How do I enliven product descriptions in an online store?

Do you spend hours creating thousands of similar descriptions and try to stuff them with keywords by any means? If so, that means that you have become a slave of Google - instead of creating content for people, you write impersonal and boring descriptions.

However, the essence of sales lies in providing excellent descriptions. Customers who buy online need much more information than customers who can try out the product in person. In addition, they require a more sophisticated shopping experience, which is more easily provided in traditional stores. That's why we are presenting a few tips on how to enliven your product descriptions.

Get to the point

Descriptions on websites often include a large number of exaggerated words and descriptions, for example: ''a world-class leading company" or "excellent innovative solutions". Such words are so common that they do not evoke strong emotions, nor do they produce any significant effect. Moreover, the majority of customers immediately recognise these words as advertisements, and not as substantive content. As a result, customers ignore such texts and are unwilling to buy anything.

Texts published on websites should provide interesting and relevant information that is useful to customers. You should focus on facts, and use numbers if necessary. Present them as numerals (7) and try to avoid spelling them out (seven), because digits attract more attention.

Example of a sentence that brings nothing relevant:
"Innovative office chairs from the world-class manufacturer'"

Suggested change:
"Office chairs with an ergonomic backrest that perfectly fit the shape of the spine. They remain fully effective for about 100,000 cycles."

Enough is enough

Adjectives are useful for describing the appearance of a product, its features and advantages, but you need to use them with moderation. Too many adjectives may discourage your customer from reading further.

Example:
"These special pink wellingtons have a unique and modern design and are perfect for rainy cold days."

Such a description is bad not only because it unnecessarily describes obvious things (the colour is visible in the picture and rainy days are usually cold), but it also slows down reading and does not provide any clear information. We would recommend the following description:

"Stylish wellingtons perfect for any rainy day."

Remember 3 things when using adjectives:

  • Use only one adjective before a noun.
  • Do not use adjectives to emphasize the obvious If your product is presented in several pictures, do not use an elaborated description about its appearance or colour.
  • Use words that express emotion. Words such as "good", "nice" or "innovative" are cliché and wishy-washy. Try "delightful", "brilliant" or "appealing" instead.

Nonsense

If you go to a doctor, you expect them to be professional and careful in every aspect. You would not put your trust in a doctor who examines their patients in an ugly and messy office. Even though online stores and healthcare are two completely different things, the idea is the same. Typos, incomprehensible sentences and spelling mistakes indicate that a store is not professional and will discourage customers from shopping there. No one would like to spend their money at a store that is discouraging from the very beginning.

You can verify your text on your own several times. But please note that when you reread a given passage over and over again, you may overlook an error. The more obvious the error, the more likely that your brain will play a trick on you. Ask your family member or a friend to check the text for you. You will get the best results if you choose a person who is a potential product user at the same time. This will bring you valuable feedback on whether your text is interesting from your target group's point of view.

Too many features, too few advantages

Online stores often focus too much on nothing but product features. You need to be aware that customers are interested mainly in the specific advantages a product brings.

A product feature describes factual information about your product. An advantage shows what the customer will gain. Therefore, you need to focus on advantages and point out what a customer will gain from a specific product feature.

Instead of describing the great quality of a T-shirt, write the following:
"100% cotton T-shirt with a screen-printed pattern will last every laundry cycle."

Before you start describing your products, make a list of all product features and enumerate the benefits they bring to your customers. Apart from providing product characteristics, you will clearly show your customers the advantages they will derive from buying your product. As a result, you will directly motivate your customers to buy it.

Proof

One of the disadvantages of online sales in the fact that a customer is not able to personally see, touch or test a product. This is unfavourable, especially for online stores that offer unique products unavailable in traditional stores. Therefore, characteristics alone may not be enough.

Customers need facts that will back up phrases such as "resistant", "proven", "excellent", "the best on the market", etc. When you create a product description, think about how you can back up product features that are listed. For example, if you describe a product as "efficient washing powder", present evidence that will back it up: "Sufficient for 100 laundry cycles."

To back up product features, list all certificates, awards and media mentions for your company or products. This will show your customers that your products are trustworthy. Maybe you have had a specific product described in media? Or perhaps your online store was previously nominated as one of the best? Present all your achievements on your website and add logos of the media outlets that mentioned you.

