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Product page abandonment: What you can do to prevent it

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There is an established flow for customers when it comes to e-commerce. They navigate to a product’s page, view it, sometimes check reviews left by other users, inspect some of the product images on the page, then they add the product to their cart before checking out and completing their purchase. Or they might just leave!

The innate problem with this process is that some users leave the product page without adding it to their cart. This is known as product page abandonment, and it is a very real issue that businesses with e-commerce websites face.

Small businesses tend to deal with product page abandonment the most. They may have a small pool of potential customers, which means that even one product sale could mean the difference between a profitable month and one that ends up in the red. Of course, it is never possible to completely avoid it—some users will have no intention to make a purchase, they may just be browsing or researching some item. The goal is to minimize as much as possible product page abandonment, so that anyone who does abandon the product page, does so for reasons beyond your control, and not because of a poor product page.

Let’s explore some things that you can do to enhance your product pages, which includes tweaking your product descriptions to ensuring that full shipping details are accessible from the product page. Enhancements such as these will greatly improve the chance of a customer adding a product to the cart.

Understanding product abandonment

The first step to solving product page abandonment is to understand why it happens. When a user reaches a product page, they expect to see certain things that will answer the questions they may have. The price of the product, a description of it and the total cost are things that most customers expect to see without navigating to a checkout.

The reason these things are so important concerns the way the consumer’s mind works. The consumer is doing one or more of the following things:

  • Researching an initial solution to a problem
  • Comparing products for price, usefulness or both
  • Searching the most reliable seller
  • Researching the product that is most likely to give them a reliable solution
  • Inspecting the product itself via pictures or videos
  • Looking to finalize their purchasing decision after doing research

Without catering to the many modes a consumer experiences, most potential customers will abandon the product before adding it to their cart.

What can you do to prevent product abandonment?

The good news about product page abandonment is that there are things you can do to significantly reduce the chances of it happening. You need only use your head to better understand what a customer wants and feels when going through the buying process.

Below is a checklist of things you should be doing to minimize product page abandonment.

  • Display your product’s price prominently

    Customers want to keep thought to a minimum when they’re looking to buy something. They don’t want to add an item to a cart, navigate to the checkout, and then deduce what the item costs on an individual basis. Display the pricing details of your products in an easy-to-find place that customers can view as soon as they land on the page of your product.

  • Clarify product pricing

    While smart business owners know the worth of extra options, successful one make it easy for customers to purchase them. This is why you should display the cost of each option a customer can add to their order along with a running total. Drop-down menus and dynamic price scripts are modern tools designed to fulfill these roles, especially when you deal with products of different sizes (small vs XL) that may have price differences.

  • Include shipping and tax in the item’s value

    While shipping and tax are somewhat trickier due to their changing costs, it is possible to include them in a product’s total. You may wish to do this as accurately as possible or simply give an estimate of these values figured in tot he item’s total price.

  • Provide brief and detailed product descriptions

    Some customers will want a short product description, but others will want a more detailed one. Cater to both groups when possible by including a brief description and extended one that includes details. Details like where a product was manufactured, the name of the company that made it, model numbers, revision numbers and product creation dates are details that should be included in one or both of these descriptions.

  • Give customers consistent product details

    Customers sometimes wish to compare two similar products, which means that they require similar details from both products. You should include similar information across related products to ensure that your customers can do just that.

  • Utilize product comparator tools when possible

    Nothing makes comparison between two products as easy as product comparator tools. These allow customers to compare two details side-by-side without being forced to flip between two pages, which in turn promotes product sales.

  • Always use high-resolution photos and videos where appropriate

    One thing small businesses often omit are photos and videos of a product. They do this because they are acquainted with how feature-rich or amazing a product is, which in turn causes them to make the assumption that customers will know too. High-resolution photographs that cover all angles of a product and videos that show off a product are two tools that can help stop product abandonment.

  • Include a call to action near the price

    A call to action such as “Add to Cart” near the price of an item promotes customers adding a product to their cart. The best part is that you can add multiple calls to action with slightly different purposes near to one another to promote sales.

  • Use analytics to isolate problems

    Analytics can provide details concerning why a customer may abandon a product. You can utilize them to determine if the product itself is lacking or if the product page needs something more by comparing one product to similar items.

Stopping Product Abandonment and Promoting Sales

As you tweak and streamline your product pages, you’ll find that product abandonment becomes less of a problem. As mentioned earlier, it is not completely preventable, since some visitors to your site will not intend to make a purchase at all. However, you will be less likely to lose those visitors who do intend to make a purchase, if you tweak your product page to minimize abandonment.

Minimizing the problem of product abandonment can be an arduous task, it is one that any small business owner needs to solve to begin building his or her business.

Main image: Lyza