5 Tips for Optimizing Your Product Descriptions for Ecommerce
Since about 80% of Americans do online shopping regularly, ecommerce businesses have a lot of opportunities to make sales. No matter who your target audience is, reaching out to them online is much easier than driving traffic into a brick-and-mortar store.
Still, ecommerce businesses fake some unique challenges that traditional stores don’t need to worry about. One of these is creating product descriptions that appropriately convey the nature of a product while still engaging and enticing the reader. After all, these descriptions are what will ultimately help the consumer decide whether or not the product will suit their needs.
Read on for some ways that you can increase the success of your product descriptions (and your product page as a whole!)
Assess Your Audience’s Needs
There are often pre-written product descriptions that the distributor has added to products. These absolutely should not be kept because they don’t account for your business’s individual needs. They’re not only generic, but they’re the same as every other site’s content. You don’t want your product descriptions to be a duplicate of other ecommerce shops’.
This means constructing your own product descriptions.
Before you can choose methods for constructing effective product descriptions, it’s important to assess the individual needs of your business. The first way that you’ll want to do this is to assess the best features of your current product page as well as areas for improvement. You’ll want to make sure that it loads quickly, has an easy navigation system, and overall provides a positive user experience.
Once you either identify that you’re all good or note what must be changed, you’ll want to download a profitability report for your ecommerce shop. This will help you to see:
- What products are being sold at the highest rate
- Which products are selling poorly
- Which products have the highest rate of being purchased after a potential buyer clicks on them
- What pages within your website get the most traffic
- What percentage of visitors make purchases
- What percentage of visitors sign up for your email list
This lets you analyze what products have appealing descriptions that lead to sales. You can use the strategies that you identify to amp up product descriptions of other, less successful products.
You can also look into what pages do the best job of engaging visitors by assessing how long they stay on the page. This allows you to update other pages using the strategies that are working best for your business.
Once you know which product descriptions need revamping (and what form these updates should take), it’s time to take a look at individual product descriptions. If you’re a new ecommerce shop, you’ll need to start from scratch while following these tips. If your shop already is live, you can incorporate them into your pre-existing framework.
In addition to individual product descriptions, you’ll need to make sure that your overall product page is up to par. Here, we’re going to discuss some of the aspects of a consumer-friendly product page.
This page’s primary purpose is to host your product descriptions and supplement them with more information about your business. As a result, the full page is a key part of making your descriptions well-rounded. At the same time you need to consider SEO best practices as you develop your product descriptions, optimizing towards the page target keywords and including unique content.
Read on to learn how to make your individual product descriptions user-friendly and highly engaging!
Tips to Improve Your Product Descriptions
1. Make It Easy-to-Read…
In order for your product descriptions to engage viewers, they need to be easy to read. Since the average person gets distracted within 8 seconds of clicking on a page, you’ll need to give them something that grabs their attention within that span. This means using short and easily comprehensible sentences.
If you use paragraphs that are too long, people are also likely to click away from your site. They’re there to browse and shop, after all, not to read a textbook! 3-5 sentences is the ideal paragraph length.
Short and simple sentences are great, as are small paragraphs. However, when you can get away with a bulleted list, this is definitely the way to go.
2. …But Provide Detailed Information
Your page needs to be easy to read and pay attention to, but this shouldn’t be at the expense of detailed information. You need to incorporate many aspects of your product into these descriptions, including:
- The dimensions of the box that the product will be shipped in
- The dimensions of the product itself
- The shipping cost
- The size of the item (especially important for apparel)
- The colors that the buyer can choose to get the product in
- The unique features of the product (accents, special functions, etc.)
- Why the product is a better buy than comparable items from other brands (possibly)
Don’t skimp out on any of this information when writing your product descriptions. Keep the answers to these questions short and sweet, but make sure to include everything. Listing them in the form of bullet points is a great idea, but if you need to talk about one of these points using multiple sentences, a little paragraph will work just fine.
A practical approach for technical products is to split the information in multiple sections, Circupool.com a saltwater pool supplies website uses tabs to keep the common questions and specifications separate from the product description.
Pricing and Shipping Information
Each product photo should include information on pricing and shipping. Since your items will have different prices from the rest of your inventory, it’s pretty obvious that this needs to be part of each description.
However, many retailers are tempted to simply slap shipping information onto the bottom of their website. Don’t do this! People won’t see it in many cases. They’ll be blindsided when they need to pay more for shipping or their product doesn’t arrive as quickly as they assumed. Putting it in the description ensures that there will be no surprises.
The blank shirts wholesaler, AllDayShirts.com, displays clear pricing options to communicate to shoppers the bulk discounts offered and the shipping costs.
3. Include Product Photos With Product Descriptions
The product photos that go along with your descriptions are arguably more critical to success than the text itself. But what makes images so important to a product page?
Here are some statistics to get you thinking!
- Images and photographs get 650% more engagement online than other types of posts
- Facebook posts with images attached earned 87% of all business engagements
- 81% of people only skim the text that they look at online (but would look more closely at an image)
Clearly, product photos are needed to pack a punch. They’re also essential because they let the consumer see what they’re buying. If they were shopping at a brick-and-mortar store, consumers would make the decision of whether to buy a product based on its appearance. Give them that same opportunity when shopping on your website. Make sure that you have pictures taken from all product angles so that you give buyers a clearer picture of what they can purchase.
In fact, you should be structuring your product descriptions around the product photos that you have professionally taken. The text is meant to supplement the impression formed by the images, not the other way around.
4. The Importance of Reviews and Testimonials
The main page that displays all your products should include some reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers. Since 93% of consumers decide whether or not to invest in a product based on reviews, you’ll need to make sure that these testimonials are prominently displayed on the site.
There are a couple of ways that you can do this. First, you can simply dedicate a corner of your page to these testimonials. You’ll want to include pictures with each one, however, so that the viewer takes the time to look at them.
However, the human eye is drawn to movement, and you can use this to your advantage. Consider creating a carousel banner that displays 5 to 10 testimonials in a rotating sequence. The movement from the corner or top header of the page is sure to capture the attention of the consumer and make them interested in what other customers had to say.
5. Incorporate or Link to Video Content
Speaking of the importance of movement in grabbing attention, did you know that 73% of potential customers are more likely to buy something after seeing a video about the product?
Well, it’s true!
There are three basic kinds of videos that you may be interested in:
- Explainer videos/testimonials, which feature a person talking about the product(s) and how they love them
- Animations, in which animated characters and text convey data in a fun and visually-appealing way
- Live-action skits, where actors tell a story about your product in the format of a commercial
You can link showcase video content on the product page. This is a great way to capture people’s attention. However, you also can link individual product descriptions for some of your most popular/new products to videos about that specific item.
Grow Your Ecommerce Business
Now that you know some of the most important elements of creating product descriptions that help to draw in your audience, it’s time to get started.
Whether you’re starting a new ecommerce business or a pre-existing ecommerce shop looking to expand, these actionable tips can help you achieve your objectives.
Author: Jimmy Rodriguez
COO & Co-founder of 3dcart, a leading shopping cart software. As an ecommerce authority, he’s focused on helping internet retailers succeed online by developing strategies, actionable plans and customer experiences that grow and improve performance.