An Expert Guide to eCommerce Product Descriptions
Never force consumers to imagine how your product or service will serve them, tell them exactly how it will.
Product descriptions are often the missing piece of a complete e-commerce experience.
Read our guide to crafting enticing product descriptions that illuminate your products, elegantly capture their features and benefits, and convert more curious consumers.
The importance of product descriptions
Salsify reports that 87% of online consumers say that an accurate, high-quality product description influences their buying choices and behaviors.
By the time a consumer has reached a product description, they’ve already shown interest in your offering.
At this stage, you can safely assume they are curious about your brand, or a specific product, and either have a direct need for a certain type of product or are simply curious about how one of your products can improve their life for the better.
Hopefully, you have gorgeous product and lifestyle imagery in place that allows a consumer to visualize how a product will fit into their life, along with glittering testimonials from current customers detailing how they have already benefited from using your product.
Yet, the product description is the only chance you have to describe the product in your own words and convince a consumer of its value.
It’s the final frontier and the last thing a consumer reads before they purchase your product or exit your site and head elsewhere.
The core elements of great product descriptions
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At a rudimentary level, online product descriptions must obtain a few core elements. They should highlight the primary features and benefits of a product, detail how it will clearly solve a problem a consumer has, and capture a few relevant keywords associated with the product or the larger consumer category it falls into.
Before you employ the advanced techniques from the next section, first ensure that your product description embodies these three elements:
- Highlights primary features and benefits
- Conveys a problem-solution scenario
- Employs relevant SEO-based keywords
For example, if you were selling a high-end electric fan, you might tell a consumer that it comes with a convenient wireless remote, touch on how powerful it is and how little energy it uses, and remind them that in the dog days of summer, this fan is going to keep them unbelievably cool.
Having researched relevant words related to electric fans, you would also organically weave a few of the most prevalent keywords into the description to boost your SEO potential.
The art of product descriptions
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We’ve covered the importance of quality product descriptions and the core elements required to construct a good one.
Now, let’s analyze advanced techniques that will elevate your product descriptions above the generic hum of your industry and captivate consumers on a deeper level.
On a psychological level, consumers tend to buy a product to move closer to pleasure, or further from pain. This is an invaluable business lesson and one that all online shop owners should be aware of.
Ask yourself, “which of these two benefits does my product achieve?” and use this information to speak directly to a consumer and their desires.
An electric fan, from the example above, moves consumers further from the pain of feeling hot and uncomfortable in their home, but it might also move them closer to the pleasure of feeling cool and relaxed. With this information in mind, we can write a product description that creates a deeper emotional connection that resonates with our target consumer and their problem.
Sensory description is writing that describes one or more of the senses: touch, taste, smell, hearing, or sight. Creative and fiction writers use sensory description to engage readers and help them feel and imagine the scene they are reading.
You should employ sensory description to better illustrate how your product will make a consumer feel and benefit them. Paint a picture with the consumer at the center.
Persuasion can be a fickle element to pull off in product descriptions. If you’re too persuasive, you will deter consumers with an obnoxious, sales-forward tone. On the flip side, if you’re too nonchalant, the consumer won’t care about the product and its features or benefits. After all, if you don’t care, why should they?
Infuse a touch of persuasive language that reveals why your product is the best of its class and the clear choice for a consumer. They should feel assured that they are in the right place and that their problem is being solved by your product better than anyone else's.
Analyzing a product description
Pure Culture is a custom skincare brand that we’ve worked with on the design and development of their site. At the top of this post, we featured a photo of the product page for their Custom Cleanser, Serum & Moisturizer Kit.
On this page, a consumer sees product and lifestyle images, a call-to-action, and two product description sections.
Screenshot from pureculturebeauty.com
The first section is a two-sentence description that highlights how the trio of products will give your skin a “healthy glow”, notes the plant-based ingredients in the formulas, and assures consumers that custom key ingredients will be most effective for them.
The second section titled “skin concerns” lists common skin problems that consumers face and links to an entire page that details the specific ingredients Pure Culture uses to treat these issues. This is an effective method for listing problems and revealing solutions.
Product descriptions are an essential part of creating an extraordinary online experience.
Simply put, craft better product descriptions to sell more products.