Shopping is work until you walk into the right store. There’s something about it: the people, the ambience, the merchandising, the efficiency, the spacing. You know it when you see it. For me, it’s any Todd Snyder store. For others, it may be Lululemon, Draper James, or Drake’s of London. There are few easier places that can persuade a consumer to transact happily. You walk out wanting to tell a friend to shop there with you next time.
How does this very real sensation translate to online shopping? I’d argue directly. If you’re a fan of online shopping, the perfect product page is a hook.
The perfect product detail page (PDP) can determine whether the casual shopper becomes a consumer and whether or not a consumer becomes a fan. A repeat buyer is more than design, there are fundamental tools and services that accentuate design and brand equity. In fashion’s direct-to-consumer operations, the importance of an optimized PDP begins with the store’s foundation, continues with its integrations, and even the base level architecture influences design and user experience.
In today’s world, eCommerce has become an essential part of our daily lives. With the rise of online shopping in fashion retail, it is more important than ever for businesses to create a perfect PDP to attract and retain customers.
Copywriting: A clear and concise product description is essential to creating a perfect eCommerce product page. It should describe the product’s features, benefits, and how it can solve the customer’s problem. It should also include information about the product’s dimensions, material, and any other relevant details that could help the customer make an informed decision.
Effective copywriting employs persuasive language, storytelling, and emotionally led content to resonate with the target audience and prompt them to take action. Here’s an example of an Italian get away-inspired garment at Todd Snyder:
Tucked away in the heart of the Alps, the family-run Tessuti di Sondrio mill was founded in 1895 and is one of Italy’s most revered cotton fabric weavers — their philosophy marries innovation with a respect for natural materials.
The fabric is sourced from Italy and manufactured in China. You almost forget that latter fact when you’re done reading the bulleted product details. Copywriting taps into shared human experiences and emotions, addressing the customers’ pain points and aspirations. This personal touch in the content makes consumers feel understood and valued, further enhancing their connection with the brand.
The importance of copywriting lies in its ability to evoke feelings such as trust, desire, or excitement. By carefully crafting product descriptions, headlines, and calls-to-action, copywriters can highlight the unique selling points and brand values, ultimately creating an emotional bond with the consumer.
Visuals: Images play a crucial role in an eCommerce product page. High-quality images help customers visualize the product and its features, which can lead to a higher conversion rate. The product images should be clear and show the product from different angles. Businesses should also consider adding a zoom feature so that customers can view the product in detail. Preppy sportswear brand Kule does a great job of this here:
- individual product shot against a solid backdrop
- multiple styling shots
- a lifestyle shot
Retailers can take it another step forward by embedding 360-degree imaging and lifestyle video. Imagine a tuxedo product page for a moment. High-quality images and videos that showcase the product in an authentic and appealing manner can evoke emotions and help consumers visualize the product as part of their lives. For instance, images of a well-tailored tuxedo on a perfect wedding day, staged in the lobby or on the grounds of the Phoenix Biltmore can elicit a sense of nostalgia, FOMO, aspirational urges or a combination of all three. Now add spin back video of a product and you have the full impression of the possibility. By creating a vivid, sensory experience, the product page enables consumers to form an emotional bond with the brand or product.
Objectivity: Customer reviews are one of the most powerful tools businesses can use to increase sales – and not only the positive ones. I prefer shopping product pages with negative reviews. It actually elevates the four- and five-star reviews that are typical on product pages. In the case of Todd Snyder (which operates on Shopify Plus), Okendo reviews fits seamlessly without any external branding. It’s common for review plugins to require branded placement on product pages. Simplicity with objectivity is a winning proposition.
This negative review with an immediate response is near-perfect execution. Customers trust other customers’ opinions, and reviews provide social proof that the product is worth purchasing. The reviews should be visible on the product page and include both positive and negative feedback. The latter is the most important part. From 2015-2019, the FTC alleged that Fashion Nova never approved several hundred thousand negative Yotpo reviews. Here is more detail on the case, which resulted in $4.2 million in fines:
In January of 2021, Yotpo alerted brands that were using their auto-publishing feature that they needed to take action on all withheld reviews or they would be automatically published. Yotpo noted at the time, “while we allow a 14-day window, the FTC may require brands to moderate and make decisions about posting in a much shorter time period.”
