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How to optimise your product pages

If you’re seeing lots of customers exit your site from your product pages without making a purchase, it could be time to optimise them. 

The goal of product description page optimisation is to refine the journey to purchase and boost the rate of site visitors that convert into paying customers.   

In this article, leading international Shopify Plus agency Swanky explores 12 ways to optimise your ecommerce product pages in order to build customer confidence and boost your conversion rate. 

Identifying pain points on your product pages 

Whilst there are some agreed best practices for how to optimise a product page, every industry and audience is different. The first step to improving your ecommerce store is to familiarise yourself with the relevant data behind the scenes. You want to understand who your customers are, how they’re interacting with your store, and why

The key to optimising your conversion rate is to make it as easy as possible for your customers to pass from your product page to your checkout page. By tapping into your ecommerce data, you can start to identify pain points that may be causing customers to leave your site before making a purchase, offering opportunities for improvement.

Use your customer data to establish:

  • Who are your main customer segments, and how do they interact with your product pages?
  • What are your USPs over competitors, and therefore what should you be promoting on your product pages?
  • Why are customers leaving before making a purchase?

Whilst plenty can be learnt from your quantitative store data, it’s important to collect qualitative data too. Using exit intent surveys and questionnaires allows you to hear from your customers directly about what is stopping them from purchasing. 

By digging into the intent of your customers, you’ll get a picture of which information will resonate the most with them when it comes to designing your product pages.

Leveraging a DXI tool

A great way to keep a close eye on your customer on-site experience is to use a Digital Experience Intelligence (DXI) platform. DXI platforms allow you to monitor signs of frustration and flag any potential issues that may be causing customers to leave your site. 

You can use a DXI tool to:

  • review your purchase funnel, analyse any areas where customers are dropping off and test changes to this part of the funnel – to ultimately improve your conversion rate;
  • segment customers and compare how different segments travel through your purchase funnel; 
  • monitor frustration metrics such as rage clicks and error clicks, to spot where customer experience could be improved;
  • identify uncaught errors, where your site does not perform as expected, and quickly resolve bugs or design faults before they have a significant impact on your conversion rate; and
  • watch session replays to see what your customer is seeing, and visualise their actions prior to making a purchase or quitting the site.

What is your data telling you?

When it comes to ecommerce product description pages in particular, there are some common patterns that emerge. Swanky’s team tends to find that customers exiting on the product page are leaving for one of three reasons: 

  1. They are unsure the product is right for them.
  2. They want to compare or do more research against competitors.
  3. They are not convinced by the price.

With every store and audience segment being unique, the only way to be sure that changes to your online store will have a positive impact on your bottom line is to test each change and analyse the results before rolling it out permanently.

To get you started with some ideas on how to optimise a product page, here are 12 ideas you might want to test on your ecommerce store. 

12 ways to optimise your product pages 

In this section, we’ll group the optimisation ideas according to the three main customer doubts we mentioned above:

  1. Do I like the product?
  2. Do I want to buy from this brand?
  3. Do I want to spend that much?

There are actions you can take to help tackle each of these doubts and build your customers’ confidence in your product.

A. “Do I like the product?”

1. Provide detailed product information, without overwhelming customers

There’s a fine balance between providing enough detail to give your customers confidence in your product, whilst avoiding overloading them with too much information. 

Busy, cluttered product pages with large areas of text can be overwhelming and slow down the time to purchase. Reduce the cognitive load by displaying your product information clearly and logically, helping your customers make an informed decision quickly and easily.

When redesigning British mattress brand Naturalmat’s Shopify Plus store, Swanky reimagined the brand’s product pages to simplify the user journey whilst still supporting informed decision-making. In the six months following the launch of the new store, Naturalmat saw a 56.4% increase in revenue, alongside a 37.5% improvement in conversion rate.

To streamline the product pages, we reduced the full sentences used to describe USPs into a few keywords and linked each of them to a page with further information.

 

We then leveraged pop-outs and accordions throughout the product page to give customers access to additional product information wherever needed.

As you trim down your descriptions, be sure to retain keywords so that your page is optimised for search engines. For tips on how to optimise your product descriptions to increase search traffic, check out this article on SEO for product descriptions

2. Highlight your USPs

Find out what your customers are looking for in a product, and highlight these attributes on your product description page.

For extreme sports and expedition clothing brand Shackleton, Swanky identified through customer feedback that the number one factor for a user choosing to purchase a product from Shackleton was “warmth”. 

Previously, all reference to warmth, water resistance and windproof qualities was found low down on the page, below the fold. Our team moved this to the top of the page, and made it easier for a customer to compare products with a visual rating on each USP. 

