Product Content is King for Your Conversion Rates

When talking about shopping cart or checkout process abandonment in e-commerce, two key factors come to mind for both customers and retailers: delivery times and prices. In fact, these are the biggest influences when deciding if a purchase is desirable or not, and two of the reasons given for 6 in every 10 carts that are abandoned.

But, in fact, this is the second phase of a process that began earlier, when navigating through the online store.

The design is crucial, and it is what jumps out at you as soon as you open up a web page for the first time. However, what would any e-commerce site with great prices, fast delivery times, and a fantastic presentation template be without content? The most obvious lies in what we least notice and, at the same time, it is what ends up being the most influential.

Product content is the most important factor following price and delivery time.

In our previous post, we looked at the key relationship between product content and traffic generation. Now we are going to focus on their importance for sales conversions.

Checkout Abandonment Figures in e-Commerce 

e-Commerce is like the stock market, and as each day dawns, new numbers appear. The percentage for the online checkout abandonment rate fluctuates constantly, but so far this year, the figure could be rounded to an average of 69.23%, according to Baymard Institute (although in certain stores and times of the year it can reach up to 80%).

Abandonment is more common during checkout processes carried out on smartphones rather than computers. There is still much more to learn about customer behavior in mobile environments, and in these SEMrush articles, you can learn more about the importance of mobile optimization and how to use it for your business.

The Impact of Product Content on Sales Conversions 

The customer journey starts with the content featured on the product pages, as it forms the basis of the look & feel. Issues such as price or delivery appear in the final stage.

In addition, poor, scarce, and unattractive product content can have a negative impact on other areas of your business, as stated by Shotfarm in their last report. For example:

  • It can cause an increase in returns; up to 40% of customers claim to have returned a product due to a mistake or lack of content.
  • It weakens confidence in the brand for up to 87% of users.
  • Only 13% would return to a store for the second time due to insufficient or confusing information.

How Can You Measure If Your Product Pages Are Complete?

Learning from your mistakes and, above all, those of others. It is a complex process and one that never ends, as you will always have new products, catalog updates, and changes in customer demand.

Use at least one of the following five methods (the more you use, the better) to improve the level of your product pages and make a positive impact on sales conversions.

  1. Competitive analysis: Study the activity and metrics of competitors in your industry, comparing their actions with yours and identifying trends, basic style guides, and aspects that you may have overlooked and that others are applying with excellent results.
  2. Product content management tools and services: They will solve the complex task of synchronizing thousands of pieces of content between all your sales channels for you. Leaving all this responsibility in the hands of a human team leads to errors and gaps in the content, which can have a negative impact. In this case, PIM (Product Information Management) is key, as it ensures these corrections are instantaneous and that you always have the content in perfect condition, both online and when exported to printed catalogs.
  3. Study of trending keywords: No online business can establish its presence without the help of services such as Google AdWords or SEMrush Domain Analytics, which can be used to find out what keywords competitors are using most in your industry and for which keywords there are opportunities for a better position. 
  4. Surveys and focus groups with customers: Although it may seem like a technique from the 90s, you should never ignore your customers, as they are your main source of wisdom. You will always find new possibilities for improving content if you adapt to what your customers are really looking for.
  5. Constantly try new things: Because e-commerce is a constantly mutating creature and you should never neglect the content of your online store, as everything expires.

The Essential Team for Your Product Content

As described below, we are going to explore the categories of product content in e-commerce, from the most important to the complementary. However, none of these categories are sufficient on their own and the more content you include, the better it will be for your sales conversion rates. An attractive design doesn’t resolve gaps in information, but nor can basic information compete without the visual extras that users require most. 

It should be noted that in product content there are always variations depending on the industry. As an example for our analysis, we have used The Home Depot, the online retailer for construction and DIY products, which has achieved a compelling sales conversion and a 23% increase in online sales for 2017 by means of careful and effective product content.


Must-Have Content

Remember that the most important content for your conversion should be positioned as high as possible in the page layout.

Visual:

  • High-resolution and high-quality images.
  • Zoom tool (according to UPS, 70% of users consider it a prime factor when deciding on their purchase).
  • Images that give the product context (space, angles, model, etc.).
  • Images offering product details (using thumbnails).

