Shopping online this week, I was intrigued by Coach.com‘s approach regarding product detail pages.
Upon clicking on an item, instead of taking you to a full-sized page focused on that individual style, they simply pull up a lightbox overlay with the product detail information.
This is typical for “Quick-shop” or “Preview” functionality (brands within the Gap Inc. umbrella implemented this on their sites a few years back, and Target.com is another great example). However, I have not seen this convention used as the sole place to process product detail information and make a final shopping decision.
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Coach has a reputation of being an organization rooted in data, and making strategic decisions accordingly. I think of Coach as one of the top leaders within e-commerce in this regard. So, I can only imagine that this lightbox approach has been tested against a more traditional product detail page, and came out ahead. A few hypotheses why:
(1) You can still see other products in the background. This is probably the #1 driver of increased conversion. While you are able to easily examine this bag, you are still of the mindset that there are numerous other options should this not be the right choice. On a traditional product detail page, the temptation is to close out the tab entirely, abandoning the site if this item isn’t the right match for you. With Coach’s approach, if you don’t like this particular item, you would close out the light-box, and are still amidst an array of other product selections to choose from. I’d venture that the average amount of time spent on their site is greater than other sites, and the % of users that convert per visit is also likely higher.
(2) The product is the spotlight. This approach eliminates the need to scroll to view any product details and makes it clear the item you’re considering is the main focus. Although there are other items in the background for if you’re dissatisfied (see point #1), they take a back seat to the hero shot of the item in consideration. The layout is fully emphasizing one item front and center, instead of tempting you simultaneously with other competing messaging on the page (other promotional codes, free shipping offers, and more). Compare the clean approach above with this Macys.com product detail page, which has numerous competing actions at once.
(3) Other functionality hasn’t been sacrificed. In the Coach example, you are still able to zoom in on items to the same extent and see multiple style/color views. They still offer sharing functionality, customer reviews, wishlist ability, and the same ease of adding to your cart. All is simply done is a way that takes up less real estate.
After admiring Coach’s approach, I also noticed that Ralph Lauren Rugby took the same vein on their Insider Sale section of their site this week. To look at a product within that section, you can only do so through the Quick-shop functionality, seeing it displayed in front of the other products, and make your shopping decision from here.
Is this type of product detail page the wave of the future?