Fashion copywriting: What makes an effective product description?
Why are good product descriptions important for online fashion retailers? Because in a brave new world where people can’t feel the fabrics used in a garment, talk to a helpful sales assistant or actually pop into the changing room and try it on, they need all the information they can get.
According to 2014 figures from the Office for National Statistics, 49% of adults in the UK shop for clothes online. But despite these changing clothes shopping habits, people still have the same need for information about the products they’re buying. If they can’t feel them, they want to be told what they feel like, if they can’t try them on they need to be able to imagine what they’ll look like, and if they can’t speak to a sales assistant then you jolly well better tell them everything they need to know in your product descriptions.
Effective product descriptions engage the senses
As with all good writing, fashion copywriting engages the senses – specifically sight and touch (best not delve into what a pair of jeans smells or tastes like).
Of course, the accompanying photograph will tell the customer a lot about what the garment looks like. But an experienced fashion product copywriter will help them to imagine what it will look like on them. They’ll provide them with prompts which will enable them to envisage wearing that dress to the office party, or when they go on their summer holiday to the beach.
But clothes don’t only look a certain way, they have a way of feeling too. They could for example be ‘loose-fitting’ ‘figure-hugging’, ‘ruffled’, ‘smooth’, ‘airy’ or ‘velvety’. By using tactile adjectives in your product descriptions you can deepen the connection between the customer and the image of the product.
Need to know information
Of course, when shopping for clothes people don’t only rely on their emotions and their perceptions of how they will look or feel. They also need hard information which relates to the practical aspects of buying, wearing and caring for the garment in question. Essential information for all fashion product descriptions then includes:
• Colours available
• What materials the garment is made from
• Basic washing and drying instructions
If you fail to provide this information then people may well go elsewhere to stock their wardrobe. On the flipside, if you do provide all of this and any other relevant information, then there’s a good chance that they’ll remember you the next time they’re looking for some new clothes.
Fashioning a product description that sells
The effectiveness of a product description lies not only in its component parts, but in how they are combined. All of your product descriptions should be punchy and to the point, and while they should contain plenty of information they must do so succinctly to ensure that the customer does not lose interest.
It’s also important that you not only create individual product descriptions that effectively sell each product, but that you keep the style and format of all of your product descriptions the same. This will help you to build a memorable brand that people will not only remember, but potentially recommend to their friends.