The Landing Problem: How Product Detail Pages Trigger Revenue Loss

By Evan McGonagill

May 1, 2018

Let’s talk landing pages.

Most ecommerce companies have made significant investments in engineering their websites to create the best possible first impression when a visitor arrives. Landing pages, then, are an important area of focus when considering the customer journey. There is plenty of research available about what makes a good one, and new analyses are coming out constantly that offer tips and strategies for how to increase conversion rates on landing pages.

But the truth is that it’s not always so easy to predict where the customer will enter the site. And it’s only getting harder. More and more consumers are now omnichannel, multi-device, and generally following longer and more alinear paths to purchase than in the past. That means that new visitors may enter your site from any number of referring channels, and they could land on any page—not just a ‘designated’ landing page. These days, every page should be evaluated as a potential landing page; even those that are not purpose-built for creating good first impressions.

Take the product detail page (PDP). Benchmark data from Monetate recently found that nearly a quarter of all customer journeys begin on a PDP—but those pages are hardly set up for success when it comes to introducing a new customer to the brand. As a result, they tend to underperform in key areas like engagement and conversion when they serve as landing pages. The newest Ecommerce Quarterly Report from Monetate, EQ1 2018: First Impressions, tackles the issue head-on and provides a comprehensive analysis of the problems facing PDPs and what marketers can do to address them.

This problem begins with a mismatch in function. An infographic published by MarketingProfs last week captures much of the conventional wisdom about what makes for a good landing page experience, and their findings spell trouble for the PDP-as-landing-page: fewer links, low word count, and smaller/fewer images (to ensure good mobile experience and shorter load times) are big factors in how likely a visitor is to convert after landing. That presents a particular challenge for PDPs, which are often image- and text-heavy. And for good reason: these pages are designed to sit lower in the funnel, equipping customers with everything they need to know in order to decide whether to buy. That may include product descriptions, images, pricing information, reviews, and more—all of which makes for a lot of different types of content competing for visual attention as the customer hunts for the information that is most relevant to them. As a result, PDPs run a high risk of becoming overwhelming, and that risk is further exacerbated for a visitor who is dropped in directly without having undergone previous onsite priming.

The fact that a significant amount of site traffic is receiving sub-optimal landing experiences is sure to trickle down to the bottom line. This spells a dilemma for marketers, who need to make sure the PDP can perform the function that it is optimized for—informing customers about all the nitty-gritty details of a product—but also can’t afford to ignore the ways in which it is falling short as a landing page.

So, what are the solutions?

The EQ1 2018: First Impressions report provides a comprehensive analysis of the problems facing PDPs-as-landing-page, along with case studies and actionable steps for how marketers can rectify their landing page blind spot using personalization. Download your copy today to learn what you can do to fix this neglected area of site optimization, and start recovering lost revenue right away.

Evan McGonagill is a content writer for Monetate, where she researches and produces whitepapers, blog posts, and other material about commerce and personalization. Evan has a background in libraries and archives, and she uses her interest in the structure and flow of information to think about how brands can harness data to build more personal connections with their customers. When she isn't in the library or learning about personalization, you can find her playing music in West Philadelphia.

Experience the future of ecommerce personalization

Book your personalized demo today.