The Importance of Product Descriptions for Online Retailers

The prospect of writing multiple product descriptions for your e-commerce website can seem a daunting task. Can you get away with a few bullet points or is it worth allocating time to showcase each item in your range?

Product Descriptions that Convince Customers to Make a Purchase

When a customer enters a physical store, all senses are employed to hunt down their purchases. They can be attracted by shop displays and fabulous packaging design. They can lift, handle and feel the product. They might be able to try it out, watch a demonstration or try it on.

The shop can control the ambience with carefully positioned lighting, background music and pleasant aromas. These all contribute to an environment that entices buyers.

Online shops have to rely on visual impact. Shoppers are deciding on the purchases based on written product descriptions, small images and customer reviews. Skip on this content and you’ve nothing to convince them to buy. Would you part with your money when all you had seen was a vague image, a product name and price?

Preparing Product Descriptions

Use High -definition Images

A quick snapshot on your phone is not going to cut it. You need a professional photographer with the equipment and aesthetic understanding to showcase your products in the best light. Yes, this comes at a cost, but it will greatly improve your chances of boosting sales, so you’ll get a return on this investment.

Ideally, photograph each product from various angles and if possible, provide a sense of scale. Multiple images help the shopper to understand if the product fits their requirements.

Write Descriptive Copy

When writing product descriptions, put yourself in the customers’ shoes. What would help them to make an informed decision? You need to include features, however, extend this to share the benefits of these features.

Use the terms shoppers are likely to search for in the product title. This helps customers to find what they are looking for. It also helps the search engines to match the page with relevant searches, which will drive more traffic to your pages.

Whilst you want to include keywords, ensure that they occur in the natural flow of the text; the descriptions need to be readable. On this point, use plain English and keep sentences and paragraphs short.

Finally, consider your audience and ensure that the tone of the product descriptions fit the reader and are consistent with your brand.

Include Customer Reviews

Providing reviews from customers who have purchased the product is an asset. Shoppers trust customer reviews and they provide valuable information that influences their decision.

You might sign up to a review platform, such as Feefo or Trustpilot to help keep the reviews on your website current. This does mean that unfavourable reviews will be shown. If you are quick to respond in a polite, problem-solving manner, this need not be detrimental. Many customers will value this transparency and it could help to build trust.

Writing Product Descriptions

I’ve recently started writing product descriptions for a new client. Like most e-commerce businesses, their range evolves, so although they prepared product descriptions when the website was launched, there are inconsistencies. Some items have full descriptions, whilst others have little more than an image. It was time to update their web page content!

As someone new to the product range, they invited me to the office to see a selection of items before I wrote about them. This was a great opportunity to ask questions, look in detail and consider what customers might want to know. You may find that telling someone from outside your industry about your products proves an insightful exercise.

In Summary

High-definition imagery and detailed written descriptions convince customers to make a purchase and also support search engine optimisation. These are essential factors for e-commerce success, so it is worth the time spent on creating them.

Try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and give them the information that convinces them to ‘add to cart’.