Even though brick-and-mortar stores are slowly reopening, shoppers are still choosing to shop online. To meet the soaring demand for ecommerce during the pandemic, merchants have introduced flexible shopping options. These include buy now pay later, buy online, pickup in store, and deferred payment options.
This added flexibility is encouraging more customers to shop online for both its safety and its convenience. As the state of shopping is changing, so are shoppers’ expectations.
Product descriptions provide an opportunity for brands to satisfy shopper curiosity, increase conversion rates, and connect with their customers in new ways. Rather than having a salesperson guide a conversation with a shopper, a product description provides important information that the shopper needs to know to make an immediate purchase. Viewed through this lens, do your product descriptions fit the bill?
By building an informative and relevant customer experience, merchants can influence shoppers’ habits and reconstruct their decision-making journey. As brands plan for the long-term to accelerate their future growth online, product pages are becoming the new sales floor.
Here, we’ll explain why product descriptions are so critical to your brand’s success. Then, we’ll give you 10 tips to make your product descriptions stand out on Shopify online store. Lastly, we’ll cover common product description mistakes and how to avoid them. With all of this knowledge at hand, you’ll be well equipped to create product descriptions that convert.
Why are product descriptions so important?
20% of purchase failures are the result of missing or unclear product information on a brand’s PDP (product detail page).
A great product description not only drives conversions, but it also enhances the customer experience. Just as a salesperson would guide a shopper in a brick-and-mortar store, a product description helps shoppers browse and search for specifications that best suit them.
For example, imagine selling a silver ring without saying it’s 925 silver. Or selling rain boots without listing that they are waterproof. These missing details would likely confuse a shopper, or result in questions instead of selling the product.
Shoppers in a store touch and feel your products to decide whether or not they want to buy an item. And, they have the opportunity to ask questions about the products. Online, product descriptions replace the customer service experience by ensuring users understand a product’s features and benefits. By removing ambiguity, customers know exactly what value your product offers them.
Ecommerce product descriptions can provide information to ensure your shoppers will be able to solve their pain points using your product. In addition to increasing brand trust, product descriptions can also improve your search engine optimization (SEO) ranking. By using relevant keywords, a merchant can help their store rank better in Google search results, or on Google Shopping.
1. Know Your Buyer
Write a product description as if it were a conversation between your sales representative and your customer. This means speaking in their lingo, knowing their likes and dislikes, and answering any questions they may have about your product.
This is how Urban Planet describes one of their t-shirts.
Urban Planet uses a casual tone. The brand caters to their broad demographic of young men and women aged 16 to 24. They use trendy words like ‘cute’ and ‘fav’ to appeal to their buyer persona of a generation that is constantly looking for the next best thing.
When it comes to writing your product descriptions, consider how you would speak to your customers if you were selling face-to-face. Now try to use the language you would use in an in-person dialogue to appeal to your target audience. This will make a deeper impact.
2. Highlight Your Benefits
Get shoppers excited about the features and specifications of the products you are selling. To do this, answer questions on how your product offering will address their challenges and make their life easier. While doing so, be specific and avoid generic phrases like ‘great,’ for example.
Aftershokz highlights technology specifications to help a shopper decide what product to buy.
Aftershokz doesn’t just write the features or specs of their products. They explain how these features will improve their customers’ lives. With patented bone conduction technology, shoppers’ comfort and total awareness is increased. With an 8 hour battery life, their headphones allow a person to enjoy listening to music, calls and podcasts all day long.
These statements are effective because they answer the shoppers’ question, “Why should I buy this particular pair of headphones versus another pair?” By addressing your customer pain points, you can show shoppers how your product will make their life easier, happier or healthier. This sells an experience rather than just a product.
3. Provide Social Proof
Shoppers are more likely to buy from you if they see others have had a positive experience too. To add social proof to a product description, you can include user reviews, or quotes from happy customers or staff, preferably with a person’s image. You can also mention awards, or ‘as seen in’ statements that showcase publications that your products have been featured in.
Polysleep shows customer reviews on their product pages to boost social proof.
These reviews resonate with buyers, especially when they show that a product is popular. Quotes from the press can also demonstrate popularity. By highlighting customer favorites on your Shopify commerce website, you can entice more customers to buy popular products.
4. Create Scannable Descriptions
Your product descriptions should be easy to read, and highly digestible. To do this, you can use headlines, bullet points, and plenty of white space to boost readability.
Here’s an example of a scannable product description for Vitamin C Chewables from Jamieson Vitamins.
5. Help Shoppers Imagine Using Your Product
Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Think about what they would want to know, or how they can relate better to your product.
Ministry of Supply compares their Mercury Intelligent Heated Jacket to a personal thermostat.
