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Today, Commerce Vision announce availability of their ...

In the past, I’ve put Banner Sliders and Mega Menus under the microscope, so I thought it was about time I turned my eye to the Product Detail page.

Portrait of a funny hipster man looking at camera over gray background-1.jpeg

 

As I expected… there is boatloads of research on what works, and what doesn’t. And a LOT of opinions on the subject. Don’t worry, I’m not going to throw an avalanche of links at you. I thought I would distil all of the info down to some actionable key points (but if you’d like to chat about it more in depth, please feel free to shoot me an email).

 

So without further ado, let’s look at 4 steps to an excellent product detail page:

 

Have enlightening product information

This is something that most of you have likely heard me say before, but my research suggests that it bears repeating. It’s important that your product information answers the questions your customers are likely to ask. There may be a thousand points you think worth mentioning about your product but if they do not answer the questions your customers have, then how helpful are they really?

 

Because I’m all about the examples, let’s look at an example of how wording choice can enhance your product info. I’ve borrowed from Amazon Kindle’s product description for this. I’m going to start with what information they had to hand that could answer their ideal buyer’s likely questions:

  • Matte screen
  • 206 grams
  • Average battery life of 28 hours
  • Side lit rather than backlit.

 

Now let’s take a look at what they actually put in their product description:

  • Unlike tablets, no screen glare in bright sunlight
  • Read with one hand - over 30% lighter than iPad mini
  • Battery lasts weeks, not hours
  • Built-in light-read without eyestrain

 

Both essentially convey the same information, but the latter presents the buyer with an easy to consume list of solutions, with no need to interpret.

 

Show product variants

I wasn’t surprised to see this one crop up (though, if I’m honest, I was a bit pleased given I’d spoken about them before). Showing a user all the variants of a particular product in the one place saves them confusion and potential frustration in trying to find the exact product they’re after. Not to mention having the added benefit of reducing the amount of time they spend considering their buying choice.

 

More often than not we see variants presented on fashion product pages. However, it’s certainly not limited to apparel. I’ve seen it used in tools, consumables, and cookware (to name a few). The important thing when looking at variants is to consider whether they’re logical from the perspective of your users’ shopping habits.

 

I’d recommend teaming up product variants (documentation here) with image tagging (documentation here) so your customers have a seamless experience between what they see and what they get.

 

Include good quality imagery

I’ve spoken about imagery before in various contexts. Both from the perspective of banner recommendations and image optimisation. This time it’s a different angle again: product images. When you have several thousand products to maintain online, it can be easy to fall into the “near enough is good enough” trap. Any image you get from your supplier (or can take if you ARE the supplier) will do, right?

 

Well… probably not. You might be lucky and be in an industry focused primarily on the technical capabilities of a product, but buying a product sight unseen is pretty uncommon in this day and age. To that end, I collected a few recommendations for getting your imagery up to scratch:

  • Be consistent:
    • If your products are displayed on a white background, make sure ALL of them are presented this way. Or, if you typically display three angles for a product, do this for each unless there’s a specific reason not to, which makes sense to a buyer.
  • Look professional:
    • This means having images of a decent size (a 100 x 100 px image in a 250 x 250 space will look pixelated and doesn’t send a good message to your consumer). Similarly, make sure your products are well lit in each shot.
  • Consider the product:
    • Spend the time on images with products that may blend into their background (eg white on white). It’s also worth considering whether a product might benefit from a lifestyle shot.
  • Make a great “first impression”:
    • The first photo rendered on the product detail page (the hero image), is what makes the first impression. If you have multiple shots to pick from, it’s worth looking at which of these best represents your product to your buyer.

 

Include recommended products

This one is simple in theory and not quite so simple in practice. Setting up accessories and alternatives against a product is out of the box for BPD (documentation here). However, it’s important to make sure the products you’re displaying are actually alternatives that a customer might want to purchase within the context of the product they’re already viewing.

 

If you’re looking at accessories this can be relatively simple. Sanding paper that fits the sander? Done.  But if you’re looking at alternatives, make sure you’re not just putting any old product in there. This is only useful to a customer if they can expect helpful suggestions, not just what you’re trying to push that month.

 

If you have two or three products that you notice customers are likely to swap between depending on availability, they could make great alternates. Depending on your market, a bit of data analysis might give you a good starting point. Alternatively, have a chat with your Sales and Customer Service staff – they usually have a great ear for what customers prefer.

 

 

 

Phew! Hopefully there are some gems in there you can use to streamline those product detail pages. I’d love to chat with you about your particular space and what could work in your industry if you have any questions. Feel free to drop me a line.

 

 

If you’d like to have a bit of a dig into some of the research, I’ve listed a few sites below:

 

Product Pages:

30 Beautiful Ecommerce Product Page Designs

15 inspiring examples of ecommerce product pages

5 Killer Examples of How to Write Product Descriptions

7 Simple Steps to Writing Product Descriptions that Sell

7 Effective Ecommerce Product Pages: How to Turn Visitors into Customers

How to Design a Customer-Winning Product Page for Your eCommerce Store

 

Imagery:

Product Images – The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Top eCommerce Product Photography Mistakes

 

Bonus:

How to choose a Shipping Strategy for Your Online Store

Smarter Strategies For Free Shipping – Forrester Research Inc (PDF Download)

 

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