How to Go Above and Beyond with Your Product Descriptions
A lot of money is up for grabs in the $2.8-trillion-and-growing global e-commerce industry. However, succeeding in e-commerce requires success on multiple fronts. E-commerce is complicated. From uncovering profitable customer acquisition channels to developing a streamlined, secure checkout process and laying out user-friendly navigation, stores don’t luck themselves into success.
But while most stores want to generate more traffic and offer convenient shopping experiences, many online stores go through the motions and supply shoppers with inadequate, uninspired product information.
Let’s look at how to go above and beyond with your product descriptions.
Avoid the Default or Manufacturer’s Descriptions
Did you know that 20 percent of purchase failures potentially result from missing or unclear product information? Losing one-fifth of your sales because you didn’t put forth enough effort certainly stings.
But on top of lost conversions, copying the standard manufacturer description also jeopardizes your site for duplicate content. If you’re selling on multiple marketplaces in addition to your store, resist the urge to copy and paste your product descriptions. Instead, think about how each marketplace and subsequent customer base varies, and experiment with the copy you think will resonate with each platform’s users.
For example, a store that sells electronics would benefit by focusing their product descriptions on use cases and selling “an experience” along with detail product specifications — whereas if that same store sells their products on eBay and Amazon, and especially international e-hubs like JD.com and Flipkart, then the descriptions should center on important product details.
Target Relevant Keywords
When you’re planning how to create your product pages, there will be a few obvious keywords to target right away, like the brand name, product model and specification. But don’t move on thinking you’ve covered your bases. Further digging will likely yield several more targeting opportunities, especially for category and sub-category pages.
Create a spreadsheet listing all your product pages with a keyword-bucket column next to each. This may feel like a big waste of time, but when your product pages rank for more keywords and bring in more organic traffic than your competitors, you’ll be happy you did so.
Leverage Social Proof
You can showcase social proof in various ways — such as a quote about a product from a celebrity or a review from a well-known publication — but the most cost-effective way is to highlight your customers is through product reviews. Setup an automated email that’s sent to customers post-purchase. Allow a reasonable amount of time to pass so they have a chance to use the product. But don’t want to wait too long; otherwise, the purchase won’t be as fresh in the customer’s mind and they’ll be more likely to gloss over your email.
If you’re having trouble getting customer reviews, you can experiment by including a discount code in the email to see if that ups engagement. However, keep in mind that this isn’t necessarily a best practice, and if it proves to be highly effective, you might be stuck giving discounts to get reviews. Don’t limit customers to text-based reviews, either. Allowing customers to submit video reviews and answer user FAQs are lower barriers to entry for many people versus sitting down to type out their experience.
Keep to a Format
Shoppers want detailed product pages, but they don’t want to be overwhelmed. This is why it’s important to be organized in your madness. You should be detailed and enticing in your descriptions, reviews, pictures, etc., but not at the expense of the organization. Develop a product page template for all your pages so shoppers will naturally get used to where certain types of info should be located. According to the e-commerce platform provider Shopify, displaying product descriptions with a clear, scannable design makes them easier to read and more appealing to potential customers.
You might want to start with three-to-five bullet points that give a high-level overview of the products benefits and use cases. Then comes your primary product description, which should contain a compelling and informative copy. It’s also a good idea to have a clickable index that can take shoppers directly to customer reviews or FAQs on the page without having to scroll.
Incorporate Multimedia Product Info
The online customer experience bar is being raised each day by the likes of Amazon and countless ingenious e-commerce brands. And with augmented reality already offered by top retailers like Nike and Sephora, a product page comprised of text and a few images won’t get e-commerce stores very far.
Your product pages should include multiple angles of your products in a high-resolution format. Your lighting needs to portray the product accurately while the image composition highlights products’ various details and features. Round out your product media with a high-level video of your product. If you sell clothes, the video could show the garment close up, and then zoomed out on a person. The video could describe any product need-to-knows, such as what it’s made of, how to clean, where the product is made, as well as complementary info, like the product’s backstory or origination. The information in your product videos doesn’t have to be completely unique. Rather, you can use the video as a more engaging way to communicate the text-based product information and demonstrate how the product works or looks in action.
Use Structured Data
Wouldn’t it be great if your product pages showed up in a Google Knowledge Box or your product listings displayed additional information like price, availability, reviews, images and product dimensions? Using structured data via Schema.org, you can! Powered by technologies like microdata, RDFa and JSON-LD, the types of information you can include with structured data is quite endless. See all the schema types you can add, and don’t forget to stay abreast of pending schemas as they arise.
With potentially thousands of pages to create, it’s definitely tempting to cut corners with product pages. The reality though is that by presenting unclear, sparse or copied product info on your site, your bounce rate will increase while your organic rankings and your conversion rate will plummet. You’ll be wishing you had just gone above and beyond with your product descriptions the first time around. Well, now you can’t say you weren’t warned.