Product Comparisons: How They Work and 10 Best Practices

Product Comparisons: How They Work and 10 Best Practices

Yusuf Shurbaji
May 29, 2023
min read


  • Product comparisons are charts or pages that directly compare multiple products' shared categories, values, metrics, and prices, allowing customers to understand similarities and differences between products.
  • These comparisons work by directly measuring similar products within the same category, detailing major product features for customers' pre-purchase awareness.
  • Before creating a product comparison page, it's important to differentiate between quantitative and qualitative product comparison charts. Quantitative charts measure similar features between products, which vary depending on the product niche.
  • Qualitative product comparison charts can use elements such as "Best for" categories and star ratings to compare products based on subjective or experience-based factors.
  • When creating product comparison pages, certain best practices should be kept in mind, such as highlighting similarities to influence perception and limiting the comparison to five or fewer items to avoid overwhelming the customer.


Getting one of your target customers to visit your site is just the start — next, you need to convince them to actually make a purchase. 

In many cases, one of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to be upfront and transparent about what your products do.

That's where product comparison tools come in. When leveraged properly, product comparisons can work in your favor and showcase just how exceptional your products are. Let's look at how product comparisons work and how you can create comparison tools using a handful of best practices.

What Are Product Comparisons?

An example of a comparison table.

Product comparisons are pages or charts that directly compare two or more products, either from top to bottom or side-by-side. 

Think of them as product spec charts that break down:

  • Similar or shared categories that multiple products have in common
  • The values or metrics each product has for those categories
  • A summary of which product is best
  • A price for each product 

With a product comparison chart, your customers can analyze similarities and differences between your products. They'll see why they should shop at your brand, given things like great prices, high-quality hardware, extensive product range, or other positive factors.

Most product comparisons appear as tables or charts given that layout provides easy side-by-side comparison of important details. They include product names, product descriptions (in some cases), and each product’s major specs.

Some qualitative charts may include checkboxes or other ecommerce windows to enhance customer experiences. They’re popular on Amazon and many tech sellers, such as Microsoft.

How Do Product Comparisons Work?

Product comparisons work by directly measuring two or more similar products, often of the same type or in the same category. For example, you might compare your latest version of a product with a previous version to highlight improvements made.

However, product comparisons are most common for gadgets, devices, and machines, such as laptops, smartphones, vehicles, and so on. They include the major product features so potential customers know what they’ll get before buying a new product. Many also include similar items to specific products or types of products, offering even more usability.

Before drawing up a product comparison page for your website, you need to know the difference between quantitative and qualitative product comparison charts.

Quantitative Product Comparison Charts

Quantitative product comparison charts do exactly what they say: they compare products in a quantitative way.

“Quantitative” means that these charts rely on numbers and metric data, such as:

  • Product size
  • Battery life in hours
  • Raw specifications (e.g., RAM, processing speed, etc.)

Because quantitative product comparison charts directly measure similar categories or features between two or more products, the exact factors measured vary from niche to niche. For instance, if you sell laptops and want to compare your offerings to highlight improvements or key features in each release, your comparison chart may include factors like RAM, processor type, and GPU or graphics card type.

Qualitative Product Comparison Charts

Qualitative product comparison charts are more subjective and compare two or more of your products using descriptive language or subjective scores. For instance, you might have a product comparison chart that has a “bottom line” category on the far right side or column. There, each of your products will have a brief and concise description of its main features and capabilities.

You can alternatively make a qualitative product comparison chart or columns using things like:

  • “Best for” categories (e.g., best for those on a budget, best overall, etc.)
  • User ratings or reviews
  • Editor’s choice descriptions

Both quantitative and qualitative product comparison charts can be effective. In many cases, you should combine both types of comparisons into a single chart to offer your prospective customers raw data and subjective recommendations in the same place.

What Should You Include in Product Comparison Pages? 10 Best Practices

A product comparison table featuring different gadgets.

When creating product comparison pages for your brand, you’ll want to keep ten best practices in mind. These practices will ensure that your comparison charts are legible, intuitive, and valuable or useful for everyone who visits your site.

