Would you buy a new dress without seeing what it looks like up close, assessing the fit, or viewing it from different angles? Probably not. Would you buy a sofa without understanding its dimensions, knowing what type of fabric it’s made of, or seeing what it looks like inside a real living room? Again, most likely, no. In the world of eCommerce, the product detail page is your fitting room, show-room, and in-store expert.
If you expect shoppers to buy items online — without inspecting them in person — then you must provide all of the information they need to make a decision with confidence.
Unless you have a well-designed, informative, and inspiring product detail page, it will be extremely difficult to nudge shoppers through the funnel and convert them. The challenge is determining which information to include and how to present it on the page.
In this post, we’ll cover 21 eCommerce product page best practices and offer actionable tips that you can use to improve the performance of your PDPs, or you can download the cheat sheet for a quick overview.
An Important Caveat in Your Product Detail Page Strategy
It’s important to state that there is no single set of “rules” or eCommerce product page best practices that promise to work for all verticals, brands, and retailers.
When deciding how to build or optimize your product detail page, consider who you are trying to target and who your shoppers are. Something that would help boost conversion for one group or persona could be detrimental to another.
For example, luxury shoppers are likely to have done more research before making a purchase at such a high price point. For them, practical information on sizing and shipping will be more critical in driving conversion, whereas a low-cost retailer may want to feature more reviews to help shoppers make a quick decision to purchase as they browse. With different price points and different shopper personas, product detail pages could look very different for these two types of companies.
The tips in this article reflect general best practices. Before applying them to your website, always ask yourself, “What am I trying to achieve, and what’s the best approach for my target shoppers?”
Now, let’s dive in.
Product Detail Page Images
Use large, clear images that accurately display the product.
- Include at least four to five images that display the product from different angles and viewpoints. Be mindful of what a shopper will want to see when evaluating a specific item so you can motivate them to make a purchase within that session. For example, someone who is shopping for a bag will not only want to see the front and back — they’ll also want to see the inside, how it looks when it’s closed, and how it appears on an actual person.
- Include the ability to enlarge items or zoom in. This is an essential capability for viewing many types of products, especially jewelry, furniture, and formal wear.
- Give items a more human feel by presenting them with models or in showrooms. Seeing a pair of jeans floating in the air in front of a white background doesn’t help a shopper understand how they would fit on a human body. Viewing a tube of lipstick without seeing how the color looks on a person’s lips leaves the shopper guessing how it would look on them.
In the example below, cosmetic company Glossier shows how the same lipstick looks on people with different skin tones and facial attributes, enabling shoppers to better imagine how the color would look on them.
- Include user-generated content with discretion. The decision on whether to include user-generated content within product detail pages should depend on who you are trying to target and whether the content coheres with the brand aesthetic you seek to maintain across your website. For example, user-generated content might resonate more with young shoppers who are used to using platforms like TikTok and Instagram to find shopping inspiration, but it could be distracting for other groups of customers. If you decide to include user-generated content on your product detail page, we recommend first including professional, branded images of the products.
- Include video when a product has features that are hard to detect in a static photo. Like the point above, use video with caution. It can be helpful for displaying products that have features that move or change, such as flowiness, opacity, or flare. However, video can also be distracting. Only include it if you think it provides real added value.
The takeaway: Images are an amazing opportunity to visually inspire and engage shoppers as they decide whether or not to purchase an item. This is the closest thing an online shopper has to viewing a product in-person, so make sure the images you choose provide an accurate view.
Call to Action
Be mindful of language and cultural differences so you can choose CTAs that best resonate with your target customer group.
- Place your CTA in an intuitive, obvious place. Make it as easy as possible for your shoppers to spot your CTA by placing it in a central area above the fold. Think: directly beside the image carousel or below the product description (if it’s not text-heavy).
- Use the language that people are used to seeing. “Add to cart,” “Add to bag,” “Add to basket.” So many choices! Which virtual vessel will best resonate with your target customers? Before deciding, learn which phrase feels more familiar to shoppers in different regions, and tailor your CTA accordingly.
- Choose a color that captures your target customers’ attention. There are many factors to consider when choosing a color for your CTA button. Your brand’s color palette, the cultural meanings of different colors, and the emotions they trigger are all important factors. On top of this, you want your button to stand out and grab your visitors’ attention. Before making a decision, do your research on the meaning of different colors in the regions you are targeting.
The takeaway: Your CTA should be bold, obvious, and speak to your customers’ in their language.
Make it easy for shoppers to orient themselves on your website to reduce overwhelm and frustration.
- Use breadcrumb navigation to help customers understand where they are on your site. This is especially valuable for eCommerce stores with large inventories and numerous product categories, which can otherwise be overwhelming for many shoppers. By reminding visitors what led them to this page and making it easy to go one step back, they can more easily find the products that they will want to buy.
The takeaway: Use navigation to guide shoppers toward checkout, but make it easy for them to remember their route.
