Part 5: Product
How to Craft Product Pages that Make Visitors Demand Your Products
What we do has to make commercial sense, but it’s never the starting point. We start with the product and the user experience.Steve Jobs
Apple spent over $100 billion on research and development across 5 years since 2023. That is some expense on innovation. CEO Tim Cook invests in how the product is sold because he knows the value of experience. Every square foot of an Apple store is designed to make you spend.
A high-converting product page that you can spend millions on driving paid traffic to, doesn’t begin with a good landing page design. The process of conversion optimization for a product page begins at the ideation stage of product development. You don’t need to be innovating with millions to craft new technology—you need to excel at giving to people what they want.
In the chapter you’ll learn how to craft a hot product. From that foundation, you learn the ways to optimise a product page for profit. Every pixel of your product pages should aim to influence people to buy. A high-converting product page has an anatomy that can be dissected then analysed so you can replicate the experience it gives to visitors.
Develop and Sell More of Your Own Products
There’s a limit on how big a store can grow based on the needs it fulfils. Discover the intentions of visitors that you are not serving, fill the gap, then your conversion rate will increase.
You can begin by surveying visitors on your website by asking, “What did you come to do on our website?” In a sheet, determine if you fulfil the intention. If you don’t, add another column with ideas of how you could satisfy the need. Prioritise the intentions by calculating the percentage of visitors and how much revenue you could generate from each activity. You will boost the profit per visitor to the website.
A likely solution to satisfying unmet needs is making a new product. Retailers that manufacture unique products who sell direct, are lavished with the highest possible margins in ecommerce. If you only sell your products through your store, the place of purchase is obvious. Your products are better inoculated against competition.
It can also be wise to develop and sell your own products for better conversions because you can regulate product quality, possess agility to respond to market evolution, and ultimately give a great product that people want.
Sell a Hot Product
There’s no better way to have a killer conversion rate than sell a product someone wants to desperately buy before they hit your store. Bad markets alone can be the sole source of a stinking conversion rate.
How do you sell a hot product? The best selling products solve a problem for someone who is searching right now for a solution with minimal competition. When your product solves someone’s pain, urgency, or an irrational passion, marketing becomes easy.
You can discover what people want by seeing what they buy. Some competitors have a bestsellers collection. It’s common for websites to list their most important products first.
However, you need to move beyond competitors by going directly to the most trustworthy source: customers. The secret is to do smart research on valuable customers:
- Read the two-to-four star reviews of your own products and competitors for insights. The people who give two-to-four star reviews are dissatisfied. How could a product satisfy them?
- Setup automated emails that go out to customers who have bought two or more times. These are the people who matter the most. They will share ideas you never dreamed of. Ask them questions to discover what is a hot product: “What do you wish you could buy from us?”, “If you had the chance, what would you have us make just for you?”, “If you ran the company, what would you say to make people use our products?”, and “What have you brought from a competitor that you couldn’t get from us?”
- Business owners and marketing managers should periodically answer customer phone calls, respond to support tickets, and meet customers to see who they are, what they struggle with, and what they want. You are never above figuring out how to best serve your customers.
Use Your Products
Don’t be the company who is out-of-touch. Use your own products.
Know firsthand what’s good and bad about what you sell. Maybe your manufacturing process needs improvement, you need to source the style of the product from another brand, or you realise how awesome the product is and your product photography does it injustice.
The best copywriters when writing copy for an educational course, will sift through every word of the course to spot every lesson. Each lesson is then crafted into a captivating bullet point. A good copywriter can be made great by living the life of the customer being sold to.
When you use a product, you gather a kinaesthetic experience that cannot be faked. You know the product inside-out. You can bridge the gap between where the visitor is at, to what you’re doing, with new product features, product adjustments, bonuses, video, and copy that catapult sales.
Name a Product Well
The name of a product influences visitor interest, paid ad performance, and organic rankings in search results. It can also evoke desirable feelings or instantly communicate the problem it solves.
You can name a product well by knowing what criteria visitors care most about. An informational naming structure of brand, model, and version works well for stores with a large number of products similar to each other like appliances. If you were buying 3D printer accessories, you would want to know what brand and model printer the accessory is made for. Colour and size can be important descriptive attributes to include in product names of clothing.
