The average product page conversion rate is a mere 7.91%. So, it goes without saying that optimizing your product page for conversions is among the most important things to drive more conversions.
Hence you’ll need all the elements of your product page—your featured product, the UX, the product description, and CTA—to do their job perfectly to encourage your visitors to make that purchase.
But does that happen in most cases? NO!
The results from Baymard Institute's research reveal that only 18% of the popular US and UK eCommerce sites are able to record good or acceptable product page UX performances. The rest 82% are lurking in the range of mediocre or poor.
Baymard Institute’s study is proof of why your eCommerce business could and perhaps should prioritize product page optimization.
So why do product pages, despite being so critical to business success, often don’t perform well?
Simply because they fail to optimize the 4 core areas of product pages.
How to optimize your eCommerce product pages for better sales
1. Keep things moving
In a 2017 global consumer report, KPMG stated that a majority of people prefer online shopping over brick-and-mortar stores because of the ability to shop 24/7. Another important reason is that it helps save time.
Now, both of these needs won't be met if your eCommerce product pages load slow or don't load properly. In fact, you can lose 40% of shoppers if your product pages don't load within 4 seconds.
To ensure that your product pages load fast enough, there are several steps you can take:
- Test your current page speed
- Optimize your content and images so they load fast
- Resolve backend issues such as minimizing HTTP requests
- Clear caching regularly
A great way to analyze your product page load-time is by using the PageSpeeds Insights tool by Google. It’ll score your page from zero to 100, and give you insights that you can use to improve your product page speed.
2. Stock up on persuasion triggers
Noticed how some websites use terms such as final, now, ends, etc. in their CTAs? What they are essentially doing is creating a sense of urgency which acts subconsciously to make people believe they'll be better off if they made the purchase right away.
Some ways you can incorporate urgency on your product pages are:
- Add countdown timers to avail same day shipping
- Offer limited window shopping cart checkout
- Highlight limited stock messages
Here’s a good example from the brand ASOS:
3. Use psychological pricing
Psychological pricing is a pricing strategy that’s used in eCommerce to convert more visitors into buyers. The idea is simple. Price the product in a way that it’s numerically not a round figure.
For example, with the simple tweak from $100 to $99, the subconscious message is relayed that something is no more priced at a three-digit number.
This technique is commonly used by brands like Apple to make the customer feel like they’re getting the biggest bang for their buck.
4. Play hard to get
A principle used both in economics and social psychology seems to have taken a huge bearing on the way eCommerce works. The scarcity principle essentially helps businesses market their products hard-to-get.
The idea is rooted in people desiring anything that is not easily accessible to them. When applied with contextual intelligence, this can make eCommerce sales soar instantly.
A great way to leverage the scarcity principle for your eCommerce business is by introducing seasonal offers. Using scarcity marketing, you can boost the perceived value of your products.
5. Inspire your audience with aspirational content
Aspirational content and branding focus on the consumer more than many other strategies. It strikes a seamless balance between establishing your brand as relevant and trustworthy and creating a consistent connection with consumers.
Through aspirational content, your eCommerce business can reach a number of other goals including establishing what the brand stands for, what experiences it would like to create and how it would make a difference in people’s lives. Think of the brand Apple and you’ll know what we’re trying to say.
6. Convince them with social proof
First coined in the book “Influence: The Power of Persuasion” by the social psychologist Robert Cialdini, social proof represents the notion that people prefer to go with what others have done when they don’t have experience or are afraid of making a wrong choice.
In the eCommerce context, social proof can be established through reviews, user-generated content (UGC), and trust signals.
In the absence of opportunities to feel and test a product before buying, customer reviews save the day. Put simply, reviews are confidence builders. Without saying it in so many words, they actually indicate a product has already been bought & tried (liked too, in case of favorable reviews).
Another great way to win the trust of new customers in real-time? Show them what old customers have got to say. UGC content is one of the most suggested ways to tell visitor traffic that you’re transparent and also have the goodwill of loyal customers.
Take one look at Cluse’s unique UGC-backed look-book and you’ll know how this simple technique can be amplified by creativity. The brand allows users to upload their social media content onto the site’s look-book to add to the existing inspiration.
In the absence of physical buying experiences and the presence of endless brands, shoppers can experience greater choice but lesser trust. One way to tackle this is to use display badges and ratings. Showcasing these will almost always make potential buyers feel less alone (and hence, less indecisive) in the purchase process.
7. Tap into their emotions with color psychology
Many of our subconscious triggers and preferences come alive in the world of color. This phenomenon is best described by Robert Plutchik with his wheel of emotions.
