Product Discovery

The Best Product Pages: Do Yours Measure Up?

Product Discovery

The Best Product Pages: Do Yours Measure Up?

Product pages are an ecommerce site’s bread and butter. Yes, a certain percentage of your shoppers will click “add to cart” directly from search results or a category page, but more often than not it’s your product pages that will (or won’t) turn a browser into a buyer. 

The best product pages, like the best salespeople in a physical store, deftly help shoppers make up their minds to buy. Less-effective pages simply throw up a handful of generic information and hope for the best, like a part-timer waving customers toward the dress section with gum-chewing disinterest. The good news is that maintaining a high standard on your product pages is easier than training retail staff.

The Best Product Pages Have a Consistent Style and Functional Layout

When you climb into a new car for the first time, you already know where to look for the steering wheel, pedals and gauges. The specific location of the controls will vary between models, but you’ll at least know generally where to look for them. 

Product pages need to demonstrate that same degree of broad-strokes familiarity: At a minimum the newly arrived shopper should see a default “hero” image plus several alternative views; a description; a price; and options to add the garment to their cart or a wish list — all at first glance. If you can make it fit without cluttering up the page, add a complement of secondary information such as: 

  • Available colors and sizes
  • Links for sharing to social media
  • Customer ratings
  • A size chart
  • Special selling features (“sustainably sourced,” “vegan,” “made in the USA”)

The product pages should also have an identifiable look and visual style that’s consistent with your brand and your product line. Rich, muted tones work if you’re marketing suits to an upscale clientele, for example, while bright colors go with fun, youthful clothing. When in doubt, uncluttered pages with plenty of white space are always in style.

The Best Product Pages Have Enough Information

This may be painfully obvious, yet it bears stating anyway: Providing enough information for shoppers to make a purchase decision is a product page’s core function. Unfortunately, the nature of fashion e-retailing can make that a surprisingly steep hill to climb. Sites may offer thousands of individual garments in varying sizes and colors, and most will come and go in just a few short months. 

Providing meaningful information about that many SKUs is an ongoing effort, and for smaller merchants in particular it’s easiest to just use whatever product information the manufacturer provides. Unfortunately, that information is often sparse and always rather generic; if that same manufacturer also supplies your competitors, your product pages will be difficult to differentiate. That’s a problem. 

AI can help you get over that hurdle by providing the data you need — and we’ll come back to that in a few minutes. Once you have that data, you’ll still need to draw on it to manually create additional content. That can be time-consuming and sometimes costly, but higher-impact pages can be worth it.

The Best Product Pages Bring Immediacy and High Impact

If you search online for “best product pages” or any variation on that phrase, you’ll find hundreds of examples (and truly, it’s a useful exercise). Many of those pages make impactful use of rich content to help sell the product or the brand. This might include anything from additional photography to user reviews, or even videos and augmented- or virtual-reality content (AR and VR, for short). 

If you have limited resources and a large inventory, creating rich content for every single product may not be a practical option. Instead, pick key products or product lines, and do in-depth descriptions and imagery for those. A video or slideshow of a product line can go onto the product page for each of those products, for example, giving you maximum value for your investment. 

Don’t have the budget to create videos or custom in-use photos of your garments and accessories? Invite your users to do it for you! It’s a win on every level: You get rich content for your product page; it’s more compelling than a simple text review; and it’s a tremendous loyalty-building exercise. Offer a low/no-cost reward for any submission (a discount, loyalty points) and bigger rewards for any that are chosen for use on your site or social media pages - while also making clear to users that they’re consenting to this use. 

The Best Product Pages Provide an Easy, Intuitive Path to Purchase

An ideal ecommerce site makes purchases easy and intuitive at all times, and product pages are no exception. The best-known example of that is the big, colorful “buy with one click” button that Amazon puts on eligible product pages, but even ineligible pages have a prominent “add to cart” option. 

