Unless yours is a single product store, it’s almost guaranteed that shoppers will not find what they’re looking for the moment they land on your homepage. In nearly all cases they’ll either have to search for a specific product or use main navigation.
Let’s take Jonah as an example. He comes in looking to buy a laptop computer so he enters that term into the search bar. He’ll receive a list of results displaying, say 10 items on the first page. Jonah looks at the listed computers and clicks on the product title which links to the product page where he can learn more about the laptop in question before buying it.
However, the list of results shown to Jonah needs to contain certain product attributes if it is to be of any use. For a laptop, such attributes would be things like:
- RAM capacity
- Make and model
- Storage capacity
- Operating system type and version
- Screen size
- Battery capacity
If you just have a title and a product image, Jonah will have a hard time determining whether a listed item is worth the effort he’ll use to visit its product page. Having to waste valuable time ping ponging between the list of results and the product page of each listed item is incredibly frustrating.
A better approach is to include enough information on the list item to help Jonah make a determination on whether he’s interested in a certain laptop or not. The included attributes also help Jonah to quickly compare items on the list so he can rule out the computers he feels are overpriced, underpowered, or out of his budget.
Always include the price
The price must always be included on every list item while the make and model can be made part of the product title. Other attributes like storage capacity, RAM, screen size, and OS
version should be listed as part of a product’s attributes.
The listed attributes vary from product to product. The attributes customers look for in a shirt are very different from those of a refrigerator or steak knife.
For ease of comparison, attributes should always be listed in the same order for all products on a list. Let’s stick with the computer example. Let’s say you list attributes for the first computer on the list in the following order:
- Storage capacity
- Operating system
You will need to stick with that ordering format for all elements in the list. Shifting RAM to no.3 and operating system to no. 2 only makes scanning the list more difficult.
If you list attributes for one product, include the same attributes for every other product on the list. Don’t list RAM contained by laptops A and B while leaving out the same information for laptop B.
According to Baymard, 64% of e-commerce sites impede users ability to compare the product in their list due to inconsistencies in the listed product attributes.
Shoppers tend to skip products without certain attributes listed, or conclude that that product doesn’t have that feature because it’s not listed. Without consistency across products in the same product list, users have a hard time comparing products.
What NOT to do
The screenshot below shows a list of movies and is a perfect example of what not to do. Some movies have their release dates included on the list while the others don’t. If one product on a list has a release date, the rest should have one too.