5 Ways to Improve Your eCommerce Site’s Product Detail Pages

Your product detail pages (PDPs) are arguably the linchpin of your eCommerce site. Think about everything they do:

  • They’re tasked with displaying a ton of product information to help your shoppers make informed decisions
  • They’re expected to reflect your site’s inventory in real time
  • They serve as the destination for traffic coming from paid and organic search, as well as social media.

And that’s just for starters.

“[A product detail page] is not only an awareness driver and a consideration driver, but also a conversion driver. Once a consumer determines that your page is a relevant result, they’re going to click through, look at your page, and determine whether to purchase your product” said Megan Harbold, vice president of The Mars Agency in a recent interview with eMarketer.1

Are your product detail pages optimized to take advantage of buyer intent and lead your shoppers to a conversion? Here are 5 recommendations to help you get there:

1. Optimize for Mobile

Suffice it to say that if your product detail page (and by extension, your website) is not easy to use and read on mobile, you’re in trouble. The internet has shifted the customer’s path-to-purchase from something that was once largely linear to a much more labyrinthine process. And mobile plays a key role.

A recent report from Episerver found that 50% of visits to retail sites were made on smartphones, with 41% coming from shoppers on desktops.2

However, people are buying more items on desktops than on their smartphones—average units per order are actually 24% higher on desktops than on mobile phones, according to Episerver. Taken together, the two data points suggest that shoppers are often browsing and researching their purchases on mobile devices, but then using a desktop to complete their purchase.

Episerver suggested that pattern of behavior results from desktops offering a better user experience than smartphones with smaller screens. They even concluded that it was “critical for retailers and brands to re-evaluate and optimize mobile experiences including addressing site speed, content priority, and user experience.”

2. The More Photos The Better

There are reams of data regarding how important product photos are to the online shopping experience. It makes perfect sense. Customers can’t see an item in person or hold it in their hands. Photos are the next best thing to that sort of tactile experience, so eCommerce sites need to get their visuals right.

A survey of smartphone users from Field Agent revealed that 83% said that product images and photos influenced their digital purchase. Visual content held sway over consumers more than any other product detail feature, including product descriptions and specifications.3

Research also shows that, when it comes to photos, volume matters. A study commissioned by Salsify found that online shoppers across all verticals wanted a baseline of six images for each product. But their analysis found that even top-selling items fell below that count, averaging less than four images.4

But eCommerce businesses should be thinking beyond just carefully stylized and curated catalog photos. Shoppers who have already made a purchase can augment catalog photos with Customer-Generated Content, displayed right alongside it.

Customer-submitted visual content can also give shoppers a wealth of information about products that might not be readily apparent from a catalog photo. For example, user-generated photos can give shoppers a better sense of how product characteristics such as size and color might look out in the real world. In some cases, such as with apparel, shopper photos can even help other customers get an idea of how to style an item.

TurnTo’s Visual Reviews product was designed to make it easy to collect photos and videos from your shoppers by using a visual-first collection flow for smartphone users, with an easy submission process for mobile shoppers.

3. Provide Social Proof

Social proof does wonders for eCommerce conversion rates. Humans have a basic psychological need for assurance that they’re making the right decision. Social proof provides that assurance from a source that’s highly trusted by your customers—other shoppers.

On a product detail page, social proof can be provided in a few ways. One of the most common is an average star rating that’s paired with a review count. This approach gives shoppers a lot of information that can be digested with just a glance.

Written reviews are another great way to feature social proof on your product detail page. These types of customer testimonials can help assuage doubts or concerns that your shoppers might have and guide them to a purchase.

The more reviews, the happier your customers will be. In TurnTo’s research report, 2019 State of Customer-Generated Content, we found that 76% of shoppers were less likely to make a purchase from a site when it lacked content like Ratings & Reviews.

Collecting a higher volume of reviews can result from getting some basics right, like optimizing the timing of your review solicitation emails, asking reviewers to submit additional reviews when they’re in the best mindset to do so, and making review submissions painless for smartphone users.

Another key way eCommerce sites can boost their Ratings & Reviews count is through product review syndication. With syndication, reviews collected by brand eCommerce sites can be shared with retailer sites. That gives the products featured on retailer sites a higher review count and gives brands greater exposure on retailer sites. It’s a win-win.

4. Feature a Clear Call to Action

It should go without saying, but your product detail page’s call to action (CTA) should be clear, simple and easy for shoppers to complete. The less complicated it is for a shopper to find and click, the better.

In the example below, beauty brand Tarte Cosmetics has boiled the product detail page down to the most salient information, avoiding design clutter and letting the browser’s eye drift naturally to the ‘’add to bag” button.

Still, the page manages to include compelling visuals of the product, an average star rating, a review count, a CTA, and details about the product, and fit it all at the top of the page in a clean, efficient fashion. The CTA is short and to the point, and differentiated from the rest of the page with a colored button.

5. Answer Frequently Asked Questions

Your product detail page can’t always give shoppers all the information they’re looking for. That’s where a frequently asked question feature that’s unique to a specific product can come into play, providing an elegant solution to the problem while keeping your shoppers onsite.

Here’s a great example: watch-seller Nixon lets shoppers ask customers who’ve already made a purchase through a Community Q&A feature on its product detail pages. Shoppers who’ve already bought the item receive the question via email.

And while you might assume customers receiving these emails would be unlikely to respond, that’s just not the case with TurnTo’s optimized Q&A email. TurnTo is able to identify customers that are most likely to respond to these questions. As a result, more than 90% of questions sent to customers through TurnTo’s Q&A received an answer. It turns out that people seem to like helping out other people!

Nixon also allows its in-house customer service team to answer questions. In the example above, a staff member identified by a badge provided the answer to a question posed by a shopper. This approach can be useful when the question asked is highly technical, or is something that the average shopper won’t know the answer to.

Optimize Your PDPs!

To recap, here’s a rundown of some solid strategies to improve your product detail pages:

  1. Make sure your page is optimized for mobile devices. This move will yield benefits for your eCommerce site far beyond just your product detail page.
  2. The more photos you have, the better. TurnTo’s Visual Reviews product is designed with a visual-first collection flow and makes it simple for shoppers on smartphones to submit visual content.
  3. Give your shoppers social proof in the form of Ratings & Reviews.
  4. Make sure your call to action—effectively your buy button—is simple and clear.
  5. Draw on previous customers and customer service to answer shopper questions by using a feature like Community Q&A.

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Sources:

1 Why Product Detail Pages Matter; eMarketer, October 2018.

2 The 2018-2019 B2C Dot-Com Report; Episerver

3 The Digital Shopper: Insights Into Today’s Most ‘Connected’ Shoppers; Field Agent, April 2018

4 5 New Rules To Tackle Shoppers’ Rising Expectations on Your Brands; Salsify, March 2019

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