Product Descriptions that Sell

By Eva Alsis

How important are your product descriptions? According to a recent study from the E-tailing Group, they are crucial. In fact, 79% of internet customers said that they will rarely or never purchase a product without complete product information. Obviously this is a critical part of any ecommerce website. In addition, including informative, unique, keyword-rich text instead of the manufacturer’s description can also have immense search engine optimization value as well. Here are the most important parts of a product description that sells.

  • Written product description. We already mentioned that this text should be unique for SEO purposes (as many of your competitors are likely using the manufacturer’s description and creating a duplicate text issue), but there are other reasons to have well-written text. Your customers will be using this text to determine if they are going to buy, so it needs to be professionally written, enticing, and free of confusing industry jargon. If you find that space is an issue, write a concise description and offer more details below the fold. If you feel that you do not have adequate product information, push your suppliers and/or manufacturers to give you more details.
  • Photographs. People are visual animals, and we especially like to see what we are buying. Your photographs should be clear, enlargeable, and show every detail of the product you are selling. Don’t be afraid to include multiple views if your products demand it. We recently ran into this issue when buying denim at a large, well-known clothing website. The photograph simply showed the product from the front, when most people buying jeans are also interested in the way the rear view as well.
  • Video. More and more ecommerce websites are including video as part of their product descriptions, which makes this media a ‘must have’ for the competitive online business. Your video can include shots of the product in use, instructions for usage, or even a simple 360 degree view. Just make sure that the video is clear, professional in appearance, and shows the products in the best possible light.
  • Reviews. Offering product reviews is one way to woo customers. Why? Because they are more likely to accept a third party word over that of someone invested in the sale. If you are selling quality products, you have nothing to lose from this. There are many programs that will make product reviews a seamless addition to your product pages and allow you to incorporate this important element with little or no ongoing attention. You might get a few negative reviews—it is inevitable—but in most cases these are far outnumbered by positive ones.
  • Specifications. Your customers cannot pick up and examine your products before buying them, which is why you must include as many details as possible. Give the product size and dimensions, and be sure to include both English and metric units if you sell internationally. Show how the product is used and address compatibility issues. Use bullets to break up information and make it easy to scan. This will increase sales while decreasing returns, making an overall positive contribution to your bottom line.