Product pages maintain considerable strategic importance for ecommerce websites. Your visitors enter your product pages not only with an intention to buy something (the most desired end action) but to also learn, research and compare what you have against a competitor. In addition to this, product pages also serve to help buyers find relevant pricing information, delivery costs, warranty and/or return policies and a whole lot more.
To be effective, your website must implement product pages that are able to satisfy each of your visitor's needs. But information isn't enough either. While providing necessary information, these pages must be convincing enough to entice your visitors to move through the purchase process -- on your site rather than on a competitor's website.
This is a tall order for pages that typically have very little content. But it's not impossible. Here are 12 things that will help your product pages convert visitors more effectively.
Calls to action
Every product page absolutely must have at least one, if not more, calls to action. The most important action a user can take is to "buy now" but other actions such as "purchase," "add to cart," "save for later," "add to wish list," etc, can be equally effective at capturing a sale.
Not all shoppers are comfortable using web forms or wish to purchase online. Others have questions they need answered before completing their purchase. For these shoppers you should have a visible phone number or email address as well as additional contact information and purchase options available.
Product pages must be consistent from page to page (product to product). Don’t confuse visitors by changing the location of information from one product to the next. Keep information consistently located on all product pages.
Each product should contain a product summary, overview or short description. This information is best provided as high up on the page ("above the fold") as possible. Additional information such as features, specifications, etc. should be secondary.
Leave room on the page for necessary information and details. You can also provide links to additional pages of content if necessary, but the less you force visitors to click away from the main page, the better.
Allowing side-by-side product comparisons can enhance the shoppers experience. Comparisons help shoppers find the product(s) that best fits their needs and help them make the best purchase decision.
Not every shopper will be ready to buy now and may need time to mull over their purchase. Product and comparison pages should contain printer-friendly links that allow shoppers to print the information for later reference. Once printed, this also provides them a reminder of where to come back to in order to make the purchase.
Unless products are custom priced, pricing information must clearly be presented on the product page. If specific pricing information cannot be added to the page you should include price ranges or "starting at" pricing.
If you sell products to international destinations include pricing information in different currencies. If you support a wide range of international destinations, provide a link to a currency conversion site allowing your shoppers to make the conversions easily on their own.
Image quality plays a significant role in the mental process of making the decision to purchase. All images should be of the highest quality possible. Poor images convey poor products.
Enhanced Image views
Add additional alternate images whenever possible. Enhanced image views such as larger pictures, zoomed in and multi-angle views and even video can provide additional benefit to shoppers. This benefit enhances trust in the products shown.
The role of your product page is to inform and sell. It needs to do both. The better informed shoppers are, the more likely they will be not only to purchase from you, but to make the right purchase. A sale that later turns into a headache due to lack of information is a profit loss. On the other hand, giving visitors the information they need will steer them to the right product and help them make a informed purchase that creates profit not just from one sale, but repeat purchases for years to come.
There is a lot more that can be added to this, however much of that will be addressed when I talk specifically about shopping carts in the next installment.
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Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.
If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.
Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.
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