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7 Ways How To Improve Your Product Page With Usability 19 March 2015 | Piotr Koczorowski

It’s obvious that every owner of an online shop wants their products to sell. However, sometimes just “wanting” doesn’t cut it.

Even though the product is amazing, it doesn’t sell. So, maybe it isn’t that great?

Imagine the tufts of hair completely ripped out while frantically trying to figure out what the heck is wrong. My friend went almost bald while selling his bags online.

The truth is that usually the store is the problem. There are certain areas you are not aware of which might be causing problems for your customers.

And becoming aware completely on your own is a rather difficult task. It is your baby, after all, being critical doesn’t come easily. Well, here’s the solution.

Forget what they’ve been telling you: looks do matter. People buy with their eyes. If those eyes don’t get a compelling image through, the “Add to cart” button will stay covered in cobwebs. Moreover, the product page must be top notch and optimized to meet all needs.

That is why we prepared a comprehensive list of guides how you can improve your website and your product pages in order to increase your sales and conversion rates. There are certain principles and practices in User Experience and Usability Testing that can be applied to that area in order to achieve that, so read on and be enlightened.

Feed eyes with juicy imagery

The saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words “. Why do I bother with writing, then!?

But putting that aside, when it comes to online shopping, it is true. In the beginning online shopping consisted mostly of SEO fights, yet now it shifted its focus from words to images. Actually, the whole world is getting pretty visual.

Look at the giants such as Google, Twitter, and Facebook. Sure, they are social websites or services, but they get it how important images and videos are. People are getting used to operate with pictures and photos, which is why they are growing in importance.

But not only are images important because we like to look at stuff – they are also a necessity. If your customers do their shopping online, they do not have the chance to actually see or feel the product they want to buy. Therefore, your goal is to get the online experience as close as it is possible to real life. In order to achieve that follow these simple tips:

  • Use high definition images. If your customers can count the pixels in the picture you are serving them, then you are doing something wrong. The images should be appealing and look slick – that makes people think of high quality.
  • The previous point leads to the next – with HD images you can actually allow your users to enlarge the image or zoom on it. Checking out the details is always an important process of shopping, especially for conscious buyers. I always look closely for any loose threads or signs of bad quality. If you are being transparent with your products, then your clients believe you have nothing to hide.
  • Transparency is important – add some more features like different angles of an item or alternative views. Even better, provide a video which shows the product in use. This is as close as your customer can get to the product through the Internet, and that is always appreciated. Remember, don’t go overboard with 30 minutes of presentations showcasing this lovely floral urban summer dress in a tropical jungle or don’t show a .gif of pictures you’ve already added – the videos need to be meaningful, and they need to show the product from all sides.
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I am completely in love with Harry’s. Putting aside the fact that I love any shaving accessories, their product page invites me so hard to buy I had to fight myself not to click the “Add to cart” button. The page is slick, stylish, clear, and informative.

 

Channel your inner Hemingway

Hey, words are also images. They work as slightly bigger pictures and they evoke certain emotions or pictures in our brains. With words you can paint a picture unlike any other.

That is why product descriptions are of paramount importance. Having an extremely original and imaginative description has many advantages: not only do you improve your SEO, but you also relate to your customer. You need to stand out, and interesting writing is one way of achieving that.

You can also use register to target specific groups: men looking for razors might be convinced by being straight to the point about listing the product features, such as durability. Women, on the other hand, might want to connect with the item they are buying through descriptions of not only features but also emotions the items may evoke.

The description is your sales assistant – it talks about the product. Make it charming and compelling.

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See how J.Crew deals with it. Short, concise and pretty much personalized. If my size was available, I’d get the laser-cut floral dress – who doesn’t like lasers, after all?

Lay it out

Be honest and thorough. List as much info as possible, and use that to your advantage. For sure your product contains some high quality elements – showcase that. Remember what I said – the description is your sales assistant. But in this case your customer must figure out all the features and advantages on his or her own. Make it easy for them by laying it all out straightforwardly. Again, transparency also leads to increasing trust.

If you are unsure what info suits best, here’s a short checklist for you to use:

  • Available colors and sizes
  • Amount in stock (and where)
  • The price of the item and available discounts or special offers
  • Shipping costs and methods
  • Payment methods
  • Product description (size, materials etc.)
  • Place of production
  • Return policies
  • Safety guarantee

Of course, if you have any ideas for more, be sure to include them as well. (And share them in the comments!)

