October 19, 2011 Daniel Burns

A lot of business owners think that organizing their e-commerce site’s product pages is as simple as throwing in a nice photo, adding some slick sales copy, and making sure the “buy” button is prominently displayed. Those are all good ideas, but they aren’t enough to maximize conversions.

The biggest reason why has to do with the way customers tend to scan web pages. Believe it or not, there is quite a bit of research into this area, and here are just a few of the things it has shown:

People tend to read headlines first. Whatever you have written at the top of your product pages is probably more important than everything else that comes below. The name of the product should certainly be displayed, but so should a key benefit to the customer, if it’s at all possible.

Next, they scan photos and bullet points in an “F” Shaped pattern. You would think that people would read web pages in the same way they would a book, but the reality is that they tend to scan instead. And not only that, but they do it in a very predictable way – which is usually referred to as an “F” shaped pattern, meaning that they move their eyes across the top of the screen, and then down and right successive scans. This means that the most important information, and benefits, should be on the top third of your product page.

Their eyes are drawn to bright images. Yes, this could sound a little bit obvious, but it’s still important to note because having bright images on your pages can lead visitors to stay on them for longer. The more you can make your photos “pop” off the page – within reason – the higher chance you stand of converting visitors to your e-commerce site into customers.

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