 

When we tested this variation of the product page over three months, this change resulted in:

  • a 22% increase in add-to-cart rate;
  • a 20% reduction in bounce rate; and
  • a 26% increase in conversion rate.

3. Upgrade your product photography

With so many brands using the same stock photography across their online store, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. Showcasing high-quality branded photography throughout your ecommerce store is a sure way to capture your customer’s attention and increase product sales. And nowhere is this more pertinent than on your product description pages. 

Without being able to physically touch and interact with your products as they would in-store, customers can be hesitant to commit to a purchase online. Your product pages should offer a range of product imagery, including:

  • clean studio shots to present the product in an unbiased light;
  • lifestyle imagery that allows the customer to visualise the product in context; and
  • close-up images which highlight specific features, as well as the materials and finishing touches. 

Here’s a snapshot of 10 ways to improve your use of photography throughout your ecommerce store

In addition to product photos, videography is an excellent medium for helping build customer confidence in the product. A video offers not only a multi-angle view, but also allows the user to see it in action: how it moves and how they might interact with it.  

4. Add FAQs to answer any customer concerns

Another way to increase your customers’ confidence in the product is to address their questions head on with an FAQ section. If customers are unsure about certain elements of your product, particularly for highly technical items, it can be useful to provide direct answers within your product description page. 

Swanky tested this method with storage solution brand G-Rack. When we surveyed customers leaving the online store, we uncovered that many left due to having unanswered questions about the product. We also noticed that many customer questions were being left unanswered on the brand’s Amazon page. After we added an FAQ section to the product pages, 7.2% of all users who landed on a product page engaged with the new FAQ section. For those who interacted with this new block, conversion rate increased by 63.6%.

Whether they clarify shipping terms, the materials used in the product or a specific use for the product, FAQs can go a long way to reassuring customers before making a purchase.

B. Do I want to buy from this brand?

5. Leverage social proof to build trust

Displaying social proof on your product pages is an important way to build confidence in your products. 

Visual user generated content (UGC) can be particularly powerful on your product pages. Seeing the product being used in context, by people that look like them, goes a long way to reassuring the customer that your product will hold up to its product description in the real world.

Haircare brand Bouclème uses an innovative way to encourage users to leave UGC on its ecommerce store. The brand’s “30 Day Challenge” offers customers the chance to try the products and witness the results for themselves. The campaign lends itself perfectly to before and after shots, creating appealing visual UGC that builds a sense of FOMO, as new customers see what is happening within the community. 

As well as written reviews, Bouclème’s product pages showcase images from social media, both encouraging customers to join the community, and reassuring them that the products are used and appreciated by real people, like themselves. 

6. Personalise the product page experience

Presenting every customer with the same experience on your product pages may have varied success. The ideal approach is to segment your customers to provide a more personalised view of the product page, prioritising key information that is likely to impact their purchase decision at a specific stage of the funnel.

Consider the experience of a returning customer with high intent, compared to a first time visitor to your store. For customers with high intent to purchase, you’ll want to prioritise delivery and returns information, since these may be the final questions they are considering before making their purchase decision. 

On the other hand, first time visitors may still be comparing options and looking for more information about your product and brand. In this instance, product information and visual content are key to winning the customer’s trust.

Look at the customer journey through your site to understand what pages and information the customer will have viewed already before landing on a product page. If they have landed directly on a product page, they may require more information about your brand than a customer who has already been browsing your site. 

C. Do I want to spend that much?

7. Apply urgency to encourage a purchase

Adding a sense of urgency to a purchase can be a good way to close the deal for an indecisive customer. With so many other possibilities at their fingertips, it’s easy for customers to forget about their purchase if they don’t make it there and then.

You can also use social proof to add a subtle sense of urgency, such as displaying the number of people who have bought that product in the last 24 hours. This is particularly effective when coupled with social proof from a customers’ real-world community, where they are most influenced. Swanky tested this for pet supplements brand YuMOVE and saw an uplift in conversion rate.

Alternatively, time-limited promotions can help to sway indecisive customers. This might mean offering free shipping for a limited time only, or including a countdown timer during a holiday discount.

8. Optimise your product page CTAs

Be sure to make your product page call to action (CTA) easily accessible for your customers. The CTA is the final push into encouraging your customer to make a purchase, and so it’s important to make this step as simple as possible. 

In particular, sticky CTAs are a great way to keep the “add to basket” button top of mind for the user, even as they scroll down your product page for further information. When Swanky tested a sticky CTA for YuMOVE, we saw a 15% increase in users clicking the “add to basket” button from the product description page. 

