Why You Should Update Your Product Descriptions
The best product descriptions address three aspects: They invite, illustrate, and inform while telling a coherent story.
The primary purpose of an online store is to sell products to customers.
That is easier said than done.
First, prospective customers need to discover your online store; second, they need to like what it offers; third, they need to decide to buy a product; and fourth, you want them to return for more.
For this article, let's focus on the second point — they like what your online store offers.
You can do many things to make your online store more appealing to prospective clients. Here are a few articles with some suggestions:
As this article is about product descriptions, let’s look at what they should include so you can sell more.
Product Descriptions Sell
Product descriptions are a valuable, albeit underrated, tool for selling your products. The biggest mistake online store owners can make when writing product descriptions is limiting them to providing only factual information about the product, such as dimensions, weight, colors, ingredients, and type of fabric. As a result, they miss a crucial opportunity to build an emotional bond with visitors at a critical moment in their search when they show interest in the product and try to learn as much as possible about it.
In my experience, the best product descriptions are those that address three aspects — I call them the three "I"s:
Invite. Stunning product photos are often the only tool store owners use to invite shoppers to buy their products. While gorgeous images can be very appealing and alluring, they alone cannot always tell your story and make an emotional connection with your visitors. But words can. When you write an enticing product description, make sure you touch on the most distinctive product aspects, those that set your product apart.
Illustrate. Show your product in action. But not in a sterile, impersonal environment. Instead, demonstrate your product in a real-life situation. Context is essential to building a bond because some visitors may have experienced similar circumstances or at least can imagine encountering them in the future. Explain how your product performs in these situations and how it makes them better. Give tips and tricks. Add short videos to your product either as links or as part of your product photos.
Inform. That's the product description section you are probably most familiar with. It includes dimensions, weight, assembly instructions, and connectors — all the helpful, fact-based information about the product that a potential buyer might want to know. However, don't limit the content of this section to facilitate a customer's purchase decision. Include other helpful information, for example, about maintaining the product or the best configuration. That way, customers have a reason to come back to your site.
Unbiased Product Reviews Can Build Trust
Honest, unbiased customer reviews can be a powerful and valuable tool to build trust in your products and brand.
However, you need a steady stream of reviews to have the greatest impact. And a few of those reviews should be recent. A single customer review from a few years ago won't be as convincing as last week's. Unfortunately, due to the size of their company and the number of sales transactions, small businesses can sometimes only get a few customer reviews for each product, if they are lucky. Often they get none.
In these cases, I recommend disabling the comment section and focusing on creating product descriptions that invite, illustrate, and inform.
The Best Product Descriptions Tell a Coherent Story
Small businesses have one significant advantage over large companies. Their number of products is usually in the low hundreds and not in the hundreds of thousands. That allows them to develop a common theme across all of their products, a coherent story.
Adding use cases to each product or a guide when a customer with a higher experience level might want to select a product with additional features can go a long way. No big box retailer would do that, not for hundreds of thousands or millions of items. But small businesses can — you can.
Writing product descriptions that align with your cause and tell a coherent story is an excellent opportunity to stand out.
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