The Perfect Product Detail Page to Maximize Purchases
Updated: February 15, 2022
Have you ever considered those moments when you’ve purchased something that was almost too easy to buy? The value offered, the emotional appeal, the trust, and the user experience came together in a perfect storm. In the world of ecommerce, this is what we’re going for, and the product detail page is the battleground where all of this takes place in the potential customer’s mind.
In this article, we’re going to break down our formula for the perfect ecommerce product detail page that gives the user exactly what they need at the exact moment they need it and urges them to take action.
Customers make decisions based on logical information, but they take action based on emotion. With that in mind, it’s important to fulfill both in your site experience, particularly on the product detail page.
Aside from checkout, the PDP is arguably the most important page on your site. It’s also one of the best places to increase your site’s conversion rate. Therefore, it’s critical to build it with intention, supplying the right amount of info, creating an emotional connection, and presenting an irresistible offer that compels the user to action.
How do you construct a PDP that fits all of those requirements? You’ll need both a winning strategy and structure. In this post, we’ll discuss the strategy— the why behind the design— and then we’ll outline the actual structure of elements on the page in order of priority.
Before we get started, there are a few prerequisites we assume you have in place. For one thing, you need a mobile-first site, PDPs included. At this point, most of your traffic is likely mobile. Second, you should have a fast, scalable ecommerce platform like Shopify Plus, Big Enterprise, or another cloud-hosted platform. Lastly, make sure you have the right analytics tracking in place to measure the effectiveness of your PDP within your store’s purchase funnel.
The Strategy Behind a Winning PDP Design
Every piece of your product detail page needs to work towards a single purpose – helping the user make a quick decision. Before we look at the structure of the page, we need to keep in mind the following key strategic goals.
1. Be focused
Your product detail page’s structure and design should give the user just enough information and emotional pull to influence a decision. Avoid any and all distractions.
2. Orient the user
Make sure the user knows where they are, why they are there, and why they should keep reading as quickly as possible.
3. Display only the critical details
There are certain important facts the user needs to know in order to make a purchase decision. These should be quickly and easily accessible, but keep it brief. If there is more information you would like to put on the PDP (for example, specs, measurements, or care instructions) give the user a way to explore this deeper if they are interested. This is as simple as tucking those bulleted lists away into a drop-down or other collapsable section.
4. Create emotion
This is not just fluff. It’s actually one of the most important strategic elements. Think about the last time you purchased a product you were super excited about. Chances are, there was a considerable emotional factor influencing your purchase, right?
On the product page, use the title, description, photography, and all other elements on the page to get the visitor excited about this product. One way to do this is by telling the real story behind why you create this product. This will help connect to the customer’s personal needs or wants, make it clear why your product will make their life better, and create raving fans of your brand.
5. Build trust
This is the icing on the cake for a winning PDP strategy. You can have a great offer, compelling story, and real urgency and still not win the sale. But if you have all of these elements and help the user trust your brand, you’ll really have a winning strategy. Build trust with customer reviews as well as mentions of your brand’s warranty or guarantee.
6. Create action
Don’t underestimate the thinking that should go into the CTA button. The copy around and within your CTA blocks is critical. It should be genuine and not obnoxious but still compel the user to action. From a technical standpoint, placement and visibility are also key, which may require some testing. Check out our helpful guide for conversion rate optimization here.
7. Make it easy
Be careful not to distract with sections like related products, but when appropriate, be sure to let the user know about other products that compliment the one they are viewing. You could also take the opportunity to show off any bundled offers. Whatever you do, make it easy for the user. A good rule of thumb is to give someone no more than three options. More than that can overwhelm the user and make it hard to make a decision.
How to Design The Perfect Product Detail Page
Now that we have a good understanding of a winning strategy, let’s get into the actual structure of a great product detail page. These are the physical elements that should be present on a PDP in priority order:
We won’t get too technical here, but the correct use of breadcrumbs is an important piece for navigation, orienting the user, and also has its benefits with search engines.
