Your potential customers are comparing your products to your competitors, shouldn’t you be doing the same?
Secret shopping your competitor’s sites can give you valuable insights into your product pages’ strengths and weaknesses.
So, how do your product pages stack up when compared to your competitors?
Here’s a short checklist to use when comparing product pages:
- Product images – size, number and use of video.
Whether you’re demonstrating a coffeemaker, a running shoe, or an iPhone, images help your visitors envision themselves using your product.
They can also answer questions more easily than paragraphs of text.
The easier the product is to see, the more angles you show, the overall size of the image (hint: larger is better) and whether or not a video demo or 360 view is available, can all make a significant difference in how your product is perceived.
- Appeal to your customer’s emotions with benefit-centered product descriptions.
Chuck the generic, manufacturer provided product descriptions, and tell the customer how your product or service will make his or her life better or easier.
Don’t just scan your competitors’ descriptions, read them carefully. If they’ve re-written the manufacturer’s descriptions, figure out the angle they’re taking and how you can differentiate your copy from theirs.
This is an easy place to give your company a unique personality. First, identify your audience and why they need your product. Then write the copy as if you were describing it in a conversation to a single member of your target audience.
Are your competitors using descriptions like “best,” “state-of-the-art,” and “top seller” sparingly, or are they over-the-top? Overpromising with superlatives on every product minimizes their effectiveness.
What types of claims do your competitors make? What claims can you make that differentiate you or your services? The more specific you can be, the more effective the use of claims.
How can you use your statistics, testimonials, and studies to reinforce your claims more effectively?
- How social is the shopping function.
Facebook’s new Open Graph allows users to “like” or “love” an object on a web page. That action will then be displayed on their Facebook page.
You get free advertising and word-of-mouth exposure, and your customers get feedback from their friends about shopping choices and wish lists.
Some sites are including facebook reviews on their product pages as well.
Identify your competitors’ social media strengths and weaknesses, and plan your strategy for engaging your customers and prospects more effectively.
- Shipping, Returns, Guarantees.
Now that many carts allow the customer to bypass the shopping cart and move straight to checkout, it’s important to provide information on shipping, returns and guarantees on your product page.
Shipping costs are a hot button for people, so make sure yours are inline with those of your competitors.
Knowing when the item will ship and when they will get it are also important considerations for your customers.
Look at what your competitors are offering for shipping, returns, guarantees and delivery dates. Try to match their policies and improve on them where possible.
- Showcase customer feedback.
Customer reviews and testimonials provide essential social proof that can be reassuring to prospective customers considering your product. Provide context on an item’s popularity by displaying how many items have sold and how many are still in stock.
Snazzing up your product pages gives your customers not just the information they need as they’re shopping, but also the reasons why they should buy from you and not a competitor.
It’s one of the best conversion optimization techniques you can use to move people from “just browsing” to “proceed with checkout.”