Damn it, Amazon! You make shopping in my pajamas way too easy. Stop taking all my money!
Okay, so that was a bit over-the-top. I actually love Amazon. How can you not?
I’m addicted to shopping online. Why get out of my pajamas when I can finish my back-to-school, grocery, and monthly restocking shopping all in one fell swoop?
Shopping online simplified my life and gave me an unimaginable number of selections right at my fingertips.
This also means that if you are building an online store, you can access way more shoppers than ever before (compared to a brick-and-mortar store).
eCommerce is here to stay and it will only become more competitive for merchants (like yourself).
Pro: You’re in the middle of a tremendous period of growth (like the gold rush way back in the days). People are looking to buy and consume more than ever before in the history of mankind – and they are shifting more dollars to shopping online.
So if you have an eCommerce website already (or if you’re thinking of starting one), you can ride the eCommerce wave. Brick & mortar businesses are in trouble.
Con: The online market is going to become more competitive. This just means your online business needs to deliver a better experience than your competitors.
Ask yourself these questions:
If your answer is “not sure” or “I haven’t put much thought into this“, then you need to continue reading this post.
You see, your eCommerce website (especially your product pages) needs to be designed properly, so you can effectively turn browsers into buyers after they arrive on your online store.
In this guide, we’ll show you tips and tricks on how to create an eCommerce website that can help turn your visitors into your customers. This is one way to make sure you’re ahead of your competitors!
How You Can Design an eCommerce Website That Converts Browsers into Buyers
I’m sure you’ve heard that your homepage is one of the most important pages on your website.
Well, that is true but only if you are not running an eCommerce website.
No doubt, your homepage is a very important page and should never be neglected.
However, for an online store, your product pages are arguably the most important pages on your website.
Why? Because your product pages are where you turn browsers into customers!
While all the pages on your website collectively create the overall experience and branding for your online store, it is on your product pages where your customers will make the pivotal decision of “I’m buying this now” or “Meh, maybe I’ll check elsewhere.”
If you were to optimize only one thing in your online store, it should be your product pages.
So, how do you design a product page layout that can capture your customers’ love (and wallets)?
It’s not as hard as you think. Just follow proven methods by leading online stores, and techniques tested by leading conversion specialists.
There are no guessing or complicated design philosophies to master. Just follow this 2-part series to design your perfect product page layout:
Part 1: What Content Should I Include in My Product Pages?
Creating a good product page layout that your customers actually find helpful has nothing to do with design skills.
The key to creating a successful product page is to know what visual stimulus helps you attract the consumers you are targeting, and make them react the way you want them to.
I know this sounds like some sort of a Jedi mind trick, but bear with me and let me explain.
For example, research has shown that the color orange appeals most to impulsive shoppers, while the color blue and teal attracts the budget-conscious buyers.
You can pick the color of your add-to-cart button to match the type of consumers you want to attract — impulsive or budget conscious buyers.
This is why designing an effective product page, doesn’t actually require any hardcore design skills. You just need to:
Do you want your product pages to attract the type of customers you want and convince them to buy your products?
Of course you do, otherwise, why are you reading this post?
Knowing how to create a highly converting product page is a hot topic; countless research and tests have been done to understand what makes people want to buy a product or service.
You can leverage this knowledge to your advantage, so you too can build highly converting product pages.
Based on these research, all successful product page layouts share similar traits and we will share them with you below.
Side Note: This best-practice list is based on credible studies on consumer behavior. However, results could differ from website to website and from business to business. This list is meant to give you the best possible starting point and you can continue to improve upon it. It is always a good practice to constantly test different methods to further optimize your website.
When you go into a high-end boutique store, you see a gorgeous handbag displayed on a glimmering pedestal glowing beneath a roll of spotlights.
Why does the store need to display an already gorgeous bag in such dramatic way?
Because it makes the bag look even more amazing!
Selling to consumers is all about presentation. When you make a product look better, more desirable, and appear to be of higher quality than it is, you make people want it more.
