Your product page is more than just a photo and a description.
It’s a 24/7 sales rep that generates sales whether you are working or sleeping.
It’s the one thing that makes your ecommerce store money, so it’s no surprise to say that if you improve your product page, your business will grow. If that’s your goal, then you came to the right place.
In this article, you will learn five proven ways to improve your product pages and start getting more conversions.
Humans are story-driven machines. Ever since we developed the ability to communicate with one another, we have made stories the channel where we transmit all accumulated knowledge.
So what does this have to do with your ecommerce store? It turns out, everything.
It may seem counterintuitive to you, but the use of stories will help your visitors understand not just what your product is about, but how it relates to them.
Stories put the visitor in the driving wheel, so to speak. It uncovers the purpose of the product they’re buying, what made you create it in the first place, and why it should matter to them.
The power of stories for generating sales online has been confirmed by a study done by Hill Holiday research division Origin. Using a 3,000-long sample of US-based consumers, they presented two variations of product pages, one featuring a “regular” description—that is, without a story—and one containing a story.
In one case, the group of consumers who were presented with a story behind a bottle of wine ended up being 5% more likely to purchase and 6% more willing to pay more for the same bottle of wine than the control group.
In another case, Origin found that consumers were willing to pay 11% more for a painting when the artist’s story was included on the product page.
Finally, the study found consumers were willing to pay 5% more for a hotel room presented with a guest-based story.
No matter how dull your product may seem, adding a story will put your company in the visitor’s shoes—even if that’s just benefit-driven copy.
For example, the retailer from the following image does a mediocre job at presenting a set of tires.
You might think, “what is there to say about a tire? It’s just a tire!” But you’d be wrong, as the following retailer can prove:
This retailer empowers the visitor thanks to their description of the benefits this tire has. It doesn’t take much more than that to help the visitor feel they’re being taken into consideration in your sales funnel.
This example still doesn’t focus on stories as presented in the study above, so here’s an example from Lush, an online cosmetics retailer, which makes an excellent use of stories in its product pages:
From the name in the left to the product name on the right—which is a pun for the movie “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”—to the description below, they write their copy as if they were explaining the product to a friend.
This colloquial—and may I say equalitarian—style of copywriting can shift the expectations consumers have from a brand, putting them at ease so they can focus on the emotions the product gives them instead of the sale itself.
Below this product description, you will be able to see the ingredients of the product.
Again, the brand breaks the mold by making each of the ingredients visual.
I can’t speak for the conversions of these companies, but if we assume the study from above—and what I’d call common sense—is true, these companies very likely have great conversion rates. All thanks to their story-driven product descriptions.
Simplify the Design
A product page design is an opportunity to present an offer to a person who needs a solution in their life. If you think about your product page this way, then its design must be focused on the product and the purchase, without any distractions.
Your product’s photos, title, description, and policies (e.g., return, shipping times) should be clear, descriptive, and easy to access.
As a rule of thumb, if the visitor has to click more than once to find any of these elements, or if they have to scroll down and make an effort to find these things, then your product page design is flawed.
This following example illustrates what you should not do in a product page:
Besides the fact that this page sells a king-size pillow, you probably don’t feel like buying from this company. This product page is missing something, but what is it?
If you’re not sure what it is, then let me tell you: clarity.
The page says it’s about a pillow, yet you don’t see it. The description is short, technical—what is a “2.5cm gusset”?—and hard to read. The buttons are all over the place. Even the page structure is wrong—why would you add the description below the buy button and the price above it?
On the opposite side of the spectrum, Brooklinen product page has an almost breezy feeling to it. It’s as if the page guided you to the purchase.
They are able to pull this off because they broke the purchase in three steps:
- First, you choose the core sheet set with their color and size (this is what you can see in the image above)
- Then, you choose the duvet cover with their color and size (it’s not in the image but it comes after you select the options from the image above)
- Finally, you choose the extra pillowcase with their color and size
Based on this simplified product design, Brooklinen makes it easy for the visitor to purchase. It makes it clear for them what they need to do. And that’s not including their amazing product description.
