Product descriptions are excellent chances to use stories, humour, or straight facts to be as helpful as possible to the people browsing your site. Without a good product description, you’ll struggle to capture interest and fail to let people know why your product is for them. Here are 4 techniques you can use to set a foundation for a successful product description.
1. Who Is This For?
Step 1 in any quality product description is knowing who you’re writing for. This is an obvious step, but if skipped, your product description will fall flat. 2019 data form Instapage found that “78% of U.S. Internet users said personally relevant content from brands increases their purchase intent.” Their data also showed that a lack of relevant content “generates 83% lower response rates in the average marketing campaign.”
One factor that will help you understand your traffic is looking at how people are getting to your site. You can be more aggressive with your description if you have traffic coming in from paid ads compared to traffic from social media.
Social media and other forms of organic traffic usually bring visitors that need more information and nurturing. With paid traffic, your ad likely already addressed their desire to make a purchase.
If the people coming to your site are highly educated about their niche, a product description that scans the surface level won’t be enough. With these types of visitors, you can dive into the nuances of your products that only dedicated users would know. You can use this approach when getting traffic from topic-specific forums or hobbyist groups. With these people, you can’t afford to come across as basic.
As mentioned in a previous post, studying problems is a key factor in getting people to care. Opening your product description by explaining how it will help a person address an issue they have is a great technique, no matter how people are getting to your site. By focusing on problems, you highlight what the product can do for your customers. You also get them picturing the impact the product will have on their life, which brings us to the next point:
2. Focus On What The Product Can Do For Your Customers, Not The Features
One of the biggest mistakes eCommerce stores make is focusing on the features of their products in the description. As business owners, it’s super easy to get wrapped up in all the things our product can do. To us, the benefits of our products are obvious - so why not just talk about them?
The problem with this approach is it doesn’t specifically tell people what your product can do for them. How will their life look different after using your product? What can they make easier with your product? Letting your readers know “what’s in it for me?” is key for writing a product description that resonates.
If you have a product that weighs less than other similar products, simply stating the weight in your description will only go so far. However, using words to show to your lightweight product means more portability and more convenience for your customer will resonate and create a more impactful impression.
3. Make It Easy To Scan
I don't know about you, but when I’m browsing online, I scan to see if something is worth reading. Data from a 2014 article by Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile found that 55% of visitors spent fewer than 15 seconds actively on a page. Your product description needs to give people a reason to stop.
Making your product description easy to scan will decrease the chance that your page viewers are missing out on important information. Bullet points are extremely powerful on product description pages. You can also use white space to your advantage to space out text and guide eyes across your website.
Playing with font sizes and bold formatting is another great way to make your content easy to scan. The sections with larger or darker font will automatically attract eyes as people scan your page. Use these sections for the most poignant parts of your product description.
4. Use Sensory Descriptions
There’s a reason logical reasoning tends to fail when it comes to sales: our senses and emotions are way more powerful than we think. Its why food companies go out of their way to use words like nutty, buttery, roasted, and other adjectives that remind us about eating. They even take it a step further and use words like “crunchy” and “smooth” to engage our senses of sound and touch.
A 2010 study from the Journal of Consumer Research studied the impact of scents on people’s ability to remember details. Some participants got pencils infused with tea tree oil, and others got regular pencils. The group with the unscented pencils “experienced a 73% decline in the information they could recall two weeks later.” The group with the scented pencils only experienced an 8% decline.
This extreme example shows the power of invoking the senses while trying to make an impression. Using adjectives to appeal to as many senses as you can (sound, taste, touch, sight, smell) will help you create compelling product descriptions. Sensory adjectives are words you can use to replace “good” and “high quality” your product review.
Putting It All Together
Product: ACME Toaster
Who is the product for? Families, people who have just moved, people looking to upgrade existing toasters
Get perfect, golden-brown toast every time. The ACME brand toaster is a kitchen essential that is safe for the entire family with its shock-resistant heat elements. The extra-wide slots make it easy to get a flawless crunch on bagels, English muffins, and thick slices of Texas toast. With its slim design, the ACME toaster takes up minimal space on your counter and features no-cloth-necessary cleaning with a removable crumb tray. The ACME toaster is perfect for busy mornings with its auto-shutoff feature, which prevents burnt toast while keeping your home safe.