Let others do the selling

Recommendations work on a basic principle – we are more inclined to buy when someone recommends us an item personally. Well, user reviews are the shortest way to emulate that on the Internet. It is basically our friends telling us “oh, I have that, it’s cool!” I always fall for that and immediately see the product in a better light.

Customer reviews proved to be successful over time, so it is a huge advantage to use. If you are getting bad reviews, don’t get immediately all defensive – maybe there really is something wrong? Fix that and reach out to your customers in order to redeem yourself and your product. Honesty works wonders.

So, add a customer review system and see for yourself how it works wonders.

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In a worst case scenario it can serve as a comedy relief too.

 

What I would like to suggest is…

We’ve seen it a lot of times – product recommendations. Amazon basically is the pioneer in that field – Oh, you are interested in a banana slicer? Well, hello, why don’t you make your kitchen fancier by equipping yourself with these nice de-corers! You’ve taken interest into the de-corer? Well, this de-corative lamp looks exactly like an apple, a great suggestion! How about a trip to Himalayas? And so on.  Cross-selling works wonders and it can really get the shopping cart rolling. All you need to do is properly determine what suggestions will work best for each customer.

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People often catch the bait. If you are interested in fruits, chances are you will be interested in all related products.

 

Another useful technique is up-selling. If you’re buying an MP3 player, you are obviously going to need an accessory for it – headphones maybe? Or maybe an even better MP3? Those are common sights at the sidebars or at the bottom of the pages. Extending your cart list with items directly related to a specific product makes sense, because we often do look at something and think “That might come in handy”.

Read some more about cross-selling and upselling, and see for yourself how it works.

How may I help you?

Some people do not like shopping exactly for that reason – a murder of shopping assistants swarming on poor customers asking this one difficult question: “How can I help you?” I just came here, I don’t know yet!

But even though we might not like it, this practice holds some merit: If you have questions, you can get an answer and make a clear decision. If you don’t know whether those navy chinos are available in other sizes in stock, then how the heck are you going to make that purchase?

Of course, in the online world it looks better – you do know whether the chinos are in stock or not. However, there are always other kinds of questions clients like to ask: “Do you ship it to Neverland?” or “Is the hem in the bottom right corner of the dress on that small patch actually red or crimson?” The human imagination knows no limits.

If you provide your customers with a live chat option or a dynamic email support system, you can answer all of these questions and make your customers reassured. Even better, if they aren’t convinced after hearing an answer, you can recommend something else – they already made a commitment to reach out to the support section, so they might be more inclined to make the purchase after all this effort.

Finally, this increases the aforementioned trust. If your customers trust you and know they can depend on your assistance, then this is bliss.

Some smaller tips

There are many, many more tips that can come from other retailers personal experiences. It is difficult to cover them all or expand them to larger chapters. Here are some smaller tips you can consider, which also can be a major improvement for your product page:

  • Add trust badges – they might look ugly with your design, but that doesn’t matter, because the known sight of the trusted providers makes the customers feel at ease.
  • Make your website fast – remember, people’s attention span on the internet is very short, you have about 50 milliseconds to grab the visitor’s attention. If your webpage and images load too slowly, you will lose a valuable opportunity for conversion.
  • Use the CTA science – CTAs work, because we see them everywhere. Wherever there is a huge sale or a section you want to present, use a good, big CTA with a compelling message (usually all you need to write is “SALE” in big bold letters – I react to that!)
  • Use urgency – I know, it might seem that having your stocks full would be better for customers, but try to play a little game with them – create a false sense of urgency. Try to make some items limited and inform your customers right away about it with a timer or such. This method already worked for some, so it is worth a try.

Checkout

This is it, a comprehensive list of guides to improve your product pages. As I said earlier, it is difficult to mention all possible methods – I would love to know more about them (if you have any other tips, be sure to give them in the comments!) You can also use this link as a further inspiration for more ideas.

One last thing you need to remember about is testing. Sure, the tips are here, but they might not work for you for many reasons (either because they do not fit your business or they have been implemented improperly). It would be a waste to go without any tangible data to back your actions, so be sure to test what works and what doesn’t. For that you can check out the suites at our webpage – both the UX Suite or Conversion Suite are perfect for that task.

Thanks for reading! Go, and follow Enya’s lyrics: Sell away.


Piotr Koczorowski

Written by Piotr Koczorowski

Quirky, funny and energetic young blogger from Poland with a passion for video games, contemporary American literature, chillwave music, and pizza. Between studying Translation Studies at a Polish university, Piotr works at UsabilityTools where he blogs about UX and goes overboard with puns and cultural references. In his free time he dreams of space travel (and pizza.)


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