Online merchants have a significant advantage in terms of providing customers quick and convenient shopping experiences, but there is a downside: not being able to physically handle products means shoppers can be less driven to buy.
But ecommerce product pages are key to breaking through purchasing hesitation. According to MarketingSherpa’s 2015 eCommerce Benchmark Study, “[Each] company needs to choose the elements on its product pages to fully express its product’s value proposition and address any concerns that could be held by its prospective customers.”
Check out our three guidelines for designing ecommerce product pages that eliminate shopper doubts and push them to complete their purchases:
1. Reduce Anxiety
Trust is essential to building a relationship between a customer and an online merchant. By using product pages to establish business and product credibility, online merchants show customers that they are in a safe, secure, and trustworthy environment.
Customers want to make sure they have a place they can turn to for any issues or questions – prominently displaying contact information is crucial to making first-time visitors feel comfortable.
Always make contact information easy-to-find.
Reviews, Ratings, and Testimonials:
Before dropping hard-earned cash on a product, people like to truly know what they’re getting. Posting product reviews, ratings, and testimonials on product pages shows that not only have other people bought and used the product, but that they are getting value from it.
Another thing to keep in mind when posting product reviews: don’t be afraid to include negative ones. It might sound counter-intuitive, but negative reviews can actually help bolster credibility because it shows that the reviews are being written by real people, not by the company.
Product reviews and testimonials build credibility with shoppers.
Site Security Symbols:
People will not enter credit card information on a site they don’t trust. Displaying trust symbols from reputable security companies (such as the Better Business Bureau, McAfee, etc.) is a quick and easy way to signal business trustworthiness, and to make customers comfortable with providing sensitive information.
Trust symbols convey business integrity and make shoppers feel more secure about browsing and buying.
Not every online purchase is going to work out – that’s just the nature of buying without seeing, feeling, trying on, etc. Showing product return policy and exchange information helps customers feel less nervous about committing to the purchase – if their purchase isn’t what they had in mind when they ordered it (which is always a fear when buying online), they have a way to fix it.
Displaying return and exchange policies help shoppers feel more at-ease with making online purchases.
2. Show Product Costs
This may seem obvious, but showing all the costs associated with online merchandise is an important way to build customer trust – because springing hidden fees or costs on the customer at the time of checkout will not inspire them to move forward.
Unless your product prices are only given “upon request,” always make prices instantly recognizable on your product pages.
Don’t make shoppers guess at costs, or find out what they owe at the checkout – always make product prices easy-to-find.
In addition to the price, also make sure that shipping methods and their associated costs are also displayed prominently on your site. For instance, shipping calculators that dynamically populate with the costs related to the customer’s selected delivery date or method are a great way to inform and engage the customer.
Shipping and delivery costs are another important consideration for online shoppers – providing that information up-front ensures customers aren’t surprised at checkout (because checkout surprises rarely cause checkout conversions).
3. Provide Information
Since customers can’t pick up and inspect an online store’s products, using high-quality, high-resolution images on your product pages are critical in not only promoting your products, but in showing your company’s professionalism. Brick-and-mortar stores don’t display merchandise that’s dirty or worn-out; ecommerce merchants shouldn’t display merchandise in grainy, ugly photos.
High-resolution images, image zooming, the ability to change item colors, etc. all help show your products in the best light.
The more information a customer has on an item, and the more they understand the benefits of using the item, the more likely they will be to purchase it. Short and long descriptions are both useful for product pages – short descriptions give a quick snapshot that captures the shopper’s attention, and long descriptions provide the in-depth information that helps seal the deal.
When creating descriptions, avoid making them boring, bland, or minimal – providing detailed, punchy narratives make it difficult for customers to resist.
Short and long product descriptions are necessary for giving customers the information they need to make well-informed purchases.
Videos are a great way to convey information, an experience, or a customer testimonial in a quick, easily digestible way, which makes it easy for shoppers to learn more and engage with your products. And also to keep in mind is that we live in the age of the viral video – people love sharing videos that are fun, interesting, and educational on their social networks, so make sure to post high-quality video content that compels people to share.
Videos that entertain or enlighten capture attention and inspire people to share, leading to organic company promotion on social media networks.
In addition to videos, people enjoy reading and sharing articles that contain valuable content. Whether it’s a how-to guide, or a list of unique ways to use a product, or helpful tips, articles are another method that encourages customers to connect with your company and what you offer. Like with videos, high-quality article content is key because it gives customers a reason to return – they want to see what cool new material is being posted.
High-quality articles can become important resources and reference tools for customers.
“Customers who bought this bought that,” “Popular Items,” “Related Products” – posting similar or related items on a product page is a helpful way for customers to view more of your company’s offerings – and to increase the likelihood of cross-sell and up-sell conversions.
Showing related products creates cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, as well as encourages shoppers to further explore the online store.
Making the Customer Experience the First Priority
Ultimately, all of these eCommerce product page elements are focused on one vital goal: to give customers an amazing shopping experience. The shopping experience is the true differentiator for ecommerce competitors – good shopping experiences mean a customer will return; but great ones mean a customer will return regularly and bring friends with them.
For more information on how you can improve the ecommerce shopping experience for your customers, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ashley Harbaugh is a Marketing Coordinator at Ignify. Ignify is winner/finalist of the Worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010, and offers eCommerce, ERP, CRM, Order Management and POS solutions based on the Microsoft Dynamics line of products. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Inc. Magazine and Deloitte in the FAST 500 from 2008 to 2013.