In the last few years, conversion rate optimization has become a never-ending process. Conversion rate optimization, or “CRO”, helps you stay relevant in the ecommerce by continuously improving the way your website delivers information to your visitors. But, there are so many aspects to it that it often gets challenging and overwhelming, and it's easy to make costly CRO mistakes.
Most of the time, I recommend you A/B test every single change on your ecommerce store before implementing it to make sure it is going to provide the desired – positive – results.
With so many options and conditions, it’s easy for store owners and marketers, especially the amateur ones, to get confused and give up on the whole idea of conversion rate optimization or A/B testing. But, this is the worst thing one can do in today’s highly competitive ecommerce industry; it can even mark the beginning of the death of your brand
This article is part of a series to help store owners and marketers get a clear idea of what needs to be A/B tested and how they should go about it. After discussing A/B testing your store homepage in the first part of the series, let’s now talk about the product pages, which for many marketers are the most important pages of an ecommerce store.
Why Should You A/B Test the Product Pages of Your Ecommerce Store?
Product pages are the heart of an ecommerce website. After all, it is the premium part of the funnel where you either convert your potential customers into paying customers or lose them.
As a business owner or marketer, your goal is to convert as many people into loyal customers as possible. For this, you have to make sure that your product pages strike the right chord with your audience and convince them to buy from you.
Since there is no standard formula or one-size-fits-all approach to product page design, you need to test various page elements to figure out what works for you. Don't copy and past what other websites are doing. They might have a totally different audience with different objectives and mindsets.
With that in mind, let’s discuss what product page elements have the most impact on conversion rates and hence, need to be tested.
5 Important Product Page Elements to A/B Test
The goal of a product page is to convince a prospective customer to click on the ‘add to cart’ button and complete the buying process. Here are some of the most important product page elements to A/B test in order to improve the conversion rate of your ecommerce website:
If you have been involved in digital marketing for any length of time, you would know that videos are becoming part of everything we do. They are not only more engaging than images, but also convey your message more effectively and give potential buyers a better idea of what your product or service has in store for them.
While videos are a great platform for all types of businesses, they are particularly useful for those selling complex products or services as they allow business owners and marketers to better explain their products and how they can help a potential customer.
In a survey conducted in 2017, 74% of the respondents reported that they experienced a change of mind and were convinced to make a purchase after watching a brand’s video, whereas 79% said they preferred learning about a product through a video than reading text.
In view of these factors, videos definitely deserve to be tested on product pages – or even added, if you don't have any.
Create a variant of your product page with both images and a short video (any type) and test it against the page containing only product images to see if it makes any changes to your conversion rate. Test different videos, different placements, or if the video loads first on page load (compared to showing images first).
If you already have videos on your product pages, you can increase their effectiveness by monitoring user behavior to determine how many people are clicking on the video and/or if they are watching the entire video or not. By identifying these factors, you can run A/B tests by changing the position of the video on the page and/or its length, or the content of the videos if many users drop at the same place.
2. The CTA (Call-To-Action)
The importance of a strong call-to-action in encouraging or pushing a potential buyer to convert into a paying customer has long been established.
Despite the fact that all ecommerce businesses agree on the importance of CTA and that it has to be very strong, a significantly large number of ecommerce stores use the same old dull and boring call-to-action on product pages.
While your existing CTA may be working for you, there is always room for improvement and for that, you need to test its different versions.
Creating different versions of the CTA doesn’t take much time and effort, but it can make a significant difference to your conversion rate. Hence, it is worth testing.
Here are elements to test in your existing CTA to create its different variants:
- Font shape & color
- Button shape & color (make sure it pops well compared to other colors on your pages)
- Placement of CTA on the page i.e. its position.
- Icons (Icons like a lock or forwarding arrow can add trust and action to your CTAs)
Perhaps the most important part of your CTA is the “trigger”. The trigger is a small line of copy under the CTA or within the CTA as a secondary line (smaller font). These bits of copy help re-enforce some points of persuasion such as trust (guarantee, returns, social proof, secure process), future-pacing, urgency (low stock, timed offer).
For example, here's my own CTA on my conversion rate optimization consulting page. Notice the forward icon and trigger to future-pace to the next step in the process:
3. Pricing Displays
Where and how you display the pricing information on your product pages can also make a difference to the conversion rate of your ecommerce store, even though the prices of the products remain unchanged.
