Having product pages that convert is super important if you want a successful online store. You're trying to sell something that a customer can't touch, feel, try on, get immediate feedback from a sales associate, see complimentary items they might like… all the experiences they would have if they were shopping in a brick-and-mortar store.
The only thing that customer has to help them make a buying decision is your website and more specifically, your product page. That eCommerce product page is your salesperson, and it has a lot of work to do.
But not all product pages are created equal. If you want to truly make an impact, you have to be intentional about the page you create so that it converts that website visitor into an actual paying customer.
What’s in a product page that actually converts? That’s what we’re diving into today with my guest, Reese Spykerman. eCommerce conversion expert and copywriter. She has spent more than 15 years working closely with entrepreneurs and brands on their online marketing, and she definitely has a way with words.
Not only does she share how to write product descriptions that inspire your customers to hit that add to cart button, we talk all things eCommerce product page optimization.
Prefer to listen to this episode? Click here
When it comes to optimizing our eCommerce product descriptions and our entire eCommerce product pages for that matter, you'll hear a lot of different advice, best practices, and the like. Truth be told, a lot of the decisions you make about your product page are going to depend on the product you sell and who you sell it to.
But even though there is likely to be a lot of variation among different eCommerce businesses and what makes a great product detail page, there are 5 must-have key elements to include if you want your page to convert.
1. A catchy and optimized product title
The formula that I teach people is a semi-unique name for your product, followed by SEO-related keywords. So the title is a combination of your branded name for it and real words that your customers use.
For example, a backpack for kids called The Flufferino, then after that, in the same product name, it says Pink Cordy Kids Backpack.
You don’t want to be so clever that no one understands what your product is for. And you want Google to understand it too.
Be clear over clever. If you have cute brands and names, awesome use them. But ultimately, use words that your customer is going to use to find the product they’re searching for.
2. Good quality product images
Make sure there are enough photos for your customer to make a buying decision. Include various images of your product showcasing multiple angles and close-ups.
The type of images you use are contextual, but say you’re selling jewelry, include images of the product on a human and a close-up so the customer can really understand the materials. Perhaps even include a short video showcasing how the piece sparkles in the light.
Things like this really help the customer immerse themselves in how your product will fit into their lives and they will be confident in their purchasing decision.
Optimize your product images
Make sure that your product page is loading fast. Shopify automatically does lazy loading, but there are some different things you can do to make sure that product images are not weighing your page down. This is especially important for people’s phones because they will not wait for them to load.
You can use a website like kraken.io or if you have a Mac, you can use ImageOptim to compress your images and upload them to your website or Shopify. You don’t need a 3000-pixel product image on your website.
3. A prominent “buy” button
Do not hide or bury that mofo it needs to be near the top of the page.
Dainty little elegant buy buttons get dwarfed by everything else on your page. Instead, your buy button needs to be the most dominant thing on the page.
Visually, the buy button shouldn’t take more than a split second for your customer to find. Don’t hide it way down below, keep it above the fold. This is a little easier on desktop but a little trickier on mobile, so make sure the customer does not scroll more than twice with their thumb before they see it.
Does the color of the buy button matter?
This really depends on your brand and the data you have.
My favorite hack is borrowing from Amazon. We know a ton of our buyers are buying from Amazon, and Amazon has trained them to see the yellow-orange-ish button as the buy button. In the Western world, a lot of people subconsciously associate buy or add to cart with that color. If you have a fairly neutral-looking website and you don’t have a very strong brand color already on your website, it’s not a bad color to start out with.
However, sometimes it doesn’t make sense to use that Amazon color if your brand colors are red, white and black, for example. The question is, where’s the line between branding and optimization?
Black buy buttons are usually a no and a lot of times I will advise people not to use red because in our minds we associate red with stop signs and stoplights.
There’s no hard and fast rule and at some point, you’re going to need to test these decisions.
4. The features and specs of your product
This section is very product-dependent. You might include the dimensions of the product, the available colors, whether it has a lifetime guarantee, the type of materials used, how it fits on one body type vs another, size charts, the ingredients, shipping, and returns, etc.
This is the brass tacks information that lets your customer know whether it’ll work in their life from a functional perspective.
5. Good product descriptions
Product descriptions are very challenging for people to wrap their heads around. You’re not only trying to weave in the facts, you’re also trying to tell a story while also making it Google/SEO friendly, which is a really tall order for a very small bit of copy.
Let me give you an example from the world of real estate and I’ll tie it back to eCommerce.
You could describe a house like this: “It’s got green paint, air conditioning, and wood floors.”
Or you could describe a house like this: “You’ll love this delightful three-story tutor with old-world charm and breathtaking views of Beaver Lake. This four bedroom, three bathroom home has a two-car garage, giving you 1800 square feet of spacious elegance, natural oak floors throughout, and a modern warm kitchen. Just imagine cuddling up to a cozy fireplace with a good book.”
The copy in your product description isn’t just the facts. Address both the analytical buyer and the emotional buyer. Relate it to your customers’ lives and help them imagine how their life will be different when they use that product.
Use customer language in your descriptions
The best way to do that is to collect a ton of words, sentences, feedback, and customer reviews related to your product and start piecing them together. Talk with your customers and read reviews, not only of your own products but competitors’ products. To avoid sounding like a robot, read it aloud and ask yourself, could I see myself saying this to a friend?
Competitor reviews are total gold. Especially the bad ones because it will tell you all the things people don’t like about those products. You can use this to set yourself apart from your competition.
You will not have all those reviews and feedback right away. It is a living, breathing thing that you are tweaking along the way and making updates as you learn more about your customer and what really resonates with them.
Talk about your customer’s problems with empathy
Should your copy agitate? Or, in 2021, with everything that the world has gone through, are we sick of hearing the negative and want to focus more on the positive? That depends.
There're ways to address your customer’s problems that aren’t fear-based. You can still talk about their problems without dragging them down. Instead, lead with what’s possible for that customer.
It’s all about the delivery. Are you making them feel bad about themselves? Or you highlighting a problem they’ve been having and offering a solution that might make them feel a little better?
You can’t avoid talking about your customers’ problems, but if you do it the right way, it can be an extraordinarily empathetic thing to do.
Just like your business, your website and product description are always evolving
You’re going to have to come out of the gate making some assumptions about your customers when you’re new to this gig.
You’ll be so surprised by what you will learn from people and you will evolve in line with the information you gather. You don’t have to be perfect at this, give it your best stab out of the gate, and then keep developing it.
Be light and gentle and curious about it all rather than rigid and feeling like you’ve got to get it perfect.
Shopify Online Store 2.0: How not to use the new features
The theme customizer in Shopify is going to have way more functionality and design freedom on the pages on your website.
But before you get too excited and change everything around on your product pages, think about the expectations people have about what product pages look like and how they are laid out. Frankly, there are themes and templates out there that don’t get the product page right.
The title, the price, the review stars, the description, the Add to Cart button—leave them where they’re at. Don’t rearrange them, it’s confusing. If you are feeling like you want to optimize the product pages, start experimenting with your copy, not the layout.
Key takeaway: something you should 100% implement in your business
Talk to your customers.
By ignoring this, you’re doing your business a disservice. Be really curious, ask questions, leave your biases and assumptions at the door as much as possible.
Talk with them about what’s going on in their lives? What made them seek your product? What was bugging them about other similar products? There’s a whole slew of questions you could ask, but the bottom line is you need to talk with them.
Check out Reese’s roadmap here