2. Product title
Make the title brief and compelling, following a standard site structure. You don’t need to reiterate variant details like size or color in the title. Keep it simple. This is essentially your product’s headline and needs to fulfill the 5-second rule!
3. Basic product details
If your product title is your “headline”, treat your product description as if it’s copy for an ad. This is not the manual or handbook for your product. It just needs to be descriptive, compelling, and convincing.
4. Product images and video
The product images and any videos you use should be practical, as well as tie your product to aspirational, lifestyle imagery. We recommend at least one standard product shot on a consistent background along with several lifestyle images (photos with humans using your product). These images must be high quality. This is ecommerce— you can’t sell without images, and having NO image is actually better than a really bad one. Therefore great photography, videos, and media are critical.
5. Price and/or discount
Display the price clearly as well as any discounts. If you’re running a sale, it’s often helpful to mark down the price and show the sale price right next to it. Whether you have a promo running or not, include payment plans (like Sezzle, AfterPay, etc) and other critical information that make it EASY for the user to say YES.
6. Reviews stars
Near the product title and price, include a simple star rating and link the stars to the reviews further down the page. This is a small, but extremely important element.
7. Call to action (primary)
Your first call to action is a buy button or add-to-cart button. Make it clear, obvious (not obnoxious), and easy to use. When clicked this should either go directly to the cart page or just add the item to the shopping cart without leaving the page. The option you choose depends on the type of product you sell. If people are likely to shop around and purchase more than one product, simply add to the cart and keep them on the product page so they can continue shopping. If you have a type of product that people will only buy one at a time, get them to the checkout as soon as possible.
One of the three components of an irresistible offer is a great guarantee. The stronger the guarantee, the lower the resistance to buy will be. We call this “de-risking” the sale for the customer. The more you can encourage the customer that this purchase is risk-free, the easier it will be to get the sale.
Find a way to tell the story behind why you created this product. As we mentioned in the strategy section, this is very important to help create authenticity and an emotional connection. This does not have to be a sad story or even a noble one if that doesn’t apply to your brand. Don’t fake it. Simply take a section to explain why you saw a need in the market for this type of product and how your customer’s life will be better because of this. Include high-quality photos and videos here too.
You can have the perfect product detail page, but at the end of the day, users will trust what others say about your product more than anything you say yourself. Reviews and social proof are absolutely critical in the ecommerce experience. If you get this wrong (or just don’t include them), you are a sinking ship. If you can get this right, it will be a huge competitive advantage. All that to say, include the full reviews at this point in the product detail page. If you are a new brand or this is a new product that doesn’t have reviews yet, place at least one to three great testimonials on the page.
11. Call to action (secondary)
Be aware of your page length. It’s okay to have long pages, as long as they are structured to allow your visitor to easily navigate to the top or dig deeper at their leisure. For that reason, we recommend adding secondary CTAs as needed toward the bottom of the page to make it easy to add the product to the cart without scrolling back up. If your site allows for a floating, ever-present CTA that would also be helpful.
12. User-generated content
If customers are posting about your product on social media, that is a great layer to add further down the page. Pulling in those photos and captions helps build trust and puts it in context for the user.
13. Related products or categories
Again, we don’t want to overwhelm or confuse the customer. However, a critical piece to scaling an ecommerce store is increasing the average order value and customer lifetime value. A great way to do that is by merchandising complimentary products where it makes sense on the page in a non-intrusive way. To keep it easy for the customer, we like to make this one of the last elements on the page.
Ready to build a PDP that converts visitors into customers?
The product detail page is one of the most critical pages in the path of your ecommerce site and constructing it with intention is absolutely necessary. We hope this guide to the strategy and structure of the page helps you think about your PDP in a way that will dramatically increase your conversion rate. If you’d like to know more, reach out to us at Metacake for more info!