A good ecommerce product description is one that explains simply, and briefly, what a product does, and why someone should buy it. Of course, there’s a bit more to it. First, you need to do some research about who you’re actually appealing to, and what your goals are. You also need to write in a way that keeps the reader’s attention long enough to convince them. Tell a story. Help the user imagine themselves using the product. Find out what words work on a buyer’s brain and use them. Here are thirteen tips for writing ecommerce product descriptions that sell.
Tips for Writing Amazing Ecommerce Product Descriptions:
1. Create a Buyer Persona
“Before you begin writing, you need to determine your buyer persona. A buyer persona is a summarized version of your ideal customer. They help you by showing you what information you need to include in your description,” recommends Andrea Ayers, ecommerce content writer at EliteAssignmentHelp. Find out some information about your customers, their age range, demographics, and interests. Their location, gender, education level, and income level are all possible factors that will change how you write your product description. Let’s say you’re selling a rain jacket. You will write your description of the same product in a different way depending on who you’re targeting. If you’ve found out that your buyer persona is middle-class middle-aged men, you might talk about how dependable and affordable the jacket is. For another demographic you might emphasize it’s style or associate it with adventure. Just remember to only use one buyer persona per product description, or it will lose its effectiveness.
2. Know your Goals and KPIs
Figure out what goals are and how you’ll measure them. What are your key performance indicators (KPIs)? Your product descriptions will become much more effective if you know what your goals are. Are you trying to increase your sales? Reduce the number of cart abandonments? Improve your organic search rating? Maybe you’re just trying to clarify your descriptions, so you have fewer calls from shoppers with questions. Try things out, but don’t be afraid to make changes. Do some testing with different lengths, formats, and words to see what is most effective with your customers.
3. Write in the Active Voice
Always write your descriptions in the active voice, rather than passive voice. “Tom painted the entire house,” is an example of active voice, while “The entire house was painted by Tom,” is passive voice. The active voice sounds direct and authoritative, while the passive voice sounds convoluted. Active voice is straightforward, easy to understand, decisive, and more likely to encourage your reader to take action and convert. Passive voice is absolutely terrible for copywriting because it is confusing and tends to bury the point and encourages your reader to scratch their head or click away from your page. “Passive voice is the copywriting equivalent of a limp handshake. Product descriptions are all about a simple, targeted message that inspires action, and that’s best achieved with the active voice,” advises James Crockett, copywriter at BigAssignments.
4. Focus on the Solution
Your description should reflect the fact that your product is more about the solution it provides than the item itself. The customer is always asking, “What’s in it for me?” Focus your writing on a solution your brand can provide. Solutions aren’t always as simple as needing a drill to make a hole, but sometimes they are. You could describe your product as something to help people achieve dreams and goals, avoid pain and discomfort, or even increase their chances of success with the opposite sex.
5. Write in your Brand’s Voice
What is your brand’s personality? Are you funny, professional, mischievous? Your product descriptions should be written in a voice that suits your brand’s personality. It should be consistent across your site and all its writing, but it’s especially important in your product descriptions. Why? Because that personality and voice are what convince people they want your product. Your voice will determine the tone of your writing, the vocabulary you use, and the way you address your visitors. A very upscale company like Versace might choose a formal and professional voice, using words like “exceptional,” and “one-of-kind,” to really emphasize their quality. This voice works for them because it matches with their product and audience. Now if a company marketing skateboards and skateboarding apparel to young people adopted this same personality and tone, it would be ineffective and probably even off-putting.
6. Choose your Words Strategically
It’s not just what you say, but the words you choose to say it with. Certain words are just much more powerful and persuasive than others. Oddly enough they are known as power words. These words will make your product descriptions much more effective. The 20 most persuasive power words include: suddenly, now, announcing, introducing, amazing, sensational, revolutionary, miracle, magic, quick, and hurry. Words are powerful, using the right ones is like hacking into a customer’s brain. But it’s okay because you have an amazing product, so don’t feel bad. Using power words connects with some deep emotional part of a person’s brain and increases the product’s value in their mind.
7. Talk about the User Experience
A great way to persuade people to buy is to encourage them to imagine themselves using the product, and what that experience would be like. This is another mind hack that makes them feel more attached to the product because they feel like they already own it and use it. Write about how they’ll feel using your product, use words like “imagine,” and “picture yourself.” Talk about some needs the customer has and then have themselves think about the product meeting those needs. Another mind hack is to use future and present tenses so that the reader feels like they have already purchased it. Help them imagine they already own the product by using sensory language. Sensory language integrates the five senses into writing to create a feeling of first-hand experience.
