The Secret to More Online Sales? A Persuasive Product Page

What’s the most important part of your e-commerce site? Is it that eye-catching landing page that keeps customers browsing? Or is it the checkout page, which you’ve tweaked to provide the smoothest purchasing experience possible? Yeah, both of those are important, but if you’re focusing mostly on those two things, you’re missing out on a crucial component of the conversion process: your product pages. Your product page is the place where the majority of your customers make the decision to buy (or not!), and customers won’t even get as far as your checkout page if you don’t have a persuasive product page that’s optimized to convert. 

In fact, consider this: the average product page conversion rate is a mere 7.91%. So if you want to get a leg up on the competition – and generate more sales and revenue – you might just need to do an overhaul of your product pages. So what should you be focusing on?

What’s the Big Deal About Product Pages?

First of all, why exactly is a product page so important? Well, we’re talking about ecommerce here, so your customers can’t physically hold or see your product, meaning the product page and all its components are all they have to go on. That means you might have the better product, but if another company has the better product page, you’re going to lose the sale.the importance of product pages infographic

Don’t just take our word for it: according to Salsify’s 2017 “Cracking the Consumer Code” report, 87% of shoppers say content on product pages is extremely or very important when making the decision to buy, and 98% of consumers say they decided not to purchase something because the product page seemed incomplete or incorrect. That should make you sit up, and rethink your product pages!

The Essential Components of a Product Page

If you’re worried that your product pages aren’t all they should be, you’re not alone – but you can turn it to your advantage. Baymard researchers found that, out of 60 top grossing ecommerce companies, only 18% had product detail pages that were deemed “good” or “acceptable” when they graded them for usability according to 95 different benchmarks. That means you can jump in and grab sales from your competitors if you really work on optimizing your product pages. So what makes a high-converting product page? 

A good product page tells customers why your product is valuable, explains which needs it fulfills or problem it solves, and lists all the information a customer needs to make a buying decision. To do this, start by breaking down all the elements that you’ll need to include to make your product pages successful, including:

  • Product details that don’t simply describe the product, but give benefits and why customers should buy the product
  • Parts of the page that will urge customers to buy now, instead of shopping around
  • Components that will help customers choose exactly which product to buy and to overcome hesitancy
  • Elements that help customers understand how you will fix any problems that could come up post-purchase

So now let’s get more specific, and break down how you can include all of the above components to create some seriously converting product pages.

How to Craft the Perfect Product Page

Cramming in all of the above elements can seem impossible, especially since you don’t want cluttered product pages – but, trust us, it’s all about quality and not quantity, and there are ways to do all of the above that aren’t simply spelling it out in words. Try the following ways to improve your product pages:

black exclamation point in an orange circle
Get straight to the point about your products with a brief paragraph, explaining their benefits.

Get to the Point!

Before you can think about anything else, you need to craft the perfect product descriptions, and that means never burying the lead – or forcing your customers to dig around to find essential information. Use a descriptive title that includes keywords, and include a brief paragraph (1-4 sentences) explaining the benefits of your product, also including keywords, as well as an easily scannable bulleted list. According to Nielsen Norman Group, scannable and concise content has been shown to improve usability by 124%. You can certainly add some more rich detail further down the page, but the most important thing is to have “at a glance” information that doesn’t make customers wait to be intrigued.

Understand the Need for Speed

Speaking of not making customers wait, it’s incredibly important that you pay attention to the speed of your product pages – after all, why do customers shop online? Convenience and time saving, right? So that all goes out the window if your customers encounter sluggish product pages; in fact, you can lose 40% of shoppers if your product pages don’t load within 4 seconds. 

To combat this, make sure you’re regularly testing your page speed, optimizing your content and images so they load fast, and clearing your cache regularly. Consider also using a tool like Google’s PageSpeeds Insights to help you analyze your product page load time. 

Be a Product Picture Pro

illustration of a woman squatting down taking a picture with a camera
Take compelling, high-quality, high-resolution picture to look more professional and get more traction on your site.

It goes without saying that you need to include images of your product on your product page, but they’ve got to be the right images. For example, your feature image should ideally be an eye-level, mid to long shot, crisp, and clear image. Compelling, high-quality, high-resolution images will get you, on average, 94% more views than pages with dull, poor quality images. But you shouldn’t stop with just a pretty picture; go above and beyond by adding things like a zoom function and multiple product pictures at different angles to give a fuller visual breakdown of your product. 

You should also add video to your product pages, if at all possible. According to Kissmetrics, site visitors are 64-85% more likely to buy your product after watching a video on your website. One real-world example: Stacks and Stacks found that shoppers who saw videos on its product pages were 144% more likely to add a product to their cart.

Create a Sense of Urgency

Sometimes you’ve just got to throw a little psychology at your customers, and create a sense of urgency to close the sale. For example, you can use a countdown timer for sale prices or free shipping offers, or indicate with your language that quantities of your item are limited. Does this strategy work? According to Conversion XL, you can increase sales by as much as 332% by creating scarcity and a sense of urgency. Not bad.