Objective reviews on product pages play a crucial role in building trust and credibility among potential customers. They provide unbiased insights into the performance, quality, and value of a product, enabling consumers to make informed decisions. Objective reviews help to paint a realistic picture of the user experience, highlighting both the strengths and weaknesses of a product. This transparency fosters better decision-making, reduces the likelihood of disappointment or dissatisfaction, and ultimately leads to higher customer satisfaction rates. Furthermore, honest feedback allows businesses to identify areas for improvement, driving innovation and enhancing the overall quality of their offerings.
The call: A call-to-action is a button or link that encourages the customer to take action, such as adding the product to their cart or checking out. The CTA should be visible and stand out on the page. It should also be clear and concise, telling the customer what action to take.
It’s either shop, buy, or learn, though not in that particular order. In fact, it depends on whether the product page is designed to be nearer to the beginning or the end of the funnel. They are often used to inspire sale or transact (after inspiration is found elsewhere). The homepage and its merchandising helps to pull people in, whereas the PDP converts the sale as long as the CTA is simple and visible (above the fold), with a strong signal.
The funnel looks like: discovery, consideration, revenue, retention, and advocacy. The two that are most relevant are consideration and revenue. Consideration is one of the two main CTAs: add to cart / add to wishlist. Revenue is the final CTA before purchase: buy now / checkout. The Vuori team uses only two CTAs and they both indicate: “Find my size” and “add to cart.”
The best CTA for a product page should be clear, concise, and compelling, motivating the visitor to take the desired action.
Complete the outfit: Product recommendations are a great way to increase sales and improve the customer experience. By suggesting similar or complementary products, fashion brands can encourage customers to purchase more items. Product recommendations can be based on the customer’s browsing or purchase history, or other factors such as popularity or subjective curation. There are several options for recommendation solutions. Here are just a few:
- Part of the Adobe Experience Cloud, Adobe Target uses AI and machine learning to deliver personalized product recommendations based on user behavior. Optimizely is known for its A/B testing capabilities but the platform also offers personalized product recommendations that can be tailored to different customer segments.
- Dynamic Yield is a personalization platform that offers real-time product recommendations, using machine learning algorithms to optimize and adapt to customer preferences. Nosto’s AI-powered product recommendation engine analyzes customer behavior to deliver personalized recommendations across multiple channels, including web, email, and social media.
- Emarsys is a marketing automation platform that provides personalized product recommendations through AI-driven customer segmentation and targeting. IBM Watson Commerce leverages IBM’s AI capabilities to help Watson Commerce deliver real-time personalized product recommendations based on customer behavior and preferences. And acquired by Kibo Commerce, Certona offers an AI-driven personalization platform that includes product recommendations tailored to individual customers.
Or, if your brand is built on data-driven recommendations, Noie is an example of a retailer that takes it to the next level. According to ThingTesting, Noie has a full-time machine learning engineer on staff.
According to the brand’s own data, it’s working. Nøie says that when it launched its first skincare formula in 2019, the rate of positive feedback stood at about 30%. As of today, that figure stands at around 86%.
The price is right: Pricing information is a critical element on any eCommerce website, as it directly impacts the customer’s purchasing decisions and overall shopping experience. The importance of accurate, transparent, and easily accessible pricing information cannot be overstated. It should be clear and transparent. Customers should be able to see the price, any discounts or promotions, and shipping costs if applicable.
Retailers should also consider displaying the price in different currencies, depending on their target market. Uncrate does all of the above pretty well. The price is visible throughout each product page. Discounted products are noted in its red signature typeface and there is always a section devoted to a “surplus” of goods. Failing to manage pricing information is associated with the number one reason for abandonment:
Here are the keys to addressing many of the reasons for abandonment according to the Baymard Institute:
- Informed decision-making: Providing clear pricing information allows customers to make informed decisions about the products they’re interested in purchasing. This transparency enables them to assess the value of the product, compare it with other options, and decide whether it fits their budget.