Give your product descriptions the right “real estate” without cluttering up the page.
- Place key information above the fold. Key elements such as the item’s name, its price, any discounts, the CTA, and a brief description should appear above the fold, as should relevant shipping and payment information. Do you offer free shipping? Do you enable installment payments via a third-party? All of these factors can help motivate a shopper to press “Add to cart.”
- Anticipate shoppers’ questions. When deciding what to include in the product descriptions, consider what a shopper will want to know before they purchase an item, as well as the unique features you want to highlight. Use the following questions to guide you:
- Who is the item for?
- What is it used for, or during what kind of occasion is it worn?
- What sets the item apart?
- Why will a shopper love it?
- Avoid cluttering the screen with too much text. Don’t distract from the product images by including long paragraphs of text above the fold. If you have lengthy product descriptions, either place them in the second fold or give shoppers the option to “read more.”
- Provide helpful sizing information. If the item comes in different sizes (like most clothing and shoes), offer sizing information that will help the shopper buy the right size for him or her. Generic sizes like XS, S, M, L, and XL can mean different things for different brands, styles of clothing, and groups of people. Charts that compare standard sizing in different regions, or actual measurements are more informative. Offering additional stats, like the model’s size and height, can be a helpful point of reference. Another option is to suggest sizes for shoppers based on what they purchased during previous sessions.
- Include honest customer reviews. If you decide to include customer reviews, consider the following best practices:
- Include both positive and negative reviews. If you only include praise, your reviews will appear less authentic and your brand will seem less trustworthy.
- Prevent them from cluttering up the page by either providing an expandable reviews section or placing them below important product information.
The takeaway: How you position information on the page is just as important as what information you include. Whatever is essential to know should be above the fold, while everything else can be placed below.
Choosing and placing product recommendations strategically can improve the customer experience and boost order value.
- Place recommendations below or to the side of key product information. Recommendations can create personalized and engaging experiences, but they shouldn’t distract from the product featured on the page. Position them in the margin or below the product description so they are still visible but don’t steal crucial real estate.
- Anchor your recommendation methods to specific goals. Recommendation carousels can be phenomenally effective at boosting conversion and AOV, but which types should you use? Shop Similar is great for shoppers who are at a mature stage in the funnel. You can assume that they are more confident in the type of product they are looking for, but haven’t found the one that “hits the spot” yet. Shop the Look can drive shoppers to add complementary items to their baskets that they may not have otherwise found on their own.
- Include additional product recommendations in the cart window. Once a shopper adds an item to their cart, an itemized view of their cart should pop up, reminding them what they have lined up so far. By providing relevant recommendations within this window, shoppers can add additional items without needing to navigate far.
The takeaway: Recommendations are an invaluable tool. Getting the most out of them requires a strategic approach to both the type you include, as well as where you place them on the page.
Wishlists and “Save for Later”
Providing options other than “add to cart” can cause shoppers to lose their motivation. Proceed with caution.
- Consider what purpose your wishlist serves. Wishlists can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they lower the sense of urgency to purchase, but on the other, when used correctly, they can draw shoppers back in to buy. If you offer a wishlist feature, make sure it’s not just for the sake of having one. Shoppers should be able to easily access their wishlist from the cart page, and you should regularly be reminding them of the products they’ve left there via email campaigns and retargeting ads. If you’re not bringing shoppers back to their wishlists, it’s time to reconsider your strategy.
- Be consistent. If you choose to include a wishlist, do so on all product detail pages throughout your website, and make the wishlist easy to access from anywhere on-site. This is crucial for providing a consistent experience and not frustrating shoppers.
The takeaway: Don’t include a wishlist or save for later option just because you’re used to seeing it.
Be upfront when a product is out of stock, but don’t let the shopping journey end there.
- Clearly label out-of-stock items. Ideally, it should be evident on the product listing page, before a shopper arrives on the product detail page. If only certain sizes remain, it helps to include a message indicating this, such as “Limited sizes remaining,” or “Only 4 left!” If a shopper eagerly enters a product detail page, only to find out the item they just got excited about is not available, their experience will be soured and they might even drop off.
- Offer engagement tools to continue the shopping journey. Tools like the Discovery Button or a Shop Similar carousel can help shoppers find and buy other products that inspire them, even if the item that initially sparked their interest is out of stock. With solutions powered by visual AI, your site will have the ability to provide on-point recommendations based on the style, price point, and other factors indicated by the shopper.
The takeaway: Customers should never be surprised to find out an item is out of stock, and they should always be presented with relevant alternatives.
Focus on Balance in Your Product Detail Page Strategy
The most effective product detail pages strike the perfect balance between delivering the information shoppers need to feel confident buying something online and creating an aesthetically pleasing, consistent experience.
Each brand or retailer should decide how to layout their product pages based on who they are trying to target and what they want to achieve, as different uses of space and different types of information are better at promoting different goals. However, by considering the tips above, you’ll have a solid foundation for making these decisions.