If you run an e-commerce online store, then you know that quality product descriptions can help you influence the buying journey and drive conversions. A compelling product description can help take your product to the first page of the search results. It can attract traffic, drive up conversions and increase sales.
According to eMarketer, 82% of shoppers and visitors will read the product description and agree that it influences them. That means the content needs to accurately represent your products and appeal to customers already in purchase mode. However, writing highly converting product descriptions can be difficult if are not a professional in the e-commerce space.
This guide will give you a primer on what product descriptions are, and what goes into creating compelling product descriptions that can woo customers. We’ll also explore how to avoid descriptions that can get ignored by search engines and visitors. This guide is packed with everything you need to know:
- The purpose of product description and its importance
- Essential elements for an impactful product description
- Processes to write a noteworthy product description
- Examples of product descriptions that you can learn from
But before we get into the nitty gritty of writing one and the anatomy of what makes a good one, we need to understand what they are.
What is a product description?
A product description is a copy on the product page written to convince the customer to buy. It should detail why the product is so useful by providing its quality and value. A strong product description should tell a story about the experience the buyer would get out of it.
The goal of this copy is to convince customers that they need to buy it by mentioning what their lives will be like after buying it. For instance, the best product descriptions include the features of the product and how it solves a customer’s pain points.
Importance of a product description
The goal of a product page is to increase conversion rates by turning prospective online shoppers into buyers. Your product description plays a vital role on your product page, more than highlighting the product features, it also addresses the customer’s pain points. A great product description tries to remove any reservations your customers might have about purchasing a product.
You want to be reassured that your products are genuine and can help them better than what your competitors offer.
Essentially, a product description is to address these mental barriers with a copy strong enough to demonstrate how and why your product is the right solution.
When you attempt to create product descriptions the first time, it could be difficult to anticipate what the goal and focus should be. Let’s break down the ingredients that make up a great product description and how you can nail it.
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Essential Elements of an Impactful Product Description
A lot of factors go into writing an effective product description, powerful enough to influence the purchasing decisions of your customers.
Let us go through them and understand how you can employ them when writing your product description.
A Pain Point to Address
Customers shop when they are looking for a way to solve a problem they have at hand. Sometimes they’re specific to a situation and sometimes they’re general, like the desire to feel empowered. The best approach is to know how to identify the pain points in your customers and use those points as an anchor for the rest of your content. For example, the goal of your product description must be to motivate people to buy it by addressing their needs.
To identify and understand the customer’s pain points, you must determine the problems and that your potential customers are experiencing and the desires they have. Your initial customer research can be useful in helping you construct a product description that will address their problems.
Solid customer research will help product descriptions resonate with your customers emotionally and incentivize them to purchase your product.
A great tactic would be to include the identified pain points in places your potential customers are highly likely to see, such as
- The first sentence
- The first bullet point
- Copy before the CTA button.
This will invoke an emotional reaction from customers toward your product.
There is a difference between a shopper who is interested in buying your product and a paying customer who demonstrates objections against buying a product.
Your product page is the space to address any objections, friction points, or reservations they may have. It should also lay a compelling case on how your product is the solution.
Thus, when conducting customer research, you should identify the present objection customers have when they are looking at specific products, such as:
- Is the shipping free with a product?
- How will the product solve the customer’s problem?
- Is it within the customer’s budget?
- Is the monetary value justified?
Customers rarely care about anything that your products offer, they just focus on how it addresses their objections.
In your product description, you should highlight the specific uses, benefits, and features that will help them realize how your product will end their pain points.
You can, in addition, provide your prospective with FAQs and answers to them, so that they can understand and make a sound decision before purchasing.
If you want to connect with your customers on an emotional level, then the best way to do it is through storytelling. It’s a fact: people are more responsive to stories than they are to statistics and bullet points. They make people feel emotionally connected in a way that other things cannot. This means they’re great at making customers forget they’re trying to sell them something. Instead, you invite your customers into a story that your product is telling, and once they’re invested in the narrative, they’ll be much more likely to buy.
If you’re looking for a unique approach to your product descriptions, storytelling can be an excellent option. By telling the story of your product in your own words, it will set you apart from other competitors. It also ensures that there is plenty of information that will drive customers to buy and have a rewarding user experience.
There are certain ways to achieve this style of writing a product description:
- You can share a story about how your team came up with the product and how it was invented.
