A well-built Shopify product page is essentially the key to earning the right kind of attention from customers. Product pages that are designed keeping the customer experience paramount, score both in terms of recall and conversions.
In Salsify’s 2017 report, Cracking the Consumer Code, it was revealed that 87% of consumers put product content right up on the list while deciding to make a purchase. Similarly, 61% of online shoppers prefer reading a review before they make a purchase and 54% would rather see the product before the purchase. 51% look for pricing information while on an eCommerce site, while 47% insist they search for payment information. These numbers prove one thing clearly – a high percentage of visitors know what they are looking for and will turn away if they don’t find it.
So before we take a look at the steps every eCommerce business needs to take to ensure customers stay interested enough to buy, let’s see what it takes to build a product page on Shopify.
Building a product page on Shopify
1. Start creating with Shopify Admin
Your Shopify Admin dashboard is your one-stop for creating and customizing your product page. Through this, you have the option of either using default theme settings or customizing any theme based on your necessity and preference. Default themes typically come with set limitations which include a fixed layout and no extra space to accommodate new product page sections.
2. Visit the Online Store to Customize Your Product Page
The Online Store menu will help you access the Themes option. On the Themes page, the customize button to the right enables theme editing.
3. Use the Product Pages from the drop-down to begin editing
This will help you edit the product page template, with focus on button size, typography, and text color, among other aspects.
4. Go to the Online Store and initiate theme code editing
Let Shopify Admin take you back to the Online Store, where you can select Themes and then Customize, to go to the theme editing page. Under Themes, you’ll find templates, which will further let you edit product templates (look for /templates/product.liquid). On the theme editing page, select Edit Code from under Theme Actions. Once you have accessed your theme code, it essentially means you can edit all your Shopify pages.
- Create a backup copy before you set out to edit the theme pages
- Ensure you and the developers involved are on the same page about adjustments to be applied
- Hire an expert if you’re new to building Shopify pages
What are customers really looking for on a product page?
At a time when more people are leading a good chunk of their lives online, it's necessary for businesses to understand what they can do for eCommerce success. Knowing what will bring them over, keep them continuing to explore and finally, make them buy, is what the next section is about.
If you want visitors to convert into customers, you will have to focus on the amount of detail you provide on a product page. From photos of the product and content that precisely describes what the visitors can expect to information on pricing and delivery – details ensure customers are on the same page and find it easier to make the buying decision.
While giving enough detail is good, there is such a thing as too much information. Numerous unnecessary pointers and sources of distraction can ultimately lead to confusion among visitors. This can also frustrate them and force them to drop off.
Apart from a well-designed product page with low complexity, what is that one factor that ensures customers keep returning AND buying? It’s validation. When customers feel that their tastes and preferences are known by the site, they experience a sense of satisfaction.
Looking at other like-minded people buying from your brand will instill a sense of trust in new prospects. If you can validate the individual choices and purchase decisions of your customers, your conversion rates will instantly improve.
A good navigation system on your eCommerce site means customers are able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily. Effective navigation is an instant deal clincher because what it does is hand-hold the customer through their entire exploration of a site.
When categories, sub-categories, and labels are in place on your eCommerce site, the experience customers undergo is effortless and breezy. Psychologically, this can be termed as high cognitive ease. The term is used to describe the way our brains process information.
So when a customer experiences the ease of site and product page navigation, they are left feeling content and naturally want to come back for more.
Product page mistakes that can drive customers away
While many businesses think a well-designed product page is all about getting aesthetics right, there’s more they must do. The following are some common and not-so-common mistakes eCommerce businesses make and end up putting off potential customers and conversions.
Mistake 1: Aiming for the Apple-like look at the cost of everything else
Many eCommerce websites make the mistake of mimicking the look of Apple blindly. This of course offers a visual treat to visitors but at the cost of other necessary features. Some sites, for example, resort to using heavy elements such as multiple videos, gifs etc., that their loading speed is invariably compromised.
What they forget is Apple has made its mark not only because of look and feel but also because of what it stands for – products that are backed by excellent UX & UI design. Naturally, their site reflects the same spirit while performing at the job.
