Imagine you’ve decided to buy a fitness tracker, but you don’t want to go to a physical store (like most of us these days). Instead, you start looking it up on the internet, and you land on several e-commerce websites.
On the landing page, you see the thumbnail of a sleek fitness tracker and click on it. To your dismay, you find out that there is no information about this product apart from the name and 2-3 lines of incomprehensible content replete with technical jargon. Will you buy this product?
Now, if you are the business that owns this product, this might be a reality check for you in many ways, but yes, product descriptions are a vital element of an e-commerce store. In fact, it ranks right up along with product images as two of the major factors that boost conversion rate and influence customers’ purchase decisions.
Product descriptions are marketing copies intended to communicate the product’s value proposition to the users and potential customers. They are tailored around the product’s features and how these features will benefit you. Their primary purpose is to educate the customer and prompt them into eventually buying the product, just like a sales pitch.
We live in an age when customer experience matters most. And product descriptions contribute immensely to deliver a positive experience to the end-user. A flawless website, eye-catching images, and finally, a good production description that is informative and unique will help you stand out amongst your competitors in many ways. Here are some key points to remember while writing product descriptions
1) The questions: who, what, where, when, why, and how
While crafting a product description, getting solid facts across to the customers is necessary rather than setting false expectations. To help you in this process, here are some fundamental questions that you need to ask:
- Who is this product for?
- What are the fundamental attributes of the product?
- Where would the customer use this product?
- When should the customer use this product?
- Why is this product better than any other in the market?
- How does this product work?
The answers to these questions will deliver crucial insights, forming the crux of your product description. For example, let’s look at a description of the online home store Wayfair. It is well-written, catchy, informative, and if you look closely, you will see that it has answered all the above questions.
2) Focus on benefits & features
As far as the customers are concerned, the online buying experience is hugely different from visiting a physical store. Information is the key here, and the type of information that will entice modern-day digital customers are the product features and the benefits they provide. Therefore, product descriptions need to be constantly focused on them.
In the below example, Weber Grills, a popular name in the grilling industry, has some beautifully written product descriptions that are tailored around the features and benefits. These product descriptions have helped in educating their customers about the product extensively, thereby igniting their interest.
3) Importance of format
The format of a product description is a crucial factor that you should not ignore. Some users tend to scan the website for information briefly, and the product descriptions should capture their attention instantly in that brief period. Traditionally product descriptions are long paragraphs that explain the product features in detail. However, many new-age e-commerce websites have started using short, creative paragraphs along with bullet points for additional features.
The below example is from famous e-commerce retailer Lord & Taylor’s website.
The product description features a crisp opening paragraph accompanied by bullet points that accommodate additional features of the product. In some cases, the opening paragraph is replaced by a catchy one-liner statement followed by bullet points, making the product description even easier to scan.
4) Tell a story
Generic product descriptions might just do the work, but who doesn’t love a great story?
In the e-commerce business, one thing you must remember is that your potential customers can’t actually hold or feel the product before they purchase it. It is up to you to evoke their imagination and make the customer feel what it might be like to have your product in their home, and telling a story will do exactly that.
A good story can be anything. It could be about the customer’s pain points and how the product can solve them, or it can be about the product’s benefits. You can even narrate the backstory of your product if you feel it can emotionally connect with the customer.
The description below is from Julia Knight collection; a luxury serve ware, giftware, and home décor products store. By blending a subtle storytelling approach with the description, it enables the customer to envision the key features and benefits of the product.
Tetley USA website also follows a similar style when it comes to some of their products. The below description is part of the Flavors of India collection, and instead of focusing on the product or its ingredients, it gives the user a feel about the city of Kolkata and what inspired the tea blend.
Another excellent example is the product descriptions from the American video game, consumer electronics, and gaming merchandise retailer GameStop. The product description has vast information about the characters these products are inspired from, and the powerful storytelling approach is truly one-of-a-kind.
5) Don’t forget about SEO
Search engine optimization is the easiest and most organic way to attract potential customers to your page. And product descriptions are the perfect tool for it. Optimization begins with keywords, and by carefully placing these keywords in your product description, you can achieve positive results. Remember, adding many keywords in titles and product descriptions will not guarantee a number one rank on the search page, but it makes your product easier to find for those seeking it.
You should not overlook product descriptions. It is an opportunity to speak to the customers. You can delight them with stories about your product, educate them and answer their questions, and build a connection with them. It can be a tough ask, but it is a simple solution to boost your online sales and engagement if done effectively.
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