On a related note, you can also add an intent-based, or exit-intent, pop-up to offer a last-minute discount (especially if it includes an email list sign-up push) to reduce cart abandonment.

Win Their Trust

If you’re trying to increase your conversion rate, you’ve got to help your customers make the decision to buy. Creating a sense of urgency is definitely one way to do this, but building trust is another very important one: if your customers have any doubts about your product or company, you can kiss that conversion goodbye. So what are some ways to build trust and convince your customers to click that “buy” button?

  • Include customer reviews Products with customer reviews have a 10% higher conversion rate than those without, and studies show that 91% of 18 to 34-year-old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Bonus: you can also use customer reviews as testimonials on your social media pages.
  • illustration of a website with a shield and checkmark on a cellphone

    Add trust badges and SSL certificates – A recent survey showed that 61% of respondents had cancelled a purchase because trust badges were absent from the site. Customers seem to approve most of Norton, McAfee, and TRUSTe. 

  • Have a clear return policy – A survey conducted by UPS in 2019 found that 73% of buyers become repeat buyers because of their experience with returns. Hassle-free returns and refunds increase the chances of customers returning to buy.

Answer Their Questions

Don’t ever leave your customers hanging! Always make sure you proactively answer their questions, so they’re less likely to hesitate and more likely to make the decision to buy. There are multiple ways to make sure you’re doing this:

  • Include FAQs right on your product page – Answering questions upfront in a visually pleasing, orderly way will ensure visitors don’t abandon the page simply due to confusion.
  • Use your images to give info – Include size charts or dimensions right in your product images so customers don’t have to navigate away from the page to find that info.
  • Have a live chat feature – In a survey conducted by Forrester, 44% of respondents said that having a live person answer their questions while they were in the middle of an online purchase was one of the most important features a website could offer. Not only that, but 51% of customers are more likely to purchase after using a live chat – and 29% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase with the option of live chat, even if they don’t use it.

Have a Clear Call-to-Action

 Make sure your product page has a clear call-to-action (CTA) – in this case, a simple, sleek “add to cart,”  “buy now,” “add to basket,” etc button. Whatever wording you choose, make sure the button stands out from the rest of your content, provides a simple instruction to your customer, and has a well thought out design that includes attention to basic color theory. green button with "add to cart" written next to a green cart

Does the design of your CTA really make a difference? Well, to give you a real-world example, when RIPT Apparel changed the color of its “add to cart” CTA and added a countdown timer next to the product, they saw 6.3% more conversions.

Stepping into the world of ecommerce means a lot of work crafting the perfect website, and you need to make sure you’re paying attention to all parts of your site, not just the landing page and checkout process. Remember that your product pages are vital to your business, and, while an unstructured or poorly presented page can break you, a well designed and well thought out one can give you a leg up on your competition and really make you! It’s a lot to think about, we know, but if you follow the above tips, start making even small, simple changes, and utilize A/B testing on your product pages, you’ll be watching your conversion rates rise in no time!

What Drives Consumer Behavior?

If you stop and think about it, we all make dozens – maybe hundreds – of decisions each day, right? Little things like what TV show to watch in the evening or which cereal to eat in the morning, big ones like whether we should refinance our mortgage or buy a new car. Whatever they are, they’re constantly playing on our minds and, while some decisions we make might seem random, our choices don’t ultimately come out of nowhere. When it comes to making a decision to buy a certain product, or use a certain business’ services, we are all influenced by multiple factors; having a basic knowledge of these factors, as well as an idea of how marketers decode what’s known as “consumer behavior” can help you better understand why customers will choose you over your competitor – and help you to boost your revenue and grow your business!

What Is Consumer Behavior? 

hand with a credit card with a laptop screen open with products on the screen
Consumer behavior is understanding how and why customers choose products.

So what do we mean when we talk about “consumer behavior?” Basically, if you’re looking at consumer behavior, you’re studying consumers themselves, and how they choose the products and services that they buy, use, and even get rid of. It’s actually a fairly scientific subject, drawing on psychology, biology, and economics to examine customers’ emotional, mental, and behavioral responses; but don’t worry, you don’t have to have a degree in all of those subjects to get something out of looking at your customers’ motivations! This field of study boils down to things you’ve probably already thought about as a small business owner:

  • How consumers think and feel about different choices available to them, like brands, products, services, and retailers
  • What processes consumers use to choose between these different alternatives
  • The behavior of consumers while they research and shop for products or services
  • How consumers’ behavior is influenced by outside forces, like their peers or the media
  • How marketing campaigns can be improved to better influence consumers

Looking at all of these things can help you better understand how customers make their choices, where there are gaps in the market (or when something is obsolete), as well as decide how to best present your product or service to potential customers, so they’ll be more likely to choose your business. 

What Influences Consumer Behavior?

