In today’s competitive e-commerce landscape, your Product Detail Page (PDP) is often the first and last chance to make a lasting impression on potential customers. It serves as the digital storefront, the handshake, and the final sales pitch all rolled into one. To maximize its impact, you need to follow a set of best practices that cater to the needs and preferences of online shoppers.
In this article, we’ll delve into 25 tried-and-tested PDP best practices that have been meticulously curated by experts at the Baymard Institute, a renowned authority on e-commerce usability. These practices cover every aspect of your product page, from the imagery to the description, and even the interactive elements that can make or break a sale. By implementing these best practices, you can significantly enhance user experience, boost your conversion rates, and build trust with your customers.
Whether you’re running an established online store or just starting your e-commerce journey, this comprehensive guide will provide invaluable insights to help you optimize your PDPs for success. Let’s dive into these 25 essential practices that will transform your product pages and, ultimately, your bottom line.
1. Have at least 3-5 product images
Baymard Institute recommends having at least 3-5 product images for each product. 56% of desktop users first explore product images upon arriving on a page. They do this before looking at anything else.
2. Show products in scale
Baymard’s other guideline is to “always show products in scale”. This is because 42% of desktop users use product images to judge product scale. “In scale” images prevent size misconceptions.
3. Show product images from multiple angles
Baymard says to “always provide 3-5 images of products from multiple angles. Users need to gain a comprehensive visual understanding of a productin order to make a purchase decision. Straight-on shots of the product rarely fulfill this requirement.
4. Sufficient Image Resolution and Level of Zoom
Ensure all product images have sufficient resolution and level of zoom. Users need sharp, zoomable, high-res product images. Blurry or pixelated images can deter potential buyers.
5. Save / Wishlist Feature
A significant number of e-commerce users rely on ‘Save’ features like ‘Favorite’, ‘Save to List’, or ‘Wishlist’ to for later purchase. Users will struggle to save products when the feature requires an account to use or is difficult to access or understand.
6. Unique Images for All Product Variations
Provide unique “Cut Out” and “Angle” images for all visual variations. Users aren’t provided with all the visual information they need if they can’t see a basic image of the product in their preferred variation. Include “Cut Out” and “Angle” images to increase user confidence.
7. Use Swatches for Color Variations
Always use swatches as the selector for color variations. Users miss preferred options without clear color choices. Drop-down selectors are often overlooked, leading to missed choices.
8. Product Description Close to Buy Section
Place the product description within 1–2 viewports of the end of the “Buy” section on mobile. Product description should be near “Add to Cart” button. Hard-to-find details cause frustration and may lead to abandonment.
9. Clickable Ratings Average at Top of Page
Display a clickable ratings average at the top of the product page. Virtually all users look for product reviews, but the reviews themselves are often located far down the product page. Without a ratings average at the top of the product page, users may not be aware of the existence of reviews.
10. Ratings Distribution of Review Section
Provide a ratings distribution chart at the top of the review section. Graphical review overview prevents misinterpretation. Average rating doesn’t show rating spread.
11. Top of Page Breadcrumbs
Both “Hierarchy” and “History” breadcrumbs on product pages. Breadcrumbs on product pages are crucial for user navigation and understanding the site hierarchy. Without breadcrumbs, users struggle to find related products and return to previous pages.
12. Ensure the Main Product Image, Swatches, and Thumbnails are Visible in the Same Mobile Viewport
Users use color selectors, expecting main image changes. Disjointed views slow exploration, risking abandonment. Adjust layout or minimize sticky elements to ensure the main image, thumbnails, and color swatches are visible upon landing.
13. Avoid ‘Horizontal Tabs’ as the PDP Layout
PDPs with horizontal tabs suffer from discoverability issues, with 27% of users overlooking tabbed content, causing them to miss crucial product information. Opt for one of two “safe” and well-performing product page layout patterns: a “Vertically Collapsed Section” layout or a “‘One Long Page’ with a ‘Sticky TOC’” layout. A “One Long Page” without a ‘Sticky TOC’ layout is also suitable for very simple products, aesthetically driven products.
14. Provide a List of Recently Viewed Items
If it’s too difficult to re-find previously viewed items, users will likely grow fatigued and frustrated, and may not purchase anything at all. Provide a history-based recently viewed items list for all users (including those who aren’t signed in).