For other tips on how to create a strong CTA, check out this article on effective calls to action

9. Retarget customers who exit the page

Of course, it could be that shoppers are just not ready yet to make the final decision. 

Setting up an email automation to retarget customers who have quit a particular product page can be a great way to ensure they don’t forget about your product. You can personalise the email with the product they were viewing, and use it to draw them back to your site at a later date.

The more you understand about your customer intent, the better placed you are to address their concerns and encourage them to complete the sale, as well as improving customer experience for shoppers in general. 

Including an exit intent pop-up on your product page, to appear when you see a user about to exit the site, allows you to capture this information, as well as possibly capturing an email address. You can ask your users to answer a simple question, or select options from a list, to indicate why they haven’t bought the product. You might even choose to offer them a promotional code, to encourage them to stay on the page and complete their purchase.

Optimising your product page to boost AOV and CLV

Aside from optimising for conversion, you can also optimise your product pages for increased average order value (AOV). A higher AOV will improve the return on investment of your customer acquisition, which can be very high, especially for new customers. 

In addition, you could focus on improving customer lifetime value (CLV), by turning single purchase customers into returning customers.

Here are a few ideas to achieve these aims. 

10. Product bundling

Product bundling is a popular and effective strategy used to increase AOV. It encourages customers to add additional products to their basket, by promoting the purchase of multiple products together, typically at a discount.

When looking to bundle your products, aim to keep the offering simple to avoid confusing your customers. Select complementary products, combining high-value and low-value to maximise the appeal of your bundles. You can use your sales data to analyse which products are already being bought together frequently. 

For baby brand Dockatot, Swanky created a “Bundle Builder”, which guided users through a streamlined multi-step process to select a dock, spare cover and accessories. This approach generated a 55% increase in AOV compared to when customers weren’t offered a bundle builder. 

For brands with a high number of SKUs, a dynamic bundling solution such as Limespot could be a good solution. 

You can find more tips on product bundling here.

If your product is something a customer can purchase in bulk, you could use discounting to encourage larger order volumes of your products. This is a very simple way to increase AOV on fast moving consumer goods.

11. Cross-sell with targeted product recommendations

In addition to upselling product bundles, don’t miss the chance to cross-sell on your product pages. Cross-selling allows customers to discover other curated products from your catalogue, streamlining the product discovery process.

Product recommendations are based on algorithms that suggest relevant related products, according to the product the customer is viewing. They can offer a more personalised customer experience, helping customers feel understood by your brand. In particular, product recommendations can come in handy in “out of stock” situations, as it allows you to direct customers towards a relevant alternative, avoiding customer disappointment or frustration.

There are various ways to present product recommendations, from very generic to very personalised:

  1. Generic: The most generic recommendations consist of suggesting “popular products”, and displaying your most in-demand products.
  2. Product specific: More specific recommendations are based on product sales data and use algorithms to select other products with similar aspects. These could be in the form of “other similar products”, “people who bought this also bought”, or “commonly bought together”.
  3. Personalised: If you have a good personalisation tool, you can tailor your recommended products not only to the product, but also to your customer data. You can offer suggestions based on their previous browse and purchase history, adopting a “You may also like” approach.

12. Add a subscription option

If your products lend themselves to regular, repeat purchasing, you’d be missing a valuable opportunity if you don’t offer customers the option of purchasing via subscription. 

Subscription models work especially well for sectors such as food and beverage, petcare or health and beauty, where customers may have a need to replenish their supply of coffee, pet food or health supplements on a regular basis. 

Rather than needing to return to your store – or another – each time they want to repurchase, a subscription model allows your customers to continue receiving your products on a regular basis, as long as they wish to continue. Not only is this proven to increase customer lifetime value, it also allows you to forecast future sales more easily, and collect valuable data on customer behaviour.

Community behaviour is also extremely powerful here, as recommendations and word-of-mouth provide a reinforcing cycle that sparks conversation and reminds customers of the value of the product. Herdify saw great success when working with Abel & Cole to leverage this community advocacy.  

When contact lens brand daysoftⓇ introduced subscriptions on their new website, they gained 200 subscribers in just 24 hours. Their product pages all give customers the option of toggling subscription on and off, and highlight the benefits of subscriptions in the add to basket pop-out.

Optimise your product pages on Shopify

There are plenty of ways to optimise your product pages to boost conversions. Swanky’s Growth Accelerator team helps Shopify retailers to continually improve their ecommerce stores through data analysis and experimentation. Even a small improvement in your conversion rate could result in a significant increase in revenue, resulting in a worthwhile investment. 

If you’d like further guidance on how to optimise your Shopify Plus store, get in touch with Swanky’s team.

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