When it comes to our e-commerce websites, we fuss over every minor detail. Measuring by the pixel if our layout is picture perfect to ensure the overall visual experience of the site is flawless with a solid, professional feel. Nothing but a precision embodiment of our vision will do.

Then comes the products. Business owners think about high-resolution imagery, hiring the best models, photographers, the works. We all know that much like a physical store, presentation and a tangible feeling of quality means everything. This same care must be taken when you begin writing the new product descriptions to fill your e-commerce website.

E-commerce product descriptions

Visually we want to attract customers to the store and keep them on site. We want them to see high-quality imagery and perhaps video of the products. Ultimately though, the buying comes down to the customer’s natural ‘research and discovery mode’. They’ll want to read up on the product itself and check the finer details too. This is where your descriptions and the overall product page copy needs to do its job and push that conversion over the line and the item in to the shopping cart.

Here are some of our tips for writing compelling e-commerce product descriptions:

  1. Lead with benefits not specifications

One of the age-old mistakes is to overlook the benefits of the product. When you’re an expert in your field and you know your products inside out, you start to look at them differently. You separate them based on specifications and minor technical details.

While the finer details of items and your product knowledge is important and some buyers will certainly require this information, remember that first and foremost consumers want to know the benefits of the products. Don’t tell them what makes the product on display different from another beside it, instead remember to focus on why this particular product is worthwhile and how it will benefit your consumer’s life. Don’t fall into the trap of just ticking specification boxes.

  1. Short-burst vs in-depth descriptions

We’re torn as consumers between two major styles of written content when it comes to product descriptions. On one hand we want to be able to get a quick scannable snapshot of a product. Big bullet-point benefits and key pieces of info to aid the browsing experience and help the buyer create a shortlist.

Mobile device browsing and social posting has changed the way we absorb content and we want the highlights quickly at a glance. Though interested parties will also expect to see the finer details including a deeper discussion around the product and its specifications. Should the buyer be compelled enough to look for the detail, they expect to find it.

Having two separate description points on a page, one short form and one long form is the ideal solution – your e-commerce web developer will likely already have included this functionality. Consider using an expandable content section to cover both bases.

E-commerce product descriptions

  1. Romance isn’t dead

There is a kind of stigma attached to product descriptions for e-commerce, however stylish and persuasive the e-commerce website and brand, when it comes to product descriptions this often doesn’t carry over. The standard product description typically reads like something straight off the production line. Very to the point and factual.

Don’t be afraid to seduce your audience with your product descriptions. Your poetic license and brand personality should ideally carry over consistently in to all aspects of your site and colour the consumer’s shopping experience. A car salesman doesn’t turn off the charm until the product is signed and paid for, so why would you?

  1. Superlatives require justification

There’s nothing wrong with being the best product, or the biggest brand or the universe’s most loved online store. We all love a powerful superlative and unique selling point. But you can’t throw these around for fun, you need to be able to back them up.

To hammer the point home, any major claims regarding your product needs to be backed up in order for them to hold any persuasive value with your customers. In fact, if you use claims like this without being able to back them up, you actually risk losing credibility with your audience. If your new range of televisions has the clearest picture quality on the market for example, show some statistical evidence in a short point to back this up.

  1. Keep calls to action prominent

A short and simple tip is to keep calls to action prominent. Make sure that regardless of the quality of your product page copy and descriptions, your main call to action and purchase information is always clearly displayed on the page. The main two that come to mind would be the price of the item and of course your ‘add to basket’ or equivalent. The best copy ever written won’t make up for a bad user interface or layout.

Customer reviews

  1. Utilise reviews direct in the copy

Since the early noughties, customer reviews and rating systems have become a consistent best practise approach to inspiring online actions. This is particularly true for e-commerce transactions. We’d be very surprised if you hadn’t already included or considered adding a review or rating system to your store product pages.

Don’t be afraid to take this a little further though. Most stores will have a designated piece of functionality on a product page to allow you to call up reviews on products. But, if your product has sensational reviews, be bold. Include some of these reviews directly in your product descriptions. This tactic has a particularly high level of effectiveness if the reviews directly reference a common product FAQ or sticking point.

Want to dig a bit deeper into an idea you have? Contact us and we’ll schedule a face-to-face meeting – and see exactly how we can add value to your online projectYou can also stay up to date with the latest in e-commerce and online marketing by subscribing to our mailing list – you’ll receive a monthly recap of our most popular articles!

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Posted by Katrina Starkie