Strategy & Best Practices

Building a Rich Partner Product Profile—Converting Browsers to Buyers

By Shideh Rahmanian / May 03, 2022

Product Profile Blog

In our recent blog Why a Website Won’t Cut it for Your Partner Ecosystem, we talked about the importance of a solid showcase for your partner ecosystem to link your customers with third-party vendors whose solutions integrate with or complement yours. But creating your partner directory is just the first step on the road to converting prospects into paying customers. To generate the visibility and interest that will get you there, you need to make sure that your own product profile pages and those of your partners provide a stellar experience that engages visitors and compels them to move through the browser-to-purchaser flow. Having equally rich product profiles for your third party solutions can demonstrate a strength in partnership that evokes greater confidence in the integrated solution.

What does it take to achieve that? Many elements need to work together to convince your visitors to click the buy button or sign up for a trial. In this blog you’ll learn:

  • How the main task of a product profiles page is to funnel prospects through the sales flow to a completed purchase—and if you lose serious lookers there, you’re likely to lose the sale and potentially years of recurring revenue as a result
  • Best practices for creating compelling product profiles—including how to target your ideal buyer, how to write strong benefit statements, navigation and design best practices, creating a great shopping experience, and much more
  • Top pitfalls to avoid—including page clutter and poor cancellation policies and support
  • Getting the most from your product profiles on the AppDirect platform

Make sure your product pages achieve your main goal—selling products

As you seek to drive awareness and sales for your products, your single-minded task is to engage users and lead them into the purchase funnel—and to do everything you can to prevent them from bouncing out before they make a purchase.

The best product descriptions are accurate, easy to understand and navigate, and build trust with users.

Your product descriptions should meet the following objectives:

  • Anticipate the problems your product will help your target market solve, and lead with benefits that provide evidence of those outcomes
  • Give prospects all the information they need to choose your product
  • Tell prospects how your products make you stand apart from other providers
  • Represent your brand and company values, and demonstrate that your product and your company is trustworthy
  • Encourage easy and rapid conversions, by making it easy to buy the product immediately and without fuss

Best practices for creating compelling product profiles

Identify and focus on your ideal buyer

To write the perfect product pitch, you need to start with the problems your prospects are facing, and prove how your product helps solve them. That means knowing your target customers.

If you’re serious about creating top-notch product profile pages, it’s worth delving into personas, and to work towards creating personas for your ideal buyers.

Developing personas is not the same as using demographics. It’s about identifying your potential customers’ goals, pain points, and the top things they consider when they make business decisions.

It’s also about understanding where they’re most likely to look for information about products, their key purchase drivers, how they want to purchase their products, and objections that they might have about your product or company that could impede your ability to sell to them.

A good place to start learning about personas is HubSpot’s research guide and persona template. Don’t worry if your first attempts aren’t perfect. The key is to get started and continue refining your personas, and to use them in your market initiatives until you start seeing results.

Focus on an engaging product description

Your product profile’s look and feel might provide the visual appeal that draws prospects in, but relevant content is what keeps their eyeballs on the page and inching towards your buy button.

Here are some of our top tips for creating product profiles that are more likely to convert browsers into buyers.

Differentiate between features and benefits

Too many product pages mix these up in a confusing jumble of descriptions and statements that lack clarity, consistency, and focus. Remember:

  • Features are what the product does and how it functions
  • Benefits focus on how the product helps customers achieve a goal or solve a specific problem they face

Buyers are looking to meet business objectives, so how your product can help them achieve those is as important as (if not more important than) the features and specifications.

