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Online retailers are increasing their focus on product pages, providing richer features and improved product images in an attempt to improve conversion rates, according to a new study. 

Product pages play a huge role in converting visitors into customers, and this is an area where many retailers can still improve. I've been looking at some examples from the report... 

Though recent eDigital Research's study (registration required) of 51 e-commerce sites has picked out this product page improvement as a key trend, and picks out Javari as a best practice example for product pages:

prod page2

We wrote a product page checklist last year, and this Javari product page ticks a lot of those boxes. There is detailed product information, size charts, while a clear message indicates that delivery and returns are free and simple. 

If you mouse over the size, then the number of available items in that size are shown, while a message to order in the next few hours for delivery the following day is a persuasive sales tool. 

The page also features product alert options, lots of relevant cross selling, and reviews, but most importantly the product images are excellent

Product images are so important for online fashion retailers, as this is the only way customers can get an idea of how clothes and shoes will look. People need quality images from a range of angles, while video is also desirable. 

Javari delivers on the product images, with shoes displayed from seven different views, all of which can be zoomed in on, or shown on full screen size:

Prod page 1

Among the worst practice product page examples were three online supermarkets, Asda, Sainsbury's and Waitrose.

Waitrose was bottom of the 51 product pages, and I can see why. All product pages open in a pop up window, and the text is almost too small to read without zooming in. in addition, there is no add to basket button so you have to look for the 'close window' link before you can select the items. 

prod page3

Freemans' product pages could also use an upgrade: 

prod page4

While there is information on delivery and returns, the product images are poor, and cannot be zoomed into to see enough detail. A lot more could be done here to showcase and sell products more effectively. 

Another mistake some retailers make is to omit key information from pages. For example, the product page for this toy kitchen on the Early Learning Centre website simply doesn't give enough detail. 

It doesn't tell you what material the toy is made from, meaning I had to go into the store to find out. This is basic stuff that is crucial to customers' purchase decisions, and in my case it meant that I couldn't purchase the item without going to see it in store. 

Though this increased focus on product pages is welcome I have seen some very poor product pages in some recent website reviews, H&M has no information on delivery charges and returns, product images were poor, and the cross selling options were laughable. 

Lack of information on delivery charges is a common problem, as is quality and choice of product images, while many sites are simply not making use of effective sales features like videos and product reviews.

Simply by following some simple best practice advice, retailers can do a lot more to sell on their product pages

Graham Charlton

Published 27 September, 2010 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

2565 more posts from this author

Comments (3)

Daniel Clutterbuck

Daniel Clutterbuck, Director/ Co-Founder at Webtise Ltd

I like the Javari product page. The separation of the add to cart/ wishlist and social media but still keeping it all above the fold is well designed. Webtise.

almost 6 years ago

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Jayne

Glad to see that people are eventually starting to take notice of design and development features that increase conversion rates for ecommerce.

Surely the approach to ecommerce web design is to take an inside out approach where the internal pages are designed first?

This may seem slightly radical but is based on statistics from OUR customer

websites that show that:

➔ 61% of visitors enter on a product page

➔ 21% of visitors enter on a category page

➔ 14% of visitors enter on the home page

Shoppers have high demands and are increasingly more thrifty.  They want to have a good view of the product or they will not buy it!

almost 6 years ago

Daniel Clutterbuck

Daniel Clutterbuck, Director/ Co-Founder at Webtise Ltd

Re: Jayne; you make an excellent point. With Google Shopping and long tail search terms, people do enter at product page level. Webtise

almost 6 years ago

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