5 Likely Reasons Why Your Product Listings Aren't Converting

Friday, March 5, 2021

Getting online sales isn’t easy. You might say it’s as hard as vacuuming a beach and just as time-consuming. Any brand that makes it look easy has a lot of trial-and-error stories to prove just how hard that really is.

Article 7 Minutes

You’re probably reading this article because you want more conversions on your product pages, right?

You’re not alone.

After all, persuading customers that your product is what’s best for them is hard, especially when you’re asking for their money in return.

If you’re spending time marketing your products but don’t have the conversion rates on your product listings to show for it, there are some common culprits you should know about. All consumers have steps they need to go through before they buy. Even if your marketing is meeting the first several steps, your product listings mark the final frontier and must be built for that ultimate conversion.

1. Are you getting the right traffic?

So, you’re getting traffic to your product listings. That’s great! Multiple things in your marketing are clearly working.

However, if it’s pulling consumers in who don’t want or need your product, then maybe your marketing isn’t working.

Your product page has to be matched to your marketing to determine if this is an issue for your listings. If your ad says one thing, but your product listings say another, that’s a problem. To be completely sure whether you’re getting the right traffic to your product pages, audit them against the marketing that points to each listing. Check that your ads and listings are speaking to the same:

  • Pain points
  • Benefits
  • Features
  • Consumer needs

If they aren’t, fix that first. Your marketing is clearly working since people are landing on your product pages. The real fix is updating your listings to reflect the benefits, etc. that your marketing speaks to so there isn’t a disconnect.

If your ads and listings are matched in messaging: OK, then something about your marketing is too broad. Update your marketing collateral and your product pages to speak to the exact pain points, needs and desires of your perfect client.

2. Are your products visible at the right time?

More than 92% of consumers visit a brand’s website for the first time for reasons other than making a purchase. Of those, 45% are researching a product, 25% are comparing options, and 10% are looking for store details.

Your content has to resolve these needs before pointing users to product pages. Otherwise, if every road leads to product listings before consumers are ready to buy, you’ll be pitching at the wrong time.

Your product listing should be what your marketing points to only for hot leads ready to buy. The consumers on your site for any other reason aren’t ready yet.

If this sounds like a problem with your product marketing, update your product listings to help smooth the bumpy transition. Look at what content has been most successful, since this will clue you in on what’s getting through to consumers. Then, weave elements of that successful content into your product listings. Anyone who navigates from that content to your products will then see the continuity more clearly, even when the sales pitch is still a little early for that user.

3. Lack of perceived value

Your product listings are the final place where you communicate the value of your products. It’s crucial to do so compellingly since listings are also where consumers first see the price of a product.

Product pages that don’t convey the full value of products listed are ultimately pages that don’t convert. Qualified traffic is coming, but the pitch isn’t there to convince consumers that what they gain is worth the sticker price.

Therein lies the key. Consumers are looking for benefits, not features. Of course, product data like features, specifications, user guides, rich media, and more have to be there too (just see what happens when you fall into these classic product data pitfalls on listings). However, it’s the benefits a consumer receives that act as the emotional trigger to click the “Buy” button.

Benefits are defined as solutions to existing problems or the ways a product can make life better. If you think your product pages aren’t communicating this kind of value, start by listing out your target client’s pain points. How many of those do you “resolve” with the benefits your product brings?

4. The product isn’t what consumers expected

Marketing goes over-the-top when its claims about a product don’t match the real deal. When consumers even suspect this might be the case, users arriving at product listings will navigate away just as quickly as they arrived.

Sometimes, this same thing happens without malintent from marketers. Product listings that are incomplete or have product data inconsistencies can give the appearance that the product isn’t what consumers were after, even when it is.

It’s crucial to be straightforward and transparent on product listings, and equally fundamental to provide complete information. Otherwise, a brand will damage its reputation capital and generate costly returns.

Clearly explain the benefits and features of your products using enriched photos from all angles. Create product videos as well and show your product being used in its intended environment. Give consumers the most in-depth and transparent view of your product and what it offers.

Consistency is key here. Your product listings rely on error-free and complete product data. That same data will be used – with different optimizations in different formats – on other channels where you market, not to mention multiple marketplaces and sales channels; after all, it’s a multichannel ecommerce world. Ensure your consumers know exactly what you offer no matter the channel.

The organization of product data for all channels is easier said than done. Brands are constantly bogged down by manual processes and endless spreadsheets as they try to tackle this beast. Errors inevitably happen, which is the main reason why consumers land on product listings that don’t match what they thought they found. However, this can be avoided using product information management software (PIM), which was designed specifically to aggregate, clean up, organize and store product data, including all the photos and video media that go with it.

5. Lousy product pages

Sometimes, product pages don’t convert because they’re just plain lousy. The definition of “lousy” is constantly changing, too, as ecommerce evolves.

Whatever the entry point, your listing needs the layout, tools and optimizations that draw consumers in. You want them interacting with your product and excited to add it to their carts.

Once a consumer lands on your page, especially if you’ve maxed out the optimizations above, it means that consumer is interested.

However, you still need to convince them to buy.

To do this, the most competitive product listings include features like:

  • Enriched images: This includes product photos from multiple angles as well as macro shots to show high-resolution detail.
  • Social proof triggers on product images: When a product is popular or trending, it gains legitimacy. You can add this kind of clout to a page via product photos with superimposed text stating its popularity.
  • Urgency or scarcity labels: You can add labels to images that point to scarcity or add urgency. The fear of missing out will nudge consumers to buy right away.
  • More product data: If you haven’t already filled out every available field on your product listings as completely as possible, do that now.
  • Decide what to highlight: Consumers always need information on materials, price and important features. But generally, there’ll be one data point that’s more compelling to a target audience. Decide what the most compelling data point is, and then highlight that information on your listings.
  • Scrolling text to display many messages progressively: It’s just another way to highlight specific information without overwhelming the consumer with blocks of paragraph text.
  • Videos and GIFs: Product videos used on social media are entertaining half the time and emotionally triggering the other half. However, for product listings, the best videos bring consumers closer to the in-store, physical experience that they lack online. Even a simple GIF showing a glimpse of your product will boost customer experience significantly.

Most of these help you optimize product listing user experience (UX), too. Interestingly, many of today’s best UX optimizations come down to product data, which is just another reason to get data organized for the new multichannel norm.

Which of these product listing pitfalls are you suffering from, and what are you going to do about it?

The future of ecommerce is as good for brands as it is for consumers. By making these changes to your product pages, you’ll see bigger conversion rates and longer-lasting, deeper relationships with customers. Optimized listings are the make-or-break point of the best customer experience strategies. Start today on any one of these and get the necessary stakeholders on board.

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Alex Borzo

Alex Borzo is a content contributor at Amber Engine, a software company passionate about eCommerce.

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