So let’s take a closer look at what turns a potential customer into a paying customer – or what makes them say “yes” to your product or service over their other alternatives. Experts who study consumer behavior have broken it down into three factors:

  • Personal factors – Everyone comes to their decision making with their own very personal set of interests and opinions, which are often influenced by their demographics (age, gender, profession, culture, background, etc).
  • Psychological factors – Separate from their interests and opinions, there are psychological factors, or perceptions and attitudes, that will influence a customer’s response to a particular marketing campaign. Their comprehension skills, how they perceive their own needs, and their attitude towards the type of product or service will all play a part here. person looking at cellphone with coats and ratings on each
  • Social factors – Outside forces will also have a big say in how people make choices and respond to marketing campaigns; this can include friends, family, and social media, as well as your potential customers’ income and education level. 

The Main Types of Consumer Behavior

Considering the three factors above can help you to really hone in on who your product or service should be marketed towards, and should get you thinking about what they’re looking for personally, psychologically, and socially. You can further break down your customer base – and figure out how to market to them – by checking out what experts say are the four main types of consumer behavior:

  • Complex buying behavior – If your business is offering big ticket items that are infrequently purchased or higher-priced, one-off type services, then your customers are engaging in complex buying behavior. This means that they’re going to be really involved in the purchasing process and do a lot of research before they commit, which will influence their beliefs and attitudes about the product or service. You need to be ready with all the necessary, comforting information on your product or service, as well as be able to shape their attitudes and beliefs about it, if you want to beat out your competition.
  • Dissonance-reducing buying behavior – In this type of buying behavior, customer involvement is also very high, because, again, they might be looking for something that they don’t often buy; but, in this case, the consumer doesn’t have that many options to choose from, and might have trouble distinguishing between the brands or services on offer. They’ll end up settling on one because of price and/or convenience, but they might have some regrets afterwards because they aren’t convinced they had all the information or that the best option was on the table. 

If this is the type of buyer you’re encountering, your best bet is to engage in some after-sales campaigns that will convince your customers to stick with you, and hopefully refer you to their friends.illustration of a woman looking at a computer screen with a shopping cart and money between her and the screen.

  • Habitual buying behavior – When it comes to this type of buying behavior, most consumers have low involvement in the purchasing process, because they’re buying things they use for their daily routine, and that they don’t put a whole lot of thought into. They’re buying out of habit, and they might reach for a familiar brand, whatever’s available in the store at the time, or the lowest-priced option; there’s no research necessary, and often not a whole lot of brand loyalty involved. A great example of this is grocery store shopping: you might have a particular type of bread you usually buy, but that’s because you’re familiar with it and the price is acceptable to you, not because you’ve done extensive research on it or even thought too much about it at all. 

If you’ve got a product or service that your customers buy or use frequently, or out of habit, you should make sure to use a more repetitive style of advertising so you can stick in consumers’ minds, as well as try to attract their attention with lots of visual imagery that they can begin to associate with your brand. 

  • Variety seeking buying behavior – Doesn’t it seem like every time you go to the drug store, there’s a new scent of body wash or lotion or other new personal product? Well, that’s because products like that – which are low involvement but offer tons of different options – often appeal to those engaging in variety seeking buying behavior. This means that they switch from brand to brand, company to company – not because they’re dissatisfied, but simply out of a desire for something different. So when companies offer lots of options, they are either trying to build brand loyalty by keeping customers from getting bored with their products, or are trying to lure bored customers away from their habitual purchases. 

If you’re in a crowded marketplace, you might want to appeal to customers who want to try something new: offer discounts, coupons, lower prices, free samples – anything that will get you noticed and get people to try you out!

Collecting Information

So now that you’ve got some insight into the field of consumer behavior, you might be wondering how you can gather information to get a better idea of your customers’ motivations. Well, there are lots of ways to connect with them! Try:

  • Customer reviewsReading customer reviews is always a great way to gain insight into the common concerns or wishes that your customers have. Don’t forget to check out reviews on your competitors’ sites, as well!
  • Q&A sites – These websites can give you a feel for what common problems and interests are trending, as well as what questions a lot of people have about your industry.
  • Surveys – There are websites out there that allow you to quickly create your own surveys, so you can directly ask your customers what they need and want. 
  • Focus groupsYou can also ask them the old-fashioned way: in person!
  • Keyword research – This is a big part of SEO, and is a great way to find out what customers are interested in, how interested they are, and what language they’re using to talk about products and services. computer screen with analytics on it
  • Google Analytics – Using this can help you figure out where your traffic is coming from, so you know a little more about the demographics of your potential customers. 
  • Blog comments – If you’re producing content to get your business noticed, great! Make sure you’re encouraging comments on your blog to help you further determine what questions your base might have. 
  • Social mediaMillions of people are out there on social media, reflecting on their lives and what they want and need, so it’s a goldmine when it comes to collecting consumer insights! 

How customers find you and choose your product or service can sometimes feel frustratingly random, but maybe it isn’t as random as it seems. Studying consumer behavior shows us that people buy based on certain variables that might be unique to them in some ways, but are also universal in other ways, so influencing potential customers just requires a little understanding of how they tick. Taking some time to think about why people make the choices they do could end up being the way to get a leg up on your competition, and keep your business growing!