8. Avoid Clichés and Jargon
Writing a good product description relies on it being easy to understand. You don’t want to be rambling on trying to explain your product’s features and benefits with a bunch of industry jargon. Don’t use jargon that your average shopper won’t understand. Every time you do this you create friction and increase the possibility that your user gets frustrated and just leaves. You’re not the only game in town, and you don’t have a captive audience. You need to be clear in your language. People aren’t going to search the word you used to find out what it means, they’re just going to get confused, and then annoyed. While you’re purging your copy of jargon, cut the clichés out too. Certain words and phrases are used so commonly that their persuasive power is basically zero, according to science. These words don’t light up your brain like others do, and they are just perceived as boring. We all know how effective boring is at selling stuff, right? So, eliminate the clichés, pull out that thesaurus, and get crafting some original phrases.
9. Be Specific
Related to clichés is generic product descriptions, as in don’t use them. If you’re going to write “excellent product quality,” you might as well just leave a blank space for all the good it’s going to do. Generic phrases that people have seen a thousand times have literally no effect, except maybe to make someone roll their eyes and say “Sure…” Instead, get specific and talk about exactly what makes it “excellent product quality.” You could talk about the materials used, the process that’s gone into the product, or the high degree of skill that’s possessed by the people making it. Something that people will actually care about. A lot of this will be dependent on your buyer persona, so refer back to that as you decide how to describe aspects of your product. If you know what they’re impressed by then you can highlight it in your description.
10. Tell a Story
People love a good origin story. Every superhero has a good origin story. It helps the audience connect with the character, because they know a bit about their motivation, and why they do what they do. What is your origin story? What has motivated you and your brand to create the product you’re writing about? Chances are that if your backstory is important to you, it will be important to your audience as well. You can really connect with an audience and knock down some barriers with some good storytelling. People tend to let their guard down when they’re connecting to someone, even when it’s through a computer screen and they don’t actually know you. But they kind of feel like they know you, and that’s good for conversions. You can also tell stories about customers using your product and benefiting. Remember to use those power words when you’re telling a story about customers using and enjoying your product.
11. Get Help from Online Writing Resources
A lot of people struggle with writing, so don’t be afraid to get some expert help. These are some solid writing resources that will help you write e-commerce descriptions that sell:
- StateofWriting and Writing Populist – These are grammar resources you can use to check over your product descriptions for grammatical errors. You want your writing to be professional, and that means not leaving mistakes in there.
- Essayroo and PaperFellows – These are online proofreading tools, suggested by AustralianReviewer, you can access to make sure your writing is polished and free of errors. A typo or two can undermine your otherwise good description by making you look like an amateur not worth the customer’s time.
- ViaWriting and Let’s Go and Learn – Check out these writing blogs for ideas and tips on how to improve the quality of your product descriptions. There are posts here by experienced writers who have written many product descriptions.
- Boomessays and UKWritings – These are editing tools, recommended in UK Writings review, you can use to go over your writing for typos and other mistakes. Bad editing can signal to a customer that your website is low quality and not a secure place to spend money.
- MyWritingWay and Studydemic – Check out these writing guides for help and suggestions on how to write a better product description. Writing effective product descriptions is a specific skill, so even good writers can benefit from some extra guidance.
12. Use SEO
We’ve talked a lot about using words strategically, to persuade a reader. You’ll also want to be strategic with your word choice to improve your search engine optimization (SEO). The placement of words into your descriptions can improve your SEO, particularly if placed in your product title, page title, meta descriptions, and ALT tags. The evidence for this is a bit anecdotal, but it’s worth a shot since it doesn’t take much effort.
13. Visuals Matter
There’s only so much you can do with text. Have some good-looking images of your product to go along with your text description. You don’t want your descriptions to be too long anyway, and you know what they say about a picture. Keep your product descriptions short and accompany them with visuals. Visuals can be especially useful for showing off features and also how to use your product. A diagram can be very effective for demonstrating what your product can do without using a thousand words. A lot of people will just be scanning anyway, and visuals are great for catching the eye. You can even create some short little videos showing off your product and its features. It never hurts to do a little A/B testing to see what visuals work best with your audience.
It doesn’t matter how useful your product is if your product description sucks. Writing good product descriptions can take a bit of time, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Tap into some consumer psychology, do a bit of research, and work on your writing skills and watch as your conversions go up. Use these thirteen tips for writing ecommerce product descriptions that sell.
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