E-commerce was a big deal even before the pandemic hit. Now, the vast majority of consumers are spending a lot of time browsing the web and shopping online. Your e-commerce store needs to grab your visitors’ attention quickly and convert them into customers. Yet a great design and sassy slogan aren’t enough. The number one factor in whether or not someone buys from you is something between the product name and the price tag. It’s something that can help your customers envision your product in their lives and become convinced that they can’t live without it.
It’s your product description.
It’s easy to neglect your product descriptions. Isn’t a list of your product’s features enough, you wonder? Short answer: No. Long answer: No, because customers see product details all day. If yours doesn’t stand out, they’re going to leave and may never come back. What they need is the product’s story.
Let’s take a look at how to use storytelling techniques to help turn your product descriptions from basic and boring into compelling and converting.
Keep your target persona in mind
First and foremost, you must know to whom you’re selling. You probably thought about your personas when you were setting up your website or email marketing. However, the product description is the thing that they’re most likely to read. Your social media posts may be buried in your customers’ feed, your carefully crafted emails lost in their inbox. When they arrive at your product page, though, they’re going to skim the content and make a snap decision. A product description that immediately taps into your target customers’ needs is one that will encourage them to keep reading.
The question is, what is that need? What’s special about your target persona that you can hook into? Craft your product description to match that. If your target persona wants a product to make them feel beautiful and confident, that last thing you want to write is something stilted and formal. Also, what appeals to them as far as language? For example, seasoned white-collar professionals and avid bikers may be the same person, but their personas are different. You wouldn’t pitch a software product to them the same way you’d pitch some bike gear.
The question is, what is that need? What’s special about your target persona that you can hook into? Craft your product description to match that.
Tell a story
The classic story structure includes the background (exposition), the problem (the inciting incident), a slow build to the climax, and the resolution of the problem (the denouement). A good product description follows this structure. Hook your reader by tapping into their background/problem. (Remember, they’re the hero of the story!) For example, “Tired of sunglasses that break after a few uses?” Then, introduce the problem and affirm their need. (“You deserve a pair that lasts.”)
You’ll then take the customer on a journey that leads to the climax, in which you convince them that your sunglasses are the solution. Then, wrap up with a summary of what they can expect (more on this in a moment). A product description that follows a story format has a powerful psychological effect: It gets them emotionally invested in your product.
Help the customer imagine
All that said, you don’t want to be boring with your story. You shouldn’t simply re-hash that list of features into a paragraph or two. Avoid overly technical language or dry, lifeless descriptions of your product. Instead, let your creative streak drive your copywriting. Use language that evokes vivid imagery and pulls on the reader’s heartstrings.
Rather than saying it, show it: Give the reader something that they can identify with, something that gets them excited. It’s always a good idea to tap into the fear of missing out (FOMO) or people’s tendency to want to feel special. For example, instead of saying, “These sunglasses are very stylish,” say, “Turn heads with a pair of retro shades that complement your face shape.” The former is very obvious and boring; the latter allows the customer to imagine how wearing the sunglasses can help them be an important, at- tractive person. That makes them more likely to buy the sunglasses.
To write exciting, compelling product descriptions, you need to cut the fluff. While you’re weaving these immersive stories for your customers, be sure that you’re not adding words just to pad the description. Today’s consumers are savvy enough to sniff that out, and it might turn them off your product. Every sentence in the product description should not only add value to the story, but also express the product’s value to the reader.
After you’re finished with your first draft, go through each sentence and ask yourself: Does this add value? If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, either revise it to add value or cut it altogether. Remember, consumers are usually skimming these product descriptions, so you don’t want any unnecessary sentences in there.
Focus on benefits
Avoid turning your list of product features into a technical rundown of what the product does/will do. While that can be important, such as with computer equipment, you can relegate it to the “technical specifications” or similar section. Your product description should focus on benefits, not features. As mentioned above, consumers want to know how a product will solve their problem. They’re not really in the market for a new pair of shoes: They want something that will keep their feet from hurting, something that will impress other people, and so on.
What benefits does your product offer? Will it make the customer more productive? Healthier? More relaxed? How will the customer’s life improve by using this product? Be clear and confident in expressing these benefits, but avoid overpromising. Wild claims are just as ineffective as weak ones.
Remember that consumers are skimming content, so don’t give them a lot to read or make them hunt through your long paragraphs for information. As part of optimizing your product descriptions for SEO, you should make them easy to parse. Break thoughts into distinct chunks so that a reader can easily get the gist.
You’ll also need to roll keywords into your text (just don’t make it too obvious). The idea is that a reader can skim the product description and get all the keywords that they need, e.g. “fast,” “efficient,” “comfortable,” etc. It’s important to not “stuff” the product description with keywords. Use them naturally and eliminate any unnecessary words.
Keep it simple
Finally, keep your language as simple and direct as possible. Aim for a low-grade reading level and a high readability score. Long sentences that take up an entire paragraph are big no-nos. To boost readability, you should use active voice rather than passive.
Your product descriptions are well worth the time and effort to make them compelling. Weak, boring product descriptions can end up costing you a lot of money. Why risk it? A combination of good storytelling with powerful language goes a long way. Follow these best practices and watch your sales increase.
If you liked this blog and thought it could help someone out, feel free to give it a share, and check out our website at Hawaii Web Design for more helpful tips to help set you up for success!