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10 product page features & the extensions to make them happen

Written by Nicole Kohler on April 27, 2016 Blog, Managing products.

Each component of your store’s website does its part in convincing potential customers to make a purchase. From the content on your homepage to the design of your checkout process, each individual element has a purpose… and can be improved.

Among these components, perhaps none are more important than your product pages. On these pages, shoppers find photos, specifications, and other details that give them a compelling reason to make a purchase.

But sometimes photos and copy alone can’t make the sale. For many stores, product pages need additional features to convince potential customers to take action. For some stores there’s a need to add downloadable guides, while for other stores it’s a matter of offering customization.

Can your potential customers learn enough about your products to confidently make a purchase? If not, we have some ideas for you.
Can your potential customers learn enough about your products to confidently make a purchase? If not, we have some ideas for you.

Today, we’re going to explore ten features that your product pages might need to boost sales — and the corresponding WooCommerce extensions that make them possible.

Ready to make some improvements? Read on.

Give potential customers the details they crave

One of the biggest mistakes that new store owners make is not giving shoppers enough information to reliably make a decision. Unintentionally withholding even small details, like the type of batteries required or the country of origin, can result in lost sales.

These three extensions won’t just help you add those details — they’ll also make those details far more visible, so shoppers will always be able to find the facts and figures they crave.

Provide product information at a glance

Sometimes your customers are in a hurry, but they still want to know every last little detail about your products. Save them some time by letting them “peek” at items with this first extension.

WooCommerce Quick View enables a “quick view” button on your landing or category pages. When clicked, shoppers are instantly presented with a lightbox window that displays the product image, price, description, and status:

With a simple click, shoppers get a glimpse at an item they might be interested in.
With a simple click, shoppers get a glimpse at an item they might be interested in.

They can even add the product to their cart from the window if they like, or click the “view full details” option to see the full page.

This quick view extension can save shoppers an immense amount of time if they only want to take a few moments to look at seemingly similar products, or get a closer look at photos before diving into the full details.

Purchase the WooCommerce Quick View Extension

Let customers compare similar items

Speaking of looking at similar products, this next extension is designed to help your customers do just that. Side-by-side comparisons can be very useful if you carry products that only have a few differences between them.

WooCommerce Products Compare adds a “compare” box beneath product listings that can be ticked by shoppers. When they’re finished selecting products, the items are displayed side-by-side, with their features lined up neatly in table format.

What compared products will look like, in this case for a selection of four side-by-side.
What compared products will look like, in this case for a selection of four.

This can make decision-making much easier for shoppers, especially if many of your products are similar or don’t have many visual differences.

Purchase the WooCommerce Products Compare Extension

Make product documents available to view or download

Some products are easy to understand. A shirt is, well, a shirt — no instructions needed. But if you sell, say, heavy machinery online, that’s the kind of thing you certainly wouldn’t ship without a manual.

With the Product Documents extension, you can increase your customers’ understanding of products before they even make a purchase. Once installed, the extension allows you to upload and add easy-to-spot links to downloadable documents to any product page.

So whether you want to make existing item manuals available online or produce new how-to guides or FAQs, all of these helpful documents can be added to any page of your choice in just a few seconds.

The extension adds a new "Product Documents" tab that makes adding and editing documents for each product quick & easy.
The extension adds a new “Product Documents” tab that makes adding and editing documents for each product quick & easy.

Purchase the Product Documents Extension

Ensure high levels of order accuracy

If the products you’re selling come in customizable quantities, different colors, or have specifications that can be altered per order, accuracy is hugely important. Nothing makes a customer unhappier than opening a shipment and finding the wrong item in their box.

With these next few extensions, you’ll be sure to get things right the first time, every time.

Let customers calculate quantity and price

Products like tile, fabric, wallpaper, and paint can be a tricky sell. Customers can eyeball the amount they need… but that might result in them coming up short (or ordering too much!). Luckily, the Measurement Price Calculator will give your shoppers an accurate estimate for products sold by either quantities or units.