Now for a moment, let’s look at some aspects Apple consciously looks into apart from impeccable design standards. Take page loading speed for one. A 2018 YouGov poll revealed that 80% of customers are frustrated with pages having poor load time than they are with a site that’s temporarily unavailable.
Similarly, Akamai’s 2017 Online Retail Performance Report concluded that a 2-second web page load delay can result in a bounce rate increase of 103%. So you can see how much there is to lose when page loading isn’t an area of focus.
Product taxonomy or product hierarchy is another area where your eCommerce site could win (or not). What your customers would like to see and at what point, are aspects that need attention. How they are responding to your current product page(s) could be relevant driving data for changes you may want to make in terms of the product hierarchy.
A quick look at Graze, which sells healthy snack options, will tell you how information hierarchy can be done effectively. The top bar immediately reveals all available products and the number under each category.
The home page is also an instant reveal of every kind of snack that they have and in what kind of box they come in. Click on any of the products and the site takes you to information that looks like this:
A great example of comprehensive information without getting all serious, factual, or even boring.
Mistake 2: Lack of multiple payment options
According to a comparative study by Baymard Institute, about 7% of users abandon their carts because they didn’t find enough payment options. Apply it across the world of eCommerce, and you can imagine how much businesses might be losing out on simply because they forgot to incorporate this feature.
What does the presence of multiple payment options mean for the customer? For one, it means ease of use. A customer does not have to think twice about how they are going to pay, especially if they have already added the product to the cart. For another, shoppers have different payment preferences as well as access to different payment methods.
When customers find their preferred payment method featured on your site, they immediately feel safer because this is familiar to them. For a bad day, when servers are down or specific payment gateways are out of order, others can be used temporarily. So the logic is simple – the more options you feature, the more the chances are that customers will convert their interest into a purchase.
Another great move to make, in addition to introducing multiple payment methods, is to offer the option of paying in installments. This is welcoming for a wider audience, including those who might reconsider making a purchase of a bigger value.
A quick look at the Brillare website and you’ll know what we mean.
Brillare sells 100% vegan, cruelty-free, natural products, and apart from a distinctive brand character, what sets them apart is their interest-free installment payment option. Even for products that otherwise may not be deemed as really expensive, they have set up this option, helping more people access their products. Simple and impressive!
Mistake 3: Copywriting that fails to grab the imagination
As eCommerce booms, it's becoming more imperative for any business to focus more on what they present as copy – from factual product information to why customers must put their trust in the brand.
Today, the way consumers interact with a brand and product has changed considerably. A lot of what we buy has ceased to be essentials and even those essentials we purchase, we seek a story in. This makes it necessary for your eCommerce business to feature copywriting that engages the imagination of customers because that’s the closest they'll get to the product before they actually buy it. So, copy that's purely factual or fails to connect at a deeper emotional level, can completely miss out on achieving its primary purpose – converting visitors into customers.
One look at the Somnox website and you’ll know what good copy can do. Informed by scientific fact but does not sound oppressive or boring, they have simple language leading to quick connections. The copy also works hard enough for people to relate to the quite common state of sleeplessness.
Mistake 4: Forgetting to focus on social proof
As much as we're living and functioning in an independent, individualistic context, eCommerce is highly impacted by principles of social psychology.
Take the example of social proof. Based on the concept of normative social influence, social proof focuses on how people act in a certain way simply because others have done so. If you’ve heard of the phrase “herd mentality”, then you’ll quickly gather what social proof is about. The idea behind it is that human beings are essentially social beings, deeply invested in connection and association. This means that any product that has been bought by many will instantly become more attractive than one that has not been.
There are several ways in which eCommerce sites play the social proof game. For one, the star rating system helps, five stars being the highest. But when it comes to product pages, people have begun to look for more than just ratings. Real-time reviews, with words to support experiences, good and bad, are fast becoming the go-to source for social proof.
Other ways to go about this is to include the number of customers who have bought the same product, frame the product that’s fast-selling or is the highest seller, indicate friends who may have bought the same product, and highlight detailed expert reviews.
