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Before getting into product page optimization let’s walk in the shoes of a typical shopper:
As a marketer if I could pick just one focus area it would be product page optimization. The product page is where the “moment of truth” happens.
Visitors engaged on the product page are telling us, “I see all you have to offer and this, right here, is what I’m most intrigued by.”
Shoppers enter your site looking to buy one item. Therefore, as far as they’re concerned, your entire site is one product page.
A different take on Product Page Optimization
Products are typically sold by talking about things like features and benefits, current price specials, glowing reviews, product photos, etc.
But these are table stakes (meeting minimum customer expectations), and not deal closers.
Fork in the road
Irrespective of how they get on the product page, the potential buyer chooses between 2 options:
“Let me sleep on it”
If they choose “Let me sleep on it” there’s a 68% chance we’ve lost them. It’s going to kill our product page optimization chances.
As a marketer, it’s my job to make the business case, which is my product story.
What is a product story?
A product story is a special type of story that’s designed to connect with visitors and make them fall in love with your creation. The job of the product story is to educate and convert new visitors.
You might be thinking, “I run an eCommerce site, why the hell will I care about stories? I sell product.”
Turns out, there is an anthropological reason for this. Check the Additional Resources section at the bottom of the this article to learn more. For now, let’s look at how to use storytelling to increase your revenues.
The two aspects of a product story
1: “why we exist”
2: “why this product must exist”
We’re living in a world where shoppers have more choices than ever and their attention has never been more fragmented. “why we exist” and “why our product must exist” stories break through the clutter and grab the buyer’s attention.
Think of your site as a hurdle race where the shopper has to overcome hurdles before they are ready to use their credit card.
The first hurdle is “who are you and why should I care?” and this is what the “why we exist” section answers. At this point, we’re trying to get the site visitor over the unfamiliarity barrier.
Your “why we exist” story really matters. KoMarketing did a survey where they asked “Once you’re on the homepage, what information do you want to see available?“. 52% said About / Company Information.
Once they’re sold on the “why we exist” story they move to hurdle 2: “I like you and understand why you exist but what makes your product the best?“
This is what the “why this product must exist” question answers.
I’d like to return to the “why we exist” story for a minute. Think of it this way, “why we exist” fills all the space that isn’t taken by the “why this product must exist” story.
These 2 questions are central characters in the product page optimization saga. Nail them and experience a 20% sales bump.
You must be thinking: “I see the importance of product page optimization but which product page should I focus on?”
Good question. Crafting a conversion-boosting product story isn’t easy and if you have a 20 product website it can be hard to know where to start.
So start with one of two of your most important product pages. The ones that drive the most net profits. Start there.
As results come in reinvest and start applying the product story treatment to your other pages. With practice, you’ll get quicker. Even if these secondary product pages don’t drive as much revenue it’ll be worth it because optimizing their product pages will not take as long.
You must be thinking: Long-tail distribution?
It’s possible you don’t have any one or two pages that drive the bulk of revenue. Your sales are divided between 50 odd items. Optimizing one or two pages will not cut it.
For this situation, I suggest focusing on the “why we exist” side of the product story.
The “why we exist” story is easier to craft because it doesn’t have to be written from the perspective of any one product. You can write it without thinking about your product. This story is your origin story.
The simplest way to test the “why we exist” story is to make a call-to-action button called “why we exist” and place it on your most visible pages. Set it so when a visitor clicks the button all other instances of the button get hidden. This maximizes button visibility without making it annoying for people who have already clicked it.
Here are some additional resources we’ve developed for you. Click on the link to learn more about these interesting topics that will help you increase your revenues:
If you want to learn about how returning visitors behave, when they choose to return at all, read this.
If you want to learn more about the magical power of storytelling, read: Storytelling In Marketing.
If you want to learn more about KoMarketing’s report on how buyers respond to eCommerce websites, read this.
If you want to learn how to use your product story to create a masterpiece that leads to a 20% bump to your product page’s conversions, read: How To Develop A Product Story.
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