Having the Add to Cart button in the shopper’s line of sight when they land on a product page is usually the default, especially if your site was built on a template from a major shopping platform or hosting provider. Wherever possible, you should find ways to expedite checkout beyond that default from within your product pages. If you accept one of the popular e-wallet payment options, such as PayPal, Amazon Pay or Apple Pay, for example, incorporating it onto each product page (“Check out now with PayPal”) provides functionality similar to Amazon’s one-click option. 

You can also place the Add to Cart button at multiple locations on each product page, wherever it can fit logically. Putting one at the bottom as well as one at the top is an option. If your product page is divided into sections, put one in each section. Better yet, make it available continually: If you have a sidebar or navigation bar that stays in place as the customer scrolls, put an Add to Cart button there. You might even place a floating toolbar (Add to Cart, Add to Wishlist, Add to My Favorites, Share to Social Media) or floating widget to the page.

The Best Product Page Is the Right Product Page

One of the more subtle things your product page could be missing is … its target. Even the best product pages won’t sell like they should, if you haven’t served your shopper the correct page in the first place. 

That’s a whole other discussion, whether you approach it from the perspective of perfecting your on-site search or embracing state-of-the-art personalization, so we won’t reopen it here. It’s enough to point out that getting your product pages right and then connecting customers with the right pages are equally important steps in maximizing your site’s potential.

Filling In the Blanks With Lily AI

Some of these refinements to your product pages revolve around structure and visual appeal; others center on the content of your page and the information it presents to shoppers. Lily AI can help you fill in those gaps. Our proprietary machine-learning algorithm gives you the tools you need to understand both your shoppers and your inventory at a deeper level, and that in turn will inform the decisions you make about the content and (indirectly) the design of your product pages. 

Beyond size, color and choice of material, how many attributes do you currently track for each garment? That number’s usually rather small. LilyAI begins by analyzing your entire inventory automatically, deep-tagging every item with hundreds — thousands, in some cases — of attributes. Exponentially deepening your data pool, and then funneling the resulting data to your existing management and analytics software through our batch or real-time APIs, can give you game-changing insights into both your product line and your customers

Here’s how that might look in practice.

Insight-Driven Product Pages

Revising your product pages for maximum impact becomes less of an art and more of a science when you start from a position of deep insight, which is what Lily AI brings to the table. Our software can help you look past simplistic measures such as clicks and “stickiness” to recognize the less-obvious connections between products, and the psychological drivers of shoppers’ behavior. 

That has profound implications for your on-site search, for one thing. When you use LilyAI, you’ll know what your users are really looking for, even when they articulate it poorly or use a type of search (“fun, flirty plus-size sundress for spring”) that most sites can’t handle. Even more conventional searches or navigation choices will quickly point to your shoppers’ wants and empower you to serve up the right product pages every time. 


Lily AI’s deep tagging also simplifies the question of which information to provide on product pages. When you aren’t guessing but can empirically determine what attributes brought shoppers to a given page, you’ll know what attributes to emphasize. That in turn can inform your SEO and SEM decision-making, and create a virtuous cycle of continuously improving insight. That in turn drives consumer loyalty and satisfaction, which increases the likelihood of shoppers returning to endorse your products — whether conventionally or through user-submitted images and videos — and recommend your store to their friends.

There’s No Time Like the Present

In short, Lily AI can turn your existing site into a powerhouse of market-leading personalization in just a few weeks. Contact us today for a free consultation, and learn more about how we can help put you on the path to sustainable long-term growth. 

Your customers won’t know or care about the details; they’ll just know that they always find what they’re looking for on your site. At the end of the day, that’s the ultimate definition of success in retailing.

Sources:

Shopify Blog: Product Pages: 16 Best-in-Class Examples and Why They Work

ZDNet: 2021 Is the Year AR Commerce Becomes an Actual Reality

Baymard Institute: Deconstructing E-Commerce Search: The 8 Most Common Query Types