Amazon offers social proof not just by way of 5-star ratings but also the number of ratings a product has been given. When you click on it, it takes you deeper into the reviews page, with reviews from the customer’s country showing up first. Intuitive and easy on the mind!
Mistake 5: Gimmicky countdowns & spin-to-win games
What was once an attention-grabber is now considered distracting and even annoying. Welcome to the world of countdowns and spin-to-win games, which does not seem as attractive as before, especially when customers find out they are being used generically.
This is the age of big data and data mining, which means more eCommerce providers are beginning to tap into that intelligence to directly speak to and serve every potential customer.
If generic gimmicks are one side, hyper-personalized features and offers are on the other. In fact, according to Accenture, 75% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase if they come by hyper-personalization. This is a phenomenon where AI and machine learning come together to mine through relevant customer information and past customer behavior to create an experience that is attuned to whoever is at the receiving end.
It builds trust, enhances ease of use (since the customer feels their preferences are already known by the eCommerce brand), and naturally paves the way for sales.
Mistake 6: Zero use of comparison charts
There are many reasons why more people have moved to buy different products online – but one of the biggest is that the web offers them a way to view more information on the same product or similar products.
Now for a second, imagine if you were to mobilize some additional resources to create such comparisons on your own e-commerce site. At one go, it would possibly fetch multiple benefits. Comparison charts instantly create ease of experience because customers find that the most relevant information they need can be found on your site.
Secondly, being able to access personalized comparisons creates more trust and less frustration for the customer.
Finally, comparison charts inspire people to buy more than they had originally intended. So it’s really a win-win!
Keurig Coffee does the comparison chart bit especially well. They have a site that’s kept functional yet informative, and when you click on any of the coffee makers, you can instantly access a ‘brewer comparison’ along with product details, FAQs, and reviews.
This lets customers view similar products with the least effort and may even convince them to buy a product of a higher valuation.
Mistake 7: Not upselling or cross-selling
There are 3 ways to engage with customers at checkout. Let them pay for what they've bought and the story ends there. Or suggest to them an alternative with more robust features and a higher price. Or recommend certain products that they can buy along with the original buy.
The latter two are upselling and cross-selling respectively, and many online businesses cringe to do either as they’re afraid about going overboard trying to sell. The truth however is different.
When you upsell, you are actually leaving your visitors with a choice that they may not have considered otherwise, even if it means paying more. This is a win-win for both sides.
In terms of cross-selling, product recommendations that can somehow heighten the existing experience of buying, are well worth a try.
Here’s an example of how Pro Flowers does it. For any bouquet, they have multiple options that can be selected from, and when a visitor has selected one of them, they get to see why they are paying a price differential in the ‘Details’ section right below. Simple and effective, right?
Mistake 8: Simply saying “This product is out of stock”
While the reality is that you won’t have every product available throughout the seasons, for various reasons, just a simple 'out of stock' message might not cut it. To understand why you will have to put yourself in the customer’s shoes – imagine someone looking for something that they want on an immediate basis or for a special occasion, only to be told that it’s not available.
If you’re trying to fine-tune the e-commerce product page experience you offer, it’s a must that you use out-of-stock to your immediate advantage. No one wants to be led back to the homepage when they hit an out-of-stock wall.
Mistake 9: Not letting the customer 'Buy Now'
If you’re running an eCommerce business, many times it'll come to mean a fine balance between offering a seamless experience to your customers and inspiring them to buy more. In this context, a mistake that many businesses make is to prolong the journey the customer takes within the website. While the intention behind it could be to make the customer stay back just for a while longer, if not done in an easy, stress-free way, it could lead to immense frustration for the buyer.
Not letting the customer ‘buy now’ falls under this category. ‘continue shopping’ or ‘view more products’ should come as a matter of choice rather than imposition. When you add a simple ‘buy now’ button, the subliminal message you’re sending out is this: we care for your time so you get to choose what you want right away and then come back later when you feel like. It is a simple yet powerful method, try it!
Take a full site audit to see the big picture
The pointers mentioned above are all mistakes commonly made. But that’s not to say there aren’t other reasons why your conversions may be suffering. A full site audit from the ground up can help you change tracks and give your product pages a much needed refresh.