In an online retail course which I did recently, its instructor Ian Jindal talked about the importance of retailers getting their product pages right, making sure these pages are relevant to the consumer. Even though consumers don’t think in terms of traditional sales funnels, and might use a variety of sources to come to a purchase decision, product pages clearly have a very important role to play within this decision-making process.
Ian stressed the opportunities that a product page can provide: (1) to sell in the moment, (2) to cross- or up-sell and (3) to start a conversation with the consumer. One of the main things that I learned is the importance of understanding customer needs and the category that a product fits into. When you’ve built up this understanding, you’ll be able to help the consumer understand the product, its features and its benefits. The way in which one presents a product can be broken down into these three key bits of information:
- Expertise (product)
- Support choice (customer)
- How to buy (operations)
A good example is the website of Nothonthehighstreet, a UK-based site which sells products created by small, creative businesses. Their product details are well presented, acting as a good starting point for a conversation with the customer. Also, customer reviews of the product are integrated in a simple but effective ways as is the relevant delivery information (see Fig. 1 below).
Intrigued by what Nothonthehighstreet have done, I looked at some other good examples of well designed product pages:
- Cross-selling – Cross-selling is about offering a similar or complimentary product to the item that the customer is looking at. Amazon and IKEA are good at this, using their “Frequently Bought Together” and “You Might Also Be Interested In” functionality respectively. I’ve learned more about the value of cross- and up-selling through a great Leapfrogg blog post, and I’ve included some of the important value points in Fig. 2 below.
- Product imagery – Made.com is a good example of compelling product imagery. Made.com is a furniture website which offers its potential customers with clear and detailed visuals of its products. A good example is the product page for the “Bramante” dining table (see Fig. 3 below). People interested in this product will be able to get a better idea about the size and extension of the table, purely from looking at the pictures on the product page.
- Product copy – It was interesting to learn more about what makes good product copy. On my aforementioned digital retail course, the instructor Ian Jindal talked a lot about Search Engine Optimisation (‘SEO’) and the importance of product copy reflecting customer search terms. Another key point is highlighting product features and benefits (see Fig. 4 below). It’s easy to get all technical or detailed when describing a product, at the risk of losing the customer in the process. Dyson are a good at keeping it simple; when describing their vacuum cleaners they use technical detail where necessary but prefer to keep it simple when describing product benefits (see Fig. 5 below).
Main learning point: It was good to learn more about the role of product pages and to understand how to get the most out of these pages. If anything, it made me realise about the amount of work and thinking that goes into creating good product descriptions and pages.
Fig. 1 – Screenshot of product details for a grapevine gift crate – Taken from: http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/thegluttonousgardener/product/mini-vineyard
Fig. 2 – The value and examples of cross-selling – Taken from: http://www.leapfrogg.co.uk/froggblog/2012/07/ten-great-examples-of-ecommerce-functionality/
Using a well-executed cross-selling strategy will likely result in:
- Increased transactions as customers find what they want with greater ease
- Increased average order values as they add additional items to their basket
- Greater exposure of your product range
- Greater exposure to higher margin products
- Increased customer satisfaction as related products help complete their shopping process quickly
Good examples of cross-selling are IKEA and Amazon:
Screenshot of IKEA’s “You Might Also Be Interested In” and “Complimentary Products” functionality
Screenshot of Amazon’s “Frequently Bought Together” functionality:
Fig. 3 – Screenshot of the “Bramante” dining table – Taken from: http://www.made.com/tables/bramante-square-extending-dining-table-white
Fig. 4 – Guidance from content practitioners on how to write good product copy – Taken from: https://econsultancy.com/blog/63911-what-makes-great-ecommerce-product-page-copy
- Product names should reflect customer terms
- Copy that reflects the company’s tone of voice and is consistent throughout all products
- Positioning on the product page
- Key features and benefits
- Check for errors
- Testing all content on the site
- Write for your user base
- Think about how much copy is needed
- Differentiate your product copy
Fig. 5 – Screenshot of the Dyson DC50 – Taken from: http://www.dyson.co.uk/vacuum-cleaners/upright/dc50.aspx
Related links for further learning:
One response to “The importance of digital product pages”
[…] overview” was the feature on AO.com which I was most impressed with. I believe that product pages are critical to any self-respecting eCommerce site and AO.com does a great job in this respect; […]