The creation of a product page that converts is an art. A well crafted product page drives the conversions up. Don’t leave the product page up to ecommerce platforms default configuration. Typically the theme developers copy other famous websites without fully understanding why certain elements exist.
Plethora of conflicting opinions on what “works” confuses ecommerce store owners. Some experts say, “follow guys like Amazon”. Others claim that those method wouldn’t work in a niche-driven site.
However, most conversion specialists and marketing experts agree on specific set of elements that help the conversion along. Let’s take a look at those elements.
A specific flow takes user from landing to purchasing. Before making a decision, visitor follows a certain number of emotional stages. Each element takes your visitor through those stages towards “decision ready” state. Behold, the steps to conversion:
- Product Title
- Short Description
- High Quality Images
- Videos (Optional)
- Product Benefits (for user)
- Long Description
- Benefits Demonstrating Value (to customer)
- Case Study (optional)
- Pricing and Call-To-Action
We’ll talk about each and i’ll provide explanation why it works. Toward the end i’ll show couple examples of before-and-after.
Primary objective of Product Title is to capture attention. By default most eCommerce store feature name of the product in its title and there is nothing wrong with that. Product names as titles are fine for internal links.
However, whenever person searches for a specific product in Google (or other search engine), your product page is now competing with 9 other product pages. In those cases, the title with the most attention grabbing keywords is important. Take a look:
It’s often beneficial to add “personality” to titles. For example “Red V-Neck T-Shirt – The most comfortable cotton shirt on Earth”. Last sentence adds flair and emotions to boring title. Additionally, you can weave in longtail keywords to help your rankings.
Generally, people assume subtitle is when there isn’t enough characters left in title. It’s not. The goal of subtitle is to expand on product and its key feature. If Title grabs attention, subtitle segways reader into the product.
You should consider adding descriptive words to your product, like “100% High Quality Cotton” or “Wrinkle Free – Worry Free Material”. Subtitle will not make or break your conversion goal; some products can go without one.
The goal of Short Description IS NOT to present the product. While seemingly counterintuitive, short description is there for the reader, not the product. Let me explain.
Outline key benefit a user could derive from the product. Some people like to read “about” the product. Some people like to see “key benefits”, short description is for the “about product” guys. Short description is just like the Benefits section written as paragraph (we’ll cover Benefits below).
In example with cotton t-shirts, short description could be re-statement of what user can do with the product.
For example, “Softness of this shirt will make you feel unbelievably cozy and warm. It gently wraps around your body supporting every inch with it’s gentle 100% cotton fabric. You do not have to iron this garment. This t-shirt is wrinkle and worry free. Throw it in a washing machine, tumble dry and put it on. Enjoy!”.
Often, eCommerce stores use “short description” provided by the import feed from manufacturer or dropshipping company. Not only this negatively impacts your search engine rankings, it also sucks all the conversion triggers out of the text. Do not do that.
Pro Tip: Write your product description in second person. It creates a better emotional connection between you and your customer. If you can use pronouns “we” and “us (together)” – even better. But only from a consumer perspective. You and I, not “us vs you”.
Example: “we (consumers, including the author) look for night wear that feel cozy and soft on our skins. The ABC Company has the best t-shirt for us, the ultimate night comfort seekers!”
You should have two image types on your website:
1) product use/usability and
2) product details.
Usability shows models wearing (or using) your products. Even for the most obvious products (t-shirts) it’s important to show customer how the garment would look on them. If you cannot show usability (for example, condoms), instead, show the desired outcome (with condoms, it could be implication of couple having passionate sex).
Pro Tip: If you’re selling trendy clothes, do not show an attractive model wearing your clothes, instead show an attractive model wearing your clothes and laughing with friends or having all the attention from opposite sex (or just friends). Usability images can convey the emotions user is seeking to get from this product.
Seemingly straightforward concept, images should be high resolution photos of your products. Yet, so many e-Stores get it wrong. Take your products to a professional photographer. Or, at least, use studio or portable white box.
Resolution should be high enough to see details, but ideally, AJAX-loading zoom plugin that only loads full picture if hovered over it, thus not slowing down the page load.
