Let’s say you’re on the hunt for waterproof sneakers. Instead of spending hours going to a store, you decide to enlist the help of our trusty friend, Google.
Searching for waterproof sneakers on Google, you’re inundated with product after product that seemingly fits the criteria. So, how do you decide between all the options?
I’m willing to bet that the product descriptions played a significant role in your decision. Your customers are no different; in fact, 87% of consumers have pointed to the product description as part of their decision-making process, rating it as extremely or very important when they are purchasing products online.
Think about it — when you go to a retail store, it’s relatively simple to ask a sales associate any question you might have about a product. But, if you’re shopping for that same product online, you don’t get facetime with a sales associate; the information you have on your screen about the product ––the product description–– has to be clear and interesting enough to make you go through with the purchase.
So, for any eCommerce brand, a good product description can easily make or break how likely your customers are to purchase from you.
Table of Contents
- 👉 The elements of a product description
- 👉 Rules for writing the best eCommerce product descriptions understand the customer and their pain points
- 👉 Keep honing in on you
- 👉 Highlight product benefits and solutions over features
- 👉 Keep things concise, but pack a punch with your words
- 👉 Speak to the customer, write with them in front of you
- 👉 Do a final edit
- 👉 Examples of optimized product descriptions that sell
- 👉 Beyond the product description: other areas of your eCommerce website to optimize
👉 The elements of a product description
A good product description will help your product (and brand) show up in Google’s search results thanks to the SEO keywords you use. A great product description helps convert a passive shopper into a customer.
Here are some key elements that every product description should have:
- Headline that hooks your consumer
- List of benefits that solve your consumer’s pain points
- One call-to-action button that makes it easy for your customer to take the action you want
- Social proof and/or reviews that demonstrate how your current customers are using your product
- 2-3 relevant SEO keywords (add them in headlines and subheadings if possible) that people are actively searching for so your product will rank in search engine results
👉 Rules for writing the best eCommerce product descriptions understand the customer and their pain points
Whether you’re selling a $5 item or a $500 item, the first thing you need to understand is your customer: who is your customer and what do they care about?
The answer to these two questions will fundamentally dictate how you approach writing your product descriptions. Once you know the kind of customer you’re targeting, you can start digging deeper into their pain points.
Here are some starting points to identifying your customer:
- Who is likely to be interested in this product? Start broad (e.g., millennials) and then narrow down (e.g., millennials that are interested in sustainability).
- What do they care about the most?
- What needs is your product filling for your ideal customers?
- What are the values that they live by? Do these values fit well with your product, and your overall brand story?
- What are some reasons they may choose your competitors’ products over yours? Why should they buy from you instead?
- Why would they care about your product, or even your brand?
- What are the pain points that your product solves? How does your product make your customer’s life easier?
The best way to answer all these questions is to get out there and start talking to who you think your customers are. The more you talk to them and learn about their purchasing habits, the more you’ll be able to refine your customer persona and customer experience.
Keep in mind that in the real world, your customer personas will keep changing. So, it’s not enough to speak to your customers just once and call it a day. Make a habit of talking to them at least once every 6 months so you know how their habits, values, and pain points are changing.
👉 Keep honing in on you
I can’t express how important it is to know your brand voice and be true to it. But, what does “brand voice” even mean? In very simple terms, brand voice is how you communicate with your customers.
Nailing your brand style isn’t just about what your logo says about your company ––it includes your website design, the color palette, the product photography, and of course, how you write your product descriptions.
How you talk to your customers is almost, if not as important, as what you are actually selling. But remember, there is no one way of talking to your customers. Once you figure out who your customers are, think about what they respond to. How do you want them to feel? Be conscious of who you’re speaking to and deliver your message in a way that interests them.
👉 Highlight product benefits and solutions over features
Remember the infamous pen scene from The Wolf of Wall Street where Leonardo DiCaprio asks the audience to sell him a pen? One by one, each audience member talks about how smoothly the pen writes, the craftsmanship, how good the pen is, you name it. None of them touch on what the pen is for: to write.
Here’s one secret that takes most brands years (and thousands of dollars) to learn: your product can be the best thing since sliced bread, but if you can’t demonstrate how it makes your customers’ lives better, you’ve lost them.
