What Does A Great Product Page Need To Thrive In 2020?

The process of luring an online shopper to convert can be long and arduous. You first need to get their attention somehow, either through proactive marketing or through strong SEO work allowing your store to appear prominently in their search results. You then need to meet or exceed their expectations with your site in general, leading them to view your store positively.

Then comes the critical juncture. When they find and click on the product listing that interests them, the resulting experience will determine whether they stick around to place an order or leave the website and never return.

That’s the power of the product page. It’s your main pitch: your chance to showcase the product in the best possible light, highlighting all its greatest strengths and minimizing the significance of its relative shortcomings.

Image credit: Marco Verch

Get it right and you’ll be in a great position: you can achieve an excellent conversion rate and lean on the product page as a direct destination for your marketing if you see fit. Get it wrong, though, and you’ll end up wasting all the promotional effort preceding it in the sales funnel.

So how do you get it right? Well, that’s what we’re going to explain here. In this post, we’re going to set out the biggest things that a product page needs to be highly effective in 2020.

Unique and high-quality imagery

Product imagery is a major concern in modern ecommerce, all because of the ubiquity of most items. While there are plenty of stores that sell their own products, most merchants use generic stock: either buying it and selling it on or simply serving as intermediaries through dropshipping. This can work fine, but it encounters the problem of offering the same item as everyone else.

Imagine being a shopper trying to decide which seller to buy from: you open up several tabs of pages for the same product, and they look very similar with the same images. This is particularly a problem for dropshippers: they can generally rely on getting accurate photos (if they’re using reliable services like AliExpress, at least), but supplier shots aren’t often good, let alone unique.

Credit AliExpress

So what’s the answer? Well, it’s simple enough: take your own photos. If you maintain your own inventory, set up a beige backdrop in a place with good lighting and snap some shots (even a smartphone camera will probably be good enough). If you dropship, then buy one of each product so you can take some photos: the investment will be worth it (and you should be sampling products before selling them anyway). The more your images stand out, the better.

Clear copy that outlines the benefits

If you know anything at all about marketing, you’ve surely heard the following words on many occasions: features, not benefits. It’s tried and tested, and it’s just as applicable today as it’s ever been. Aside from a few exceptions (e.g. niche enthusiasts such as tech hobbyists), people don’t really care about features. They just want to know how something will help them.

Firebox nails the benefit-centric copy.

Despite this, plenty of online sellers fall into the trap of sticking to features: not because they think it’s better to write about them, but because they want to write as little as possible and simply adapting manufacturer product specifications is the fastest way to fill out a page. This is a bad idea, obviously. You should include the specs somewhere on the page, but don’t focus on them. Instead, focus on what those specs mean for the prospective buyer.

Prominent (and legitimate) social proof

We’re not all that great at making tricky decisions by ourselves. We’re tribal creatures by nature, after all. We want to know what other people think before we choose: sure, the product looks good to you, but what if everyone else hates it? Maybe it’s actually terrible and you’re about to make a huge mistake. That’s where you need social proof.

Social proof tells you what the people who’ve purchased that product before think of it. Not only does it show that plenty of others were convinced to buy it, but — assuming the feedback is broadly positive — it also shows that they were ultimately happy to have bought it. Think about the great significance of Amazon’s review system. A five-star rating can make all the difference.

Credit Amazon

As a seller, then, you need to ensure that you’re encouraging feedback whenever possible (through post-purchase surveys, for instance), displaying it prominently (the average rating should be one of the first things the page visitor sees), and ensuring that it’s representative and believable. That means no review curation, removing anything that isn’t glowingly positive: you need some negative (or middling) reviews there to show that the positive ones are real. 

Strong reasons for urgent action

Lastly, if you want your product page to be really effective, you need to offer some strong reasons for urgent action. Why should the visitor order now? Why not think it through some more and wait until later? Typical examples of urgency measures are notifications of limited stock (“Order quickly, only 10 left in stock”) or timed benefits (“Order before 4pm to get it tomorrow” or “Order before Friday to get a free gift in the box”).

Credit AB Tasty

If you get someone to your product page only to let them slip away, they might never return. You have to pull out all the stops to make that first sale, then do everything you can to turn that buyer into a loyal customer by providing an exceptional buying experience.

Having great product pages is absolutely vital, because a weak product page will waste most of the effort going into your marketing funnel. Nail the imagery, copy, social proof, and urgency, and you’ll see significantly-improved results.

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