This is part 3 of a 4 part series on customer experience, sponsored by Contentserv.
Customer experience begins and ends with trust. And if you're like most companies, those experiences start with your product pages. After all, when you give customers detailed product information, you give them the confidence they need to make informed buying decisions, and improve their buying experience. In fact, according to a recent study on consumer data, consumers say a great retail customer experience comes down to better product information. Three of their top must-haves include clear product images, product reviews and clear product descriptions.
It makes perfect sense. If a visitor doesn’t like what she sees when she lands on your product page, she’ll move on in just a few seconds. And just like that, you’ve delivered a poor customer experience, ending the relationship just as soon as it started.
According to Forrester, more business professionals now view product content as a way to differentiate product experiences across both digital and physical properties. And with solutions like product information management systems (PIM) and product experience platforms (PXP) website, it’s easier than ever to deliver customers consistent, relevant experiences.
But as powerful as these solutions are, there are still some things you’ll need to do to ensure that your product information delivers the customer experiences that entice your visitors to click the buy button again and again.
How to Connect Your Product Information to Customer Experience
1. Make It Appealing
The first thing a product page should do is appeal to your audience. By knowing the needs and interests of your customers, you can focus your content on the features and benefits that are most relevant to them.
Your product information should make an emotional connection with the reader, and help him visualize how it will solve his problem, or make his life more enjoyable. Think about the last piece of great content you read. You probably landed there because the headline enticed you. Perhaps the intro story made you remember something about your own experience and made you want to read more. And the images, video and descriptive writing kept you engaged until the end.
A great product page can do the same for your visitors. Think of the page as an opportunity to tell the story of the product, and consider how you can make the reader a part of that story. Here are some ways to accomplish this:
Use engaging headlines and copy: Remember to always match the tone of your writing to your brand, and keep the interests of your audience in mind. For example, Apple uses headlines like “All New. All Screen. All Powerful.” to appeal to customers who want speed and power in their technology. On the other hand, Title Nine uses headlines and product names like “Daring Dress,” “Speed Demon Pullover” and “Holy Grail Running Shorts” to appeal to the adventurous women in their target audience.
Talk about benefits: Rather than just listing product features, show visitors how these features can help them get something done faster or have a better experience. If you’re selling televisions, rather than stating “Large, 60-inch screen,” write: “Expansive 60-inch screen makes every night feel like movie night.” Be sure to focus on benefits that mean the most to your visitors.
Display high quality, relevant images: Some shoppers might consider a product image to be even more important than its description. Considering online shoppers can’t touch or feel the products they’re buying, it’s important to use the highest quality images, show the products from various angles, and help the customer imagine themselves using the product by including people like themselves in the images. For example, if you’re selling beach blankets to young mothers, displaying an image of a beach scene with toddlers and moms playing in the sand will have more impact than showing the blanket on a white background.
Related Article: 4 Ways AI Helps Customers Discover the Perfect Product
2. Keep It Simple and Consistent
No matter how long your product description is, be sure to keep it concise, consistent and understandable. Use simple language, and bullets or checkmarks to break ideas into easily digestible chunks. Tabs or accordion text are also effective ways to hide information until your visitors need it.
Again, keep your audience and the product in mind. If you have a basic product like a phone charging cable, you might just want to list some quick bullets so your busy customers can get the specs they need and move on. If, however, you sell mountain bikes, you’ll need to provide details about size, features, and colors, as well as include a product video and multiple images so viewers can get a good understanding of what you have to offer.
Finally, keep your product information consistent. If someone pulls a product up on his laptop, he should get the same description and media he found on his phone. If they’re different, he’ll likely get confused and leave your site altogether.
Related Article: 3 Cant-Miss Predictions About the Future of eCommerce
3. Post User Reviews
Businesses have been using case studies to prove their value for years, and with the growth of social media, this social proof is more important than ever. User reviews can help you get that social proof, minus the time needed to chase down customers to provide referrals or case study interviews.
In fact, Trust Radius found that user reviews are among the top five most effective sales tactics, yet are easier to manage than initiatives like customer referrals and case studies. The study also found that the number of vendors who found user reviews more effective than other initiatives doubled from 21 to 42 percent over 2018. User reviews can help you build trust with prospective buyers, and make them feel more confident about choosing your product.
4. Keep It Accurate
If you already post product reviews, you might notice that one of the biggest things people complain about is that the product information for their purchase wasn’t accurate. The headphones didn’t fit. The software didn’t operate as described, and so on. When consumers aren’t satisfied, they return product, leave poor reviews, and worse, stop doing business with sellers.
According to CNBC, 15 to 40 percent of all online purchases are returned, with an estimated value of $400 billion worth of inventory. One way to keep these returns down is to present your product as precisely as possible so buyers know what to expect and won’t be surprised when they open the box.
Cue Up Better Customer Experiences
A great customer experience starts with trust, and that means providing accurate product information to prospective buyers on their first visit to your site. Keeping content consistent, writing in easy-to-read language, and providing social proof through user reviews can all help you increase trust in your brand and provide the experiences your customers expect. And that means higher sales, more loyalty and more value across the entire customer lifecycle.