15. Always Provide “Feature Callout” Images
Users’ focus on product images means they may overlook key product features if they’re only described in the product description and specifications. Provide 2-5 “Feature Callout” images of a product’s most popular features to meet most users’ needs.
16. Provide ‘Lifestyle’ Images for Relevant Products
Without product images that engage users emotionally, users can have a difficult time getting inspired or excited about a product. Provide at least one “Lifestyle” image on the product page when it’s relevant to the site or product context. Prioritize “Lifestyle” images for the most important product verticals and best-selling products.
17. Style the Primary “Add to Cart” Button to Be Unique and Prominent
Competing call to action buttons are distracting and make it needlessly difficult for users to add the product to their cart. Certain colors such as grey or semi-transparent buttons can be misinterpreted by users as indicating that the item is out of stock. Ensure the “Add to Cart” button has unique styling that isn’t reused with other buttons and clearly distinguish it as the page’s primary button.
18. Style Product Price to Be Highly Visible
The product price is a crucial factor for users when evaluating a product. If it’s unclear or hard to find, users may abandon the product. This can also build a sense of distrust in the site. Place the product price in the “Buy” section and increase its visibility by using a large font size, bold text style, or eye-catching color.
19. Make the Essential Conditions for “Free Shipping” Offers Visible by Default
Unclear free shipping conditions cause checkout frustration. Many users miss the conditions for “free shipping” even when sites add an asterisk (*) or a “See Details” link after the offer text. Make the primary conditions to qualify for “free shipping” visible by default.
20. Provide an Estimated Delivery Date or Range Near the “Buy” Section
Users dislike uncertainty about delivery times. Forcing users to research, calculate, or guess when they will receive their order, adds unnecessary complexity. Provide a delivery-date estimate, or delivery-date range, near the “Buy” section. Consider embedding a delivery-date estimator tool to allow for a more accurate delivery date estimate
21. Allow Users to Purchase “Out of Stock” Products by Increasing the Delivery Time
Unavailable products lead to lost sales and then users are very likely to go to a competing site. Strategies like “Email me when in stock” or “Save” features are often ineffective as they require users to wait or create an account. Allow orders for temporarily out-of-stock items with extended delivery.
22. Highlight Key Product Features in the Product Headline
Product headlines that only include the product title don’t give users an overview of the product during the critical first few seconds after they arrive on the product page. Always provide one or more key product features in the product page headline, with the most important features directly following the product title.
23. Avoid Non-User-Initiated Live Chat Dialogs and on Mobile be Cautious with ‘Sticky’ Chat Elements
“Sticky” chat elements often block key page content on mobile devices. Non-user-initiated live chat can reflect poorly on the site and brand, especially when they appear multiple times or are difficult to close. Avoid non-user-initiated live chat overlay dialogs in general. Instead, place static links to live chat in the footer, header, and help sections.
24. Provide a Cross-Sell Section that Only Contains Alternative Products
If a specific product falls short of a user’s exact requirements, it can be difficult to find better alternatives in a vast product catalog. Provide a list of alternative cross-sells on the product page to streamline the process of finding similar items and keep users engaged. Ensure the cross-sell section only contains alternative products, not a mix of alternative and supplementary products.
25. Subdivide Long Product Descriptions with Sections and Headings
Long, unbroken, and unstructured product descriptions can be intimidating and make it difficult to locate specific types of information. Long blocks of text or bullet lists are particularly problematic on mobile due to the limited viewport. Long product descriptions, particularly those with long text blocks, should be subdivided into themed subsections using descriptive headings.
In conclusion, your Product Detail Pages (PDPs) are the heart of your online retail store. They are where potential customers form their first impressions and make critical purchase decisions. To ensure that your PDPs are working to their full potential, it’s essential to implement the 25 best practices we’ve covered in this article.
However, we understand that optimizing your PDPs can be a complex and time-consuming task, especially when you’re juggling many other aspects of your business. That’s where Market Jack comes in. Our team of experts specializes in e-commerce optimization, and we’re here to take the weight off your shoulders.
If you want to supercharge your online sales and ensure that your PDPs are perfectly tailored to your customers’ needs, it’s time to take action. Reach out to Market Jack today, and let us help you transform your PDPs into conversion powerhouses. Together, we can unlock the full potential of your online retail store and help you achieve the success you deserve.
Don’t wait – contact us now and get started on the path to e-commerce excellence with Market Jack. Your PDPs will thank you, and so will your bottom line.