Designing a product page isn’t a matter of minimalism; it’s a matter of making it easy for the customer to buy.
Answer All the Questions
Besides making the sale easy for the visitor, there’s a secondary point I didn’t mention which is also critical for increasing your conversion rates.
No matter how good the product may be or simple the design is, your visitors have questions about your product.
It’s your job to find those questions and answer them in your product pages.
Finding these questions requires a separate post, but to simplify the process, you need to do three things:
- Check customer support emails: Your customers (or those who’d want to become one) make questions all the time. They may ask about the product—e.g., how it works—or more general questions—e.g., delivery options, return policy. All of these questions should be added to your product pages so instead of asking your customer support team, your visitors can get these answers right on the product page.
- Analyze social media messages: Your customers also use social media to ask questions—for an ecommerce store, that’s mostly Instagram and Twitter. Take these messages and use them to write your product page.
- Do surveys to current email subscribers: Some questions, thoughts, or doubts will remain silent unless you proactive work to find them. Surveys to your existing customers as well as your email subscribers (who haven’t made a purchase yet) will help you do so. Add the insights you find in the product pages.
The product page from Helixsleep shows how they’ve taken the time to put what I would think are very common questions, such as unboxing instructions and sizing considerations, into their product pages.
Hers also does a good job at answering three of the most common questions they probably get in their product pages:
- What is one of their vitamins good for
- How it works
- How to use it
Research what questions your visitors often have and add them and their answers in your product pages. Your visitors will thank you for it.
Give Payment Options
Your visitors may love to buy your products, but they may not be able to do so. More than ever, they need help to finance their purchases over time without incurring debt.
Companies like Affirm and Afterpay allow consumers to spread their payments over time. These companies also integrate very well with most ecommerce platforms, so it’s easy for you to leverage them in your sales process.
Both companies require the visitor to sign up for their services and fill out a short form that verifies their eligibility. Instantly, the user will know if they are approved, and if they are, they can opt for the installment plan that best works for them.
The customer can choose four interest-free payments every two weeks or more payments over longer periods of time with interest. Whatever the case, the consumer gets more options to buy and you have little to lose from it.
The commissions these companies take vary by the sale volume and other aspects. But as it happens with payment processors, the money given away to these companies in the short term generate sales your business would not make otherwise.
No matter how much you may explain the way your products help your customers—even if you use stories—your customers will want proof.
That is, they want the actual evidence that your product is as good as you claim to be. These claims don’t have to be scientific studies; reviews and customer photos can do more than a person wearing a robe and a pair of googles.
User-generated content (UGC) is any type of content that shows a customer publicly using or approving your product. That stamp of approval is, on its own, enough to make most people want to buy your products.
Several studies have found that UGC is clearly effective at persuading visitors to buy, engage, or pay attention to a brand.
One company that does a great job at leveraging UGC is Vanity Planet, which showcases clients of theirs using their facial cleansing brushes in their day-to-day lives.
Reviews also work great because it lets your visitors see what your customers have to say about your products. For your visitors, your products don’t get any more real than this.
For example, Glossier features the exact words their clients use to describe their products, most of which happen to be positive:
Showing proof through user-generated content breaks once again the expectations from your customers. Your ecommerce brand looks honest, transparent, and real; something that no brand can buy through traditional advertisement.
Start Improving Your Product Pages Today
Now that you know how to improve your product pages, you need to pick one of these tactics and start implementing it right away.
I can guarantee you that if you follow these ideas, your company will benefit as much as the companies and studies mentioned here.
Your product pages are a sales rep that doesn’t sleep, complain, or ask for raises. If you make them work, they will give the results you need. Will you do it?
Ivan Kreimer is a freelance content marketer who helps SaaS businesses like Leadfeeder and Campaign Monitor create educational content. In his pastime, he likes to help people become freelance writers. Besides writing for intelligent people who read sites like PinnacleCart, Ivan has also written in sites like Entrepreneur, MarketingProfs, Shopify, and many others.