Show customers the price of a single item, then give them a convenient calculator for figuring out how many they'll need to buy. Smart!
Show customers the price of a single item, then give them a convenient calculator for figuring out how many they’ll need to buy. Smart!

A calculator can be added to any product page, and can calculate price and quantity needed based on a shopper’s dimensions, area, volume, or weight. An additional user-defined calculator mode lets you sell products priced per-unit or in custom sizes, like fabric.

Now your shoppers won’t have to guess how much they need — they’ll be able to calculate it down to the roll, foot, or quart, and all right from the product page. How’s that for convenient?

Purchase the Measurement Price Calculator Extension

Add color swatches for product variations

Even if you don’t sell products by the quart or foot, adding clarity to your pages is never a bad thing. You want your shoppers to be 100% certain they’re choosing the right color shirt or the right size pants, right? This can be accomplished quickly with Variation Swatches and Photos.

Bid adieu to drop-downs and say bonjour to easy-to-read swatches.
Bid adieu to drop-downs and say bonjour to easy-to-read swatches.

Instead of adding text-based drop-downs to your product pages for selecting variations, this extension will give your customers the ability to click on small photos or color swatches of the item they want to purchase.

This helps them be even more certain that they’re picking the right item or correct combination, whether it’s a certain length of a necklace or a shirt with a specific size, color, and fit.

It’s also way more fun to use than drop-downs. Seriously, give it a try, you’ll have a blast. 😉

Purchase the Variation Swatches and Photos Extension

Add special features for customizable products

If you already offer customized products in your store — or are considering adding the option — your product pages should reflect that.

With these next two extensions, you’ll be able to show off your ability to make products that are truly personal, whether they’re engraved, printed in a custom color, or fully built to meet a shopper’s specifications.

Personalization options make products a bit more special

If you’re already supporting personalization for your items, or are considering adding the option to any of your products, the key to success is making customer requests as easy as possible.

Enter Product Add-Ons, a WooCommerce extension designed to allow your customers to enter custom text, upload images, check boxes, or simply tell you what they want customized or personalized on your products.

Custom colors, engraving, additional pieces -- support it all with one extension.
Custom colors, engraving, additional pieces — support it all with one extension.

Product Add-Ons allows you to decide what custom options you want to support on each of your products. You can charge for personalization and add-ons, or allow free custom color choices. Allow customization on every product, or just one. It’s all up to you — and all handled by one extension.

Purchase the Product Add-Ons Extension

Allow shoppers to build their own kit, product, or bundle with ease

Selling custom-built products online can be tricky. Giving shoppers the power to build and configure an item from the ground up takes quite a few steps, choices, and confirmations. But this is all what Composite Products does best.

In this example, a store will allow a shopper to custom build a skateboard, from the deck up.
In this example, a store will allow a shopper to custom build a skateboard, from the deck up.

With the Composite Products extension installed, you’ll be able to create a product with multiple components that can be configured by each customer. Each component can have multiple choices, so the customer can choose the right size, color, material, or other selection that fits them best.

When your product is live, shoppers will be guided through the steps of building their custom item from scratch. Images and text can be added to the page to make the customer’s journey clearer and easier (see an example here).

If you want to offer fully custom kits or even bundles, this extension will give you all the power and flexibility you need to do it, while showing your customers exactly what they’re choosing all the way through.

Purchase the Composite Products Extension

Take simple steps to improve customer service

How you treat your customers matters… especially before they even become customers. To round up this post, here are a few extensions that will help you show your shoppers that you’re committed to quality service, starting right with your product pages.

Allow items to be ordered before they’re released

Occasionally you might have a new product in the manufacturing process that you just can’t wait to sell… but no way to actually sell it. Until now.

WooCommerce Pre-Orders gives your customers the option to order a product before it’s in stock. Their credit cards won’t be charged until stock is available and you complete the pre-order — that is, run a manual process to bill them — and you can send an email notifying customers that stock has arrived and is about to ship.