In your online store, your product images are the pedestal with rolls of spotlights where you display your products.
This is why 9 of out 10 people say product images and videos affect their purchasing decisions.
The quality of your product images directly affects your ability to generate sales.
This is especially true when your visitors can’t touch, wear or interact with the product in person, as they are shopping online.
Creating amazing product images should be your #1 priority because they need to be so good that they can compensate your visitors for not being able to touch, try and interact with the products in person.
No problem, simply follows these 5 golden rules below:
Uncertainty and missing information are the top reasons why people decide not to buy a product online.
You can easily address some of the uncertainties by providing 360 views or images showing the different angles of your products.
It is always better to give your customers more information, than too little details.
Nike gives their customers every possible view of their sneakers and makes sure there is nothing left to chance.
If your products come in different colors or materials, make sure you have images for every version.
There is nothing more frustrating than trying to make a purchase decision with nothing more than a tiny color box!
These pattern images are not helpful at all. Wouldn’t it be more helpful if you can see the product with these patterns?
Make sure you display different variations of your products so your customer can see exactly what they are getting.
Nike does a great job here. They show each color of the shoe in a thumbnail. When you click on a different color, you get the full set of product images in that color.
Again, Nike leaves nothing to chance and removes as many doubts as possible, so shoppers feel confident enough to purchase online.
Detailed and zoomable images give you the next best thing to physically touching and feeling the texture of your product.
Your product images need to be able to show enough details that your shoppers don’t feel the need to go to a store and look at the actual product in person.
Cole Haan does a very good job at showing the texture of the suede and the details of the wing tip.
“Will the bag look too big on me?”
“Sure, it looks good on a 6′ tall, skinny model, but I’m 5′-4″ and average. Will it look good on me?”
These are the questions that images with context can help answer. When you show your products being used in real life, they allow your shoppers to imagine using them.
Example #1: You are selling swimsuits and you can have pictures of models of different shapes and heights wearing the same swimsuit. State the shapes, heights and measurements of the models so your shoppers can have a better sense of how the swimsuit might look on them.
Example #2: You are selling a messenger bag. Size can be deceiving in images, so take pictures with everyday objects that will give a better representation of the size of the bag. You can also show what items you can fit in the bag. This gives your shoppers an idea of whether the bag is big enough for them.
Your product images are your best tool to allow your customers to feel, touch, and try your products without physically being there.
You don’t need to be a master photographer to create great product images — The image quality just need to be good enough.
Rule of Thumb: Your product images need to be helpful to your customers.
It doesn’t matter how beautiful your images are if they don’t do a good job at answering, “How this will look if I were to use it?“
This product image may look artistic and beautiful, but it is pretty useless for your shoppers who are trying to decide whether or not to purchase.
The image doesn’t tell them very much about what it will be like to own the product, and how it will make their life better.
Take-away: Review your product images – do your product pictures help your shoppers understand how it feels to own the products?
Product description is the second most important item on your product page that can help persuade your shoppers to make purchases.
Your product summary needs to have enough information so that your shoppers can make informed decisions on whether a product is right for them.
Knowing what to write is half the battle and know how to write is the other half.
You need to present your information in a clear and easy-to-read format, so your message doesn’t get lost in the process.
Here are some tips on how to keep your descriptions simple and readable:
Take-away: Review your product descriptions and see how you can improve them with our tips above! Remember, don’t just list out all the specs of your products. Write content that will help your shoppers understand the benefits of using your products.
Product images are good, but videos are better!
The #1 place consumers go to search for product reviews is YouTube.
A good product demo video not only gives your shoppers that extra personal touch they need, it also serves as a great traffic generation tool when you post it on video websites like YouTube.
The video gives you a chance to “sell” to your customers that just can’t be done with a text product description.
Just by watching a person hold, touch, and interact with the product while explaining its pros and cons is the next best thing to visiting a store and talking to a sales associate.
