5 Tips for Writing Product Descriptions that Convert

Product descriptions — those little paragraphs and bullet lists that tell your customers about a product — are incredibly important. How important?

Consider this: eCommerce giant Overstock.com saw an organic traffic increase of 84% when they hired writers for Product Descriptions Writing and to fill their product pages with great content. Moreover, 87% of customers say product descriptions are very important or extremely important in their decision to buy. In fact, for product categories like clothing and grocery items, product descriptions ranked second to price in terms of buying influence. Millennials are particularly fond of great product content: they're 40% more likely than other adults to rank product descriptions as extremely important in their purchasing decisions.

Obviously, having more original content on your site differentiates you from competitors and boosts your rankings on search engines as well. It's clear, then, that product descriptions matter. So, the question is, how do you write ones that will turn your casual browsers into buyers? Here's EnableVue's 5-step process to get you started:

  1. Speak Your Customer's Language

Before you put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, ask yourself some questions about your audience. What demographic visits your site the most? What are they concerned about? Who is this product for? What need does it meet and what void does it fill? Answering these questions will help you decide which content to include and what to leave out. When you understand your audience well, you'll also know what tone is appropriate. Witty or wacky might appeal to a certain set of customers, but it could potentially be a turn off to others.

Consider this product description for a Star Wars-themed Bedding Set from ThinkGeek:"Some of the nicest people we know just aren't morning people. They're basically morning Sith. They can be great humanitarians and the best shoulder to cry on, but if you catch them before 10 a.m.? You'll be sorry. To those perky people who insist that mornings are the best time of the day, we'd like to say one thing: if you'd approached me slowly and with coffee, I wouldn't have had to Force Choke you.

"ThinkGeek can afford to be quirky and humorous because they know their audience responds to a bit of snark. It's in keeping with their brand's personality.Now, let's look at an example from AutoZone:"Duralast brake pads are designed to provide reliable performance for the everyday driver. They use platform-specific friction materials with both Organic and Semi-Metallic formulations. If you are experiencing longer stopping distances or if your brakes are squealing, Duralast Pads are a good replacement choice for you."AutoZone's customers don't want to hear jokes about their auto parts. They want the dry facts. This may seem like an obvious distinction, but many online retailers get this wrong and miss out on potential conversions.

  1. Get Right to the Point

Researchers at NNGroup found that shoppers typically skim text and are more likely to read the beginning of a sentence or paragraph than the end. The same researchers also found that people typically read about 16% off the content on an average web page.What can we learn from this? When writing your product descriptions, get to the product information as quickly as possible and don't add unnecessary or irrelevant words. Grab their attention as quickly as possible, either with relevant product information or truly creative, engaging writing. If your shoppers have to dig through an unwieldy block of text to find basic information about the product, they're going to give up in frustration.

This Facial Cleansing Brush System from Olay clocks in at over 1,000 words and much of it is repetition (click the link to see it in all its glory). They define microdermabrasion 700 words in and tell you the product brightens your skin a whopping seven times. Here is a small sample:"Exfoliation is a critical step for revealing brighter, more radiant skin. The ProX by Olay Microdermabrasion Plus Advanced Cleansing System delivers proven results by helping exfoliate for visibly improved texture after two uses. Use the microdermabrasion setting up to twice a week with the Microdermabrasion Foam Head and self-warming Thermal Crystal Polisher that exfoliates 700% better than our scrub alone for visibly brighter, more even skin tone.

The system offers so much more than Microdermabrasion. It can also be used for daily cleansing with the Exfoliating Renewal Cleanser and soft bristle head. Each rotation provides gentle exfoliation with cleansing that’s better than basic cleansing on hard-to-remove makeup. The Facial Cleansing Brush deeply cleans and helps maximize the immediate hydrating effectiveness of your anti-aging moisturizer. With 3 speeds, you can control how the cleansing brush treats your skin for a customized facial care routine. Plus, it's water resistant, making it perfect for use in the shower. Your skin will feel silkier and smoother after five days of system use.

"While there's a lot of information here, shoppers won't be able to find it and are more likely to be irritated than educated.

Learn the Best Practices of Data Cleansing and Enrichment for Marketing Strategy

  1. Use (but Don't Overuse) Powerful Conversion Words

 Can a single word make the difference between a sale and a lost customer? You bet it can. Shoppers have instinctive reactions to words and there are some that have been proven time and again to convert. The five most powerful ones are: You, Because, Free, Instantly and New. Others, like Understand, Improve, Discover and Exclusive have great marketing ability. And, since we live in an age of digital sharing on social media, here are some of the most shareable words: Promote, Increase, Create, Secret, Tell Us, Take and Help.All of these words are backed by science but utilizing them properly is an art. Mashing them together in a paragraph isn't going to achieve much, yet placing them judiciously in your copy can help your customers move items to their carts.

  1. Tell a Story

To prove how much storytelling matters in eCommerce, the folks at Significant Object launched an interesting project. They took generally unwanted thrift store items and posted them on eBay, hiring professional writers to tell a story about the item's history. The items, purchased at an average price of $1.25, collectively netted close to $8,000 on the auction site.

When you write product descriptions, imagine your reader as the protagonist in a story. How will this item play a part in their story? Sometimes this could mean telling a literal story about the product, like this description from J. Peterman:

"You love this skirt.
He asks you why (even though he agrees).
You lift your Belgium Tee, revealing a sliver of your tan stomach as you show off this skirt's unique draped front, how it gathers effortlessly, how the silky fabric glides in the wind as you brush the hair from your eyes.He asks you again.

Humor him; he can't seem to focus."
In just 64 words, this description paints a provocative picture, it titillates, and speaks to customers' desires. But it also provides essential product details like the draped front and the silky fabric. Or, like this example from online clothing retailer ModCloth, sometimes it means hinting at a shopper's story and letting them imagine themselves in it:"You’re celebrating a successful year at your upstate lodge, and you look as gorgeous as the decorations on this navy blue dress! Crocheted ivory lace adorns the form-fitting silhouette of this cap-sleeved sheath, swirling with elegance like the venue's sparkling lights."

  1. Provide Enough Information

This one seems like a no-brainer. Your bullet points and product description should, at the minimum, include all the basics. And yet, you can go to major retailers' sites and find product descriptions that leave out important information.
As they browse, shoppers want specific details. What are the dimensions of this chair? Will this shirt shrink in the wash? What kind of embroidery is on these pants Of course, it's impossible to know every question a potential customer may have, but thinking ahead and anticipating some of the more common ones will lead to a higher conversion rate. Be sure to include things like materials, sizes, dimensions, weight, how it's used, why they want it and why it's used. You may also want to mention your shipping and return policies. Studies show that customers want to see those before they make any decision about a purchase.

Need Help With Your Product Descriptions Writing?
Product descriptions Writing that convert involves a lot of creativity, time, effort, planning and skill. EnableVue's team of experienced writers have delivered product descriptions both for major international chains and smaller, boutique eCommerce stores. You'll get product descriptions that are original, grammatically correct, well-researched and accurate. They will incorporate your personality, engage your shoppers, answer their questions and, ultimately, help turn them into buyers. Whether you have one hundred SKUs or 100,000, we handle it all, helping you grow and nurture your customer base without all the effort.

Contact us today to learn how EnableVue's team can help.