This experience is intensified when the context is that of shopping online. According to Loyalty Square, an analytics company, 84.7% of respondents consider color to be the most important while considering a purchase. Again, a report by HubSpot discovered that when Performable changed the color of its main CTA, it led to 21% more conversions.
So studying color psychology and then applying its tenets is absolutely essential in the eCommerce context.
The above example shows the use of each one of the three colors usually preferred by women – blue, green, and purple.
Interested in applying consumer psychology to drive better eCommerce conversions? Check out these 10 scientific strategies to increase your eCommerce conversion rate.
8. Get your SEO game on point
In an age where brands fight ceaselessly over Google rankings, product page SEO is key to ranking well.
An important part of that are titles and meta descriptions. How well they are written decides which Google result a visitor will be adequately convinced to click on.
Since your product page contains transactional content, hence using sales-focused keywords makes more sense.
You can also consider using structured data on your product detail pages. It can earn you a chance to land up as rich snippets on Google.
So Worth Loving seems to do their title and meta description well enough for users to click and read the rest of the piece. A summary of what’s to come makes their meta descriptions rich and informative.
9. Make the navigation a walk in the park
How simple or complex you make your navigation decides the visitor’s overall experience is. There’s a reason why many high-ranking sites use simple menu templates that cut out the clutter.
In the case of many labels or products, it’s essential to incorporate precise naming conventions. This can ensure sub-categories are not entirely lost and can even be found using simple logic. Similarly, prioritizing search is essential if you want users to explore your website with more ease.
Another important factor that affects customer's motivation to navigate through your site is readability.
No matter what font you choose to include on your site, it’s essential to present it in a size that’s clear and legible. The idea is to save the extra effort for the user to enlarge or reduce text size after they have landed on the site—both are signs of a poor design experience.
Berghaus, an outdoor clothing brand, does this well by choosing text and backdrop colors to match the font type and font size. In totality, it’s a good experience for visitors (also potential buyers).
10. Keep them in the loop real-time inventory updates
This is closely related to the last point. While building scarcity and urgency is fine, it's also important to give real-time stock updates to your customers. Nothing makes them drop off faster than lack of transparency.
An inventory management software can help you offer real-time updates to customers—this leads to better customer satisfaction and improved sales processes.
Clear out-of-stock alerts alongside the vital information of the product can save customers second-guessing. You can also use this space to recommend other products.
Like in this example from Luis Avia Roma.
Notify me when in stock alerts are also helpful.
You can go a step further in your product page optimization by adding a stock meter to your product pages. Stock meters typically display messages such as only 5 left in stock to help customers take the appropriate decision.
11. Personalized recommendations are the GOAT
In time, eCommerce has come to mean more than selling random products to consumers who want them out of need, fancy, or desire. Thanks to big data and the use of algorithms, personalized product recommendations are now a great way to convert repeat visitors to repeat customers. They tell your customers that you care about their individual tastes and experiences.
With technology to assist in culling out insights on past purchasing behavior and preferences, eCommerce personalization now is a necessity to build a sustainable connection with customers.
Tapping into realms of data based on previous shopping behavior, you can personalize the experience a step further for potential buyers. The idea is to make them feel understood enough for their needs to be preempted. Creating recommendations that feature products that are complementary to one another is a good tactic.
The same can be done with products that amplify user experience in an integrated way.
MeUndies does its cross-selling with a subtle flair, personalizing the experience for the visitor at checkout.
Another underutilized opportunity to include product recommendations are error or 404 pages. Instead of ending the customer's journey there, you can lead them on the path to conversion.
12. Always have FAQs
Answering your customer's questions can open up whole new possibilities for visitor engagement.
You can do this by adding an FAQ section on your product page. Offer questions and answers in a systematic, orderly way will ensure visitors don’t abandon the page simply due to confusion. And keeping the language simple and easy to understand will make sure anyone reading doesn't feel overwhelmed or bored.
One look at Tessemae's FAQ page and you’ll know why millions around the world flock to this website. Easy mobile navigation and self-explanatory sections make their FAQ section a breeze to go through. By offering an email id right at the beginning, they make the page super customer-friendly.
Another way you can optimize your product page for more conversions is by adding a live chat. Allowing your customers to speak to a live person to solve their doubts can make a huge difference.
If it’s a proactive live chat—where the business approaches the customer before they do—you’ll have to ensure you don’t end up interrupting their natural browsing behavior.
13. Tell them a story
Features, benefits, and specifications are all non-negotiable parts of a product page. However, given how fast visitors want to scan through such information, it becomes vital to bring some flavor to the facts.