You can test different variants by changing the place where the price of a product is displayed, how prominent it is, and by changing the way the pricing information is displayed i.e. straight pricing or tiered pricing.
Test anchoring the price to a previous higher point if you can, or showing the % of the discount or the amount of $ saved on a sale.
4. Add Trust Symbols
Having trust symbols on product pages may seem like a small and insignificant factor, but it is one of the best examples of how small elements of a website can bring a big difference to its performance.
For most buyers, the display of trust badges, seals, and even product ratings, is an assurance that your ecommerce store is safe, secure, and trustworthy.
Several studies and surveys have shown that adding trust symbols on product pages gives buyers the confidence that they can trust the store with their sensitive information and makes them feel safe while shopping. In one such survey conducted by Baymard, 17% of the respondents said they abandon shopping carts during the checkout process if they don’t trust a store with their credit card information.
However, do not try to mislead or fool customers by displaying false trust symbols, adding logos of the cards that you don’t support, or by making up product ratings. While this may work for you initially, your potential buyers will notice it quickly and you will end up getting a bad rap. Modern-day consumers are smart, so don’t try to fool them.
5. Payment Options
In a study conducted by MaxTraffic to identify the reasons for shopping cart abandonment, 25% of the shoppers do not complete the buying process when a store doesn’t offer their preferred payment option.
If you don’t want to lose 25% of your prospective buyers, make sure you offer multiple payment options, including the most widely used credits cards and PayPal. While simply increasing the number of credit cards that you accept and adding the PayPal option is likely to significantly improve your conversion rate, you can also test your product pages by adding debit cards and/or online bank transfer in the payment options.
Also consider adding payment plans if your product is sold at a higher price point.
Examples of Product Page A/B Testing
To help you understand the importance of A/B testing the product pages of an ecommerce store, here we are highlighting a few examples where businesses experienced improved conversion rates by altering and A/B testing various product page elements.
RIPT Apparel is an online retailer of unique and often quirky designer tees that are not available anywhere else.
While they already have a strong customer base, they wanted to improve their conversion rate and chose to A/B test different variations of their product page CTA to determine if it made any difference.
Their existing CTA button was somewhat blended into the product image and hence, was not prominent enough. First, they created a page variant by simply changing the color of the CTA button to green it. It made the button prominent and led to increased conversions.
However, RIPT Apparel didn’t stop there. They further altered the CTA button and added urgency to it by informing visitors that the product was only available for 24 hours.
Just by making these two small changes in their CTA button, RIPT Apparel experienced an increase of 6.3% in their sales.
AdinosClothing is a US-based e-commerce business that offers men’s clothing. While they had decent product page views, their CTA click-through rate was quite low, which propelled them to optimize their product page in order to improve their sales.
After identifying that most of their buyers are women who shop for their boyfriends or husbands, the store created a variation of their existing product page by altering the image of the model wearing their t-shirt. In the original or controlled image, the model was clean shaved, whereas in the variant page, the model had a beard.
With this small and seemingly insignificant change, the ecommerce store experienced a 33% increase in orders.
Royal Discount is an ecommerce store whose business models rely on competitive pricing – it offers computer software from recognized manufacturers at discounted rates.
Despite the fact that the company was offering the products at the best market rates, their sales weren’t as high as they had expected, so they decided to A/B test how the pricing information was displayed on their product pages.
They first created a variation of the page by adding a crossed-out Manufacturer’s Suggested Price right next to their price and A/B test it. As expected, they experienced an improvement in the conversion rate. But the increase wasn’t significant, so they decided to continue with A/B testing. This time, they created a variant with pricing information in bold and a larger font size. In the second A/B test that ran over 30 days, the company experienced about a 36% increase in their conversion rate, which led to about 10% increase in the revenue.
Ecommerce is unpredictable and continuously changing and evolving with the emergence of new trends that change user preferences and behaviors. It's important you keep up. What works for you today may lose its effectiveness after some time.
A/B testing is the most effective method for ecommerce businesses to optimize their websites and conversion rates regularly. Since product pages play a key role in the conversion process, it is critical that you constantly strive to improve them.