Product pages today look far different from those of 10 to 20 years ago. In fact, many product pages didn’t even exist because a “Buy Now” button on the homepage was sufficient. Times have changed though, and with new times comes new types of product pages. Thanks to A/B testing and customer feedback, the ecommerce world is starting to realize how certain elements – like related product widgets, social media share buttons and product videos – boost conversion rates. But what will an effective product page look like in 2017? Will there be new elements we’ve yet to see? Keep reading to learn about the elements we expect to see added to product pages in 2017. Seeing as how 2017 isn’t that far into the future, you can’t expect insane advances in technology. However, the ecommerce business changes rapidly so it only makes sense that videos will take the main stage on product pages. In the past, online stores only showcased one or two images. Today, you see more like 10 to 20 popular ecommerce sites. Of course, there are some proactive companies that already embed video(s) on its product pages, but the future appears to hold many more. Customers will expect to see customer video reviews, product tutorials and more.
For those of you who don’t know what a 360 video is, it’s a video that’s created with a camera, such as the increasingly popular GoPro, that simultaneously records all 360 degrees of a scene. You may have noticed a few of these on your Facebook feed, like the one embedded below. These videos have huge potential for product pages because it’s a beautiful way to simulate an in-store experience, allowing shoppers to move around the store; browse collections; and view the product from various angles.
2. Interactive fitting rooms
No. 2 doesn’t necessarily apply to all industries, but in the future, it could. Think about it. What’s one of the biggest downsides (and likely reasons) you purchase clothing and accessories, such as glasses, offline instead of online? Because you can’t try these things on, and they may or may not fit and/or look how you hoped they would. This is why some online stores offer an interactive fitting room on its site, such as Polo Ralph Lauren and Rebecca Minkoff. Below, you can watch a video of how this works, provided by Oak Labs, an interactive fitting room technology. Interactive fitting rooms allow customers to upload photos of themselves so they can see exactly how something will look on them.
This trend could eventually tie into virtual reality (VR). Can you imagine putting on a headset, walking into a store and looking into a mirror to see what a pair of sunglasses or a purse look like on you? The options are endless with VR and smart mirror technologies. The question isn’t will this happen, but rather when will we see an ecommerce plugin or extension that makes utilizing this technology easier for online store owners. The age of storytelling is upon us, and it all because customers have more options than ever before. If a customer lands on your product page, only to see a bland list of product specs and prices, you better pray that no one else is providing an alternative (or the same) offering for a cheaper price because you haven’t offered an enticing case for buying from you. The highest converting product pages on winning ecommerce websites are starting to showcase longform content, similar to landing pages. While there will still be product specs and descriptions, the best product pages will be more creative and engaging through storytelling. Additionally, users will be able to scroll down and see huge, beautiful images, videos and user generated content (UGC). The best product pages weave product details into the overall story so the page flows naturally for the visitor. This means that each of your product pages may look different from one another. Some may showcase testimonials while others will provide images of customers using your product(s). In short, the goal of storytelling on product pages is to evoke emotion in each and every one of your customers, driving them to make a purchase.
Creating urgency for a product has been around since companies started offering limited time promotions. Doing so works, and online stores are taking note.
For instance, some product pages tell customers how many people are viewing or “watching” the same offering and how many items are left in stock before an item sells out. Other clever product pages utilize short-lived Groupon-style deals, such as Mighty Deals. Persuasive elements, like these, can dramatically increase conversion rates.
Many ecommerce stores still lack reviews on individual product pages, but that will change in 2017. Fortunately, popular website builders typically provide online business owners with the option to include a rating and review module on each page, making it easy enough for anyone to implement. To put the significance of reviews into perspective, just read this excerpt from a 2011 report on TrendWatching.
“Consumption has always been social: people have forever been influenced by what those around them think and buy. KellerFay, a US word of mouth marketing research consultancy, estimates that there are nearly one trillion conversations about brands every year in the US alone.”
So what’s the takeaway?
A few of these trends won’t be feasible for some businesses due to a lack of resources or simply a lack of need for it. Whatever the case, now you know what to expect next year so you can begin optimizing your product pages before your competitors do.