Pratik Dholakiya is the founder of Growfusely, a content marketing agency specializing in content and data-driven SEO. He regularly speaks at various conferences about SEO, Content Marketing, and Entrepreneurship. Pratik has spoken at the 80th Annual Conference of the Florida Public Relations Association, Accounting and Finance Show, Singapore, NextBigWhat’s UnPluggd, IIT-Bombay, SMX Israel, SEMrush Meetup, MICA, IIT-Roorkee, and other major events. As a passionate SEO and content marketer, he shares his thoughts and knowledge in publications like Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, The Next Web, YourStory, and Inc42, to name a few.
If you want to win in the aggressive e-commerce business, you need to sidestep the deadfalls that will create half of your rivals to crash and burn along the way. Mistakes give you lessons, there is no doubt in that. But it would be better not to make errors in the first place.
As a fledgling e-commerce entrepreneur, your to-do list is jam-packed with exciting yet challenging activities to kickstart your new online store. You:
- Perform seemingly endless research and analysis to finally settle on a product line and a business model.
- Complete the arduous task of building a beautiful, functioning website that renders top-notch user experience.
- Go through the struggle of attaining and maintaining a steady flow of traffic to your store by various marketing techniques such as SEO, content, and social media.
Once you lay all the foundations effectively, you lay your eyes on the ultimate goal: sales. From that perspective, product pages are the most important pages on your website.
Getting them right in terms of design and user experience is pivotal to your store’s success. After all, if your website visitors don’t actually buy anything after going through your content, what’s the point of all this grind?
The last thing you want is to botch your sales because of an incompetent product page. So, make sure you don’t make these three seemingly obvious rookie mistakes that’ll cost you a pretty penny.
1. Don’t Skimp on Product Images
As you’re a new kid on the e-commerce block of the internet, and likely cash-strapped, you obviously want to cut costs and economize wherever possible. And that’s good. Scrimping on product visuals, however, is not a good idea.
One of the biggest hurdles with online shopping for people is the lack of ability to feel, taste, or try the products first-hand before finalizing a decision.
This, coupled with countless online scams that happen every day, is what causes hesitation and cart abandonment. Thus, it is your responsibility as the store owner to assure them they see exactly what they get. How?
By using professional, high-quality visuals: images, illustrations, and videos. If possible, include all these visuals on your product page:
- Primary images: These are the standard, high-resolution images you see in which the product is highlighted against a pure white background. This is the usual, minimum “requirement” of images on any modern e-commerce site. So, at the minimum, your products must be showcased in this format to convey earnestness. Use online tools like AutoClipping to swiftly remove the background of your image and make it pure white. Have these product images from many different angles, if possible.
- Lifestyle images: These photographs are meant to showcase your products as they’re being used in real-life, every day conditions by ordinary people. Lifestyle images will allow your prospective clients envision what it would be like to own your product.
- Instructional images: You can also use graphical illustrations such as infographics to crisply underscore your product’s best traits. Moreover, an instructional “how-to” illustration (such as usage instructions) can also be used to demonstrate how user-friendly your product is.
- Videos: Show your product in action by creating short videos.
While you can do all this creative work yourself, it is advisable to hire a local professional photographer to do it for you. Whatever you do, don’t cut corners when it comes to visuals by uploading amateurish images from your smartphone. Investing in high-quality visuals will bear fruit throughout the life of your virtual storefront.
2. Don’t Write a Shoddy Copy
The next common mistake is writing bland, run-of-the-mill product description and copy. If you’re selling something interesting and exciting (or at least it is to you), why not complement it with an amazing product description that reads deliciously. Wondering how?
Start by using a clear structure and hierarchy in your copywriting. This means sensible use of headings, subheadings, and keywords which will make it easier for visitors to scan through your content and quickly find what they’re looking for. Besides, it would boost your on-page SEO efforts as well.
Use a blend of persuasive copywriting and creative storytelling to convince the shopper. Don’t write an extremely wordy product description comprising every little technical detail. Just focus on emphasizing all the key features and benefits that make your product valuable.
Bring your products and brand to life by creating an engaging narrative of the details that matter. Your ability to weave your brand's unique voice into the product pages is what’ll make your brand stand out from your competition’s mediocrity.
Follow these guidelines to compose a compelling copy:
- Convey the unique value (USP) you bring to the table. What makes your product superior to all the alternatives available across the internet?
- Outline all the benefits and features of using your product. Use bullet points and subheadings.
- Anticipate and address any potential questions or doubts that may arise.
- Reduce buyer skepticism and boost their faith by elucidating any warranty or guarantee you provide.
- Incorporate keywords but don’t just shove them for the sake of it. Readability is key.
- Ditch the lingo. Write in an easy, casual tone with succinct sentences and paragraphs.
3. Don’t Fail to Garner Product Reviews
According to Trustpilot, 92% of consumers read reviews on the internet, and 80% of shoppers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. In other words, customer reviews are an indispensable part of your bottom-of-the-funnel content and make all the difference.
Those star ratings on product pages are, quite unarguably, the most momentous factor in your shopper’s final purchase decision. Furthermore, the quantity of reviews is equally important. The more, the merrier (not negative ones, though). So, how do you earn more product reviews?
One way is to connect with your customers via good old-fashioned email and request them to take a moment to drop their two cents. As there’s nothing in it for them, usually they won’t comply in one go. Send them friendly follow-ups twice or at most thrice, clearly stating that you appreciate their support.
Another highly effective approach is to incentivize the same. That is, offer them loyalty discounts and rewards the next time they shop at your store, in exchange for dropping an honest review. This also boosts customer retention and brand loyalty.
On the flip side, if you are receiving too many negative reviews, the first thing to do is to reply in a timely and courteous manner. Assure your customers that you’ll do everything you can to fix the problem and that it won’t happen again. If needed, compensate them for their issues.
Then, go back to the drawing board and fix the root cause of the problem. Come what may, always respond and never respond harshly. Customer reviews are the ultimate form of social proof and simply put, your business can’t succeed without it.
The classic 80/20 rule applies here. Designing a stellar product page comprises a lot of moving parts, but focusing on these three fundamental ones – product images, copy, and reviews – will make at least 80 percent of the difference in your conversion rates, if not more.
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