Spring has sprung! The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, and people are shopping. Now is the time to dust off old techniques that accumulated over the winter and the rush of holiday months. It’s time to clean up your product pages, allowing them to bloom over the next few months and be in tip-top shape come this year’s holiday season.
Take a step back and evaluate your product pages. Look at any trends that may have emerged over the last year that you haven’t yet had a chance to consider. Audit your competitors and see what changes they have made that you should be considering. Now is the time to plant the seeds and test the growth. Here are 10 ideas you can implement now to increase product page conversion.
1. Ratings & Reviews
Many consumers head straight to Amazon to research a product. Why? Reviews matter. According to a BrightLocal study, 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Reviews also affect conversion. According to Reevoo, reviews generate an average 18% increase in sales, and having 50 or more reviews on one product can increase conversion by 4.6%.
Collecting reviews and ratings on your page is one thing. You also need programs in place to continually gather reviews from customers. Set up post-purchase triggered emails. Make your customers feel like their opinion matters and consider rewarding them for providing you feedback, either in rewards points, discount on a future order or sending a personal response to their feedback.
Zappos has put a lot of thought into the organization of their reviews. They show both the good (Top Positive Review) and the bad (Top Critical Review) and allow shoppers to sort by Most Helpful or Newest. The Fit Survey makes it easier for shoppers to feel good about their selection.
2. Social Proof
Similar to product reviews, shoppers like to know what their friends think. Some social sharing buttons go a step further than counting the number of shares and likes to report how many of a shopper’s Facebook friends like the product. This can be difficult if a shopper isn’t logged into a social network. However, even if it’s not their personal friends, shoppers like to know what others think.
Groupon puts shoppers at ease by letting them know how many other shoppers have purchased a deal. It reduces hesitation by showing which items are popular.
On-site offers are a great way to increase overall site conversion, but references to those offers can sometimes be lost on the product page. Use badges or special offer text to remind customers of deals they may qualify for, such as site-wide free shipping or discounts on orders over a set threshold.
Yuppie Chef adds a badge to product pages to indicate if the product qualifies for free shipping. Shipping costs are one of the top reasons that shoppers don’t purchase, so making it very clear at this stage reduces abandonment later on and increases Add to Cart button clicks.
4. Clear Description & Specifications
One of the barriers shoppers have when buying online is not being able to try on a product, feel the quality and hold it in their hands. Product descriptions should be clear enough that shoppers have no question as to what they will receive.
Skinny Ties calls out specific product attributes, such as fabric, width and length, to make it very easy for shoppers to visualize the product alongside large photos.
5. Alternate Images & Videos
Along with clear descriptions that help shoppers visualize, multiple product images make it very easy for shoppers to see what they are ordering. Don’t make shoppers question what the product would look like from a different angle. Show the product in-use, from different angles or on a model to take the guesswork out of shopping.
When planting a garden, most people want to pick out their flowers in person. Home Depot has helped to eliminate this hurdle by providing images of the product up close as well as planted outside. They also provide a video of how the flowers are shipped so shoppers know what to expect.
6. Reward Points
Who wouldn’t want to be rewarded for shopping? Rewards programs that incentivize loyal shoppers are a great way to build relationships with customers and keep them coming back to the site to purchase. Letting shoppers know that they can receive points for shopping is one thing. Retailers that tie in their rewards program to show direct benefit on the product page can increase conversion.
All Modern offers a rewards program that is promoted on eligible product pages and ties in the direct benefit: get 3% back on this purchase. Once the product is added to cart, the mini cart summary displays the exact dollar amount that the shopper will earn. Seeing this dollar amount makes it easier for shoppers to justify following through with the purchase.
7. Stock Status & Delivery Estimates
Our society thrives on immediacy. When we want something, we want it now. There’s nothing worse than finding a great product to order, only to receive a backorder email… after placing the order. Set the correct expectations by displaying stock status and giving an estimated shipping time. This is important for gift giving items, especially during the holiday season.
Best Buy makes it very clear what shoppers can expect in terms of delivery. They provide an estimated time for fulfillment (time until product leaves warehouse) and specific delivery date estimates based on the various shipping options. For shoppers who need the product right away, Best Buy allows shoppers to search availability in nearby brick-and-mortar stores.
8. Return & Exchange Policies
Another hurdle to purchase is return shipping fees and strict exchange policies. Free return shipping takes the risk out of placing an order. If you can’t offer free returns, then be transparent about what your policy is, including the number of days they have to return.
Online Shoes makes it clear that shipping and returns are both free. Items can be returned at any time within a year of purchase. They take it one step further to also offer price guarantees.
9. Online Chat
If any part of your product page isn’t clear, take the question out of the mix. Online chat can be successful for many retail sites, especially when a product is complex and can be difficult to order. Make sure your online chat is visible on every product page. Consider a popup when shoppers sit on a page for long periods of time. Further increase conversion by allowing your customer service representatives to offer special discounts to shoppers who are on the fence.
Williams Sonoma includes their live chat icon at the top of every product page. For those shoppers who like to talk to a live person, but aren’t always willing to dial the number themselves, Williams Sonoma allows shoppers to leave a phone number and have a representative call them.
10. Mobile-Friendly Pages
Forget reaching on-the-go shoppers if your website isn’t mobile-friendly. Other than the importance of having a mobile-friendly site to be found organically (thanks to Google’s recent “Mobilegeddon” release), usability is extremely important for the ever-growing population of mobile shoppers. Having a website that uses responsive design isn’t enough. Just because your page elements adapt, stack and resize doesn’t automatically mean your site is optimized for mobile users.
DSW has implemented a mobile-specific (m.) site that only includes the most important elements at this screens size. Product images can be swiped, detail sections can expand and collapse as needed and all touch targets are big enough for even the largest of fingers.
Measure the Before and After
Now that you have some ideas of ways to clean up your product pages, make sure you measure the before and after. After all, not all of these practices will work for every ecommerce site.
Make sure to take a before and after snapshot of product pages:
- Bounce Rate
- Exit Rate
- Conversion (add to cart)
- Other engagement (add to wishlist, video views, time on page, etc.)
Unless you’re planning a complete overhaul, try testing each item on its own to have a true understanding of what is and isn’t working.
Time to get out your cleaning tools and get busy!
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