Skip Hop does a very good job here by using a video to show how many things you can fit in their signature diaper bag.
For moms who are wondering if the bag is large enough to fit everything, this video directly addresses this concern. The video also points out a very good selling point that most people might miss – how light the bag is.
When we were running our eCommerce store, we actually received emails asking us where the prices of our products were located.
While we only received a couple of these emails a month, it was enough to make us change our product layout design to make the prices easier to spot. We probably lost a lot of potential sales as we had no idea how many of our store visitors just walked away without emailing us to inquire about our prices.
You need to display your product prices in a very prominent way.
Consumers at all income levels are price conscious to a certain degree. This is true whether you are selling a $10,000 luxury watch or a $5.99 doggy toy. No matter how much they might love your products, if the prices are beyond their budgets, they won’t buy from you.
It is much better to just show shoppers the prices immediately and let them judge if they want to spend that amount.
How to display your prices clearly:
The goal of your product page is to get your shoppers to click the “add-to-cart” button, so the button needs to be the most dominating element on your page.
You want your shoppers to know what the next step is if they want to buy your product, and a prominent add-to-cart button is a great way to nudge them forward in the right direction.
What does a clear add-to-cart button look like?
People use reviews a lot to judge whether or not they should buy a product.
Start collecting reviews and ratings from your customers on your product pages as soon as possible.
One of the biggest reasons businesses don’t want to have customer reviews is because they are afraid of bad reviews.
Well, I’m here to tell you negative reviews can be beneficial – if you handle it well.
So, how can you turn negative reviews into something that can help your business?
Well, have you ever heard of “killing people with kindness?” — this is exactly how you handle negative comments.
This way, you can show your potential customers how you solve problems. This will give your shoppers confidence that you will proactively try to help them if issues come up.
We are speaking from our own experiences.
We’ve learned the hard way when dealt with unreasonable customers with an iron fist. After all, why should we ever yield to unreasonable customers?
A minor complaint turned into a PR nightmare all played out on social media. The negative effects dragged on for a year and grew into a bigger problem than we anticipated.
After this horrible experience, we learned to water down our burning urge to be right and started practicing good customer service.
After that, negative feedback or customer complaints no longer scared us. We saw it as an opportunity to show our future customers how professional we are at handling tough issues.
Is this website safe? — How long will it take to get my stuff? — Are returns complicated?
Shoppers have a lot of concerns when shopping online. As such, any good product page must address these concerns to win sales.
Make a list of all the common objections or uncertainties your potential customers may have, and address them directly on your product page.
These are just some of the common concerns and ways to address them. They’re simple, yet a lot of merchants have neglected them.
The bottom line is, provide answers to all the concerns your shoppers might have and you will have a much higher chance of earning their business.
Forever 21 does a good job in dealing with the most pressing concerns of their customers: shipping cost, size guide, and current promotions (so they won’t miss out on deals).
I would like to see information about how to handle returns as that is currently not on the page. Aside from that, this is a solid product page.
“Do you want fries with that?”
This is one of the most famous and effective ways to cross-sell a customer.
Cross-selling means you are offering similar products that the shopper might also like — for example, when they’re looking at a book on Asian recipes, cross-sell a book on Asian dessert recipes.
A master of cross-selling is Amazon. They seem to have an uncanny way to anticipate what I will like and make recommendations based on that.
Displaying related or recommended products is an easy way to cross-sell directly to your customers, so you can:
It is a win-win situation for you and your shoppers so why not include it on your product pages?
Take-away: 8 Ways to Supercharge Your Ecommerce Product Page
The easiest way to design an effective product page layout is to use proven and field-tested methods.
You can always modify your product page design as you gather more data from your customers to better cater to their specific needs.
We’ve gone over a lot of information so far, so let’s do a recap before we go to part 2 of this guide and start designing your product page layout.
Take some time and go through these 8 essential items all successful product pages must have and see what is missing on your own product pages.
In Part 2, we will show you how to put all of these 8 items in a well laid out product page design.