Product listings can be tricky to get right because you only have one shot to engage customers with varying needs and purchase intentions. But ensuring that your listings are consistent, easy to digest and engaging will win clicks and sales.
The best chance of capturing your customers’ attention comes from carefully considering the customer journey on your website or chosen marketplace, and shaping product listings based on easing or promoting that journey.
Keep them consistent
Users appreciate consistency when shopping online, making it equally as important for product listings. Uniform descriptions, images and more constitute a big part of creating an overall cohesive experience for customers, as well as building brand familiarity and awareness. Plus, consistency builds trust, which is important for small businesses looking to form a solid customer base.
So, each product listing should share a number of characteristics, especially when it comes to the following elements.
Tone of voice
The tone you use when writing product descriptions, even for elements like product specifications should be reflective of your brand personality and values, without taking away from the primary purpose of your descriptions – informing your user.
The angles, lighting and colouring on your products should all be the same across products. It’s a small thing that has a big impact on keeping your listings recognisable and your user’s experience shopping with you smooth.
While you don’t need to stick to rigid word counts or line widths, the information you give your user should be consistent. For example, providing specification information on some products but not on others will leave users unable to easily compare models and ultimately disrupt their shopping experience. It’s useful to develop a template for descriptions, ticking the right boxes when adding new listings to your store.
Create with all users in mind
Shoppers are more likely to make a purchase when their journey is as efficient and uninterrupted as possible. In other words, you need to make it easy for them to complete their purchase. Browsing product listings is the first step of the online shopping journey, meaning that it has to be the most versatile.
As a shopper moves to other stages, their needs are easier to anticipate and fulfil, but this isn’t always the case for product listings. There’s a huge range of potential customers that you need to engage simultaneously with your product listings, so they need to provide the right information and interactions to reflect that diversity.
For instance, one user could know exactly what they’re looking for and want to make their purchase as quickly as possible. In this example, you’d need to consider incorporating a button to your listing that allows customers to add products to their basket instantly, without having to navigate to a product page.
On the other hand, there might be a customer who isn’t sure what they want to purchase but is intrigued by your product. They need to learn more about it and its features to help them reach a decision – meaning your listing calls for a detailed product description on your product page too.
Here are some elements to consider when crafting your product listings to enhance user experience across customers, regardless of their purchase intention or needs.
When your customers are browsing your products, you can add in a ‘Quick view’ feature: a small pop-up window in your store. This saves them having to risk losing their place in your online catalogue by clicking on a specific product, and provides a brief overview of your product. At this point, if it’s something they’re interested in they can click through to the full product page, if not, they can return to browsing without interruption.
Calls to action (CTAs)
To increase your chance of users performing the action you want – clicking on your product page or the ‘add to basket’ button – provide a little guidance with CTAs. These are often well-highlighted by making them buttons in a standout colour or design.
All users appreciate speedy websites. In fact, it’s a universal need for online shoppers, with 40% abandoning a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
Providing an alternative shot of your product, perhaps in use, by hovering the mouse over a product gives potential customers an extra insight. This can often be the thing that entices them to click, and if not, helps to build a better picture in their mind of the product itself.
A seamless experience for those using your website is a priority for all businesses selling online, and product listings are integral parts of this. They’re central in your user’s journey to make a purchase, so make sure they add to the cohesion of that experience rather than complicate it.
When you write the product descriptions, you’ve an opportunity to boost your e-commerce sales by optimising your listings for search. This applies to those operating their own e-commerce stores, as well as if you’re selling through an online marketplace like eBay. Online marketplaces function like search engines, and by using the right keywords, you can increase your chances of appearing at the top of potential customers’ results page.
Once you’ve your keywords, you can pepper them into your product descriptions, including:
- main product heading or name
- brief description at the top of the page
- detailed product description underneath main product widget
- meta title and description of your product page.
Be sure not to use them too much or you’ll risk your description sounding disjointed and potentially get penalised by search engines.
Product descriptions need to provide the right amount of information to customers to aid the purchasing decision, without going too far and overwhelming them. A way to avoid the latter is to write your product descriptions in two parts.
The first part is designed to go in the first widget that your customers see when they click on your listing. It’ll include:
- title or name of the product
- brief description
- ‘add to basket’ button
- images of the product.
The second section is usually located underneath the main widget, where you can add in a lot more information regarding your product. It’s here that you can provide insights into your product’s uses and benefits to help your customer pick your product.
Consider adding the following elements to ensure you cover all the right areas and answer the most customer queries:
- benefits of your products
- product breakdowns or specifications
- instructions on product use
- product suggestions.
This efficiency applies to the images you use in your product descriptions too. You don’t want to overload the user with an endless carousel. Instead, choose between three and five images that show off your product, and its uses, well.