Table of contents
- What Is A Product Description?
- How to Write Product Descriptions that Sell
- What Does An E-commerce Product Description Really Do?
- 1. Know Your Target Audience
- 2. Highlight the Benefits of Your Offering (Focus on Solutions More Than Features)
- 3. Tell a Story, Take the Buyer on a Journey
- 4. Offer All The Details but Keep It Simple
- 5. Use Power Words That Sell, Avoid Generic Phrases
- 6. Optimize for Search Engines
- 7. Use Good Product Images for Your E-commerce Stores
What Is A Product Description?
A product description is what describes the features and benefits of your products to potential customers. The aim with product descriptions is to provide the customer with enough information to make a well-informed decision. It should compel the user to buy the product immediately. The product description should be so convincing that the user thinks “I really need this in my life.”
To get your customer to think this, you need to write a product description that addresses the following questions:
- What problem does your product solve?
- What does the customer gain from using your product?
- How is your product different from others in the market?
You must answer these questions in a way that they address the concern, but in as few words as possible.
How to Write Product Descriptions that Sell
A well-written product description can raise your conversion rates. By including product benefits and features in a creative and compelling manner, your store becomes more likely to convert the average browser. Although most customers make buying decisions based on product images, product descriptions help fill in the lingering questions consumers have related to the product that ultimately push them to buy. It allows them to determine whether or not the product is the right fit for the customer.
By educating customers on the key benefits of your offering, a unique value proposition, and clearly highlighting a frustrating problem that your product solves, you can enjoy higher conversions, fewer returns and refunds, and increased customer trust in your brand.
What Does An E-commerce Product Description Really Do?
The buyer’s decision-making process doesn’t start on your website, it starts long before that when they feel a certain problem and need a solution for it. So when they come onto your website, they’re frustrated and looking for a solution.
But your product descriptions aren’t just there to describe what’s on your Shopify or e-commerce site. Stop stating the obvious. Those descriptions are also there to:
Qualify: They help website visitors quickly assess if the product is for someone like them.
Persuade: They provide compelling reasons to the customer to consider buying the product.
Surface: They use SEO keywords and search terms in a subtle way to serve the purpose and also show up in search engine or Amazon results.
In this article, we’ll help you write product descriptions that sell, and the easy steps you need to follow to achieve them.
1. Know Your Target Audience
As the very popular saying goes: “not everyone is your customer”, you need to keep this in mind when writing your product descriptions. If you write your product descriptions keeping a huge crowd of buyers in perspective, you will end up addressing no one in particular, and put out a generic description that won’t resonate with anyone.
The best product descriptions are those that address your target audience directly and personally. They should seem like a conversation that you’re having with them, talking about their pain points, and giving solutions.
- How will our customers find this product page?
- What problem are they trying to solve?
- What do they already know about our product?
- What benefits and features will they find most interesting?
2. Highlight the Benefits of Your Offering (Focus on Solutions More Than Features)
Our products are like our babies. We want to boast about everything they can do. But this shouldn’t be the focus when writing product descriptions. Your potential buyers want to know what’s in it for them to buy your product. They’re less concerned with the features and specifications, and more with the value the product adds to their life. That is why it’s essential for you to highlight those benefits in your descriptions.
Take a look at this Estee Lauder serum’s product description. They clearly highlight how the product benefits the consumer by “reducing fine lines”, and “reducing signs of ageing”. So a potential customer looking for a product to add to their skin care routine would know what this specific product will do for their skin. They don’t care about other features; although it is important you cover those too because well-researched customers would look for ingredients to see anything that they might potentially be allergic to. However, highlighting the benefits will be of utmost priority.
Here’s another example from Nike that keeps it short, but hits the pain points. They highlight the benefits of their Sneakers, so a buyer that is looking for a product to add to their working out gear will be able to immediately resonate with this.
3. Tell a Story, Take the Buyer on a Journey
Tell a story through your product descriptions, and take your buyer on a journey. This creates an experience for the user. The story could narrate the product’s history: how or why it came into being, or how the product solves the customer’s problem. Or any entertaining story about the product that attracts the attention of your customer. A good product description should give all relevant details, convince the buyer of its benefits, and deliver an emotional punch.
Buyer behaviour is largely influenced by emotions, so if you’ve ever wondered how you can elicit your buyer’s emotions, it’s through your product descriptions. So how can you do this? By answering any concerns or underlying questions that consumers have about your products. When it comes to telling a story in your product description, try to answer these questions;
- Who originally made this product?
- What inspired them to make this product?
- What was the journey of making this product?
- How would this product look at the buyer’s day-to-day life?
Setting a scene like this will help the buyer envision this product in a way that features and specs could never do. If you can get the buyer to relate to your product on an emotional level, they are likely to forget that they’re being sold to.
Below is an example of a great product description that tells a story. Most people looking to buy crystals would want to know it’s history, it’s healing properties, and what the crystal stands for. Mabel and Millar are able to deliver that. They don’t just take the buyer on a Crystal journey, but also throw in maintenance guidelines so the customer feels more involved and informed.
4. Offer All The Details but Keep It Simple
According to a study by the NNGroup, users only skim through text when they’re browsing online. They also tend to read more at the start of the sentence compared to the end of the paragraph. So a key take away from this is to avoid irrelevant words. You want to deliver all the necessary information to the consumer without making it too long and complicated.
The average user is very lazy. Don’t expect them to re-read your descriptions to get something out of it. You have one shot at this, and you must nail it first try. Give them everything they need, and use basic words.
Check out how Optimum Nutrition, a U.S. based company that sells protein powders, in just a few lines covers all the features and benefits of their product. At one glance, the customer is given a checklist of everything the protein powder has. Simple, yet covers everything.