Website architecture can also influence product name. Ron Bennett uses “jacket” in a lot of products listed under the “Jackets & Coats” collection for clarity and to help SEO. A conversion-focused idea is to include “benefit language” in the product name like “Nike Free Runner Shoes – Comfortable for Exercise”.
You can also optimise product names from organic search data in Google Search Console. Under the “Performance” section, click “Search results”. Click the “Pages” tab, click a product URL, then view the search queries that lead to the most impressions and clicks for that product. Frontload the most searched words into the product name.
People identify images within 13 milliseconds. We notice product photos first on product pages.
Have yours count. Photos can make an otherwise disinterested visitor curious and an interested visitor more likely to buy. Here’s how to make your product photography convert into sales:
- Make your photos high-quality. This includes getting professional photography done. BlackMilk has great photos that focus on the listed item of clothing.
- Use a white-background for your primary shots. Upgraded Ape changed the background in their product photos from a rug to white isolate and increased their conversion rate 21%.
- Have product photos taken from various angles. It eliminates questions in the mind of the interested buyer. Capture important elements like the dials on white goods, zippers on bags, and ingredients list on foods.
- Use a zoom feature on images when details are important. Take this to the next level if you have money to invest with 360 degree photography or augmented reality to increase perceived ownership.
- Give context in photos. Show how your customers use your product. Give perspective on the size of the product. If Tattly didn’t show the size of their temporary tattoos by displaying them on someone’s body, conversions would drop.
- Provide photos of variations. If a product’s variation like colour matters to people, the primary photo should update when the variation is selected.
- Combine photography with graphic edits to reveal facts about your product that standard photos cannot show. Bionic Gloves create a kinaesthetic sense hard to replicate in words for how much grip their golf glove provides by blending an octopus with their glove. The worst glove is one without grip.
Video nearly always increases conversions over no video. The reasons it works are similar to good product photography. Video reveals product intricacies, allowing you to sell to your biggest buyers with detail and visual stories. It’s the most time-tested, low-cost way online retailers can get visitors to experience the product.
Matt Lawson from ao.com found, “Video gives us the opportunity to wow our customers and this in turn delivers results. We have tested and proven that when someone watches our video reviews they’re 120.5% more likely to buy, spend 157.2% longer on the site and spend 9.1% more per order.”
If you lack the budget for good video, test it first on your bestsellers. Follow these tips for good video:
- Make your video informational more than anything. Minimise graphic intros and other wastes of time. Avoid a cheesy product pitch, but if your video is awfully funny, it could work by creating loads of traffic. Zappos have done great video by educating viewers for over a decade. They host the videos on YouTube to get another benefit of free traffic from one of the world’s most popular websites.
- Consider your narrator. EyeBuyDirect.com found a male-narrated video had 9.28% conversion rates compared to a 2.78% conversion rate for the female-narrated video.
- Once you realise that video increases your conversions, get more people to watch the video:
- A thumbnail sets a first impression, enticing your audience to hit play.
- Embed the video rather than only provide a link. Thinx used embed, autoplay, and transparency well.
- Use a play button overlay. Test other overlay information.
- Provide a clear-to-action like “Click to Play”. Draw attention to the video in product descriptions like, “See how fast this widget cuts food by clicking here to watch the video”.
- View the video analytics to see where people drop off. Think about why people are dropping off at this point then capture the lesson for future video scripts so you achieve continuous improvement. Combine an analysis of engagement time with revenue because someone may stop watching a video after successfully getting the information they wanted.
- Use video throughout the store beyond products. Video makes testimonials trustworthy, a company story believable, or a homepage emotional.
Most stores have poor product descriptions. They are either boring, incomplete, ignore the real customer, or do all three.
PJ O’Connor Jewelry Designs provide custom jewellery. Their product page has a great opportunity to show-and-tell the manufacturing process, share who the item is for, or create a meaningful story behind the item. Instead, they provide 11 pitiful words.
