Product pages can differ wildly.
With Argos sitting somewhere in the middle, and currently in the spotlight during its extended Black Friday sales, I thought I would take a look at its product pages, to see which features I like.
Here are eight of them.
1. Creating urgency with social proof
When the product page loads, I get these two messages appearing one after the other, then fading out after a few seconds.
‘X+ people are looking at this right now’ and ‘purchased 100+ times in the last 48 hrs’ are messages intended to create urgency and provide social proof (i.e. this item might not last forever, and if other people are buying it, it must be kosher).
These messages are only fleeting, and disappear quickly, which has the effect of increasing urgency further and decluttering the page somewhat.
2. Adding authenticity with product ratings customised by category
Bazaarvoice handles the product reviews for Argos, and you can see in the example below how the ratings system is tailored to the product category.
Here we’re dealing with a toy (a Nerf gun), so the ratings include ‘fun, ease of use, quality and imaginative play’.
Jump over to pushchairs and you’ll find ratings for ‘quality, design, ease of use and portability’.
Reaffirming that a product meets customer need is easier with these customised ratings.
3. Stimulating interest with ‘alternatives’
A recommendations slider (‘you may also like’) is a common occurrence on the ecommerce product page, but less common is a second slider for ‘alternatives’.
In practice, the two are not dissimilar, and in the example I’m using here (Playstation 4 bundle), the alternatives slider isn’t entirely accurate (a controller is hardly an alternative to a console).
However, the alternatives slider does show a couple of XBox One deals, the rival console to the PS4, so it does tick the box here.
Once you present a customer with a number of choices, you tap into decision theory, where value is contextual.
The user becomes more likely to settle definitively on a product when presented with a choice (rather than having to decide between a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’).
Argos product page suggestions for alternatives to a PS4.
4. Removing doubt with FAQs
This is a great feature, but accessible mainly to retailers that sell in large volumes online.
Argos displays the most recent questions asked about this product, allowing staff and fellow customers to provide an answer.
This helps to reiterate information that might be easily missed in a product description, or is not covered elsewhere.
Here’s an example below (this section is particularly useful for technology), where Bertie is reliably informed this Playstation bundle includes a headset, a detail excluded from the specification.
The only downside to this feature is that users can’t ask a question from the product page – that’s done on a subdomain and is a bit tricky to find.
Q&As on Argos product page
Expanded question on Argos product page
5. Holding attention with quick view
Quick view has been around for quite a while, but it’s great to see it here on recommendations in product pages.
This stage of the customer journey may be particularly precarious, where the customer is deciding whether to purchase or reserve, or pick another product altogether.
Allowing the customer to browse a number of products quickly without reloading the page lets them make a quicker (more impulsive?) buy.
There’s nothing worse than navigating to a product, only to find it’s something completely different than you envisaged. Similarly, losing your product page, and having to go back to search or the menu is also frustrating (not all web users are savvy enough to click the back button in a browser).
6. Reassuring with stock check for reserve or delivery
Whenever I write about new technology in retail (virtual reality etc.), I’m usually brought back down to Earth by somebody in ecommerce rightly asking me whether these retailers have inventory visibility.
Does a retailer know what’s in each store and in the warehouse? This is the sort of back office function that Argos has had licked for a long time, but still eludes others.
It makes a massive difference to the click and collect users, who want to collect ASAP, not when a product has been delivered to a store, as is the model for some other retailers.
Here Argos asks me to enter my postcode, and tells me that Saturday delivery is available. A valuable piece of information.
On the collect tab, without having to re-enter my postcode, I can see that this item is available to collect immediately at my local store.
Delivery check by postcode
Local store stock check by postcode
7. Informing landing users with brand page call-to-action
I found this PS4 bundle product page through the deals section of the Argos website, not by navigating through electronics and games consoles.
Similarly, other users may arrive via social media, email or search, and not be aware of the Playstation range.
That’s why it’s nice to see Argos adding a big call to action to the Playstation brand category, knowing the obligatory breadcrumb trail isn’t always enough to grab users’ attention.
Argos does this for other brands, such as Fisher Price when viewing a pushchair, ensuring the retailer makes the most of its well-known brands.
8. Doing the basics by doubling up on delivery information
Lack of delivery information and pricing can cause user abandonment when they get to the checkout and find out they have to wait for their product, or pay £10 extra.
Argos does the basics by bordering the top and right side of the page with delivery information, in this instance detailing the limited time Fast Track service.
That’s all I’ve picked out for now, though there’s plenty more to admire at Argos.
If you have any favourite product page features, let us know if the comments below.