E-commerce storefronts and online shops in general have often struggled to find an audience. With so many outlets and potential purchase points available, customers often choose only one out of several. This creates a disparity in potential customers since the competition rarely lets down their guard.
One thing is for certain however – product descriptions can still drive sales. Studies have shown that pictures followed by concrete information stay in the customers’ heads 65% of the time. This means that your products and services can and should be followed by information pertaining to their value.
But how do you go about writing the perfect product description? What factors should you consider and which mistakes should you avoid in order to create more revenue?
1. Define your target audience
The products you sell will often define the product description writing approach you take. Attracting millennials isn’t the same as attracting elderly people to buy your products. This means that you should be aware of the type of customer you are willing to work towards attracting.
Make sure to include questions such as age, gender, social and family status into account. Scour your mailing lists and see if you can pinpoint the exact customer profile in order to start building your product description strategy.
2. Mind your SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is always a good idea when written content is concerned. As an e-commerce site, you have a lot of written information by default.
Why not implement some of the most popular keywords in your industry into the content itself? It’s good practice to start writing your product descriptions with keywords in mind. This will ensure that your descriptions flow naturally and don’t look artificial, even to a naked eye.
Google’s SERP algorithms rank content based on relevance and originality. In order to make the most of this fact, use a tool such as Google AdWords and see if you can discover niche-specific keywords and phrases to include.
3. A conversational tone
People of all ages like to read in a conversational tone. Depending on your niche, you should consider “talking” to your audience instead of listing information. Some niche-specific products and services such as construction work, medicine and engineering need a more technical approach.
However, others such as apparel, toys or accessories don’t need to follow a strict tone. Be approachable, creative and most importantly – honest with your customers. If they like your quirkiness and charm, they will not only buy your products but refer their friends to you as well.
The only rule in product description writing is that there are no rules when the tone of voice is concerned. Be consistent, professional and laid-back in your flow of information – the rest is up to the audience.
4. A social proof
While people like others who are like them, they also like to see some social proof in their e-commerce websites. A social proof is literal "proof” of someone else’s satisfaction with your product. You can add statistical data concerning your sales, reviews, testimonials and other positive information to your site.
Make sure to highlight numbers, stars, points and other “countable” data. This will ensure that your site seems more legitimate and professional to a casual visitor. Not only that, but you can use social proof in each product description as well. Each product on your site is bound to be useful in some specific way.
Outreach to your ex buyers and ask them about their experience with your product. Chances are that you also sell and ship to different territories apart from your native country. It’s a good idea to check out the list of translation companies in USA and see if you can localize your social proof for international audiences.
Use these tidbits of social proof as highlights in your descriptions. They are bound to increase your conversion rates and subsequent revenue.
5. Creativity over complexity
Complex information in product descriptions often goes over the readers’ heads. Make sure to use direct, actionable and clear information whenever you write your product descriptions. Don’t assume that every customer knows everything about your niche.
Avoid slang, lingo and catchphrases that only work in your industry. Instead, cast a wider net and try to accommodate casual purchasers as well as long-time followers. For example, some of your customers will buy your products as gifts for their loved ones. Others will buy them for very specific, business reasons.
Find a balance and be aware that there are two sides to the product description writing coin. Lean towards creativity and clear information instead of veering towards complexity and industry jargon.
6. Added purchase incentives
Customers love seeing extra incentives in the purchases they make. One such example is Book Depository, an e-commerce store that specializes in literature. They ship free bookmarks with every purchase made and always add a 10% off coupon for the customer’s next purchase.
This small incentive goes a long way in making sure that people don’t look for other literature sources other than Book Depository. You can use the same logic in your product description writing and add small bonuses to your sales.
Things such as coupons or points toward a neat little reward can do wonders for your revenue and conversion rates. While it may seem like a financial hit at first, you will soon notice that people have more reason to give you their money than ever before.
7. Segment your descriptions
You might be surprised by the fact that most customers never read the entirety of a product’s description. The reason for this is quite simple – it takes too much time to read everything. Instead, people prefer to skim through content and scan for important information.
Studies show that 20% of purchases fail due to unclear information. People simply move on to something else if a product seems too confusing at first glance.
Make sure to segment your product descriptions into small chunks and list them. This is a more effective way to communicate a product’s description to a potential buyer than to rely on paragraphs and full-on text writing.
In essence, product description optimization is only as effective as you are persistent with it. Your site requires constant care and attention to details, especially with the ever-changing SEO present. To ensure that you are relevant and original, use the same writing style and formatting system across all of your products.
That way, you will create a segmented website with an easy-to-understand navigation system. Not only that, but your product descriptions will carry far more value than before and ensure that you convert potential customers with much less trouble.