Pro Tip: Go for universally standard picture size and background. White-background is standard; consider using transparent background (PNG file). Use “Golden Ratio” size (either vertically or horizontally) for your thumbnails. Some eCommerce platforms prefer 4:3 ratio for thumbnails. To prevent white-on-white clashing, using drop-shadows adds contour outline to your object.
Ok, RULE OF THUMB: If you cannot get a professional video of the product – don’t put a video. Some manufacturers provide videos for the products, but most will not.
I highly recommend to opt out of creating an amateur homemade-style video (shot with a handheld camcorder). Either you go for a professional quality one or nothing. In my practice, MOST self-made videos suck. Sorry guys.
Video helps conveying the real touch-and-feel for the product. Video gives visitor ability to “sense” what the product look like.
Pro Tip: Creating a slideshow (panning and zooming) with professional background music can double as video and give users an illusion of video presentation of the product. A professional narrating, for complex and luxury products, adds additional communication layer. I work with guys from Povidom for all my video, image and voice-over editing (and highly recommend them).
Instead of listing what product has (features), you should list benefits it has for the users. Take every single feature and explain why customer wants it. Use sparingly vague subjective references to “good value” and “quality”.
The product might be of quality but what does that quality mean to the user?
Less likely to break down?
Will last longer?
For example, “Good Quality t-Shirt” is crappy benefit. But, “A good quality t-shirt that will last you for years to come” is better.
Good value is another fake concept. What does it mean “good value”?
It’s, generally, not a convincing proof to reference price as a benefit, because it cheapens the product. People want to get a deal and feel like they are stealing it. The old concept “we made a mistake – you benefit” works like magic, because customer feels superior that such an amazing deal fated in front of them.
Pro Tip: Many e-Commerce themes put place product description, reviews, details in tabs. While it makes the page looks more compact – avoid using this. You’re breaking the flow by forcing customer to click through other “sub pages”. A click is a click.
Long descriptions are for skeptics… and it’s designed to sell overly complex product. At this point, your customer wants the product, but isn’t sure it can do what they want it to do. Most customers will not glance at long description of a t-shirt, but will study it up-and-down for a digital camera or a smartphone.
With complex products (tech gadgets, for example) description is where you list all the technical details. With simple products (clothes), description could be a quick story about production or factory or business.
Long description is not the place to hard sell your product. Instead, long description needs to sound “factual” to engage the customer’s logical part of decision making process.
It’s fun to observe the tendency, including giants like Apple and Google, to skip on long description and show instead of tell (with video and images).
You haven’t asked for sale yet. You need to give a bit of social proof. Products that art not expensive in its class, or product isn’t complicated (clothing) does not need testimonials.
However, if product is expensive or you feel you need additional convincing, then a couple of short testimonials will help.
Important to understand the key difference between Testimonial and Review. Consider, Testimonial as proof of trustworthiness, while Review is proof of usability. Testimonials tend to be more emotional, subjective and personal. “I bought it, it was great, love it”.
Product reviews tend to be more logical, objective and practical. “I bought it, it has A,B.C, but not Z, does N, X, Y but not F; overall, would recommend to someone who needs O and P”. More on product reviews later.
But if you were to choose between Testimonials and Product reviews, rule of thumb, complex products – Reviews, simpler products – Testimonials.
Most eCommerce stores will have product pricing next to product images. This is viable strategy if you want to eliminate non-buyers right away. But, if your targeting is correctly, the price should not come as surprise to your customer. Additionally, if you’re selling luxury or complex product, avoid putting price above the fold. If absolutely have to (due to design of your theme), make the number as small as possible. For more information, Unbounce has a great article on the matter.
As I mentioned, for more expensive luxury product, its best to hold off on the price until just below the fold. If you offer discounts or bulk purchase special pricing, now is the time to mention that. By the time a visitor gets to the price – it should be the least of his concerns.
Few things to keep in mind: numbers short (lose those cents). Remove dollar signs and use emotionally pleasing numbers like 2,4,6,7 and 9. People pay attention to the left most number, therefore, 29.99 looks better than 30. (note, 99, should be smaller to minimize effect of “big numbers”).