- You can add to your description how your product represents a narrative of fighting against a cause like climate change, cancer, STD or AIDS, animal testing, etc. Sharing an adjacent story can give you that in with the customer with the point of relatability.
- Share a real-life story of an ideal customer who overcame a problem that your product helped solve.
- You can write about in what ways your product is unique and how it is one of a kind.
And if you think you don’t have a story to share, think again.
A skimmable format
If your product description is all style and no substance, assuming it is filled with hogwash then your shoppers are most likely to skip out on reading it, considering it is just a brick of text, then your product description becomes redundant.
If people don’t read your product descriptions, then they will never come to realize how the product will help them with their problems and will not purchase them. Therefore, you should format your product page and description in a way that encourages shoppers to read your entire product description. This is the way to go if you want to drive more sales.
And to achieve this, follow these practices:
- Use simple language that can be understood by everyone.
- Write shorter paragraphs and sentences.
- Add bullet points.
- Make the font more readable i.e bigger.
- Write your copies in active voice.
- Make use of icons that relate to your product’s features.
And if you want to understand the readability of your product descriptions, directly ask the customer for their feedback. After all, all the efforts go into boosting conversion rates and sales.
Shoppers on the internet have one common objection (your niche doesn’t matter here) and that is social proof. People can’t simply trust the e-commerce business with money just for the big claims they have made about themselves on the internet.
Once you provide your customers with social proof, you are indicating to your customers and letting them know your products are 100% legit and secure, and that the products will help them with their problems.
To clearly state and provide social proof, you need to include these in your product description:
- Citing quotes from customer testimonials and reviews.
- Mentioning how the product helps other customers.
- The rewards your brand has received for your product.
- Justify through numbers and statistics the effectiveness of your product.
It is imperative to proactively collect social proof and not wait for it to fall into your hands.
And if you exhaust social proof, you can always ask your customers to write a story or testimonial for you. You can reward this effort with exclusive discounts or coupons. You can also conduct your own research, if you want to include statistics, and pay (or reward) your customers to participate in your study.
Once you have invited the prospect to look into the product, they will probably have some objections. You need to address these objections in a logical manner. Once they’re on board with your product, you can present them with a story that will make them emotionally invested.
After that, you need to present an impactful call-to-action that gets them from shoppers to buyers—this is what your product page and description are for.
The purpose of writing a copy, and a compelling product description is to promote an action of purchasing.
And you could determine the following action, directing your customers towards that goal. Is it subscribing to a plan you offer? Adding the product to the shopping cart? Scheduling a consulting call? There are various possible actions.
Writing a product description should follow step after step in a seamless framework; essentially it should be a flow map that frames the next action from the onset of initial interaction and presents it as a riskless action and concludes the flow with a call-to-action or CTA.
There are various ways in which you could write your CTA and these are some of the best practices:
- Provide a single CTA; don’t overwhelm your visitor with various CTA options as it will make them reluctant to purchase the product.
- Cleverly position your CTA in a way that presented a positive opportunity for your customers.
- Present the CTA in a manner that is easy to understand and explain to your customers how to buy your product.
- Create a sense of urgency and provide them with positive reinforcement if they choose to act now. For instance, you create this sense of urgency by showing that there is limited stock for a particular product.
With CTA, there’s always room for improvement, similar to product descriptions and product pages overall. In order to optimize your conversion rates, experiment and update your CTA regularly.
Use more images and mixed media
Using high-quality images and multimedia can represent how your product looks and functions, thus showing them what they will be getting when they purchase the product. Images and multimedia files are a great way to highlight the texture, shape, style, color, and other important factors.
Remember to give the customers images and multimedia files that show the product from all angles and points of view, so it is important for customers to decipher the actual look and feel of the real product.
Since humans are visual by nature, images and videos create an unmatched spark that is irresistible, developing a desire for the product depicted. It is a great practice to add images and mixed media in your product descriptions as it can help in generating more sales while ensuring fewer returns. Weebly’s survey suggests that 75% of respondents believe that product images are influential when it came to making a purchase.
However, if the pictures and videos aren’t accurate, there is a higher chance of them returning the product.
