When you sell anything online, there’s always one general metric (regardless of the situation) that will always mean something: sales. Your online store will either live or die by how many sales you make.
There are many elements that will directly influence the amount of sales that you bring in. When someone clicks on a product page, there are two things that the person will look at:
- The photography of the product
- The product description
For the purpose of this blog post, we’ll focus on product descriptions.
Your product description is definitely one of the most important elements of your e-commerce store. Here’s a very simple reason why: even if your product looks fantastic, a prospect still needs to be convinced that it’s a good product. In brick-and-mortar stores, customers have the benefit of holding a product in their hand, and if they have a question, they can quickly ask an employee about the product. That’s obviously not the case with online stores. Again, people look at photos and descriptions. They need photos because they need to be convinced that a product has a nice appearance; they need the description to convince them that the product is everything that they’re looking for.
With that said, what are the most common mistakes that you can make?
No specific details about the product
Customers need information when purchasing a product. They need details. You need to anticipate any common questions or concerns a customer might have before buying a product, and you need to address these questions within the product description.
Pretend that you know nothing about the product. What questions would you have about it? What details would help accelerate your decision making process? Which issues could stop you from buying the product? What makes the product special, exactly? These are essential questions that must be approached from the point of view of a brand new customer. Your descriptions need details that put the products in a positive light, so that your customers can quickly make an educated buying decision. Weak, thin product descriptions will not empower customers to make a buying decision.
Show restraint. Product descriptions that are too wordy, or are too long, will be largely ignored. Very rarely should a product description be over 4 paragraphs long. In fact, the sweet spot is usually 2-3 paragraphs. In addition to that, a product description should be pretty easy to read, with language that’s very easy to understand.
This isn’t grad school, and you’re not trying to impress your college professor. Don’t use long words, don’t use super-long sentences. Don’t try to write a book. Be succinct, while giving as much detail of your product as possible.
This is not to say that your customers are stupid people. It’s to make the buying process as easy and as streamlined as possible. People need to ingest any important information about your product smoothly, and without any second-guessing.
All features, no benefits
Features and benefits go hand-in-hand. When I said to focus on giving details about a product, I was talking about listing the important features of the product. But that’s not enough. Customers need to understand why those features matter. When you sell online, you need to consistently answer “what’s in it for me.” If you don’t describe “what’s in it for me”, your customer will never know why they need to buy your product.
Too robotic and dull
Writing with personality makes a tremendous difference. Your product descriptions should never sound like they were written by a corporate drone who hates his job. If it’s lifeless and robotic, it doesn’t inspire action.
Remember, the product descriptions are not an academic paper. You can write with personality, humor, and energy.
Product descriptions hold significant power. Avoid these common mistakes and persuade more site visitors to become customers.
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