Struggling to create compelling product descriptions that sell?
Here are my easy tips.
You have probably heard of the saying “sing for your supper”. Ever wonder where that expression came from? This metaphor originated in the 1600s in Europe and it referred to wandering musicians who earned their food by performing in taverns. In modern terms it means “to work for your pay or reward”.
What does this have to do with product descriptions? You may ask. When it comes to selling your product online, you have only 7 seconds to make an impression on your buyer before they decide whether they should buy from you or not. That’s not a lot of time, obviously. So you have to impress from the get go.
In order for you to attract your buyer and entice them to buy, your product descriptions have to sing. They have to grab from the first sentence to the last. Yes, make that product description work its butt off!
How do you do that? Here are my tips.
Decide on your target shopper
This is foundational and sets the tone for everything. The key word here is “target”. You need a focal point. If you don’t have anything to focus on, you won’t hit the target (well, duh).
If you’ve ever made out like Katniss Everdeen and tried archery, you’ll know how important a focal point is. Otherwise your arrow will go all over the place or worse, hit someone and injure them.
You need to have a target shopper in mind, or your arrow (product description) will miss the mark and worse, hurt your conversion rate.
When you understand who you’re selling to, you’ll understand what they might be looking for in a particular product. For example, if your product is a laptop you’ll know the buyer is someone who is tech savvy and who has an understanding of a laptop’s specifications. In that case, your product description will detail only the technical information.
This is different if you’re selling jewellery to a fashion forward twenty-something, in which case your product description will go a little more into what statement she’ll be making with that piece of jewellery.
Figure out what problem you’re trying to solve or what desire you’re trying to fulfil
Once you know who exactly your buyer is, you will be in a better position to know their pain points or desires. The key to a headline that grabs is putting these pain points or desires in the actual headline.
In the example above, the headline you might want to put on a laptop may be something that mentions the brand name, laptop size, memory size, central processing unit, and colour. Whereas the headline for a piece of jewellery might be “contemporary pieces to make you stand out from the crowd”.
Figure out the why
I may be showing my age here, but do you remember the Michael Jackson song “Human Nature” (from the Thriller album – the best-selling album of all time)? A key part of the chorus goes:
If they say why, why?
Tell them that it’s human nature.
If you want your product description to sing, keep this song (specifically the chorus) in your mind.
Michael Jackson was onto something here. Because people need a reason. It’s Human Nature. Why should they buy your product if there are so many similar ones out there? Why now? What’s in it for them?
Once you’ve figured out the problem you’re trying to solve or the desire you’re trying to meet and have included these in the headline, tell the customer more about what’s in it for them.
For example, don’t just tell them the ingredients in your perfume, tell the customer that the clean, fresh scent will make them feel like they’re walking by the beach with the wind whipping in their hair on a balmy summer’s day.
In other words, describe it’s benefits rather than its features. Tell the customer what it does, rather than what it is.
Appeal to the senses
Don’t just include vague descriptions of the product or generic photos. Appeal to the senses.
You already know that we have 5 senses: sight, smell, sound, taste and touch. Include words or pictures that appeal to the senses. For example:
Sight – have you included compelling photos? Don’t just include a beautiful flat lay of the fresh ingredients in your all-natural moisturiser, but include a photo of a woman with glowing skin.
Smell – mentioning scent in a product description doesn’t just apply to aromatic products. You may already know that our sense of smell is powerfully connected to memory and emotions. So try to evoke powerful emotions in your customer by describing your product with a few well-placed “scent-sory” words.
Sound – if you’re selling speakers or toys that make certain sounds, then it makes sense to include sound quality and what sounds it makes.
Taste – you don’t need to be selling edible products to include “taste” words in your product description. Just like smell, taste can also evoke powerful, nostalgic emotions. So instead of describing a perfume’s scent as fresh, describe it as “zesty” instead to bring to mind fresh lemonade on a hot summer’s day.
Touch – make use of texture words to encourage your potential buyer to imagine holding the product in their hand. Research shows that when we can hold a product in our hand, it increases our desire for it.
Bonus points if you can include the sixth sense – intuition – in your product description!
Keywords are essential in product descriptions so that your potential customers will find you on Google. 93% of business decisions start with a web query. If you translate that statistic to the Australian population, it means that more than 23 million people are turning to Google before they purchase something!
You absolutely need to have keywords if you want millions of potential customers to find your product.
So instead of describing your beautiful crystal as a “citrine pendant”, why not call it “citrine lucky pendant” as chances are the customer looking for that particular product is looking to get lucky (I don’t mean that in a sexy way).
Describe the benefits not the features
Tell the customer what your product does, rather than what it is. In other words, instead of answering the “what” question, answer the “why” question. Of course, some products will need to have a lengthy description of its features (for example, laptops and specialist skincare), and if that’s the case, I recommend having these specifics on a separate tab within the product description, or as an end paragraph of a product description.
The focal point of your product description must be the benefit – the why – rather than the what. Because if you have a picture of the product alongside it (and you absolutely must) the picture already depicts the features for your customer. Specifications such as size, measurements, colour are best listed at the end.
Make it scannable
Product descriptions should be short and easy to digest. Skim reading is the norm now, as 54.8% of global website traffic is from a mobile device. That means that your product description should be easily scannable with:
- Sub headings
- Bullet points and scannable lists
- Plenty of white space
- Keywords that grab attention
- Short sentences and paragraphs
Leverage social proof
Did you know that 91% of shoppers look at reviews before deciding to purchase? Leverage the power of social proof by including testimonials on your product page. Even something as simple as a form for a customer to fill in how many stars out of 5 they give your product, is a powerful visual you can use on the product page to entice more customers to buy.
Need help with product descriptions? Contact me and let’s make your product descriptions work their butts off.