At this time of year, virtually all e-commerce sites in the Western hemisphere and beyond are looking for ways to boost their sales with good product description copywriting in this most festively commercial of months. Some opt to increase their PPC advertising budgets, while others unleash a torrent of email marketing upon their would-be customers. But the fact is that these efforts may well be for nought if your site lacks an elementary yet often elusive element of effective e-commerce – good product descriptions.

Revamping your product descriptions then may well be a way of increasing conversion rates this Christmas, but they’ll continue to serve you well long after the last stale mince pie has been eaten by the dog.

Convincing customers to put their money where your mouth is

A picture may say a thousand words, but 50 words or so can also communicate a great deal. Alongside your clear and professionally taken product photographs, your textual descriptions are what really sell your products, and can make the difference between a sale and a seeya later.

Product descriptions can influence your customers in two key ways:

  • They can be a reflection of your brand, for bad or for worse
  • They can inform your customers, or they can frustrate them

In addition to these potent reasons for ensuring that your descriptions are top-drawer, they can also have a significant impact on your search engine optimisation efforts.

The bad

Before we talk about how to do good product description copywriting correctly, it’s worthwhile discussing the Dark Side of product descriptions; the lumbering Imperial Walkers of hyperbole and bad grammar crushing the furry Ewoks of truth and sincerity beneath their metal feet like… you get the idea.

Content copied from other sites or simply lifted from the manufacturer’s description won’t do you any favours in terms of SEO (duplicate content issues) and it may also look lazy to your customers. More importantly, it won’t communicate any of your brand’s personality or distinguish you from the competition.

You can also file copywriting content with mistakes of any kind, those masquerading as essays and pretty much anything with exclamation points under bad e-commerce kung-fu.

The good

So what makes a good product description? Well it should be all of the following:

  • Concise
  • Accurate
  • Error-free
  • Informative
  • Lightly infused with keywords
  • Benefit-based
  • Evocative of your brand
  • Engaging

If you want to see some examples of effective product descriptions just take a look at some of the big players in e-commerce, such as Amazon. You can also find a compilation of some of the best descriptions on the web in a recent article over at Econsultancy – http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/63927-20-inspirational-examples-of-product-page-copy-2.

Of course, just because your descriptive content needs to be original and evoke the true personality behind your brand, doesn’t mean you have to actually write it yourself. Hiring an online copywriter can save you time and produce better results, particularly if you’ve got limited in-house resources at your disposal. You can find an overview of the process over on our Product Description Writing page.

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3 Comments

  • Great article and a something businesses should definitely be paying attention to. I’ve seen a lot of sites out there with content clearly copied from a manufacturer’s site. It’s obvious because it’s barely relevant to the retail site.

    I think a lot of brands worry about the price of hiring a copywriter for this sort of work because there are often a lot of hours involved. The money couldn’t be better spent, in my opinion.

  • I agree that professionally written copy is a must for any business and believe me there is nothing worse than someone else ‘stealing’ it when you have invested heavily in well written copy, the amount of DMCA’s i’ve had to write in the past is unreal, although testament must go to the copywriter 🙂

    I’m of the opinion that well written copy, whether that be product descriptions or any other article on your website, is so important when customers are making the decision to spend money with you or not and without a well written piece you will almost certainly be killing your conversion rates.

    Spending money on well written copy is a must and indeed an investment!

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