Rather than face the overwhelming task of rewriting every product description, focus first on updating your high-traffic bestsellers to quickly get data at a low cost. Follow these tips to write product descriptions that convert into sales:
- Make it known who the product is for, where someone uses it, why someone uses it, when it is used, and how someone uses it. Don’t be afraid to sell to your foxes. Go into detail. Refunds and returns will plummet. The ideal message and length of a product description is one that accurately reflects that product and provides enough information that lets someone convince themselves to buy.
- Answer every possible question someone could have about the product. Provide full specifications like sizing, dimensions, and product materials. You discover more unusual things someone wants to know about a product with surveys and chat. I like how Champs Sports provide a “question and answer” section for products.
- Include features the shopper wants to know. If you saw a hard drive that promised “it will store all of your photos, work, and games”, you would not believe it until you knew its size—the feature. Magic Spoon sells keto cereal. The amount of carbohydrates in a serve, and ingredients, matter to their audience so they focus on the facts.
- Transform features into benefits. You can turn features into benefits by asking yourself, “so what?” Rewrite it then repeat the process to get to the heart of why the feature matters. You can use descriptive language to paint a picture of how the feature benefits the user. “With our built-in timer, you can relax and enjoy your cooking without worrying about overcooking or burning your food.”
- Use personality to match your image. If you think your product is boring, you’re either in the wrong market or need inspiration. Any product can be made interesting when it meets the needs of a shopper. A lot of Etsy sellers understand how to do product descriptions possibly because of their personal link with what they make. Method Home gives some flare to simple hand wash.
- Tell a story. It can be a personal use of the product, from a customer, or the manufacturing process. Stories drill into specific moments with emotion, sight, smell, and sound. One Etsy seller shares a quote from her mum about a lip balm product.
- Help readability with simple words, bullet points, and formatting. Share your strong points beneath the product name so the “Add to Cart” button and core information remains above-the-fold. More copy can be included lower on the product page.
Product Description Extras
Do not limit product details to descriptions and specifications. Increase conversions with extra bits of information that reinforce trust and build value.
There are three extra categories of information any brand can consider for product pages:
- Guarantees, warranty, and returns. Mention your guarantee in more places than a link in the footer. Reinforce the zero-risk guarantee to the customer on the product page. You do provide guarantees and returns, right? They are guaranteed to boost conversions. The best guarantee is derived from customers’ fears, pain, and perceived obstacles. What do they not want to have happen if they pay you? What are they most afraid of? Reverse their fears into a guarantee. To give a guarantee teeth, you need punishment for what you’ll do if they don’t get the result. Without the “or what” portion of the guarantee, it is diluted.
- Delivery. Let someone know the delivery costs before the checkout. A link in the footer of your store is insufficient. If the costs can only be calculated at checkout, share a free shipping threshold.
- Product use and care guidelines. This helps customers get the most out of their purchase and increases the value of your offer. Clothing stores should give care guidelines for each item. Bali Body sells body oils and advises visitors “ways to use” their purchase. This makes readers see themselves stepping out of their shower then applying the product lotion to their skin as the “natural goodness” is absorbed.
Product Page Conversion Boosters
People use others through reviews to figure out if they’ll love the product. Reviews create social proof that helps someone make a decision. The best reviews are from customers who give their thoughts about the product while not being incentivized to sell.
Spiegel Research Center at Northwestern University found 95% of consumers read reviews before an online purchase. The researchers say, “We found that as products begin displaying reviews, conversion rates escalate rapidly. The purchase likelihood for a product with five reviews is 270% greater than the purchase likelihood of a product with no reviews. ”
While your products may not get a three-digit increase in sales from reviews, another study from Reevoo says reviews produce an average 18% uplift in sales. Reviews seem to have the biggest impact on conversions when there’s 0-10 reviews with a plateau around 20 and another 18% uplift between 25-50 reviews.
No reviews versus not having the option to review, may hurt your conversions because it says no one is buying—social proof works against you. However, giving customers the option to review while there are less than 5 reviews is a sacrifice of early conversions for years of higher conversions.
Aim to ask for reviews at cloud-nine moments when customers are likely to rave about you. A good email flow is the best way to automatically collect reviews at the right time. You can also ask for reviews with a product insert, when someone leaves a positive social media comment, or when support solves a customer problem.