5. Use Power Words That Sell, Avoid Generic Phrases
There are some words and phrases that naturally trigger an emotional response in humans, and fortunately for Shopify store owners, this also increases conversions. By incorporating these words into your product titles and descriptions, you can become more convincing and highly likely to convert customers.
The language you use has the potential to take product descriptions, landing pages and long form letters from interesting or useful, to absolutely unforgettable.
Here is a list of compelling words that entice, and leave a lasting impact on, the customer.
- Safe and effective
- Real results
- How to…
Now, we’ve given a list of words to use. Lets go over words you absolutely should NOT use.
- One of a kind
- The Best
Why, you ask? Because literally everyone says that, and thinks that about their products. You won’t ever see a company saying something bad about their product. But customers don’t want to hear this stereotypical description. They want honesty. And as we mentioned earlier, they want to know what the product can do for them.
Instead of using such superlatives, explain these superlatives or use moderate words. So if you’re selling a “One-Of-A-Kind Hand Soap”, maybe change that to “A Hand Wash that Kills 99% Bacteria”.
And if you’ve got nothing to say, just quote a happy customer who is madly in love with your products. This will add more credibility to your copy.
6. Optimize for Search Engines
Written product descriptions are for two audiences: humans who will buy your products and search algorithms that will help humans find your product pages. Putting the right keywords in the right places of your product descriptions can help them to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs), as well as site-specific search results, such as on the Amazon marketplace.
You should always be optimizing the content on your Shopify stores for search engines. Search Engine Optimisation is the easiest and best way to attract and divert traffic to your Shopify stores, and becomes the first step in converting customers.
SEO Optimization: Targeting the Right Keywords
Optimization starts with finding the right keywords for your product descriptions and titles. These are the words that potential buyers will use when looking up products they want to shop. All you need to find the right keywords for your Shopify Store is a little bit of research with the best tools. Try including one keyword in your product titles, or or two in your bullet points, and sparingly use them in your descriptions. When writing these out, think about search queries that users might use to find your products.
- Search volume- how many people are searching for the particular keyword?
- Keyword difficulty- (how hard is it to rank for the given keyword?
- Related terms that you can use in your descriptions (e.g., longtail keywords)
The right and optimal keywords will mostly fall into that last category known as long-tail keywords. Why? Because the longer the search query that the buyer puts in, the higher the intent of purchase for them. According to a study by Yoast, it is suggested to use these long-tail keywords as they have a higher conversion value- ending in more sales.
For example, let’s say we’re selling a product that fits the general definition of “face toner.” This is how KWFinder will give us data for that keyword.
To narrow down our keyword, we should consider our unique product selling points such as the ingredients, or benefits and features.
If we add our top ingredient for face toner, we might identify something truly unique, like glycolic acid. Let’s say our product specifically also has AHAs in it. We can add more key ingredients, and get a targeted phrase: Glycolic Acid AHA Toner.
Do you see how the competition numbers go down once we narrow our keywords?
Starting with “face toner,” we’re up against some fairly big sites and we’re looking at numbers on the keyword difficulty scale that score past 40 out of 100. Possible, but by no means easy. But, just by adding “glycolic acid AHA” to our product, “face toner,” we can identify a “possible” keyword to rank for. Below 34, a keyword becomes “easy” to rank for, by the way. By narrowing down our search, we’re no longer competing with major sites to get to first-page placement for our keyword ranking.
Also, consumers have become more aware and informed. Most times, they will enter something specific, increasing the chances of your product to appear on their search, as compared to a product that may only have been named as “face toner”.
6.1 SEO Product Descriptions: Strategic Keyword Placement
Once you’ve figured out your keywords, you can start placing them strategically in your product descriptions. However, this does not mean you start stuffing them. Don’t use your focus keyword more than a few times:
- Once in the page’s URL
- Once in the product description title
- Once or twice in the body copy
- Once in the alt image tag
For example, when I type “windbreakers” into Google, these are the products that appear. You will see the top results include some variation of the keyword, such as “Men’s Windbreakers”, and “Men’s Sports Windbreaker Jackets”.
Look out for the bolded words in the descriptions to see what Google currently favors. If you click on one of the listings on the first page, you’ll be able to see how they use this keyword on their site to appear in the search results.
7. Use Good Product Images for Your E-commerce Stores
63% of customers think that a product image is more important in online shopping as compared to product descriptions and reviews. So high-quality images of the products, as well as videos, are a crucial aspect of the offering. It allows customers to envision the product, and creates a sense of touch which lacks in online shopping.
High-quality photos allow your customer to see all of the key features of your product, and imagine having this product in their life. Research has shown that customers are more likely to buy a product if they’re able to hold it. Because they can’t physically do this with online shopping, product images help fill in this void. Images and videos encourage the sense of touch, inciting the desire to own a particular product.
Here is an example of the famous beauty brand Charlotte Tilbury, that uses product images and videos to showcase their lipstick. The brand shows pictures of the lipstick shade in use, and standing idol, and also in video. So the customer can imagine what the product would look like in reality, creating the ultimate user experience.
Read our blog here to find out about the best image formats to use for your e-commerce stores.
Product descriptions are an integral and essential part of online sales. Because there’s no living, breathing salesperson that can guide your customer through their needs and the products, you have to rely on product descriptions and images to give them the ultimate customer experience. It’s all on your product descriptions to do the selling for you, so make sure you’re doing it right.
Read more about the importance of product data in e-commerce here. And while you’re at out, check out Apimio’s Shopify Integration page to see how our Product Information Management tool can help optimize your Shopify stores.