Dear Life Science Marketer,

You might find this funny…

So, this week I started a new groupchat at Supreme called “The Daily Win.”

The idea is for everyone to post one good thing that happened that day.

Although the group clearly states that it should be “work related,” this morning our CMO, Leigh, decided to share this…


Although not exactly what the group was intended for, this got me thinking about what else we do 100% backward.

Let’s look at a specific example of a “ backwards mistake” we see in e-commerce all the time.

The Baymard Institute has compiled a database of 800+ e-commerce best practices based on 32,000+ hours of live user testing analysis on the world’s top performing e-commerce stores. One of their tips is:

Rule #753: Avoid “Horizontal Tabs” as the Product Description Page Layout


Oh, no, no no!

Why are horizontal tabs so bad?

Baymard explains:

“Horizontal tabs generally performed worse than other product details page layouts, due to both tab discoverability and titling issues.

This issue is further aggravated by most tabs not being expanded by default, meaning they require active user decision to explore — which in turn was observed to greatly reduce the “accidental” discovery of product page content and cross-pollination between sections, as is otherwise observed to occur organically on product pages where all content is expanded by default.”

In short:

Too many of your visitors will overlook horizontally tabbed content.

So what to do about it?

The research indicates two potential solutions:

“Okay” Solution #1:

Rule #751: “Vertically Collapsed Sections” Can Work as a Product Description Page Layout if Used for All Content Sections

Check out Abcam for an example. They use vertically collapsed sections but still have horizontally tabbed content at the top, meaning they’re only 50% of the way there.


A better example of this solution is Lowes:


The caveat here is that section titles become extremely important, so you must be as clear and descriptive as possible. This is a no-jargon zone.

“Best” Solution #2

Rule #758: “One Long Page” Can Work as a PDP Layout, but Only with a “Sticky TOC”

(Sticky TOC = Sticky Table of Contents)

Let’s look at Home Depot:


“The key observed benefit is that scrolling a web page requires very little active effort from the user. While obvious, this stands in sharp contrast to ‘Vertically Collapsed PDP Sections’ (#751) and ‘Horizontal Tabs’ (#753) where the majority of the product page content is collapsed by default.”

Another good example from Bose:


Open up your content, help your customers, and stop losing sales!

Forge & Smith (Hyperlink using: ) points out the following pros of scrolling vs clicking:

  • It delivers content more quickly because there is no need to wait for each section to load.
  • It doesn’t require a commitment by forcing users to choose a button — or pick between multiple buttons — and abandon their current page.
  • It allows visitors to digest information at their own rate.

We’ll often hear clients ask, “Won’t longer pages be overwhelming?” In fact, the opposite is true. The research is clear: “clicking & hunting” is actually overwhelming your customers. So they leave.

Think Amazon. Does Amazon hide content behind tabs? Nope. They have long value-packed pages. So should you.

Remember, it takes significantly less brain power to scroll than click.


Are you making the mistake of hiding content behind tabs? Do you know someone who is? Consider making an easy switch to “One Long Page” and making your product pages easier to use.

Want personalized web design help?

Would you like to know exactly what other issues are hurting your online sales? If you liked this tip, shoot me an email to discuss our E-commerce Conversion Audit.

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The E-Commerce Conversion Audit is perfect for:

  • C-level marketers who want better performance from their existing online store
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Even a small increase in conversion rate can yield massive lasting results for your store.

It’s the quickest way for you to make a lasting and measurable impact on your bottom line.

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Traffic x Conversion Rate (+%) x Average Order Value

Shoot me a message to discuss your ROI opportunity from the E-Commerce Conversion Audit.

To your online success,

Sheldon Zhai