Making a Killer Product Detail Page
Episode #4 of the course How to start an online store by Patrick Rauland
Hello, aspiring entrepreneur!
We have your platform, and you know enough to launch your website. Now let’s talk about a few things that will be included on your site. Today, we’re going to look into what makes a product page amazing.
I have sobering news: Humans are not rational.
We like to think we’re rational and that we always make logical decisions. But more often than not, we make emotional decisions and we justify with logic after the fact.
“We are not thinking machines that feel; rather, we are feeling machines that think.” —Antonio Damasio
When it comes to building a product page, you want to have useful information like the price, the dimensions, etc. But ultimately, you want to show what that person’s life will be like after they buy your product. I always like to think about Apple ads. They almost never talk about features. They don’t mention the RAM, the hard drive, or size. They show people jamming to their favorite tunes.
The most they say in their ads is, “1,000 songs in your pocket” with someone dancing in the background—a catchy tagline that was necessary in 2001 when no one knew what an MP3 player was. Over a decade later, they pretty much still just show people dancing through the streets.
So, you need to put emotion in every part of your product page: the headline, the description, and the photos. Don’t talk about what it is (ex. 100 MB hard drive); talk about what it does (lets you carry your songs with you) and what effect that has on your life (feel like yourself even when you’re away from your computer).
Most e-commerce platforms give you space for a few paragraphs of text. Make sure to take advantage of this. I like imagining that I’m writing to one person who is my ideal customer. If your ideal customer would love a certain feature, then highlight that feature.
For example, see the image below. At ThinkGeek, which caters to geeks, they sell a ring and the product description is filled with Dungeons & Dragons references, Lord of the Rings jokes, and other nerdery. A regular product description talking about the size or materials of the ring would unlikely work for the target audience.
You can always include technical specs lower down on the page. Most e-commerce platforms will put that information into tabs, so it’s available to people who want to read more but isn’t taking up important space.
Use Stellar Images
You can’t just have good photos, you need to have amazing photos. Photos that show every bit of detail. The more expensive your product, the more photos you should have.
The main rule here: You should focus on the product itself. No one cares about the packaging. Include one photo of the packaging at the end, but by default, show the most detailed photo of your product. For example, Twelve South does a great job showing off their iPad case, unlike the beef jerky for dogs:
But you don’t necessarily have to hire a professional. If you do it yourself, you’ll just need to spend a bit of time learning about photography and, most importantly, lighting. If you can get the lighting down, you’ll be able to take photos by yourself.
Have you ever walked by a busy store and wondered what makes it so popular? And maybe that you should go in and see what all the hype is about?
That’s social proof in effect. And since people can’t see what other people are doing in your store, you need to highlight it as much as possible. Ask people for testimonials and show them on your product detail page. Show tweets and images, anything that confirms real people talking about your product.
You also may consider using a special app (like FOMO) showing what customers are visiting, buying, and subscribing to on your site.
Key takeaway: Use emotion to your advantage. Paint people a picture of how their life will be better with your product. And don’t forget about great text and photos of products.
Moz has a great article about writing copy for e-commerce shops.
Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses by Joe Pulizzi
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