The extension gives you complete control over pre-orderable products, allowing you to alter release dates, tweak emails to customers, and manually manage when customers are billed — all a must-have if you regularly list upcoming products or take pre-orders for things like video games or software.

Just complete your pre-orders via the new menu to bill your customers' cards and notify them via email.
Just complete your pre-orders via the new menu to bill your customers’ cards and notify them via email.

Purchase the WooCommerce Preorders Extension

Enable waitlists and email notifications for backordered items

On the other hand, sometimes the products you already have run out. Some store owners tackle this issue by temporarily removing the page, but if you’re going to get more stock again soon, why risk the 404s and shopper dissatisfaction?

You can see who's on the waitlist and quickly send them an email when stock has returned.
You can see who’s on the waitlist and quickly send them an email when stock has returned.

WooCommerce Waitlist allows shoppers to join a waitlist for a product that is currently out of stock, and then receive an email notification when the item is available again.

With the extension installed, any products currently out of stock will show a “join waitlist” button to shoppers. From your side, to you’ll be able to view a new addition to each product page showing who has joined the waitlist.

You’ll also have the option to send custom emails to customers once a backordered product is back in stock, preventing you from losing any sales. Brilliant!

Purchase the WooCommerce Waitlist Extension

Add a contact form right to the product page

Nearly every online store and website has a contact form these days. But you’d be surprised at the number of visitors who, well — putting it simply — are too lazy to find the page and ask their question.

Sometimes it’s not their fault, either. Contact forms can be buried, hard to use, or cluttered with fields that have no business being there. This can put off even the most diligent of shoppers (or the ones closest to a conversion).

The solution to all of these issues is more simple than you might expect: add a contact form right to your product pages with the Product Enquiry Form extension.

What a sample form might look like on a product page. CAPTCHA is built in to help prevent spam, woo!
What a sample form might look like on a product page. CAPTCHA is built in to help prevent spam, woo!

This allows shoppers who have a question about a product to get in touch with you immediately — no digging around for hidden forms necessary. You can then respond to the customer directly via email, answering their question so they can get back to shopping ASAP.

Purchase the Product Enquiry Form Extension

Improve your product pages to turn shoppers into customers

Product pages aren’t just a convenient source of information, or where you stash your photos — they’re the backbone of your online store. They’re crucial to the process of converting a shopper to a customer, and as such, they deserve special treatment.

We hope this selection of tips (and the WooCommerce extensions to match) has given you some ideas for improving your own product pages. If you want a few more, check out this post on the features of high-performing product pages for further inspiration.

Have any questions about the extensions recommended in this post? Or any suggestions of your own to share? We’re keen to hear from you in the comments as always.

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13 Responses

  1. MakeOnlineShop
    April 28, 2016 at 4:32 pm #

    Your blogs always are great, and thank to this info Woocommerce really is the best shop system. Thanks.

    • Nicole Kohler
      April 28, 2016 at 4:52 pm #

      Thanks, that’s very kind of you to say 🙂

  2. Brian
    May 5, 2016 at 5:47 pm #

    Nice Article! I’m curious, what would you recommend for fulfilling conditional fields before being given the option to purchase? Example. My client has a site that books appointments, we would like to be able to ask the buyer 4 questions before they’re able to purchase (If they answer the four questions correctly, then they’re able to make the appointment.)

    I’m interested to hear your thoughts.

    • Nicole Kohler
      May 5, 2016 at 9:37 pm #

      Hey Brian, that’s an interesting one. A bit out of my scope here so my recommendation for you is to give our super-smart ninjas a shout by opening a ticket: https://woocommerce.com/my-account/create-a-ticket/

      You can select “Before You Buy” and ask that question there, if there’s an extension that will help you do this we can recommend it for you. This may be something that requires custom code, which we don’t offer or officially support, but I’m thinking our team can at least lead you in the right direction 🙂

      Cheers!