The comparison of a jacket to a ‘personal smart thermostat’ helps shoppers imagine using their new jacket to heat themselves up in any temperature.
6. Use Stories to Help Inspire a Purchase
Telling a story is a great way to show how your product will impact customers’ lives. You can answer questions like “Who makes the product?”, “What inspired the product?”, “What obstacles were overcome in product development?”, or “How was your product tested?”
Goodee uses storytelling to show the causes they support and the story behind how their products are made
Here, Goodee describes how each pillow tells a story of empowerment and social impact. This makes their Magenta Stripe Solid Pillow a purposeful gift and conversation starter.
7. Make Sure Customers Have the Details they Need
Provide as much information as your customer would like to know. Fine details can help customers before or after they make a purchase.
Leesa, for example, provides mattress specs for their Leesa Original Mattress.
Specs include country of origin, materials and construction, measurements and dimensions, certifications as well as their warranty. These specifications can help consumers decide whether the Leesa mattress is the right fit for their preferences.
For clothing items you can include a link to a size chart so a customer can determine their size. For jewelry, you can describe a piece as ‘nickel-free’ to help shoppers with allergies choose the right product to add to their shopping cart.
Including internal links to complimentary items can help with upselling or cross-selling. These sales techniques are useful to help your customer find everything they are looking for with relevant product recommendations. Examples include showing products that will help your customer complete an outfit, or displaying variations of a product they are looking to purchase.
8. Use Sensory Words to Increase Sales
Sensory words are descriptive words that help shoppers understand your products through their senses: smell, sight, feel or taste. Words can indicate colors, shapes or how they look.
Wild Fork foods uses sensory words when describing their food products.
In this example, Wild Fork Foods uses sensory words such as ‘fresh aroma’, ‘zip and zest’ and ‘hot, savory’ to describe their products’ flavor and nutrients.
9. Provide Proof Why Your Product is the Best
Avoid using superlative adjectives. Instead, provide proof that you are the best or tone down your copy. To do this, you can include a quote from a happy customer, or write about an award that clearly demonstrates that your product is better than your competitors.
Jamieson lists awards in their product description for Iron + Vitamin B12 Chewable vitamins.
Here, Jamieson writes that their product was voted the Best New Vitamin by Consumers. This demonstrates a real reason as to why the company’s product is more popular than competitors.
10. A/B Test to Optimize Your Product Descriptions
Use A/B tests and tools like Google Optimize to determine what format works best for you. Test elements such as paragraph size, use of bullet points or layout. This will help ensure your product descriptions are written for your audience, and placed in a visible area. By testing to make sure your product descriptions are getting clicks, you can boost conversions too.
What are Common Product Description Mistakes?
1. Copy and Pasting Product Descriptions
Copying product descriptions is a bad idea for many reasons. First off, it can damage your brand from an SEO perspective, and hurt your chances of increasing visibility. This can also lead to wasted search engine marketing costs.
By creating an overly templated ecommerce experience, it will also be difficult for your business to stand out online. This is especially important for small businesses who are trying to succeed in a competitive online environment. Your product value will be reduced, and you may find yourself in price wars or channel conflicts with your competition.
Instead, imagine yourself having a guided conversation with your customer. This dialogue should be informative and provide guidance to your shoppers, as if they were talking to a real salesperson. Shoppers crave dialogue, and your product descriptions are an opportunity to start brand-rich conversations. In this sense, the shopping experience should be a catalyst for selling your products successfully.
By providing a great user experience, you can make a shopping experience that elevates your brand presence and product worth. This way, you’ll be able to acquire new customers without directly competing with other retailers online.
2. Optimizing SEO for Product Descriptions
Using search engine optimization (SEO) practices helps improve the findability of your products on Google. If your product pages are optimized, people will be able to find your website more easily.
This is why it’s important to include keywords in product descriptions, but not to stuff them where it doesn’t make sense. Keyword stuffing leads to penalization for adding irrelevant keywords, which could also drop your search engine ranking.
Write descriptive copy for each of your products to help Google learn what they are about. You can include images with alt tags, as well as search engine optimized keywords. Include internal links in your product descriptions to help customers find complementary products through search engine results.
By providing relevant and useful information, you can increase the time shoppers spend on your Shopify ecommerce website. This will also increase your Google rank above competitors.
Write Product Descriptions That Sell on Shopify
With product descriptions, remember there is always room for improvement. This can mean trying out a new format, optimizing your descriptions for SEO, or highlighting the latest features and benefits. Most importantly, your descriptions should provide helpful and relevant information, so your customers can make the best purchase decision possible.
Need help with A/B testing or optimizing your ecommerce website product descriptions? Contact us to find out how our growth team can accelerate your retail success on Shopify.
This article originally appeared in the Diff Agency blog and has been published here with permission.