Monday, December 3, 2012

10 tips for improving e-commerce product pages

Designing product pages is a fine art. There needs to be enough in there to help customers decide on a purchase, yet there is a risk of overdoing it. 
Here are some tips from Econsultancy's newly-released E-commerce Best Practice Compendium, looking at some essential features and things to try on product pages...

User reviews

If you're product page doesn't contain user reviews, you should make this a priority. 
61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision, while 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site which has user reviews, according to stats from iPerceptions.

Reviews are a great sales driver, and can work for you even if customers are buying offline. In the UK, 43% of respondents said they had used their mobile to compare prices and look at product reviews while out shopping.

Thought should also be given to presentation of reviews. It should be easy to digest the information and make sense of opinions from different people. 

For example, on this product page for a digital camera, Reevoo shows an easy-to-digest summary of the reviews according to different characteristics.

It also segments reviewers into levels of experience so that, for instance, an unskilled photographer can find the camera for them: 

Product images

E-commerce product pages have moved on in this respect over the past couple of years, though you will still see pages with a single, tiny image. Like this from Playmobil:
I've had to pick a particularly woeful site to find an example of this, which does show how e-commerce sites are using images more effectively. Still, some do better than others. 
Schuh is a great example. Lots of different views of its shoes and trainers, and even a 360 degree viewer:

Use video 

Video works as a sales driver, as it allows consumers to gain a clearer idea of products, see them in use, and from different angles. 

For example, videos on the product pages increased conversion rates by 25%, as well as leading to a reduction in the number of returns. 

It uses videos to show how its products work, and the features which aren't so easy to show through standard product images: 

Show in-store stock levels

According to our recent Multichannel Retail Survey, 96% of respondents always or sometimes check online before buying in store, while 80% have reserved an item for in store collection in the past 12 months. 

This means that online retailers should do what they can to assist this process, and one way to do this is to show stock levels in the customer's locality. 

Argos does this well, allowing people to check stock on product pages, rather than making them wait till checkout. 

It's a small point, but allowing customers to check using the first part of the postcode would be helpful: 


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