  3. Gerry
    May 5, 2016 at 6:00 pm #

    Hi Nicole,

    I agree with you 100% that people are too lazy to look for a contact form. It’s all about convenience and not wasting their precious time.

    If something product interest leads to an action of any sort, even some asking a question, and they need to click away from the page in order to take that action – You risk losing them!

    It sounds crazy, but that whole instant gratification thing seems to hold true even in something like asking a question.

    I catch myself doing this all of the time, but never thought about integrating the same.

    Will be looking at integrating this tab in a few shops that I manage, thanks for the tip!

    • Nicole Kohler
      May 5, 2016 at 9:34 pm #

      Hey Gerry, I get you – it does sound a little crazy (who wants to put MORE contact forms on their store, right?) but when I thought about my own behavior shopping around online I had one of those “duh” moments. I’ve been to stores where I couldn’t find a contact form at all and was out of there in two seconds… others where I had to leave to Google a related question and got distracted and never came back…

      So I’m glad we could help 🙂 Give us a shout if you find anything interesting once this is implemented or have any questions!

  4. Carlos
    May 5, 2016 at 6:53 pm #

    Thanks for your blog. It gave me inspiration for a couple of ideas…. with each product have the following buttons:

    Ask us! (a mini chat with the product as a subject to our tech support that really knows about the product)

    Audio explanation of the product…. a sort of “podcast” or audio recording that explains more of the product. (For people who dont like to read)

    Mini video presentation – Explanation of the product spoken and with graphics.

    Lets see how it goes!

    • Nicole Kohler
      May 5, 2016 at 9:31 pm #

      Those sound like awesome ideas Carlos. Keep us posted, we’d love to hear what the outcome is if you implement these!

  5. Melanie Hay
    May 6, 2016 at 3:01 am #

    Hi Nicole,

    The contact form for product pages is a great idea!

    I had a look at this plugin but was put off by the fact that the information states the plugin was last updated was 2012 – is that correct?

    • Nicole Kohler
      May 6, 2016 at 4:07 pm #

      Hey there Melanie 🙂 For the Product Inquiry Form extension (https://woocommerce.com/products/product-enquiry-form/), I’m seeing a last updated date of November 2015.

      We tend to keep our own extensions updated fairly often (and test them regularly to ensure compatibility with current versions of WooCommerce/our themes), and I also personally try not to recommend extensions or plugins from .org that aren’t current or have a lot of reported issues with compatibility. That said, something might slip through the cracks every now and then so if you do spot anything that looks out of date or has known issues please do let me know and I’ll be certain to address it 🙂

  6. Calvin
    May 6, 2016 at 6:16 am #

    Is there a way Nicole to have instructions after checkout? for example, i need my clients to sign an electronic document after payment, then once that is done, I need them to schedule on another page. do you all have an extension that would help me (cheap if possible) lol. or is this a matter of moving things in wp

    • Nicole Kohler
      May 6, 2016 at 4:01 pm #

      Hi Calvin,

      For scheduling, you’d likely want to use something like WooCommerce Bookings to have the time/date reserved prior to checkout and not after: https://woocommerce.com/products/woocommerce-bookings/ (If the payment isn’t completed, the scheduling won’t be done)

      As far as document signing goes you could use a Zapier integration with something like HelloSign: https://zapier.com/zapbook/hellosign/ This would generate a request for a signed contract or document and you could place the link in your confirmation email or page with a little custom code.

      Here’s the integration with WooCommerce and Zapier that you’d need to make that work automatically: https://woocommerce.com/products/woocommerce-zapier/

      Hopefully that helps a bit, there are a few ways you could accomplish this but this would get everything automated and save you a lot of time 🙂

  7. Green Interio
    May 6, 2016 at 4:00 pm #

    i like this extension ‘Add a contact form right to the product page’
    i would like to use in my web. 🙂

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