So you are shopping for a Shopify theme… What features and functionality should you be looking for? This is the first post in a series that will help you evaluate the capabilities of a theme (including the standard free Shopify themes), and hopefully make it easier to decide which one is right for your store. Over the coming weeks we will be looking at the standard pages that come with every Shopify Theme: home (index), collection, cart, blog and stand-along pages. To start with, let’s look at the Product page.

The Product Page

The primary purpose of the home page is to display product images, describe the product, and ultimately to get your prospective buyer to add the product to the cart.

Main Elements

The overall look of the page should be simple, and easy to scan. Pages that look complicated or are too cluttered will quickly turn prospects away. The main elements in the design are the Product Title, Price and “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” button, and should be displayed prominently. It is important that the add to cart functionality should look like a button. For the product description, think about presenting more detailed information progressively. For example, separate tabs can be used for the main product description and technical specifications.

Secondary elements to consider:

  • Is is possible to specify a quantity?
  • Is there a way to “share” the product with a friend or social networking site. A number of themes (including Vanity and Onyx) have built-in integration with sharing services.
  • Product availability and delivery schedule should be shown if appropriate.
  • Are links to your (or your manufacturer’s) guarantee or return policy provided?
  • Trust badges are also good, potentially in the footer for the whole site not just the product page.
  • Showing what payment methods are accepted is a great way to entice visitors. This may also be a good candidate for the footer.
  • Is there a way to incorporate product reviews and ratings?

Images

Eye tracking studies show that images are always the first place people look when they land on the product page.

Here are some considerations for the product page images:

  • Is the main product photo predominantly displayed.
  • When you click on an image, can you navigate to the next or previous image without having to close the popup?
  • Is there an “Click to Enlarge” link.
  • Are thumbnails available, and is it obvious they are additional photos? Some themes display additional images as boxes, so it is easy to miss that these are additional product photos you can click on.

Navigation

Providing navigation links on the product page allows your visitors to quickly look at other products without having to go back to the collection page listing or search results. In particular, a “related products” section has become a standard on high performing e-commerce sites. Some ideas for product page navigation:

  • Are related products shown.
  • If you are viewing a product in a collection, are links to the previous and next product in the same collection available? Is there a link back to the collection (perhaps via a breadcrumb)?
  • Is there a link to all products by this vendor?
  • Is there a link to all products of the same type?