PDP performance

Proving (and improving) your PDP performance

Product description pages (PDPs) have come a long way since the birth of e-commerce. Their evolution is owed to the constant innovation led by forward-thinking brands and their teams. New ideas, when successfully implemented, have quickly become industry standard in the fast-paced world of e-commerce, and the cycle of PDP evolution continues now and into the future.

As a result, the options for effective PDP content and layouts are seemingly endless. It’s easy to want to do it all, but you risk bombarding your customers and confusing them out of a purchase. Product description pages are an extension of your brand, and what makes yours work may be as unique as the brand itself. Sure, there’s a few non-negotiable factors, such as images, prices, and descriptions, but even they come with explorable variables!

However directly (or indirectly) you influence the content of your PDPs, understanding the process of validating and enhancing their performance will enable you to seek opportunities and contribute towards proactive initiatives for more effective PDPs.

How to optimize your PDPs for better conversion.

With research and testing.

During his talk at FLOW LA, Daniel Hyde mentioned three words to keep in the forefront of your mind when formulating your PDP content strategy…

“Customers. Customers. Customers.”

Effective product description pages are achieved via a continual cycle of customer-centered research and testing. Begin the process with the customer in mind and keep them there, you’ll start to truly understand what works for your brand while remaining focused on the end result of more sales, less returns, and higher customer trust, loyalty, and satisfaction.

Getting under the skin of things - Qualitative vs Quantitative research.

Understanding what does and doesn’t work on your PDPs is the first step towards making improvements. Many factors affect a customer’s decision when purchasing online, the emotional side of a purchase is layered with the technical functionality of the website. We’re so used to shopping online that we rarely stop to think deeply about how complex the process is (unless it’s your job!). Combining qualitative and quantitative research will provide a deeper understanding of customer mindset and resistance points.

Qualitative research - focuses on understanding behaviors, attitudes, and motivations using methods such as interviews, surveys, focus groups, and observations to gather rich, descriptive data. You may discover customers feel there’s too little (or too much) product information, their image preferences and expectations for video content aren’t met, or just simple navigation issues.

Quantitative research - involves collecting numerical data on a large scale for statistical measurement and analysis. This approach aims to test hypotheses, identify patterns, and establish correlations. Metrics can include click-through rates, time on site, visitor counts, bounce rates, and anything else that can be measured numerically.

On their own, each provides useful data relating to the customer experience, but neither paints the full picture. Only when used in unison can you begin to fully understand the effectiveness of your PDPs and identify areas for improvement.

So what next?

Act on findings with the Design Thinking Framework

During his talk at FLOW LA, Daniel Hyde recommends the Design Thinking Framework as a method to test, create, and apply changes.

The design thinking framework is a customer-centered approach to problem-solving that encourages innovation. Issues are discovered and solutions applied via a three-stage process: understand, explore, materialize.

This process is underpinned by six phases: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test, and implement.


This is where your qualitative and quantitative research comes into play. Whether you’ve already identified an area for improvement or not, it’s time to gain a true understanding of your customer’s experience, as well as their wants and needs.


Collate your research to identify user issues. Cross-reference all research to gain insights into the customer journey and seek opportunities for improvement.


This is the creative part! Look at the issues identified in the define stage and brainstorm solutions to your customers’ unmet needs. Encourage as many solutions as possible, then build and rework them as a team.


Shortlist your top ideas and build tactile solutions for internal testing and feedback. Refine them enough until you understand what’s working and begin to consider the feasibility of a full rollout. Is the juice worth the squeeze?


It’s time to share your polished prototype(s) with your customer focus group for some ‘real world’ testing and feedback. Has it met the needs you identified? Is the customer experience better or worse? What impact has it had on your KPIs?

Be sure to keep asking yourself questions that aim at the end result. Fingers crossed, you’ll be able to confirm without doubt that your idea will have a positive impact.


The most important part of the process. Design thinking isn’t worth much without the ‘design doing’! Ensure your solution is implemented effectively so it can begin to impact the customer journey (and your sales) in a positive way. You can then validate those changes with A/B testing to prove its effectiveness.

Don’t stop there

There’s a reason the design thinking framework is often illustrated in a circular manner. The end is effectively the beginning of the next cycle. Improve what you’ve just implemented or begin looking at new areas. Proactively strive for continual improvement instead of reacting to issues when they arise. Start with the customer, keep them in mind throughout the process and you should see a positive impact on the performance of your PDPs - and wherever else you apply this method!

If you’d like more insights into testing and improving the effectiveness of your PDPs, watch the full talk at FLOW LA. And if you have an experience you’d like to share, join the conversation on Linkedin.