Posted on January 22, 2023
Every element of your website plays a significant role in conversion optimization. If your product is great, but your photos of it are low-resolution and grainy, people won’t want to take a chance on it. Likewise, they’ll be put off if your website is slow and unresponsive, even though you might offer stellar customer service and same-day shipping.
In this post, we’ll discuss key web design principles that will elevate your products and maximize conversion rates. We’ll be looking at more than just product pages and exploring how you can create a pleasant experience that puts your products front and center without compromising speed, branding, or ease of use.
Social proof is one of the most effective ways to build trust. In fact, 88% of customers trust user reviews as much as they would friends or family. 57% of them will also only make a purchase if the product has at least a 4-star review.
In order to boost conversion rates, your first step is to make product reviews and customer testimonials as visible on your product pages as possible. They shouldn’t outshine the product itself, but they need to be hard to miss.
Lush’s Deep Sleep Epsom salt cube product page is a good example of the kind of layout you are looking for. The top half of the page is populated with product information: images, price, ingredients, benefits, and directions for use.
The bottom half is reserved for user reviews. There’s one highlighted review, followed by the usual star ratings format. The best part of this review section is that it’s filterable not only based on ratings but also on the age and bath needs of the reviewer.
Don’t forget to include ratings and reviews on product category pages too. Shoppers are much more likely to see them before they see an actual product, so you have an excellent chance of establishing trust and demonstrating quality.
This 9 hole pitching nets category page by Anytime Baseball Supply does a good job. They feature a carousel of customer reviews at the bottom, alongside the customary star rating that accompanies each product. A great way to showcase their entire range and demonstrate customer satisfaction.
Some products are highly complex and generate tons of questions in the mind of customers. Before they make a purchase, they are likely to get in touch with your sales or support teams, thus considerably extending conversion times.
While you should always encourage your customers to get in touch if they want to ask you something, adding an explainer video to your product pages can significantly shorten the sales cycle (and leave your support staff more time to handle other issues).
Long sales cycles provide the shopper with more opportunities to bail, as they are given more time to think. While you are not exactly looking to encourage impulse purchases, you definitely want to capitalize on them and help a customer convert as soon as possible.
The goal of the explainer video is to show what the product does, what it looks like, and how it will benefit the customer. This medical alert system page has a neat video that ticks all the right boxes. It shows the product in use and how to mount it; plus, the presenter sprinkles in information about its life-saving capabilities and ease of use.
Depending on your traffic sources and customer behavior, the majority of your visitors may rarely land on a product page. If the first point of contact they have with your store is your homepage or a non-product landing page, you need to ensure it’s filled with elements that will spark enough interest to get the visitor to click through.
Don’t expect customers to go the extra mile. You need to be the one who does that and provide a pleasant experience with as little pressure as possible.
Start by clearly showing your product(s) on the homepage. The images need to be large and eye-catching, preferably showing the product in use. Your goal is to get a visitor interested and send them through to the product page.
To that end, you need CTAs and links to product pages. Yes, visitors can use your menu, but they will be much more likely to click on an image-adjacent CTA than browse a mega menu.
Tangle Teezer does a great job. They’ve cleverly showcased some of their newest items on the homepage. Their most popular item (the original Tangle Teezer) is nowhere to be seen. They understand that shoppers are likely to have already heard of it, so there is little point in promoting it further.
The images on the homepage steal the show, and you see plenty of teezers in action. All you need to do is choose the one that best matches your hair needs.
Online shoppers are just like in-person shoppers. They want to see the product. They shop with their eyes, and they don’t always rely on reasoning to help them make a purchasing decision. If they like what they see, they are more likely to buy.
The main challenge of ecommerce and product page design is thus to show the product as realistically as pixels will allow. The more detail you can provide, and the closer a customer can get to know an item, the better.
Customers will want to know the size of a product in context and surrounded by familiar objects. It’s not enough to show the dimensions (although you should definitely feature them). People won’t have the patience to get their rulers out and check what so many inches really looks like.
This bi-fold wallet is shown in plenty of context, and you get a real feel for its size. Even though you more or less expect it to fit a dollar bill, you get to see how much room there really is in it, and the video near the bottom of the page also shows you all the neat pockets you can use to store your cards.
Depending on the nature of the product, customers may also need to see it in use. If you’re selling mugs, there will be no question as to how the product should be used. But a simple photo of someone drinking their morning cup of coffee will still communicate those lifestyle values that usually sway a conversion.
Other products simply demand an in-use image. Take this multitool from KeySmart. Customers will certainly appreciate the various shots of it used to open a box and tighten a screw. These shots are also a great way to communicate the benefits of the product, and they also serve as size references. Talk about killing several birds with one stone!
The photos on product category pages are just as important as the ones on individual product pages. As you know, a large portion of your audience will be exposed to them, so making sure they are large enough to showcase the product properly is vital.
Here’s a good example from Shop Solar Kits. Their solar panels category page features images the same size as on their product pages, so it’s much easier to see what the product actually is. They also have the “quick view” option, enabling shoppers to see the products they are interested in without having to click through to another page.
The zoom feature on your product pages can significantly impact conversion rates. Providing a minimal amount of zoom will hinder user experience. What customers want to see is the nitty gritty detail of a product. They don’t want a larger version of the same photo. They want fabric and texture details.
This bulk xylitol product page from Vivion will show you exactly what kind of zoom you are aiming for. It lets you zoom in twice on the photo, and even though there’s not much to see, the brand still goes the extra mile and lets you examine their packaging up close.
This feature is especially important for clothing items and accessories, but furniture and decorative items can also benefit from it.
Showing a couple of product images on the category page is another great way to spark the interest of casual shoppers. Ideally, they will want to see the product itself, as well as the item in use or being worn.
Free People certainly capitalize on this approach. Look at their hats category page. You see a model wearing the hat, and you can also see what the hat looks like with a neutral background, without the distraction of a human face, when you hover over the image.
Generating trust with your customers is, as you know, one of the key elements of boosting conversion rates. Trust badges can help you communicate vital information at a glance and ensure your customers are privy to all the most relevant information they need.
They are a great way to overcome those common conversion obstacles and prove you are a credible brand. Depending on the nature of your business and the product in question, you can choose various trust badges to display.
For instance, Kettle and Fire have chosen to highlight the quality of their products with trust badges. Check out their beef bone broth page. The badges tell you that it’s dairy- and gluten-free, as well as keto- and paleo-friendly. The brand clearly understands that its shoppers will want to know what they’re putting in their bodies. It knows that product quality will weigh more than shipping policies.
You can highlight other aspects of your business: return policies, the quality of your customer service, or whatever else will help prove your value and impact your customers’ decision-making process the most.
In order to make your product truly stand out, you need to ensure there is minimal clutter around it. You don’t want shoppers to be too distracted by the background or the menu. The product needs to stand out the most.
Here’s a superbly minimalist product page by Greats. Their Union sneaker takes up half the screen, and there are zero distractions from the gallery. You can pick the size and the color, but that is it for the majority of the page.
As you scroll further down, the same trend is still in effect. There is nothing else to see other than the product details and the product reviews.
You don’t need as much negative space on your pages if you’d like to add some interest to them. However, the goal should be to instantly draw the eye to the most important elements: the images, the description, the social proof, and the trust badges. Don’t let any colorful or innovative design feature distract from them.
Consider applying these design principles to your product, category, and landing pages. Of course, it may take some time and considerable effort to implement some of them. But rest assured that it will pay off in increased conversion and a better and more recognizable brand image.