1. Use Bulleted Lists

First, use bulleted lists in your product comparison charts. Bulleted lists are popular among Internet searchers for good reason; they’re easier to skim and much faster to absorb. No one likes to read small, dense paragraphs to figure out what a product brings to the table. Bullet lists can distill a product’s main features or elements quickly and easily.

2. Highlight Similarities

Next, be sure to highlight the core similarities between several of your products across the same ecommerce store. When two products are already similar, showing those similarities front and center can help your consumers better understand both options.

3. Highlight Differences

If you follow tip number two, you can then practice tip number three: double down on the differences. Once you've shown your customers how two products are similar, you can hammer home how they are different — especially by explaining improvements and upgrades that have been made.

For example, if you want one of your newer laptops to appear better than your previous model, you can highlight the similarities, like screen size or weight. Then, when the time comes to showcase differences, really make sure those differences are noticeable, like how your new model has more RAM, better software, or something else.

4. Know the Deciding Factors for Your Customers

To master these best practices, you need to know the deciding factors of your products in the eyes of your customers.

Say that you sell athletic apparel to fitness-focused professionals. That target audience is likely concerned about factors like budget, material quality, and smell or washability. If you can identify the right deciding factors for your customers, you can highlight those factors in the product comparison pages you make. Then, your products will appear even more iconic and stand out.

5. Compare Five Items or Fewer at a Time

There’s certainly such a thing as too much information, especially on something as compressed as a product comparison chart. To that end, be sure to compare five items or fewer out of time, not more.

Why? If you compare too many objects or products on the same product comparison page, it may overwhelm your customers — and an overwhelmed customer is more likely to click away from your page.

6. Place Similar Features at the Top

At the top of your product comparison chart, cluster all similar features together. This helps your prospects determine how the products to be compared belong in the same chart, setting up an expectation that you will demonstrate their key differences (and your products' superior factors) later on at the bottom of the chart.

Outlining your product comparison chart in this way is also beneficial since you can include any distinct or unique elements for your products at the very end. For example, if two of your laptops have mostly similar elements, but your newer laptop product comes with free headphones, you can put that as a completely separate category at the bottom of your comparison chart.

7. Include Any Essential Product Details

No matter what you’re comparing, always be honest and include the essential product details for each compared product. Customers need to know what each product offers to feel informed and make trusted decisions.

8. Keep Your Formatting Consistent

As you create your product comparison page, keep your formatting consistent. Use the same font, capitalization rules, and so on. Not only will this help your product comparison page be easier to skim and absorb, but it will also make your page look more professional and put together. Customers love pages that feel professional and easy to scroll through.

9. Put the Most Preferred Option at the Center

Counterintuitively, it’s often wise to put the most preferred or best option on a product comparison chart closer to the center as opposed to the top.

When scanning a product comparison chart, many customers will take a quick glance at the top and bottom of the chart. But then their eyes will drift to the middle. Middle rows are great for making your best product (or the product you wish to highlight/market) seem “naturally” the best, as it won’t be as obvious as putting it right at the top. Plus, many customers feel a sense of discovery if they find the best product in the middle of the chart instead of up top.

10. Optimize Your Product Comparisons for SEO

Lastly, be sure to optimize your product comparison page(s) for search engine results. Good SEO is key to ensure that your carefully made product comparisons show up when target customers input keywords related to those charts, like, "best (your product type) comparison)." The better your SEO is, the more likely it is that your product comparison charts will show up first instead of those from other sites.

So, how to optimize your product comparisons for SEO? There are a few tricks you can use:

  • Set up your headers properly, such as with page titles and subheadings.
  • Include a meta description for the page(s) in question that includes an important keyword and describes the content well.
  • Use the main keyword within the first 100 words of the page’s intro text.
  • Optimize internal linking throughout your website so that other pages reference the product comparison page.

If you’re not sure where to start, Prismfly can help you optimize your site for both search engines and conversion.

Create Compelling Product Comparisons To Win Sales

Ultimately, product comparisons are great ways to demonstrate the superiority of your products. They're also good tools for your site visitors to identify which of your many products is best for their needs or requirements.

That said, you'll need a stellar UI design team to optimize your conversions in this way. Or you can contact Prismfly. Our knowledgeable professionals can design a data-driven, pixel-perfect product comparison page for your site, plus offer a variety of other conversion rate optimization (CRO) services. Contact us today to get started.