Is the product page still the most important page on most ecommerce sites?

The product page is where you would expect most consumers to decide on a purchase, which may make it the most important page. 

However, there are factors that reduce the primacy of the product page, as Paul Rouke suggests:

Quick view allows customers to view a quick product preview from search results or category pages without actually heading to the product page. 

Paul points out that, the more detail a preview shows, the lesser the reliance on the main selling page, though it could be argued that these are mini-product pages. 

There was some debate over whether the checkout is more important than product pages.

Of course, you can’t really have one without the other but Mike Warwick framed the debate effectively: 

There were a variety of responses: 

A great question from Schuh’s Stuart McMillan:

Dan Barker summarised the key points from this question:

What are the key elements for these pages, and why is each necessary? What optional elements are there?

Lots of responses to Q2. James Green, not unreasonably, thinks product images should have pride of place: 

hipster chukas

Stuart from Schuh suggests that product descriptions are less important than you might think. I can see this being the case for shoes and clothing, but perhaps less for for other products? 

According to Paul Rouke, provides a great example of an effective selling page: 

To improve pages, Pritesh Patel suggests sites should monitor customer queries around product pages. 

Great suggestion here on presenting price information for sales, and showing products in context: 

Bellroy provides an excellent example of this, showing its wallets along with everything that will fit in to them: 

Video is a great tool for demonstrating products, and can work well for more complex items, conveying features and uses. Like these videos from Cotswold Outdoor:

Should retailers put effort in to testing and improving these pages and, if so, what works in this area?

Perhaps some sites are trying to add too many features to product pages and need to keep only the most essential elements.  

Retailers should also be measuring and analysing the data to find areas for improvement. 

Others suggest that the checkout process is the area where ecommerce sites are most likely to have the largest impact. 

There are plenty of elements worth testing on product pages though, as James Gurd explains: 

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