? Be sure to mention it and draw a comparative analysis.
c) Take into consideration specs and features but remember to express them in a way that will be easily understood by the customers
Remember: not EVERY customer understands the nuances! Explain it as you would to a five-year-old. Works everywhere.
d) Maintain objectivity in the comparison and avoid analyzing based on subjective qualities
Avoid letting personal bias creep in—keep that for podcasts & forums
2. What is a product comparison table?
A product comparison table includes the various features of each product being compared, as well as a rating for each feature. This can be a helpful way to quickly see how the products compare in terms of key features.
Here’s a visual representation of a product comparison table on Amazon:
A product comparison table is a helpful way to organize information about different products so that consumers can easily compare them. A product comparison table typically includes columns for each product, with rows for different features or specs.
Some common areas include:
- Customer ratings
- Technical features
- Size & color
3) How do you write a product comparison?
When writing a product comparison, be fair and unbiased. You should compare the products in terms of their features, benefits, and drawbacks.
You will want to consider the following:
a) What are the features of the products being compared?
If they’re technical, break it down. If they’re common, compare them with relative examples.
b) What are the benefits of the products being compared?
Remember to express this in a way that translates to the customers’ life: for eg, FitBit talks about the number of sports customers can process on different devices.
c) How do the products compare in terms of price?
Remember to keep this objective!
d) How do the products compare in terms of quality?
Again, avoid subjective analysis. You can also bring in customer reviews to strengthen the argument: talk about what the battery life is, for example, or how durable the sports shoes were.
e) What do other people say about the products being compared?
Customer testimonials always add value.
Above ALL, be sure to include both positive and negative points in your analysis.
4) How do you compare products with competitors?
When comparing products with competitors, keep in mind that not all products are created equal. Some products may have more features than others or be more expensive. It's important to compare products based on the customers’ needs and budgets.
Some factors you can look into are:
a) The target audience
While some customers prefer the technical features of a product, others tend to care more about how they fit into their lifestyle—Microsoft VS Apple
b) The budget
Some customers care more about the product than the price while, others value the price. Know where your product stands. Customers buying a FitBit care less about the price than those generally seeking a fitness band.
c) Customer goals
Are your customers inspired by sustainability like Patagonia's or do they have a more fashion-focused approach like Zara? Draw a comparison between these factors.