Call To Action (CTA)
An overly complicated element that’s actually simple.
First, it needs to stand out. Clash with color scheme. For example, if your site is green, CTA must be orange. Putting price on your CTA button is bad practice, because, it reminds the customer about money.
The less customer thinks about parting with money, the more likely he makes the purchase without double guessing himself.
Use bold fonts. Use words like “GET IT” or “ADD TO CART” instead of “buy” or “purchase”. Don’t over complicate it.
Benefits (Demonstrate Value)
Most people will scroll past your first CTA (call to action). They are not convinced yet. Additional section that demonstrates value will increase chances of purchase.
In Benefits above we cover features that help customers solve a problem. Here we need to make them feel smart about purchasing. Collateral benefits, like social value (status), long term value and indirect gains from using products are all good candidates for long description.
If you’re selling a gold necklace, such benefit could be “extraordinary necklace that will turn heads of even the most unimpressed guests at your party”. Play up emotions.
But VERY IMPORTANT idea to keep in mind. For products of frivolous or hedonic (especially, expensive one) nature, you could give customers an objective reason to justify their purchase. Look at this as something they will tell everyone why they bought it. It MUST make them feel smart about purchasing your product.
Person, making an emotional purchase needs a logical reason to justify it to himself and others. You’ve heard (made) excuses like “but, it gets great gas mileage”, “gold appreciates in value”, “it’s investment in myself”, “I’ve been working hard, it’s my reward” and so on.
For a nightwear T-Shirt example, it can be “because, good sleep is that important for your health and well being”.
Case Study (optional)
Some products need proof of concept. Use case study (short summary) to show how this product helped another person (or business) achieve similar goals or solve similar problems your visitor might have.
Training materials, books, guides, coaching session and other products claiming long term benefits could use a case study.
This section is optional, but it helps a potential customer to relate to another customer just like him. But, if reward from your product isn’t instant, and product is not for pleasure, get a case study.
Case study (or before and after) are great if you sell vitamins, fitness equipment or fitness gear; Consider a before-and-after or “personal story” to help the conversion along.
Supplement your product with great reviews. Ideally, have more than 5-star rating system, in reviews. Have customers rate multiple dimensions of product (ease of use, price, quality, durability, etc.). 3-5 different parameters for product review is sufficient.
For our example, nightwear T-Shirt, a reviewer, can compare this t-shirt to other similar garments. Also, reviewer can mention how after washing the t-shirt multiple times it remained soft and cozy.
Call To Action (with Pricing).
Once again, same as above, ask for a sale. Duplicate same element as you had right after pricing above.
You should not make drastic changes overnight. Start with product benefits and short description. Add higher quality images, preferably a professionally shot video. Update long description a few days later.
Allow Google (and other search engine) bots to index your page. Add testimonials (ask for them) as they come. Product title should always be changed last. Whenever you’re using url rewrites (/product-title-as-url) make sure to point 301 redirects from old urls to new (very important).
We’re going to use a fictional Sof-Tee T-shirt for men.
Old: Sof-Tee Plain White T-Shirt with Pocket
New: Exceptionally Comfortable Sof-Tee Plain White T-Shirt With A Pocket
Old: 100% Cotton night wear t-shirt for men
New: Cozy men’s shirt that’s made from 100% cotton for all night comfortable sleep
Old: stretchy fabric; wrinkle free; machine washable
New: This t-shirt can machine washed and you don’t have to worry about ironing this wrinkle-free shirt made out of supportive stretchy fabric. (re-written as sentence)
Focus on “you can” and “you wouldn’t have to _____” phrases. Talk about how it feels (t-shirt).
Call To Action
Old: Buy Now
New: Only handful left at this price. Grab one today!
Benefits (demonstrate more value)
Old: -often missing-
New: This isn’t just an ordinary shirt! This Sof-Tee shirt will become your favorite nightwear. Not only it is soft, cozy,comfortable and warm it’s also made from highest quality cotton right here in the United States. At XYZ company you’ll find products designed with love for genuine comfort lovers!
This is it for now. More is coming later.