Trends & Features

Prime selling space

It’s most likely that the decision to buy or not will be made while your product pages are being viewed, so give them the thought they deserve.

Put yourself in the place of the buyer and ask yourself what they would like to see.

Be crystal clear
Provide clear information on the critical details such as price, delivery times and charges. If buyers have to hunt, some won’t bother and a sale is lost.

Show related items
When a shopper is looking at a particular item, there are always other items that naturally relate together and which a buyer is likely to want to purchase at the same time.

Make sure you meet this need.

Have a clear call to action
The aim of a product page is to sell what’s on that page.

In most cases, this means clicking on an add to cart button or a checkout button.

For sophisticated and high price products, the sale may involve encouraging customers to call to discuss and place their order.

Since this is the objective, these ‘calls to action’ should be prominent on the page.

I remain shocked at how difficult it is to find out how to add items to the cart and checkout on some sites.

Clearly show stock levels
There are a variety of drivers that vary the way each business handles stock levels and unavailability.

The important thing is to be clear with customers and ensure their expectations are met.

Failing to do this will result in upset customers and lots of customer service calls, resulting in lost business and wasted time.

A picture tells a thousand words
Look at the ASOS site.

This is one of the most successful ecommerce retailers of recent years and the pictures are brilliant.

If yours are too, you will reap the rewards.

Provide clear clues to where you are
It’s important that browsers don’t get lost in your online shop.

Show clearly where people are, for instance, by providing a ‘breadcrumb trail’ that shows each section in the hierarchy above the current position.

Don’t skimp on information
Provide full details of all products for sale, allowing for all of the information that is needed for a decision to purchase to be made.

Nothing is more off putting than not knowing what you are buying or not being sure if it will work the way you need it to.

If you don’t supply the information, your prospect will click away to someone who does.

If all the necessary information cannot be accommodated on the page, provide links to even more information on another page.

Use videos wherever you can
Some studies have suggested videos can increase conversion by 20 per cent.

Use product reviews
Provide the opinions of other customers on the products you are selling. This will help considerably in the buying decision.

Chris Barling is co-founder and chairman of ecommerce software and EPoS systems supplier SellerDeck and has over 17 years’ experience of helping small and medium sized enterprise retailers with advice on trading online.

In his third book Barling shares the basic steps to setting up shop on the web, together with the key lessons he has learned that can make the difference between success and failure. The 440-plus tips are organised into a series of nine sections, so that it’s easy to dip in and out of.

The paperback edition is £12.99 from and a Kindle version is also available on Amazon for £6.49.

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