Your Product Pages As a Customer Service Defense Line
The challenge of online shopping is a lack of tactile interaction. Your customer can’t hold, try on, try out, or get an in-person feel for your product. But it’s your job to make none of that matter and to convert the curious into a customer. Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think when you know how…
Even though your home page is most important in making those first impressions about your brand positioning and proposition, all the real action happens on your product page.
Customers spend the vast majority of their time on the product page. It’s no wonder that this is where sales are lost and won. Everything that happens there is about conversion — the holy grail of E-Commerce.
Product pages are also the main source of questions and complaints. But by designing your product pages well, you can keep that inbox under control.
Your product pages are the outermost layer of what we call your customer service’s “defense lines.” These pages are where you can best manage expectations and prevent unhappy customers while keeping costs under control.
There is a ton of great advice out there on how to best optimize product pages (here, here and also here for instance). As a growing E-Commerce site you already have the basics down, so we’re going to focus on just a few of the must-haves that will keep shoppers shopping — and converting!
We’re going to pay particular attention to the areas within a website that generate the most questions and complaints, bringing you yet another step closer to reducing your support costs!
Product images: size, quality, and quantity
Pictures say a thousand words. Cheesy, we know, but true. And the bigger the image, the better the conversion — up to 9% better according to this study. FiftyThree does images (and many other things) beautifully.
But you should never sacrifice quality when utilizing large images. Mismatches in color between images and product lead to unhappy customers — something you want to avoid at all costs.
Multiple images also help. Different angles, zooms, rollover options — they all help shoppers get a really good feel of what to expect when they buy. When you do this well, your website shows quality, care, and attention.
Perhaps the best example we’ve seen of great images is this example from Warby Parker (on Magento). Their images are huge. High quality. And they’ve superimposed measurements when you hover over them too.
In fact, Warby Parker pulls out virtually every image trick in the book. The company allows you to “try on” their sunglasses in a virtual environment by adding your own photo. The site offers multiple views of their glasses too and uses the same background, lighting, and angles in all of their images, that way the store looks fresh and clean.
If you can add a live person demoing your product, that’s even better. It’s often the final purchase-decision trigger. Here’s a great example of that from StudioNeat.
Product descriptions and specifications: be extensive but smart!
If you’re selling sleeves for a mobile phone, for example, you can easily slip the product specifications into the product description area. But when you’re selling more complex items that have many decision factors, you need to get specific.
This means providing as much product information as you can: full dimensions, weights, materials, colors, cut and fit when it’s clothing, and so on.
However, you don’t want to overcrowd your product page with all of the information in one place. Using drop-down menus or even simple tabs like Evisu does here is a great solution.
Most E-Commerce platforms don’t have too much functionality to display product specs. If you’re on Shopify, here’s some good advice on how to add custom product specs to your store.
CardinalCase backs up their products with social proof of satisfaction by putting customer reviews right next to their descriptions. That’s something that really builds trust.
Stock indication: clearly communicate stock levels per item
Buying a new pair of sneakers generally makes people happy. Finding out the ones you want are not in stock after you’ve purchased does not.
You can prevent this by clearly indicating if the item is in stock or not. Strangely enough, most e-commerce platforms don’t have stock indicators as a standard feature in their basic themes. You can learn more about how different features can stave off customer complaints over here.
When it comes to stock indication, Threadless is right up there. Full stock indication on every size is clear and visible before customers purchase. The only addition we can think of here is to add an “Only two left!”-type of call-to-action.
In a perfect world, as well as informing users when products are going out of stock, you should inform them of when the product will be back in stock as well. It increases the chances of pre-orders!
Delivery time: clearly communicate the delivery time per item
In most E-Commerce platforms you can set delivery times for specific products. Indicating delivery times is, of course, dependent on your carrier. But, above all, you need to be crystal clear about your terms and conditions — pricing, return policy, right of withdrawal, and shipping costs
But you could go even further. If you are on Shopify, check out carrier-calculated shipping. It calculates shipping costs in real time.
Product Pages Ready!
We’ve made our way through your product pages, and by now you should feel confident tackling the main source of any questions and complaints.
Now let’s help you make certain your contact center rock — complete with an intuitive FAQ, smart searches, and more.