Ecommerce is steadily turning into the favorite way to shop. In the U.S. alone, 25% of people shop online at least once a month. With a 0.5% growth rate of eCommerce worldwide, there's expected to be 2.14 billion online buyers by the end of 2021. This makes for more than a quarter of the global population.
Now, for anyone running an eCommerce store, this may seem like excellent news. However, let's not forget about the other side of the coin. With an increase in demand comes an increase in production. And that means one thing: competition.
As of July 16, 2020, there were an estimated there are between 2 and 3 million ecommerce companies in the world (excluding China) in 2020, with 1.3 million in the US and Canada. eCommerce sites worldwide. The most popular of those is Amazon, being the first choice for 59% of Millennials' online purchases.
So what can you do to compete, especially with eCommerce giants?
Well, it turns out that you can do quite a lot. In addition to coming up with a solid SEO strategy and investing in digital marketing, you can also do your best to optimize product detail pages to drive conversions.
How Visitors View Websites
Before you make any drastic changes to your eCommerce product page design, it's not a bad idea to become familiar with how web users behave.
Sure, contemporary web design rests on standard practices and (sometimes) buyer psychology. However, it often fails to take into consideration the empirical evidence on where users' eyes land, how they scroll, how they read content, and what they click on.
For example, if you know that most people only scan written content and read it following the F-pattern, you can adjust text-heavy pages to optimize them for conversions.
Furthermore, research also shows that, while users do scroll pages, they tend to focus their attention on the content above the fold. Knowing this, you can make data-driven decisions regarding your eCommerce store's layout, making sure that each element is placed in a section where it has the highest chances of driving conversions.
Elements of Ecommerce Product Detail Pages That Excite and Convert
It's no secret that adding high-quality images to your product detail pages has a significant influence on sales.
Though research on the subject is still limited, a group of scientists conducted an empirical study in 2014. Studying the reactions their subjects had to product photos, they found that the following characteristics made product photography more likely to inspire conversions:
- Large key objects
- Warmer colors
- High contrast
- High depth of field
- Social presence
Adhering to these rules, manufacturers can ensure that they prepare product photos that will resonate. Moreover, they should aim to upload these images in high quality, with the option to zoom in. Following these recommendations, brands can ensure they provide a proper representation of each of their products.
If you're looking for examples of companies that do product photography well, look no further than Birch Lane. This eCommerce site specializes in classic furniture. With a versatile approach to product photography, each of their detail pages features an image of a piece in a set-up environment, as well as several up-close views. The photos are crisp-clean and customer-oriented, ensuring that web visitors have all the information they need to determine whether a piece of furniture is the right choice for their needs.
2. Emotional & Benefit-Driven Headings
Without a doubt, the best way to appeal to shoppers is through an emotional response.
Research studies have shown time and again that marketing campaigns based on emotions perform far better than those that are benefit-oriented. According to Psychology Today:
- People evaluate brands based on emotional responses.
- TV commercials that appeal to emotions work three times better than those that focus on features.
- Positive emotions outperform both trust and judgment when it comes to consumer loyalty.
So how can you apply this knowledge to your product pages? Well, you can start with how you design them.
If you go back to the way people view web pages, you'll remember that they tend to scan rather than read. This means that headings will be one of the aspects of product detail pages you will want to pay close attention to.
The best way to word your headings is to take a customer-oriented approach and come up with wording that will awaken positive emotions - happiness, excitement, trust, or optimism. Alternatively, you can address negative emotions and offer ways your product can make those disappear.
One of the best examples of emotional marketing used for product page headings comes from EA Sports. Their latest release, NHL 21, invites users to become professional players. It's appealing to all hockey enthusiasts to try out a new game mode that allows them to become professional NHL athletes.
There is, of course, the alternative to appealing to emotions, and that's taking a benefit-oriented approach. If you take a look at the Powerbeats product detail page, you'll see that each heading makes a unique value proposition, which the product is supposed to deliver on.
3. Product Descriptions
A 2017 research study that questioned over 11,000 consumers found that there are people who still prefer a brick-and-mortar shopping experience to eCommerce. For 72% of Americans, the appeal of a physical shopping location was in the ability to touch, feel, and try products.
