Your product pages are the last stop a visitor to your site will make before adding something to their cart - so how do you get them to hit the add button? Since the indisputable goal of a product page is to convince a user to add the product to their cart, we want to discuss how to get them to reach that goal, and not necessarily deal with what happens when they begin your checkout process (that's for another post!). In the world of eCommerce, it's often more helpful to dissect your visitors path step-by-step: ask yourself how can you move your visitor from Point A to Point B and not from Point A to Point E? When dealing with product pages, the answer lies in presenting a combination of informative product features and store policies. We've put together a checklist of 12 elements that are absolutely essential to making sure your product page is both highly beneficial to your visitors and as high converting as possible! Check them out below:

1. "Ready to Buy" Container

We call it a Ready to Buy container, you can call it whatever you want! Essentially, it's a container that houses the most relevant information about a product - price, shipping cost/time, perhaps a small summary and a call to action, usually in the form of an add to cart button. The container is a great way to group these important elements and further highlight the information that typically pushes the user to add an item to their cart.

2. Strong Call to Action

Question: You're standing 6 feet from your monitor - what should stick out? Answer: Your add to cart button! Make sure it's not only located in a prominent position on the page - typically the top, to the right of the product image. Also be sure that the size and color are bold enough for the button to differentiate itself form the rest of the elements on the page.

3. Shipping Cost & Estimated Shipping Time

Don't bother hiding your high shipping costs or long lead times, you'll only frustrate your users. They won't necessarily be upset with such costs or times, but they don't want them to be a complete mystery. Make them clear on the product page, preferably in the Ready to Buy container.

4. Product Availability

This is especially important for sites whose stock is always fluctuating, but should be included on all sites as an added assurance. Let your users know whether or not a product is in stock; if not, when will it become available? Letting customers order and then following up to let them know what they ordered is out of stock may lead to negative customer reviews and certainly isn't the best way to attract a repeat buyer.

5. Multiple/Different Sized Product Photos

The saying "an image says a 1,000 words" couldn't be more true when it comes to product photos. The biggest difference between shopping in a physical store and shopping online is that in a store you get to touch and hold the product, or even try it out. Because visitors to your site won't be able to do this with your products, you need to show them multiple sizes of your products and multiple angles, if possible. By doing so, you'll give your users a better sense of what they're looking at, and a stronger reason for them to buy.

6. Description & Relevant Documents

Including a product description shouldn't even be on this list...and it wouldn't be... if all eTailers included descriptions! You don't need to write a research paper here, a small paragraph or two and a short list of features will usually suffice. Higher end products will typically require more in depth descriptions, but the majority of products under $200 will perform just fine with the recommendation above.

7. Customer Reviews

Personally, I won't even buy a product anymore if I can't read what someone else thought about it! Customer reviews provide the most straightforward information about a given product, often surpassing the value of a description in their detail and earnestness. If you don't enable customer reviews on your site, I strongly recommend it! I guarantee that you'll see an increase in conversion on that product pages that include reviews, whether positive or negative.

8. Price & Quantity Discounts

Make sure the cost of your product is highly visible to your users, as it will be one of the first elements they'll look for on the product page. This may seem obvious, but I still come across many large retailers whose prices are so misplaced and/or "small" that they seem to be hiding them. Also be sure to clearly present any sort of quantity discounts in or near your Ready to Buy container!

9. Upsells

Upsells are all about finding the right accessories to complement a given product and clearly presenting them to your users. Do you sell winter coats? Make a pair of gloves, a beanie, and a scarf your upsells - who wouldn't want to add those to their order? These can be mentioned on the product page simply in text form with a way to add them to a cart.

10. Related Products

Related products are perfect for including underneath your description towards the bottom of your product page, or over in the right column. The idea behind related products is simple: save the sale! If a customer isn't quite sold on whatever they're looking at, instead of leaving your site or bothering to search again, they can go directly to closely related products that you've chosen for them.

11. Quantity Field

A lot of eTailers take the quantity field for granted and simply leave it out of their product pages. Why not easily offer your users the option to buy more than one product? Furthermore, make sure the quantity field defaults at a value of 1; nothing is more frustrating than trying to add a product to you cart and being stopped by an obnoxious error message claiming you have to "add at least 1 item to your cart"!

12. SKU or Related Part #

Often times, the SKU or part # of a product may be the one element that your user needs to know before they make a purchase. In many industries, there will only be a slight difference in a product that isn't visible in an image; giving it an additional label by SKU or part # may be the differentiator in those types of situations.

How do your product pages measure up?

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