Think product descriptions don’t matter? Think again.
According to a recent study by Salsify, 87% of online shoppers say that product description is either extremely or very important as they consider purchasing decisions. And Overstock reported that once it began using outsourced freelancers to write its product descriptions on its most popular pages, it realized an 84% increase in traffic in one month.
Obviously, with stats like this, you need to heavily focus on your product content. What your product pages offer in terms of content can mean the difference between a sale or a bounce, not to mention the SEO benefits.
So here is your guide to crafting the product content that is going to generate increases in sales.
You need creative product titles
Think about these two descriptions: “Wrinkle-Free Black Dress” vs. “That Versatile Little Black Dress Every Wardrobe Needs.” Which one says more to a shopper? Which appeals more to someone looking for a dress that could have several uses?
The second title alone addresses a problem that women may have - a dress for many occasions, and it appeals to the “everyone is doing this” trigger.
Begin by crafting unique and creative product titles. These are the first words that a shopper sees – make them count and engage that shopper to look further.
Don’t be lazy about product descriptions
There are a number of factors involved in writing compelling descriptions. Overall, you want to explain what a product is or does, and why a shopper will find it valuable. Within this general purpose, though, there are important elements:
Who is your buyer?
Before you begin to write a product description, consider who you are writing it for. This will determine the language and tone you use. Rolex Watch product descriptions will not be the same as those for the cheeky ones written by companies like Think Geek.
Consider Rolex’s description of the bracelet for one of its watches, priced around
versus Think Geek’s description of its Chewbacca seat belt cover:
Think about how you would speak to your ideal customer if you were face-to-face.
Speak to benefits
You may be excited about your product and anxious to describe all of its great features. Your customer is more interested in how he stands to benefit from it.
Dollar Shave Club is a subscription-based personal grooming products company. Throughout its site, it spends very little time speaking to the specifications of its products. Rather, it focuses on the customer feeling, looking, and smelling good, as well as the convenience of having products delivered on a regular schedule. (no more shaving with a dirty razor because you forgot to pick up new ones yesterday).
As you write your product descriptions, think about how your customer’s life will be better by it. Sell an experience, not a product.
Avoid meaningless words/phrases
When you use terms like “high quality,” you are saying nothing. Other words to avoid? “Actually, honesty, stunning, nice, very” – you sound lazy or like you can’t think of what else to say.
Instead, be specific about the product qualities that make it “stunning” or of “high quality.” Here’s a product description of a boot from Toms Shoes:
Of course, the added “bonus” is that Toms donates a pair of shoes to the needy for every pair purchased. This also appeals to a shopper’s desire to “do good.” This phrase accompanies every description on the site. In terms of actual description, though, there are no meaningless terms – just specific details.
Appeal to imaginations
Because you are selling online, your customer cannot pick up the product, hold it,, and feel it.
So, you want the reader to imagine himself using your product, to have a visual in his head of what it would look and feel like to own it. Some descriptions tell a mini-story or craft a scene; others use visuals of actual customers wearing or using the products
ModCloth, an online clothing retailer, does a great job of this, with both text and visuals:
And photos of actual customers in the dress:
Use social proof
You can pace customer testimonials in your product descriptions, as long as they are honest and real. Or, like ModCloth above, you can include photos of customers using your products. This is a great psychological trigger and brings authenticity to your brand. Other social proofs include such things as, “As seen in_________ (a magazine perhaps), or names of companies that use or have endorsed your products.
There is a lot to think about as you craft your product descriptions. And it’s not just what content to include. It’s how to do it ingeniously, so that your text draws readers in, stimulates psychological triggers, and lets them use their imaginations.
If you struggle with meeting these “demands,” you need to think about getting some professional help. There are both freelancers and writing services that offer creative product description writing. Try out Freelancer.com or a service like Trust My Paper, give them some “test” descriptions to write, and find the right one for your product type.
Meta descriptions – they do matter
This is all about consumer searches. And your goal here is to have a short snippet that contains the key words or terms that searchers might use when they search for products like yours. Go back to that little black dress. If you use the phrase “classic black dress for any occasion,” most women looking for that piece of clothing will use these terms in their searches. And Google will respond well.
Use video – it works!
Consumers love to see product in action, and many product description pages now have videos for that reason. In many ways, this is even better than picking up and looking at an item in a store. To see someone actually using a product allows people to imagine it in their own hands. And if a product involves any complexity, they can see just how it works as well.
Here are some key statistics about video product content:
- As of 2017, online video accounted for 74% of all online traffic
- Putting video in a content page can increase conversion by 80%
- Close to 50% of Internet users search for videos about products before visiting a store to purchase
- Four out of five consumers state they find demo videos helpful
- And 4X as many consumers prefer to watch product videos rather than read about them.
With these kinds of stats, it makes sense to get videos on those product pages.
Anticipate questions and answer them in descriptions
Put yourself in the mind of your customers. What questions would they ask about your product if they were talking with you in a physical store? In this case, LiveChat tool is available for your clients. Once you have your list of questions, make sure that your descriptions include answers to them.
Provide as much detail as possible
This goes along with the tip above. As you consider answers to those questions, you will want to include those and even more detail that customers may not even know they want – size options, dimensions, other color choices, return and exchange processes, etc. These can be provided through links or “read more”/”details” buttons. By using links, you don’t clutter your product page, and only those who want that additional information get it.
Here is a sample product page item for TV’s at Target. Note, the title gives very basic information.
And then the customer has several link options for additional detail. It keeps the page clean.
Product content has to be ingenious
E-commerce is far more competitive than the traditional shopping that occurred before the Internet. In large cities, people tended to shop in geographical areas rather close to home; in small towns, they may have been only one retailer offering a certain type of product. Now, the world is open to shoppers in just a few clicks.
Given the competition you face, your product content has to be engaging, compelling, imaginative, and easily found by search engines. It’s a tall order and cannot withstand laziness. Use these six recommendations, and your content will result in more sales.