So what can you do to offer the same experience online?
Well, in addition to high-quality product photos, you can also brush up your product descriptions.
Knowing that customers are most likely to keep their attention above the fold, aim to put the most relevant information in an immediately-visible area. This should include price, key features, and succinct description. As for the details, you can (and definitely should) go into them further down the page.
You can take a look at how Ben & Jerry's structures their product pages. The main details are all visible upon landing. In-depth nutritional information, however, is hidden behind an expandable Ingredients button.
Another excellent example of a product description done right comes from Marucci. As consumers have to make several purchase decisions on their buying journey, the brand decided to go with a super-minimalistic above the fold section. Once visitors do scroll down, they get access to in-depth information. This includes technical specifications, as well as links to relevant marketing materials.
4. User Support
One of the main drivers of sales for eCommerce business comes from the customer experience. In fact, 78% of consumers who backed out of purchase did so because of a negative customer experience. Furthermore, 91% of dissatisfied customers will take their business elsewhere.
Now, if product descriptions positively impact customer experience (and consequently conversions), it's not that difficult taking things to the next level with support.
When designing product detail pages, look for ways to provide an exceptional experience. In addition to extensive information, you can offer website visitors buying guides, how-to explanations, FAQ sections, and on-page customer support in the form of live chat.
Moreover, keeping in mind that visuals aid information retention, you can include videos and graphics, as was done on the LFA Capsule Fillers website. This brand managed to provide one of the absolute best customer experiences in their niche, thanks to the ready availability of information, comparisons, size guides, and technical specifications.
Of course, not all eCommerce stores will need to go into as much detail. While some will benefit from such a detail-oriented approach, others will find it more useful to provide versatile points of contact so potential customers can get in touch.
A great way to optimize your product pages for support is to check in with your customer service representatives. They'll be able to tell you what issues/questions they run into the most. You can then take the necessary steps to address these issues before they even happen.
5. Social Proof
You've probably heard of statistics stating how 88% of consumers perceive online reviews the same way they would friends' recommendations. But have you ever stopped to think why this is?
It turns out that it's human nature.
In 1951, Solomon Asch conducted an experiment to see how people would approach decision-making when faced with societal pressure. During the study, when faced with a question, more than 30% of participants conformed with the incorrect majority. The main reason for such behavior? Their fear of not fitting in.
So, if you know that people are so susceptible to following others, you can use this knowledge to optimize your product detail pages for conversions.
Not only should you aim to display user reviews and publication mentions on your website, but more so, you should do this prominently. If you take a look at Zoma's memory foam mattress product page, you'll see that the social proof section takes up a noticeable spot. It doesn't only encourage potential buyers to consider purchasing. But even more, it allows for alternative ways to testify to their product's quality and value.
Of course, the power of positive social proof does not mean that you should hide negative feedback or that you should delete social media comments that bring up issues. Instead, you must approach such instances with a growth-oriented mindset and use them to further advance your business.
6. Attention-Grabbing CTAs
Do you know the average conversion rate for eCommerce websites? According to the latest studies, it's 2.86%.
The low number doesn't just testify to the fact that businesses need as much help as possible to achieve sales. It's also a cruel reminder of the fact that more than 97% of your website visitors walk away without taking action on your pages.
Fortunately, however, there is one last hack to boost your eCommerce performance. Ensuring that your calls to action are clear, compelling, and highly-visible will undoubtedly increase your conversions.
For example, you can take a look at the product detail pages on Natori's website. Here, the CTA button is placed above the fold, uses less than four words, is surrounded by ample white space, and is well-contrasted with the content around it.
But the best thing about CTAs is that you can experiment with them and measure their performance. By running A/B tests, you can check whether specific copy, colors, placement, or size achieve better results.
The role of eCommerce in people's shopping habits is growing by the day. This fact is especially emphasized if we take into consideration the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on brick-and-mortar stores. With this in mind, it's not a bad idea to polish and optimize product detail pages for conversions.
The six strategies we've talked about in this post are certain to help do just that. Of course, don't forget to combine them with outstanding customer service, fast shipping times, competitive prices, and, finally, high-quality products.