Before you write benefit statements, it’s worthwhile creating a worksheet that differentiates between features and benefits, as shown in this example:


Feature

What the product does: 

  • Self-serve marketplace setup—with all the intuitive storefront building tools you need to customize and brand your marketplace

Benefits

How the feature helps customers achieve goals:

  • Launch your B2B marketplace within minutes
  • Expand your market
  • Open new revenue streams

Now you’re ready to write informative feature descriptions, and impactful benefit statements for the ideal buyer you want to attract. Typical areas to cover include how your product:

  • Makes things easier for them
  • Helps them do things faster
  • Helps them make or save more money
  • Saves them time

Start each benefit statement with a power verb, which suggests a positive outcome for the user and is more likely to generate a positive response. Examples include: get, save, accelerate, attract, convert, enable, expand, lead, optimize, predict, target, transform, and save.

Write with sparkle and a tone that’s appropriate for your audience and the products you’re selling

You need to know whether you’re writing for business buyers or technical buyers, or both, and to balance your content’s tone and style accordingly. Keep sentences crisp with a varied cadence, and don’t be afraid to use an informal style where appropriate. And always check your content for grammar and spelling to ensure your description is impeccable and professional.

Write and design for scannability

Make sure your copy is scannable and that the page design and content work together, using appropriate visual design elements, so users can easily and immediately find exactly the information they need. Bulleted lists, tables, and other visual elements are great at drawing the reader’s eye to content that influences their decision to purchase.

Keep your product descriptions relevant and up to date

There are several reasons to refresh your product descriptions often. You need to make sure the product description is accurate and current, and frequent reviews help ensure that you touch on trendy topics that are interesting and relevant for your target market—for example, a product’s strength in responding to the remote work trend. Another reason is to satisfy insatiable search engines that are constantly downgrading stale content.

Use impactful images

Elevate your users’ shopping experience with screenshots of the product in use and make sure they’re impactful and relevant, and that they’re clear and easy to view (don’t make the mistake of including screenshots that are illegible). In some cases, infographics can quickly explain a concept.

Add a video of the product in use

Embed short videos that demonstrate how your product works and its advantages over competitor products.

Make this contact a great user experience

Every contact you have with a prospect or a customer impacts their perception of your company and your brand, and it takes very little to sour their impression and turn them away. Every touchpoint should reflect the type of user experience you want to be known for. One of your prospects’ first points of contact happens on product profiles, so make it a first-rate experience for them.

Prospects come to product pages for a solution to a business need. If you force them to leave for any reason—lack of information, frustration with any process or element of their experience—they leave with an unsatisfied need. The result could be long-lasting, including lost revenue that can’t be recovered.

Here are great customer experience tips to follow for your product profile pages.

  • Provide a familiar shopping experience—Business customers are also consumers, and they expect the same great shopping experience from you that they get on their favorite consumer sites. Emulating that familiar experience builds trust and reduces the risk that visitors will bounce from your product profiles. Focus on the following areas:
    • Navigation and design that makes all the information they need visible and easy to find—including reviews, customer Q&As, product descriptions, and demos
    • Familiar, simple, and trustworthy cart and checkout processes
    • Flexible and modern payment options
  • Make self-service easy—If your product profile does its job well and provides all the information users need to make their purchase, customers should be able to move through the buy flow without the need to chat with a live agent or use phone or email support. But you need to provide that support in case they need it.
  • Capture and route leads efficiently—If you’re only referring customers to partners, ensure fast follow-up with your customers through a simple and automated lead capture process that assigns leads to the partner offering the service or product, and notifies them of the new lead.
  • Include customer-provided reviews—Allow customers to provide honest opinions about your products. Filtering out less positive comments undermines the credibility and trustworthiness of your company, your brand, and your products. It withholds information users need to make informed decisions. And it robs you of the opportunity to learn from comments that could help you introduce better products.
  • Use a style guide—Make sure your product profile pages are written in a consistent style that’s measured against a set of standards to give your product pages a polished look and inspire confidence that you’re a reputable business. Your style guide should include design and content sections, which together define how you express your brand using logos, colors, typography, and content. For ideas, see HubSpot’s 21 Brand Style Guide Examples for Visual Inspiration.