Best practices for epic product descriptions
If you want to wow your customers and provide them with a product description that ensures customer delight, then you should follow these practices-
Product descriptions let you put your customers first
It is crucial to understand your target audience thoroughly before writing your product description since the content needs to be aligned with the thoughts of your potential customers. For instance, if you are selling lipsticks, women are your primary buyers but you should also remember to appeal to men as lipsticks can be given to women as gifts as well. Thus, your product description should appeal to both parties.
But you may wonder, how to identify your target audience. You can figure that out by answering the questions:
- Who are the people who’ll purchase my product?
- Who is going to benefit from the product?
- What are the pain points that the product will help solve?
- Why should the target audience purchase my product?
- What are the demographics of my target audience?
- What kind of information will my audience be interested in?
Once you determine the readers of your product description and understand the buyer persona, you can craft your content and copy highlighting those benefits and areas of interest. Furthermore, if your products cater to different target audiences, then fix a target persona for every product your e-commerce business offers.
Anticipate your buyer’s pain points
One of the easiest ways to feature benefits in your product description is by telling your shoppers how your product can help solve their problems and pain points.
And if you use this practice, you need to determine their pain points. And the best way to achieve this is by sending surveys to your customers and asking them why they purchased your product in the past and what keeps them coming back to purchase from your e-commerce business. Your carefully crafted questions draw out the pain points and problems faced by your customers and in the specific ways, your products helped overcome them.
Also, scour through your customer reviews, and you will find a common thread involving your product and it acts as a solution to the customers’ pain points.
How to educate your potential customer
Take a step back and think about the likelihood of your target buyer
- Having purchased from you previously.
- Having purchased a similar item from another retailer?
- Researching the item prior to purchasing the product from you? (This can be easily detected through your source of traffic data metric on your site analytics software)
- Have the knowledge regarding the best practices used to create this specific product and if they would be interested in learning about it?
If the answers to these questions are in the form of confirmations of the same, then you can take an educative approach to writing content for your product description.
One of the roles of the product page is to educate your shoppers. Writing detailed, informative copies and content can help your customer make a smarter decision when it comes to purchasing the product.
But the amount of information that you need to provide will vary from company to company and depending on the products.
If you are an already established brand with a loyal customer base, or you are a well-respected brand with a low price point, you needn’t add more information than required. But if are an e-commerce business that is small, a lesser-known brand within the highly-competitive industry, then to stand apart from the competition, you’ll require to share as much information as possible to reassure the confidence of your customer when purchasing from you.
Tell a story
A powerful marketing tool, storytelling is inherently enticing and enthralling. We are all surrounded by stories like bedtime stories, spooky-ghost-supernatural stories, anecdotes, war and tragic stories, love stories, and many others. And stories make us human.
And using this practice to write a product description can help your put one over your competition that might skip past this tactic.
Product description examples
One of the best brands when it comes to crafting an exceptional and innovative product description is Apple. Just like their products, their product pages are compelling and integrate some of the above-mentioned practices for writing impactful and effective product descriptions.
Their best one yet is their latest one, introducing the MacBook Air- with M1 Chip.
Link: Apple Store
Check the entire product page- a delight in terms of design and the placement of the product description itself invites one to scroll through with concentration. This highlights their use of images and multimedia files to their advantage, earning a positive reaction. Their product descriptions are written in a combination to presenting the technical specifications in a manner that could be easily understood by people with limited knowledge about technology and addressing the pain points of the customers.
Fabletics’ product page displays the product description, followed by a section highlighting customer reviews and satisfaction. Thus, they use social proof to create an effective product description.
They first state the number of customers who’ve left reviews for reference and then they display a fit survey that can be sorted and filtered according to your liking.
The way that social proof is presented in a manner that makes the visitor comfortable with their purchase decision and encourages them to click the CTA button.
All in all, it is imperative to understand your audience to determine and craft content and copies that will resonate with the customers, thus increasing the conversion rate.
The practices mentioned will help you formulate the best content but it is just a part of the big picture. You can get visually creative and add graphics to elevate. Do A/B testing and
optimize your product pages to rank on Google or other search engines. And remember to use popular keywords and terms to improve your SEO traffic for the product pages.
Building a trusting relationship with your customer is important as this trust will encourage your shoppers to purchase from you not only once, but over and over again. And once they build trust with the brand as a whole, you will have a loyal customer base.
Just remember to understand your target audience, anticipate their reaction to your product and write a compelling product description. From the moment you build your website and your product pages, keep in mind the design and designated places for your images and your descriptions and understand how they look overall.