Writing for everybody means writing for nobody

You need to be aware that not everybody will be interested in buying your product. Each retailer aims his products at a particular target group with specific features. Depending on the industry and product type, the target group can be broad or narrow. For example, Sporti.pl sells sports equipment to various types of sportsmen, such as cyclists, tennis players, runners, etc., while Febro aims its offer only at people who ride horses. As a result, the product descriptions and communications of these two stores will be completely different.

When you describe products, you need to thoroughly analyse your target group and learn about its habits and interests. Target groups are usually selected based on socio-demographic features such as sex, age, education, income, place of residence, etc. Another criterion involves psycho-demographic aspect that applies to lifestyle (pet owners, sportsmen, hipsters, etc.).

You need to have a picture of your customer in your mind. Think about their typical day, appearance, behaviour, personality and lifestyle. This will help you adjust the context to the content you want to express.

Pan Tu Nie Stał is a store aimed at the generation of young people who want to express their personality with clothes and support young Polish designers. Thus, product descriptions are informal, funny and emphasise that the items come from Poland.

Behind the scenes

Today's customer expects you to connect with them. You do not have to make a personal phone call. Making your customer feel casual and welcomed in your store is enough.

Customers increasingly buy things only in order to identify themselves with a given brand and the values it represents. This is especially true of young people. Remember to show the "human side" of your company when writing your texts. Make your customer interested in your company story and explain where the idea for the 
business came from. The story you create will show your customer that your products are unique and encourage them to buy them.

A good place to describe yourself, your company and your team is the About us tab. See an example from the Laselection store.

"It all began when I met my husband. He said, 'You smell nice.' I was so happy. It did not surprise me because I was wearing my favourite perfume, to which I had remained loyal for years! You can imagine how awkwardly I felt when he added: But I know that scent...

It was a turning point in my life. I understood that "nice" does not equal "special". Having this in mind, I set up the Laselection perfumery. It is a place for people who can find their own unique style in a crowd and emphasize their exceptional personality." - said Tatiana Grabowska, Laselection perfumery owner.

When you create your About Us section, you can reveal some of your secrets and, for example, add pictures of your studio or show the process of manufacturing your products. This will get your customers' interest and gain their trust, which is very important - especially if you want to attract new customers.

An example of an interesting film can be found at http://pantuniestal.com/video-promo/

Following the crowd

In recent years, uneducated and unorganised shoppers have developed into more conscious customers. More and more customers make their decisions based on the expertise and opinions of other people gathered from various sources.

According to Nielsen, a global research company, as many as 90% of interviewees admit that the opinion of their relatives is the key factor when opting for products. Moreover, the Ceneo "Trusted Reviews 2012" report indicates that 70% of customers rely on other users' opinions.

Use the power of recommendations and provide Like buttons next to each product. Allow your customers to add comments about your store and products. Remember that customers, especially the undecided ones who are buying at your store for the first time, appreciate the quality of the comments posted next to products. Reliable, positive reviews often convince customers to opt for a given online store.

Customers want to do their shopping in safe places or, in other words, places that are recommended by other users. They will require some evidence that the the products they are buying are indeed useful. If you enable your customers to add photos of their purchased products to their reviews, you will make what you have on offer and your store's image even stronger. Moreover, you will build a community around your brand. The social aspect is incredibly important!

Presenting a picture which shows product usage has an additional advantage. Sometimes customers are reluctant to buy a given product and they ask themselves, "What do I need this for?" Think about it - customers usually do not actually want to buy hammers - what they want is to hammer nails. If you show your customer what they can do with your proverbial hammer, you will give them a solution to their problem. For instance, Restyle.pl offers long black gloves. If there is only a picture of the gloves provided, a customer might not get interested in buying them. However, if you present the same gloves in use, for example as an accessory to a black evening gown, the customer might find it very inspiring. Especially if the pictures are taken by the customers themselves...

Education

Customers appreciate hints and educational materials provided by the stores they shop in. They like the fact that stores share useful materials which are helpful when using newly purchased products.

Educate your customers. Answer their questions and solve their problems. Do you run a clothes shop or a shoe shop? Enclose instructions . For example, Czasnabuty.pl encloses a handful of hints, such as how to measure the length of your foot on your own.