- Trust and credibility: Transparent pricing helps build trust and credibility with customers. Hidden costs, unclear pricing, or pricing discrepancies can lead to customer dissatisfaction, damaged brand reputation, and lost sales.
- Conversion optimization: Accurate and prominently displayed pricing information is essential for driving conversions. When customers can quickly understand the cost of a product, they are more likely to proceed with a purchase.
- Reduced cart abandonment: Clearly displayed pricing, including any additional costs like taxes and shipping fees, reduces the likelihood of cart abandonment. Customers dislike being surprised by unexpected costs during the checkout process, and transparent pricing helps prevent this issue.
- Competitive advantage: Featuring competitive prices and promotions on your eCommerce website can attract price-sensitive customers and encourage them to choose your products over those of competitors. In addition, showcasing pricing information prominently can highlight any unique value propositions or special offers.
- Streamlined customer journey: Clearly displaying pricing information on product pages and throughout the customer journey can reduce friction and improve the overall shopping experience. By making it easy for customers to access and understand pricing, you can create a more seamless and enjoyable online shopping experience.
Easy come, easy go: Shipping and returns information should be easy to find and understand. And if done correctly, shipping and returns should beat a consumer’s expectations. Paris’ Satisfy brand, a luxury running company that ships from France sets the expectation that delivery will be fast.
Express shipments typically take 2 – 5 business days to arrive. Orders placed before 5am GMT on a business day are normally fulfilled the same day, any orders after are fulfilled the following business day. Please note, shipping times may vary due to weather, customs, or other unforeseen conditions.
The brand delivers on this promise thanks to its partnership with Colissimo. Customers should know how long it will take for their order to arrive, the shipping method, and any tracking information. They should also know the returns policy, including how to initiate a return and any associated costs. Here are the expectations.
Return shipping is free for online orders mailed back within 15 days of original purchase. Follow the instructions below for returns. Items must be unworn, unwashed, and undamaged with original labels intact. Items may be exchanged for a different size or color of the same style. Merchandise purchased from another retailer cannot be returned to Satisfy, please check their return policy.
Easy returns are a critical aspect of e-commerce, as they significantly influence customer satisfaction, loyalty, and overall shopping experience. This impacts: customer trust, encourages first-time purchases, reduces cart abandonment, fosters positive word of mouth, boosts customer LTV, and provides insight via customer data.
Sizing up: The last quiet worker of the perfect product page is the sizing algorithm. These have the potential to revolutionize the way customers choose sizes when shopping online. These algorithms are likely to replace traditional online retail size charts.
Sizing algorithms like the one Bold Metrics employs can provide tailored size recommendations based on a collective of individually collected data. From the Bold Metrics feature on the perfect product page:
Our AI models have been trained for over eight years and generate over 50 individual body measurements quickly and accurately. Layer that with specific garment data on a per-style basis, and you have a granular approach to fit that leaves no stone unturned to give your shoppers a best-fit recommendation.
With specific measurements and personal preferences, Bold Metrics offers a more personalized shopping experience compared to generic size charts. This means: improved accuracy, better user experience, reduced returns, enhanced brand loyalty, and inclusivity.
With no Vuori store in the region, I relied on the “find my size” CTA that brought me to a four question interstitial that provided the correct size for a product that I’d recently discovered.
In fact, here’s a short list of frequent visits to direct-to consumer fashion retailers that do a lot correctly: from product page to integrations to fulfillment expectations.
A perfect PDP is essential for generating sales and keeping customers coming back for more. Fashion brands must ensure that their product page includes a clear product description, high-quality images, unbiased customer reviews, calls-to-action, product recommendations, sensitive pricing information, shipping and returns information, a sizing algorithm, and mobile optimization. By implementing these elements, businesses can create a perfect eCommerce product page that will help them stand out in a crowded market and drive sales.
The product page is more than introduction to the retailer and its mant products. If done correctly with these enhancements working in tandem, the perfect PDP fosters emotional attachment – the same you’d feel walking through your favorite physical storefront. It’s more than the front page. The real work is beneath the surface.
By Web Smith | Edited by Hilary Milnes with Art by Christina Williams and Alex Remy