I suggest Judge.me, Okendo, or Shopify’s free Product Reviews app to collect reviews in Shopify. Collect photos and videos from customers for extra believability. No matter the option you use, require reviews to be approved first to moderate spam and also respond to reviews by addressing product flaws or negative experiences.
A testimonial is a quoted endorsement. Testimonials from celebrities, person’s of trust, customer emails, user quotes, or social media comments slipped onto a page can handle objections. You have to do quoted remarks right to make a testimonial convert.
One testimonial from someone trusted by shoppers will help conversions more than the same words from someone who is unknown. Carnivore Snax uses a quote from Joe Rogan at the top of the homepage because he is one of the world’s most respected podcasters.
Savvy shoppers are numb to vague remarks from customers. An excited testimonial saying, “This is amazing. You need to buy this!” from an everyday person does nothing to help conversions. Another way to bolster performance is with specifics. A testimonial is more effective when it contains the problem, what the person tried, how the product helped, and who person recommends the product for.
Sometimes your customers will email you great comments or rave about you in an online public space. Leverage their comments for conversions. Ask for their permission to use their comment. Coffee Joulies use testimonials from their Kickstarter project where comments were made before any review system was in place on the store. The testimonials could be made more believable with names, photos, and locations.
Customer Use of the Product
Let customers show off what they bought. Pull in images from social media, or have direct uploads from reviews, to boost social proof.
Our client Lack of Color on product pages have images of raving fans wearing their hats. Lack of Color sorts through hundreds of photos per week on Instagram.
The Foursixty app can automate the collection and publishing of Instagram photos. You can also push the content to email campaigns, and contact customers to get the legal rights to feature their content.
Out of Stock Reminder
When someone cannot buy a product because it is out of stock, the product’s conversion rate will go to zero. When someone can only pre-order a product, I see the conversion rate cut in half from its normal potential.
Have a feature that lets visitors get a reminder email or SMS when the product is back in stock. Build a list of shoppers waiting to buy.
Once the product is back in stock, contact the segment to get double-digit conversion rates. Klaviyo has a feature to collect a person’s details once a product is out of stock, then it can automatically notify people via email or SMS once a product is available.
Social media buttons clutter a product page. As you learned in the chapter on design, simplification often outperforms more elements in design.
On product pages, you want shoppers to add the product to their cart. Social buttons distract from the goal, rarely resulting in any shares. Finnish company Taloon.com removed their social sharing buttons from product pages then had 11.9% more clicks on their “Add to Cart” button.
Show Who Purchased
Another way ecommerce stores can leverage social proof is by displaying notifications of new orders to visitors. We look to other people’s behaviour for direction. Robert Cialdini in his book Influence writes, “We seem to assume that if a lot of people are doing the same thing, they must know something we don’t.”
Booking.com pioneered sale notifications. They inundate a visitor browsing a particular listing with notification boxes in the bottom-left to build social proof.
eBay lists how many times an item has sold on a product page. They share this figure in multiple places because it works.
Shopify stores can use the Pop! app to show notifications of customers who purchased. The app can also display reviews and a live visitor count as popups on your Shopify store.
Most shoppers are just looking in order to better understand what product they really need. Their procrastination kills conversions. Put a fire under the feet of visitors to make them buy by creating urgency.
There are a couple of ways you can use urgency on your ecommerce store to increase conversions:
- Add a timer to countdown sales or events.
- Use time-sensitive coupons for cart abandonment. This is doable in Klaviyo.
- Mention the hours and minutes the visitor has to order to get their purchase by a particular day. Amazon does this best to create urgency. The ShipTimer app lets you display dispatch time-windows in Shopify.
- Show the amount of stock left. Test this because conversions may boost conversions only when products are low in stock. Pia Pottery displays the remaining stock to shoppers, which gives another subtle angle of their pottery being handcrafted.
This chapter covered how to optimise product pages on Shopify by developing products people want, making product assets, and gathering product extras that boost conversions. Experiment with different tactics to consistently enhance conversion rates.
I am yet to discuss one gaping topic on product pages to sell products like hotcakes. In the next chapter, you discover how to price your products right. Pricing is the quickest and most dependable method to increase the profit of an online store.