As you write your product descriptions, think about how your product solves a problem that your customers have. What is the actual, tangible benefit of owning your product? Lead with that, but make sure the benefits are accurate. Otherwise you’re bound to get returns, which can impact your brand sentiment, and how likely you are to get referrals. Additionally, once a customer has a bad experience with one product, they’re less likely to purchase another product from you again.
👉 Keep things concise, but pack a punch with your words
A fundamental rule of thumb for copywriting is to keep it short and sweet. This is largely because our attention spans are dwindling; in fact, most people have an attention span of 8 seconds, and this number decreases by 88% each year.
Your product descriptions have to hook your audience and reel them in. So, how can you get your point across and really shine a light on your product without getting too wordy?
Try some of these ideas:
- Create a 30-second video highlight your product features, especially for footwear and apparel brands
- Use different visual elements like icons or gifs to make your product descriptions more eye-catching and engaging
- Implement a scrolling social feed of your customers using or styling your product by leverage user-generated content
👉 Speak to the customer, write with them in front of you
Today’s online shoppers aren’t just purchasing a product; they’re purchasing your product. This is especially true if you have competitors that offer similar products at a similar price.
Instead of speaking from a third-person point of view (“This is the perfect product for our customers”), use a second-person point of view (“This is the perfect product for you”). Essentially, if they were standing in front of you, how would you talk to them?
You wouldn’t ramble for 10 minutes about your product features, nor would you try to sound like someone you’re not. You’d want to have an approachable, casual conversation centered around how your product solves their pain points and challenges.
Think about how you want to make your audience feel. Remember, you want any new customer to turn into a lifelong customer. As you write your product descriptions, write with them in mind.
👉 Do a final edit
Once you’ve written a product description you’re proud of, step away for a few hours and then come back. Does it really address all the points we covered above? If you’re happy with what you have, congratulations! You wrapped up the toughest part of this process––but the work isn’t over yet.
Now, you’ve got to revisit what you wrote from a technical point of view:
- Check for spelling typos and grammar
- Have you used headings and subheadings to break up all the text and draw your audience’s attention to different sections?
- Check your tone: did you use active language instead of passive language?
- Have you used the proper SEO keywords relevant to your product?
Research your competitors and do a simple Google search to find similar products to see how they’re targeting their audiences. If you’re not using paid advertising, you’ll need to make sure you’ve optimized your product descriptions with the right keywords.
👉 Examples of optimized product descriptions that sell
While the guidelines above are good to keep in mind, it can be challenging to implement them, especially if copywriting isn’t your strength. So, here are some examples of the guidelines in action.
Tushy is a great example of a brand that has absolutely nailed their brand voice, which has made a relatively niche product (bidets) into a product that people want, especially bidets are still predominantly normal in Eastern and Asian markets compared to North American markets.
From the name of the company itself––Tushy––to featuring the benefits of their bidets (“Save Your Ass”), Tushy has made purchasing bidets cool, especially for the socially conscious.
The product pages for Vessi showcase two of the best features of the shoes: 100% waterproof that are comfortable, but do so by focusing on solving the customers’ pain points while differentiating them from their competitors. In fact, their Why Waterproof section outright says the waterproof feature “is not a coating, it’s part of the knit”.
Another plus point is that they’ve aggregated their Comfort and Fit ratings from their reviewers to provide a clear visual of how their customers find the sizing.
Moment’s product description does a fantastic job at talking directly to their audience and using very simple language to showcase the best features of their phone cases.
Although they highlight “Features”, it’s also understandable since their audience does tend to be more tech-oriented who want to learn about their technical features of the product. This is a good example of keeping in mind that there are always exceptions to every rule. Ultimately, you need to speak to your audience in a language that’s important to them.
👉 Beyond the product description: other areas of your eCommerce website to optimize
Of course, product descriptions are just one part of the decision-making process. Even if they’re enticing enough to get your target audience to your website, and make a purchase, the goal should be to create lifelong customer relationships that choose your brand over your competitors.
Aside from your product descriptions, there are other pages on your website that are important for any eCommerce website, such as the home page, product page, category page, and checkout page.
The Good can help you optimize each and every one, creating a well-rounded website that turns your website visitors into actual customers, and ultimately, improves your conversion rate.