Consider the example of Firebox, an online retailer that’s centered around unusual gifts.
You can easily figure out the effort they make to build a connection between the products on sale and people browsing through them. There’s a story, there are the facts and before someone knows it, a whole world has been built through words. This engages the imagination of the visitor while transporting them through a virtual experience.
A video can also be a great way to tell a story. A video can help weave a story about the product in question and in the process, establish an emotional connection with potential buyers. A memorable script and a well-shot video can also be an excellent value-add to brand identity.
14. Get creative with your copy
The importance of copy on a product page becomes intensified when it comes to headlines and CTAs. What a headline essentially does is draw a visitor’s attention to what the brand is about and what’s in it for them.
A good headline is concise but not at the expense of sounding dry and detached. In fact, sometimes all it takes to hook a visitor’s deeper emotions is a power-packed headline that’s rich in information and feeling.
A great example is Airbnb, which clearly explains that their business won’t exist without hosts. Their headlines instantly connect with hosts and their CTAs are lucid.
Another important aspect is the tone of your copy. Whether you’re upselling—which is essentially a tactic to increase the customer’s cart value either by suggesting an upgrade or add-ons—or cross-selling, through which you can mobilize related products, language plays a big role.
Many eCommerce websites make the mistake of going all out to promote, creating a kind of pressure through the language. But this seldom works because consumers today are intensely aware of such manipulation.
The following example of IKEA captures how language can effectively communicate a benefit. While showcasing multiple products, the brand brings focus to the context they can be used in.
15. Keep 'em trust triggers prominent
A survey conducted by UPS in 2019 declared that 73% of buyers associate repeat buying with their experience around returns. Hassle-free returns and refunds increase the chances of customers returning to buy.
What you see below is the ingenious way IKEA has crafted its return policy. They say if you have to beat the eCommerce biggies, you’ve to do something better with your return & refund. Few examples as good as IKEA.
Similarly, a clearly explained shipping policy can go a long way in earning trust and favor.
GOAT, which acts as a marketplace exclusively for buying and selling sneakers, achieves this with a clear FAQ section that covers all vital information from returns and shipping to fee and drop-off policies.
16. Let your visuals ride the game
One of the simplest and effective ways to optimize your product pages to drive more conversions is by adding high-quality visuals. Let's check out how to nail this.
The feature image is essentially the main image that a visitor sees when they land on the page. Ideally, you should aim for an eye-level, mid to long shot, crisp, and clear image.
Ensure that all other images in the gallery are well-shot because the idea is to give the visitor a wholesome tour of the product as they swipe through the photos.
A key element of good product photography for an eCommerce product page is a 360° view. Elaborating on the product tour aspect, a 360° view enables a visitor to closely inspect the product before they decide to buy. The takeaway for the consumer then is clear—what you see is what you get.
There are several 360° viewer software out there to choose from. Opt for any one of them that aligns with your eCommerce platform.
Below is an example from Mulberry of how tastefully a 360° view can be created.
As an extra step to ensure a visitor gets a full view of the product on display, incorporating the zoom option into photos is a must. It’s the closest a shopper can get to experience the product in real life. For buyers who are more discerning and would quickly switch to a different website, this feature could build additional trust.
Finally, videos go a step further than images and text to convey an experience to potential buyers.
Birchbox uses this strategy really well. They host several unboxing videos on their site where each video equals a brand experience—probably why their unboxing videos are so widely anticipated.
Another good thing about their videos is that they focus on the usage as well right after unboxing. This virtual testing helps the customers gauge how beneficial the products will be for them.
How-tos and unboxing videos often help people arrive at buying decisions more quickly and with increased conviction.
17. Keep them hooked with intent-based popups
Intent-based popups, also often referred to as exit-intent popups, amplify the concept of the last window of opportunity. Placed strategically and meaningfully, they can show your consumers you are truly aligned with what they are looking for.
Whether it’s a last-minute discount or a reminder to sign up for more information through a newsletter, these popups can lead to increased email signups and reduced cart abandonment.
Check out this example from Bliss who use intent-based pop-ups to entice their customers just a little bit more.
A/B test and optimize
As a final measure to round off all the steps mentioned before, don’t forget to A/B test and optimize your eCommerce website. A/B testing is a tactic where two versions of the same page are randomly shown to users and based on their behavior, data is gathered to then make relevant changes to the page. Irrespective of which industry your business is, A/B testing and optimization can transform the way traffic to your website works by:
- Improving the user experience
- Measuring the rate of improvement
- Enhancing marketing measures in desired directions
- Applying learnings across your website