A recent webinar from Visual Website Optimizer (VWO) in which Siddharth Deswal, senior marketer at VWO took us through an interesting 7 tests of website performance, attracted my attention.
Product pages are the most complex as well as the most important category of pages in an online store (or your affiliate review site). As such, they should be the platform on which the major part of your website testing takes place.
Below are a few things from the webinar I wanted to share with you that you shouldn’t forget when creating product pages for an affiliate site.
- Use a High Resolution Product Picture
The product should look as attractive as possible. You want your customers to fall in love with your product in an instant. A beautiful high-resolution picture can do half the job for you.
- Make Your CTA Stand Out
Have you ever seen those web pages with three, four or even five or more call to action buttons, banners and similar? Have you clicked on any of them? I thought not. Less is more. Put just one on the page and it will stand out and attract the attention you want.
- Use Trust Badges
You know those little stamps and badges that say a product is “100 % natural” or has been “approved by”? They work because people trust them. People like to have some assurance that they are making the right buying decision. Trust badges make them feel more secure, increasing their likelihood of buying the product.
- Introduce a Sense of Scarcity and Urgency
Use wording like “selling out fast”, “only a few left in stock”, and “last few items”. People will feel that if they don’t buy now they might miss the opportunity altogether, so the chance of an instant buy is higher.
- Highlight Benefits, Not Features
You should always display the benefits of your product rather than the features. When talking about features you are assuming that your customer already knows a lot about the product or the niche that it belongs to in general. Tell your customer how the product will benefit them. For example, it is better to say that your product will contribute to your customer’s health and strengthen their immune system than to just number all of its ingredients such as Echinacea, Elderberry and Vitamin C, because your customer won’t necessarily know what the benefits of those ingredients are. There are of course some exceptions to this. For example, if you are selling technical products it will be important to describe the features. But you should always try to turn those features into a benefit anyway.
- Add a Product Video
Make a short video introducing the product. It doesn’t have to be professional video. Check out what Zappos is doing with their employees talking about a certain shoe. Of course this once again depends on the product you are selling. If it is a car, take it out for a test ride. If it is a dress, have a model wear it. On the other hand, a box of tea probably doesn’t need a video!
- Show Reviews and User Generated Content
Research has shown that user generated content is the most important information that buyers use when it comes to deciding whether a product is suitable for them or not. By adding reviews and other user generated content, your customer is more likely to buy, because they can see what other people think of it first.
- Use Social Media Buttons Wisely
This debate is becoming almost as complicated as the one with the chicken and the egg. Use your common sense on the subject. If you are selling farming machinery such as a tractor, having a share or like button is probably not such a good idea. But if you are selling a nice beauty product, then social media interaction is highly probable. But don’t be misled thinking that they can’t do any harm if they are there. They actually can. If there are no comments, no likes or shares, a customer might think there is no interest in this particular product, and so won’t be encouraged to buy.
- Be Clear on Shipping Options and Delivery Times
Customers don’t like surprises – at least, not the unpleasant ones. So always clearly display shipping charges and whether VAT is included or excluded. Don’t add hidden charges at the end of the checkout process as this may well turn your customer away from buying. Be careful of estimated delivery times. Clearly display when the product will be delivered to customer and stick to that plan. You don’t want a disappointed customer, especially if this is their first time buying from your online store. If you are not sure, it’s better to overestimate and then please your customer with earlier delivery. That’s a surprise they will like.
- Use the Principle of Proximity
Always introduce related information in groups and keep them close to each other. Put information on the product such as color, fabric, washing instructions, size etc. in one group and buying instructions such as pricing, delivery and availability into another. Using this principle of proximity makes for a more organized page layout and minimizes clutter, giving your customer a more user friendly experience.
By keeping these tips in mind you can create a highly converting product page. But each page is different, and each has its own specific target group, so the best way to know how your customers are responding is by testing. There is no information more valuable than your own testing, so remember to test, test and test some more.