- By: Ricky Hayes July 24, 2020
How To Write Great Ecommerce Product Descriptions That Sell
Getting a potential customer to visit your Shopify store and browse your product pages is one thing, but convincing them to click the “add to cart” button is a struggle of its own. This is why you need effective product descriptions to achieve any considerable success in the ecommerce industry.
However, the terminology shouldn’t mislead you into thinking that the purpose of a product description is to describe the product. The words you use in your product description copy shouldn’t just describe, but should qualify and persuade. Product descriptions are basically your in-store salesperson.
The best product descriptions talk about the customer’s ability, and showcase the product as a supporting character that helps them unlock the greatness they have inside them.
The 5 Ws of a great ecommerce product description
Just like the classic writing composition lesson from your high school English class, effective ecommerce product descriptions need to address the following key questions:
- Who is this product for? (What’s their demographic? What are their interests/desires?)
- What are the details of the product and what sets it apart? (What unique features/benefits?)
- Where would someone use this product? (Indoors? Outdoors? Specific places?)
- When would a potential customer use your product? (What time of day? which season?)
- Why would someone buy it? (How does it make their lives better? What problem does it solve?)
Beyond these 5Ws, there’s also an important “H” to consider, especially for new gadgets/devices:
· How does your product work? (How exactly should customers go about using it?)
However, despite the incredible power they have, good product descriptions can be difficult to write. Here are steps you can follow to put together the most compelling product copy for your Shopify store:
1. Know your target audience
You need to understand your ideal customer – what language they use, what probem(s) they face, and how your product will help this ideal customer overcome their problem(s).
Once you understand this, you then need to speak directly to this kind of person without worrying about the rest. Keep in mind that if you try to sell to everyone, you are likely to end up selling to nobody.
Use these questions to develop buyer personas that can guide you in writing your product descriptions:
- Who (in terms of age, gender, income, etc.) has the most need for this product?
- What words or phrases would they use to tell a friend about this product?
- What problem(s)/desire(s) will this product solve/fulfill for them?
- What objections are they likely to have against buying this product?
- Why should they buy this product from me instead of a competitor?
Choose a specific persona for each product description and make sure to keep it front and center when writing the copy. Know who stands to benefit the most from that particular product, then speak to that particular person directly without worry about any other buyer personas that you may have identified.
2. Know yourself as a brand
Even though each product should be targeted at a specific buyer persona, as explained above, you should make sure to remain true to your brand voice and brand image in every product description.
Here are some questions to help you figure out a brand voice for your Shopify store:
- What values/ideals does your business uphold/believe in?
- What is your business persona? Laid back or serious?
- What sets you part from the competition?
Questions like these help you stay true to the mindset and voice of your business while writing your product description. Once you know your brand voice you can find that delicate balance between adopting a tone that speaks directly to your target persona and maintain brand consistency.
3. Highlight solutions on top of features
Keep in mind that your target audience is more interested in what they can achieve with your product than the specific details of the product. Raw features and specifications are necessary to include for the sake of providing full product information, but great product descriptions should focus on highlighting how exactly the product with solve the potential customer’s problems.
You should start off by applauding the aspirations of your prospective customers, highlighting (and magnifying) their problem and then help them visualize what they can achieve with your product. Make them feel like the product is already theirs by describing how their five senses will feel using it.
4. Write as if the prospect is right there in front of you
Great product descriptions make the potential customer feel they are being spoken to in-person. Despite the detached nature of the commerce business, with the right product descriptions, your prospects can feel like they are in a physical store with a real-life salesperson.
Here’s a list of tips for writing product descriptions that have this persuasive, in-person energy and can make that crucial emotional connection with your target audience:
· Use the second person “you” to speak directly to them
· Use simple vocabulary, avoid industry jargon and clichés
· Keep your sentences short and straight to the point
· Empathize and validate with the problem(s) they are facing
· Congratulate them on finding your product
· Emphasize how your product will solve it for them
· Highlight how they will feel after using your product
5. Words to avoid in your product descriptions
As you edit the product copy for your Shopify store, you should make sure to weed out certain words that convey the wrong message to potential customers. These generally come in two type:
· words that show lazy writing such as actually, literally, honestly, very, kind of, maybe
· words that invoke hyperbole such as market-leading, breakthrough, ultimate, revolutionary
You should also avoid using duplicate copy – never copy a manufacturer’s product description. Use a plagiarism tool such as Copyscape or Grammarly to make sure that you’re not using copy from another website, or even repeating yourself with copy that already exists on your current product pages
6. Make it easy to scan
When browsing through your Shopify store, very few potential customers are interested in reading everything on the page – they just want to get the general gist of it and make a decision. in fact, it has been found that only 16% of people actually read every word on a web page.
Therefore your product descriptions need to be able to make the most of whatever attention they get by being super scannable. A prospect should be able to find the exact information they need to make their decision without having to waste time sifting through the whole product description.
You can make your product descriptions much easier to scan by including bullet points, white space, subheadings, different font sizes and by using short paragraphs made up of just a few sentences each.
7. Optimize for search engines
Search engine optimization (SEO) is absolutely crucial to the performance of your Shopify store because search engines are still the most effective drivers of website traffic on the internet.
With keyword research tools such Google keyword Planner and KeywordTool.io, you can quickly learn which keywords your target audience is using to find products similar to those in your Shopify store.
The next step is to seed these keywords (naturally, without overstuffing) throughout your product descriptions – in the product titles, page titles, meta descriptions, image tags and body copy.
8. Use great images and videos
Although product description writing focuses on text, you must still have quality images to go with it. High-quality photos showcase all of the key features about your product and also help the prospective customer easily imagine what it will be like using this product in their day-to-day life.
Another great way to compliment the text of your product description is by using high-quality product page videos. A study conducted by LiveClicker found that 88% of surveyed ecommerce business owners saw an increase in conversions with the implementation of product page videos.
Whether you use images, videos, or both, the key is to make sure that they are of a very high quality to build trust and that the product is presented in the best light possible. They should show both the unique features that it has to offer and what it actually looks like when being used by someone.
Your ecommerce product descriptions should focus more how the product will improve your customer’s life than their actual specs. At the end of the day, people buy products to solve problems not to tick off specific features. Also remember that you should always be implementing A/B testing for alternative versions of your descriptions in order to keep your Shopify store up to date with your target audience.