Product listing pages are a crucial part of an eCommerce shopper’s journey. They are the first impression customers will receive for your products and your brand. It’s important to make sure your product listing pages are the best they can be. In this article, we will go over what a good product listing page should look like, why it is important and what makes a good one.
Page Layout & Loading Speed
A lot of people think the layout of a website is the first thing to consider when building a site. But there's actually another important factor to consider; loading speed
If you're running a website with lots of images, loading time can become an issue. This is especially true if your images are being loaded asynchronously, or one at a time.
The solution? Use grid layouts! 2-4 Grid layouts are easy to design and build, and they make it easy for users to see all options without having to click through multiple pages.
Next thing to focus on is infinite scroll, although it seems like a good idea when it was first introduced, numerous user tests have proved infinite scrolls induce browsing fatigue amongst the users. The best way to avoid this is by providing Load More and Pagination options, this will help users with a structured and guided discovery of products
Another suggestion for loading speed improvements comes from the optimized usage of CDN (Content Delivery Networks).
A primary benefit of a CDN is its ability to deliver content quickly and efficiently. CDN performance optimizations can be done such that HQ images and assets are delivered in a staggered manner. A 3 layered rendering of heavy assets and HQ images will deliver quick loading times. This results in less bounce rates per product and have a positive impact on page level engagement metrics.
Product Images and Assets
People in the industry are well aware that consumers prefer Product listing pages with aesthetic images, but does it help a buyer's journey? A whopping 96% of customers say that a well-designed product listing page really does help their shopping experience and in deciding whether or not to make a purchase decision.
An innovation in serving images to customers is to add variations of an image when the user hovers over the carousel. This helps educate the user about the multiple images available within the product listing page,
Product Name and Description
Product names are a core part of a product listing page, since that’s what the user identifies the product with. In the product listing page, there are two types of names you can use, descriptive names and creative names.
Descriptive names explain what the product or feature is or does, while Creative names are the exact opposite. They have some relationship with what a product does, but they are not explanatory by themselves.
Both are useful depending on the context where they are used. A B2B product or a raw material is better suited to use a descriptive name, while a B2C product such as lipstick would be more suited with a creative name.
Product Descriptions are written to engage the user. If a user is reading the product description, there’s a high chance that you can convert the user if you provide a high quality product description. Amazon has even published a detailed style guide about how to write product descriptions for each category of products.
Product Listing Page Personalization
Deep personalization allows the user to accurately discover, engage and buy more. Personalizing product listing pages based on past purchase history, session history, abandoned carts, demographic segmentation, and geotagging can all be useful in personalizing product listing pages. Research shows personalized listing pages can provide 92% better conversion rate when compared to non-personalized listing pages. Despite that, only 23% of US commerce firms provide personalized pages. This means there is a lot of opportunity to grow in this area.
The Gen Z and Millennials form 43% of total US population, they are digital natives and first to come of age in the mobile era, this opens up huge opportunities and hundreds of ways to provide personalized recommendations, based on location history, cookies, previously liked images, previously ordered products, returned products, dropped carts and other parameters.
Many confine themselves to using personalization for product or services discovery alone, without realizing it can also be done for user and session level engagement, personalized payment plans, post purchase care offers, discount schemes, and more.
Product Listing Filters, Categories & Search
Before understanding why search and filters are needed for a PLP page, understand how a buyer journey happens.
A PLP page displays products similar to how a store displays a shirt. If the user likes the product, they go into the store, apply filters to shortlist their size and color preferences. Finally, they select the particular variant they’re wanting to purchase and complete their buying journey. In an online store, search functionalities are used to help the user navigate the category tree and breadcrumbs, mimicking how stores are laid out physically. This helps them find what they’re looking for and make the purchase they want.
Now that we have seen what purpose Filters, Categories and Search functionalities serve, in the PLP page, lets see how it should be designed in a listing page.
Types of filtering and sorting options
- Search by category: The most common way to filter your search results is by category. For example, when you're searching for a new pair of shoes, you may want to see only those available in black. You can do that by selecting "black" under the shoe's color options on its product listing page.
- Search by price: Another common way to filter is by price range or budget—for example, if you want to spend $100 or less on a new pair of sneakers, select "less than $100" under shoe's price options on its product listing page.
- Search by material and size: Some products come in several sizes or materials, so it's useful for users looking for variations to sort them separately so they don't have too many choices that aren't relevant.
Design elements on Product Listing Pages
The product listing page is the first place people see products. It's an opportunity to introduce them to your brand and build trust.
- Product images: Images are an important part of a product listing page. Customers use images to decide if they want to buy. Ensure they’re clear, high quality and display the product accurately.
- Product descriptions: Description copy should be concise and informative. This is where you'll explain why someone should buy your item The description is where you can answer questions like "how long does this battery last?" or "Does this toy work with other toys from our company?" Use bullet points for lists of features instead of long paragraphs whenever possible.
A well-made Product listing pages can make a user feel at home and give them a sense of relevancy. It is crucial to selling products online, but what’s more important is to understand what purpose these components serve and which target audiences and categories a product listing page is expected to attract.