Brick-and-mortar shops have the added benefit of having a sales associate present to assist customers with any questions they may have about a product. However, online shoppers only have your product description to go on. You can spend all your time and money on professional and high-resolution photography or gimmicks like 3D product view or augmented reality (AR), but if you don’t have a solid product description, users won’t know what value your product offers.
The importance of product descriptions
Writing a good product description is one of the cornerstones of eCommerce marketing. This is because your product descriptions can be the make-or-break moment for consumers. A good description can improve conversions. If you don’t provide customers with all the information they might need, then the chances that they’ll even buy the product will decrease. A product description also allows you to highlight how the product can benefit your consumer. If it applies to your product, including labels like “vegan”, “cruelty-free”, or “fair trade” in your description may help reel in more mindful customers who are looking for these specific products.
Descriptions can also set expectations for users. Providing accurate and detailed product descriptions help users get a more in-depth idea of what the product is. This includes essential details like product limitations, dimensions, and other specs. This is particularly important when avoiding refund disputes wherein a consumer’s reason for their dissatisfaction is that they got a product different from what they expected. A rather hilarious example of this is when a customer tried to return a dollhouse bed thinking it was a human-sized bed. The description specified the dimensions of the bed, so the customer was in the wrong, and the bank sided with the merchant.
Now that you know how important product descriptions are, let’s move on to how you can write good product descriptions.
How to improve your product descriptions
- Explain how the product will benefit your consumers
While it’s helpful to tell consumers what a product does or how to use it, it’s more important that they know how it will help their daily lives. If you’re selling a mop, for example, most people would know what a mop is for and how to use it. What you need to emphasize is why users should buy your mop over other brands. What surfaces can you use it for? Do you offer special design features that add convenience? Is it designed specifically for PWDs? Such information should be included in your product description for maximum impact.
- Be specific
Customers require certain information from certain products. Electronics like laptops or smartphones, for example, need RAM, battery life, CPU, display and camera pixel size and resolution, and other performance specs listed. For appliances, you also need to detail wattage, voltage input, etc. Avoid vague descriptors like “tiny” or “huge”. Instead, use dimensions to specify the actual size of the product.
- Use the right keywords
One of the ways you can optimize your product descriptions for eCommerce marketing is by using the right keywords. You want your product listings to appear in relevant searches so they reach the intended consumer.
Do keyword research to identify which keywords your audience is likely to search for. For your benefit, we’ve also listed a few tips on what keywords are most commonly included in online shopping searches.
- Brand. Most online searches with high purchasing intent specify the brand of the product they’re interested in (i.e., Nike shoes, North Face parka) so it would be prudent to specify the brand either in the title or the product description so your listing shows up in search engine results pages.
- Pattern/Design. Another popular keyword for online searches is what design or style the product has. This is particularly popular for fashion (i.e., gothic earrings, floral dress) but may also be relevant for home décor like bed sheets, cushion covers, etc.
- Product Usage: some users search for products intending to use them for a specific purpose (i.e., shoes for hiking, winter coat) so if your product can claim to be good for any particular activity, weather, or other usages, you should say so in your product description.
- Don’t make it too long
You might get carried away with trying to detail all the relevant information, but the truth is, if it’s too long, it may also discourage your customer from buying. eCommerce marketing experts recommend that you stay under 500 words, and format it in a way that doesn’t make it look like a giant block of text. Use tables, bullets, headings, and images where necessary. Some product pages even split up the product description into different tabs so the users can easily navigate to the information they’re most interested in.
- Use simple language
Try not to use big words just to seem more credible, it will only serve to alienate your consumers. Know your target audience and identify what language resonates with them. If your target audience is engineers or scientists, then feel free to use the appropriate technical terms, but if your consumer base is made up of laypeople, remain accessible to them by using simple words.
- Highlight what’s important
Your title can’t hold all the necessary information about your product, so it’s up to your description to list other details that may be relevant to aid with the user’s purchasing decision. When it comes to food items, for example, it’s important to list the ingredients for those who may have dietary restrictions. For clothes, you should include a size chart so users will know what size they should order. Skip the fluff and other unnecessary information.
Writing optimized product descriptions is a process of trial-and-error. You can experiment with various versions until you determine what works best. A/B testing helps determine user response to different product description formats, writing styles, and layout. You can also analyze your competition’s product descriptions to get an idea of how they market their products to their consumers. Follow these tips and use data to better understand how you can best improve your product descriptions.