May 20, 2015

Why Your E-tail Product Page Is Crucial

The Shift

U.S. retail sales showed positive growth in 2014, and yet big name retailers are closing more and more brick and mortar locations. In 2015, JCPenney will cut 40 stores, Macy’s is to close 14 locations, and Sears will be letting go of 235 stores, just to name a few – more at Yahoo Finance. Additionally, from 2000-2012, online retail sales have risen from 0.9% of total retail revenue to 5.2% of total retail revenue (Forrester Research).

The trend is clear: consumers are making more of their purchases through etail sites and less through traditional retail locations.

The Replacement

Before the rise of online retail, the physical store was the ultimate brand touch point. Beyond that, the last piece of marketing in the store was the product box itself. The product box was a make-or-break moment for the brand. The consumer had a decision: to make the purchase or abandon the product. The only thing left to sway that decision was the box in the consumer’s hands.

With consumers doing more of their shopping online, the product box has been replaced. Now, the last chance for marketing and branding comes from the product page on the etail site. Unlike the brick and mortar retail store, abandoning a purchase is far easier when shopping online: one finger tap and the entire purchase process flies out the window.

The Importance

Just like the product box, the etail product page is the final brand touchpoint before a purchase. As a marketer, you set up touchpoints to create awareness, and product placements to drive consumer decision making. However, all of that hard work can become worthless when a potential buyer clicks out of your page at the last moment. Plenty of research also supports the theory that this moment is far more volatile and potentially random than most marketers would like to think.

As consumer attention spans shorten and more consumers shop on mobile devices and tablets, your product page is becoming a crucial spot in the sales process. Don’t lose a sale because of a lackluster product page!

Stay tuned!  My next blog post will discuss how to make your product page work it’s hardest.


Forrester Research Inc. entitles “U.S. Cross-Channel Retail Forecast, 2012 To 2017