Description:

  • Accurate and descriptive title.
  • Feature bullets summarizing the key features.
  • Original description, including the product name and brand.
  • Product size guide.
  • Technical specifications (power, resolution, speed, weight, etc.).
  • Recommendations for use, care, washing, consuming, cooking, etc.
  • Components, ingredients, origins, warnings, and contra-indications.
  • Reviews and user ratings (with date, score, and opinion).

Quality Keywords

Crucial for your sales conversions, keywords should appear in your product descriptions, used in a natural way and without fear of lengthy structures (composed of more than three words), which can attract traffic due to more specific searches rather than general and competitive searches. Keywords may even become the star of your pages and differentiate them from the work of your competitors.

For example, The Home Depot knew how to listen to regular queries from customers who were interested in barbecues and established that the main factor of content when deciding on a purchase was the measurements of the product. However, typical measurements, like inches, are not very clear for the client and are used by all competitors.

How many hamburgers fit on this grill?

The brilliant solution? They created their own measurement system that, also, included one of the keywords of the product: hamburgers. Describing the capacity of a barbecue according to the number of hamburgers that fit in its grill turned out to be a useful response for users and a strong differentiation from competitors. Their sales conversions improved immediately, and results were amazing, increasing by 16.5 points.


Good to Have Content 

Visual:  

  • 360º images or mini videos (some studies estimate that conversion rates increase up to 46% on pages with videos).
  • AR for specific product categories like Furniture.
  • Quick view function.
  • PDF’s indexed in images with additional information.

Description:  

  • Extended description, which appeals to feelings or experience of use.
  • Functional description.
  • Product categories and subcategories (through which the user can navigate and consult).
  • Product variants on the same page (color, size, power, etc.).
  • Packing and packaging material.
  • Type of sales units (individual, in packs of X units, etc.).
  • Expert opinions, brands or influencers.
  • Assembly instructions (downloadable in PDF or attached page).
  • Product warranty.
  • Comparisons with other products of the same range or interchangeable.

Conclusion

Improving the product pages of your online store can seem like a tedious, hard, and difficult task to handle, but with the right tools and a listening ear for your audience, you will make an impact on sales conversions that you are going to appreciate later on. Also, your website’s SEO and SEM strategies will also benefit, as discussed in relation to product content.

Not only do good product descriptions have a direct impact on your sales conversion rates, but they also generate traffic.

Presentation and details are everything in order to differentiate yourself from competitors and offer that professional and avant-garde image that will make you stand out in your industry.

Hi Mitch -

Maybe that happens because the size charts are not clear enough to clients (a lot of them have problems understanding measurements). That proves how content is related to a client’s response and how important is that users have the information they need in the best possible way. Usually that means being creative and finding how an eCommerce can show the information with more precision - that specially applies in mobile versions and apps, where less words are needed!

Thanks for your thoughts!
that is assuming any words are ever read on a page - something I've learned after running ecomm sites for 15 years

Our single biggest reason for returns are "it was the wrong size" yet 100% of our listings (where relevant) not only have sizes but "height off the ground - height from inside bottom to inside top - add 1-1/2 inch for the finial" bigger problem with mobile
Mitch Rezman
Hi Mitch -

Maybe that happens because the size charts are not clear enough to clients (a lot of them have problems understanding measurements). That proves how content is related to a client’s response and how important is that users have the information they need in the best possible way. Usually that means being creative and finding how an eCommerce can show the information with more precision - that specially applies in mobile versions and apps, where less words are needed!

Thanks for your thoughts!
Álvaro Verdoy
so how do i simplify

Exterior Dimensions: W 33" x L 33" x H 72"
Interior Height: 45"
Bar Spacing: 1"
Weight: 110 lbs.
Mitch Rezman
BTW we eliminated attributes which eliminated size charts on all but 2 of 2000 listings
Mitch Rezman
It's not about simplifying product information, but finding a new way to put it in an understandable context for users. For example - could an online store use visual references for item measurements to reduce their returns rate? Such as photos of models with different body types (like the online shop Joanie Clothing does) or maybe augmented reality (as seen in a Gap app)? But we definitely agree that clothing is a tricky niche for product information and more innovation is bound to happen as brands keep exploring ways to solve this.
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