Don't let users get lost in poor navigation

Navigation is an essential part of the user experience and it should be a key element of your digital strategy. What is navigation on a product profile page? It encompasses the actions users can take, and includes the copy, links, menu, drop-down lists, filters, buttons, and other elements that define how users can move around the page.

Use the following tips to improve the navigation on your product profile pages.

  • Customize your pages, and ensure they reflect your brand personality—Make sure you have a flexible tool that lets you customize your product profiles and have multiple themes running to create dynamic, fresh, and varied pages.
  • Make it easy for users to find resources to support their decision-making process—Be sure to include content that helps them make an informed choice. For example, they may want to browse a user manual to see how easy or complex the product is to install or use, or a tool to compare models or editions. If you don’t provide key decision-making information, prospects might stray away to find what they need, and not return. Providing direct access to this content from your product profile ensures your prospects stay on the page where they can make their purchase.
  • Create a personalized experience—Use available tools that identify user preferences and past purchases to help you recommend add-on products they might want.
  • Segment your products—Use segmentation tools that let you expose products to specific audiences based on criteria that you define. Segments can include business type, vertical, size, and so on. You can also create product categories to guide users through the funnel to the services they need.
  • Offer flexible options—A click on the Buy Now or Add To Cart button might be your end goal, but some customers might need time to think about it. Providing additional options like a free trial or the ability to request a demo might make the difference in landing the sale, or not.

Pitfalls to avoid

Make sure you’re not setting yourself up to fail with poorly conceived and executed product profiles. Here are some top pitfalls to avoid:

  • Lackluster images—Don’t include stock images, nor low resolution images, and make sure any product screenshots are up to date and reflect the current state of the product.
  • Confusing product descriptions—Incomplete or poor descriptions that leave visitors with questions about important things like specifications, what’s included, and so on, are likely to cause them to leave in frustration.
  • Too much clutter—If prospects are bouncing from your product pages, clutter might be one of the main reasons. Where there’s clutter, users may not know where to look or what to do next. It can come in the form of too much content that isn’t easy to browse through and doesn’t target your users, or poor design. Use crisp templates with a lot of white space, and make sure each template is appropriate for the content.
  • Poorly-defined cancellation and return policies—Nothing generates swift departures (and bad reviews) like cancelation and return policies that leave customers swallowing the bitter pill of having to keep a product that’s defective or that they no longer want. Make sure these policies are easy to find and understand, with no room for doubt before they buy.
  • Hard-to-find contact and support information—Making your contact information easy to find increases your trustworthiness but more importantly, it makes it easy for customers to reach you if they have questions about your product before or after their purchase.

Getting the most from your product profiles on the AppDirect platform

At AppDirect we recognize that it’s critical for you to go to market with product pages with ease, simplicity, and speed. We’ve prebuilt home and product page themes into our platform, with extensive business configurability to make it easy for you to customize the experience without requiring professional services or developer support.

Here are just some options available to you to manage product profiles—and the systems that support them.

Storefront
Customize your marketplace as little or as much as you like. Get to market quickly with our out-of-the-box themes for your homepage and product pages. Apply lightweight customizations to branding and layout using our Storefront Builder tool or have developers customize your marketplace from the ground up with our Storefront Toolkit.

Partner onboarding and management
You can add your products and onboard partner products yourself in the admin interface. You can also reduce operational complexity by exposing onboarding flows and self-serve tools to your partners, so they can manage their own product information and pricing on an ongoing basis—all while you maintain control through approval workflows.

Merchandising and content management
Create a better experience for your customers using tools like tags and ribbons to categorize and present solutions. Lead them through the purchase process with visually-rich product profiles featuring high resolution photos and video, ratings and reviews, downloadable marketing material, and more.

Lead tracking and management
Execute marketing campaigns that direct traffic to specific partner profiles in your marketplace. Capture customer interest through customizable lead forms that can be auto-routed directly to your partners.

Learn how you can stand out with a marketplace or add-on store full of rich product profiles that drive conversions.