The Perfect PDP

Product Detail Pages used to be paddling around in the shallow end of the pool - as uneventful spaces listing size, price, color, shipping information and perhaps a review or two. Now, this just won’t do. With contemporary consumers buying both items and ideologies, powerful web pages sustaining user engagement are a must, and PDP’s need to make a much bigger splash. Inline with new technologies and customer expectations, the humble PDP has a whole new beach babe look. Mango’s Photography Lead, Carlos Leon spoke about the evolving PDP at FLOW: Copenhagen, and the Pixelz team share what new attributes inspire us and why. Who says product nitty-gritty needs to be boring?

Brand identities are a thing of the past, and today we’re swimming in a sea of brand personalities - these are the way brands behave and communicate, defined by a distinct and unique set of stand-out values that customers align with when making a purchase. PDP’s must now be creatively designed to inspire, while conveying a message so strong that users simply can’t say no to that ‘buy now’ button. Enter: the evolution of the PDP and the all new experience influencing decision-making.

To design an attention-grabbing PDP that effortlessly lounges on a pool float oozing sex appeal, creative teams have to challenge and rethink what they do, the ways they do it, stay curious, and work collaboratively. No mean feat, let’s take a plunge into the PDP gold standard:

D: Diversity

I: Innovation

V: Visualizations

E: Exploration

Photo studio creative synergy

First to ride the new PDP wave, photo studios must become multidisciplinary, collaborative spaces or “creative hubs” where different teams work together. Naturally, new dynamics will pose new challenges, but as the future of the digital industry is based on crossed skills; illustrators, art directors, graphic designers, retouchers, videographers, 3D artists, stylists and other creative roles need to understand and learn from each other. Why? Because, although “the product is part of the image, it is not the king of the image anymore” says Leon. PDP’s are no longer about dull product shots on white backgrounds. For a more traditional audience, focussing on the overall image rather than the product itself may effect sales, but gone are the days of PDP’s pasty complexion - now it’s lathering on the tan oil. Today we see an editorial image style which transmits an overall ambience, highlighting a specific mood. Visuals are curated so that crop, styling and model acting all come together to build a cohesive result. Imagery is designed to resonate with customers, be a source of product inspiration, and create brand differentiation and consolidation simultaneously. Phew. Simplicity is not to be overlooked. If a brand personality can come across with one striking image featuring a powerful look and great casting, situated next to a descriptive product view and perhaps a video to seal the deal, customer connection is made and you’re first off the block.

High-tech & future-proofed

PDP’s hot new summer look is all about “diversifying and being open to possibilities by attending to the mix of formats that customers will use” from mobile sites that already attract 80% of users, to VR specs. Far deeper than a simple sales objective, PDP’s have to accommodate not only current trends and consumer needs, but also new technologies. As “the future of this industry is based in technology and image coming together”, Leon is optimistic that mixing different disciplines will create new kinds of specialized content for different formats.

Teams must explore, learn and play around with new ideas, and remain open to the benefits of new technology. With a multitude of multimedia content options available, PDP’s tan is starting to show - from video and descriptive motion graphics to 3D and digital modeling, elevated images, augmented reality, user generated content and everything in-between. 3D models open up a world of location possibilities (literally) and “meet sustainability, diversity and low-budget goals”, while augmented reality and “avatars allow us to engage with a different generation” and target customer altogether. Catering to the diverse creative demands of the customer, it's necessary to be innovative and visualize both what the future will look like, and what the customer is going to want. While there are plenty of new ways for brand personalities to flaunt their beach bods, established and long-standing Product Detail Page staples including rapid load times and accurate, concise product descriptions are going nowhere. So, too successfully create ripples after diving in, PDP’s today must feature - inspirational and engaging lifestyle shots, product and detail images, accurate practical information, and new innovative formats - all wrapped up in a personality towel. We didn’t say it would be easy.

Sizzling hot head-turners ‘The Perfect PDP’ is far from a case of one-size-fits-all, and a new look is all about finding balance between brand personality and product. Things are looking bright on the horizon, with Ace & Tate's models in sunglasses “giving character to a traditionally boring product” says Pixelz Digital Designer, Andre Harris. The team has “managed to capture images that project a sense of character and emotion that’s quirky and fun.” These personality lifestyle shots are paired with five to ten detail images which are “clean and provide users with really good angles”. Thirdlove's multiple model shots create an inspirational mood of diversity and inclusivity, which are paired with one or two selected detail images of the product. Our Content Marketing Manager Pamela Kunkel, loves this, as well as the sites personalized shopping experience. Zara, Mango and H&M are all PDP winners for Head of Product Carlos Pérez Rullán, with well-curated models and aesthetics that “provide a reference for other brands looking to do the same." Adolfo Dominguez also offers a strong mix of still images that clearly describe the product, paired with video that draws attention and gives life to products. Product Designer, Júlia Escobairo agrees that Zara is a great source of lifestyle inspiration, while Oysho often utilizes new trends, such as 3D rotating views, to present new collections.

Whatever way you choose to create a customer mood and show off your brand personality, Leon highlights that “the PDP needs to be understandable. Customers need to be able to look at the product with a final view of what they’re going to buy.” In the studio, we can touch the product we’re shooting, and brands need to make sure this is transmitted into the PDP.

With its fresh summery glow and pool-side stretching complete, the Product Detail Page is limber and loose. Brands need to be able to show up boldly, sunhat on and personality beaming through to attract the right customers, so R&D is crucial to explore and master new formats that suit them. With a sea of possibility ahead, there is no one way to do it, so jump into an unlimited PDP opportunity - the water’s warm