You’ve successfully enticed the customer this far into your site; they’ve weaved through the banners and listing pages. You’ve sold them on just the aspects they need to consider making a purchase. This is where you seal the deal; your chance to use every item at your disposal to sell the customer on why this item is just what they need. The best way to do this is to offer as much information about the product as possible (this will also keep your return rate down – big plus there!). You’ll want to depict this information in a way that is upfront, clear, and concise. Use attractive imagery that highlights special features of the product, enhance those product descriptions as if you’re talking to your customers in a way that makes sense to them, and if this isn’t just the right product they’re looking for, offer them an array of cross-sells (because sometimes they don’t even know what they want until they see it!). The product detail page is the collaboration of all the product content, and the way you arrange the page is key.
The saying “less is more” can be perfectly applied to a product detail page, as long as all of the content of interest is being provided in a tidy and attractive manner. Don’t overwhelm the customer; we cannot have them drowning in too much or irrelevant information or scrambling to find out what size or make the product is, or god forbid, trying to locate the Add to Cart button. After revisiting how your customers shop, you’ll need to determine a treatment for the following best practice inclusions on a standard product detail page:
- Product Imagery: when shooting or obtaining product imagery, think about how it will look at the following sizes: thumbnails (often used on the product listing page), alt-views (mini images below the main product image), default product detail image, and zoom (the up-close look at the product and typically quite larger). Lighting is important, alternative views that display the side, top, bottom, back or the image can be helpful, and quality of the image can affect how quickly the image loads on the page. (This requires special consideration when dealing w. very large zoom images.) For product zoom, there are a myriad of ways to trigger the zoomed view, from hovering the image to clicking the image, to having the zoomed view overlay the main product image to displaying to the right of the product image. Based on the page design, the zoomed view should be a compliment not only to the product, but to the page layout.
Depending on how many products you have and the load process, preparing and loading the images could be a significant amount of work. You’ll need to consider sizing and image naming conventions for each image; if the platform provider offers the option to bulk load images you’ll want to explore that, otherwise you may be loading images (for each product) manually.
If video will be featured on your site, you’ll need to determine who will be hosting your video. (Vimeo and YouTube are some of the better choices at no additional cost; Akamai offers excellent premium services.) Outside of hosting, will the video require a custom video player and will that display inline (on the page) or pop-out as a modal?
- Product descriptions and details. Try to detail as many aspects of the product as you think the customer would find helpful; dimensions, materials, wash instructions, handling care, use cases, et al. If you have a surplus of info that you want to share, considering adding scrollers so the customer can scroll to see the additional information (rather than smattering the page with a sea of words), or tabbed dividers, broken into sections that can manage the segregated information. The language should be consistent throughout while being unique per product. If your products warrant the need for a size chart or other type of identifier, be aware of that up front and be ready to identify which products will need those identifiers, as well as how those products would be identified.
- Cross-Sells. This is where you can introduce additional product to your customer, in any number of combinations. The more popular cross-sells include “You May Also Like,” “Others Also Bought,” “Similar Items,” “Recently Viewed,” and a popular rise of “Create the Look” (which provides links to the other products contained in the main product image). Cross-sells can be automatically or manually generated. For the automatic generations, logic will need to be determined so the system will know which products to display for which cross-sells.
Gaining widespread popularity is the use of product ratings and reviews. These ratings and reviews are generated by other customers who have purchased the product and want to provide feedback. Options include the chance to leave comments, rate the product, “thumbs up or down” features, and ask questions / receive answers about the product (this can be between customer to customer or customer to brand). Comments and ratings can be moderated (and usually are!) to exclude inappropriate content and subject matter. Additionally, comments can be set up to be pre-approved so they’ll appear on the site in real time, or they can go through an approval process, at which time the comments/reviews would only appear on the site once they have been screened and approved.
Depending on the nature of your product, a wishlist may be a popular feature. The wishlist is managed in the “My Account” section and has the option to be shared or private. From the product detail page, the customer can select the product specifications and add them to their wishlist for future purchase. You’ll need to consider treatment for how to handle out of stock items that are trying to be added and consider what happens if the user is logged out? Logged in? What will be the flow for adding to their wishlist (think success and error messaging)? Can they have more than one wishlist? If so, can they name these wishlists and how will they be managed? If someone adds items from their wishlist to their cart will the product remain in the wishlist or fall off? If the item has become out of stock, will it remain on the wishlist and indicate that it is no longer in stock? If QTY can be specified on the wishlist, what happens if the available inventory is less than what the customer originally requested; how will the customer be notified? Are you going to set up “Now on Sale” notifications if the customer wants to be notified when the product is put on sale? The wishlist is a great way for the customer to set aside product that they’re interested in purchasing and you want to make that process is clear so that when they come back to the site, purchasing the item is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
With the rise of social media, customers have come to expect a chance to share their prospective purchases. provide the customer a way to share the product they’re thinking of purchasing or have already purchased. Typical inclusions (though dependent entirely upon your customer base and their social habits) are Pinterest (Pin It), Facebook (Share), Twitter, and email share. This allows the customer to engage with their peers, obtain feedback, and advertise your brand and product. Specify what will be shared; recommendations include the product image, price, product name and if optional, product description. This is a great way to garner excitement about the product and brand and enhance your online presence.
And finally, don’t underestimate the importance of a tantalizing “Add to Cart” button. This should not get lost on the page; let it be bright, big, and worded in a way that branding would speak to your customers. There have been various A/B tests done over the years on the placement, size, and color of Add to Cart buttons, high level summary of which can be summed up to: red tends to get more clicks than green or orange, size should be obvious and semi-sizable rather than small and off to the side, and “Add to Cart” tends to get more clicks than “Buy Now” or “Purchase.”