Ecommerce product descriptions: tried & tested advice

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional
5 min read

I spend most of my time working in E-commerce, both my own websites and my client’s. So I wanted to share some of my personal experience with e-commerce copywriting, this should be useful for anyone in E-commerce with a bootstrap budget.

You don’t need a load of fancy features on your website to make sales. Just focus on writing perfect copy and you’ll be well on your way to success.

I first got involved in E-commerce at the age of 16 and I have never looked back!

Sure my first experience was confined to listing things on eBay, but from day one I was always experimenting, tweaking copy and finding new ways to improve conversion rates. Over time, I assumed that everyone recognizes the importance of good copy of product pages. However, I have since realized how wrong I was.

 

A bit of background

I understand that most people reading this blog will be drop-shipping from Aliexpress. One of the worst things you can do with ecommerce product pages is to simply copy and paste the description from the Aliexpress seller!

When I used to list on Ebay, I would simply copy simply find another listing that is already performing well, and then simply copy-paste it. Why go through all the effort when someone else has already done the hard work?

Problem with that is, you can only then compete by providing a cheaper price, as you are a carbon copy of the original listing.

One example is when I came to sell my Xbox, I copied a stock description direct from Microsoft’s website. However, this description was very tech specifications heavy. The customers were not concerned about this, they would ask questions such as “how many controllers does it have” or “does it come with any games or accessories”. My description was too busy rambling on about RAM and processing power and totally forgot about what the average person actually wants to know.

My listing was active for 5 days before I change the description, after changing the description is sold within 24 hours.

From that moment onwards, I always craft unique product description for every product in my inventory, whether I am selling on eBay or my own website.

TIP NUMBER ONE. Try to envisage questions that potential customers will want to address.

Don’t just rely on the FAQ pages to answer their questions. If people have to do additional research before buying, there is a good chance they will just abandon your website all together and look elsewhere. Think back to your college days… remember what a pain in the ass it was to have to do your own research to find out the answers? You wanted to scream at your teacher, JUST GIVE ME THE ANWNSERS. Same holds true with e-commerce, they hate having to find out their answerers. Think of the questions your customers are likely to ask and gives them that information on the product page.

Seattle Cider for Example, they give you everything you could possibly want to know about the beer, the flavour, the ABV the lot. You would be hard-pressed to find another customer question that isn’t answeredd directly on the product page:

TIP NUMBER TWO: Forget product pages, think landing pages

Whenever someone says ‘product page’ you automatically think ‘boring’. Most product pages are the same, a picture, some writing, and a buy button. Uninspiring and unremarkable.

When you think of ‘landing page’ people automatically think about high-tuned sales copy, bold-catchy colors, and inspiring graphics.

Most e-commerce website would do well to quite building product pages and instead build landing pages.

This is something Bellroy do very well:

The task of moving away from product pages and toward landing pages isn’t an easy one, but the sooner you do it, the sooner you will reap the rewards.

 

TIP NUMBER 3: Short and Sweet

We have all heard the saying “Slow and steady wins the race”, now you have also heard “short and sweet wins the conversions” (you heard it here first). No matter what the product, there is no need to write a 500-word product description. However fancy you think you are.

Versace uses a 15-word product description to sell an $800 t-shirt:
http://www.versace.com/gb/en-gb/men/clothing/t-shirts/embellished-medusa-logo-t-shirt-a92y

So ask yourself, if Versace can sell an $800 with 15 words. Do you really need 200 words to sell your $20 Chinese-brand t-shirt?

Any professional writer worth his/her bread will tell you that less is almost-always more. The trick is to practice writing concisely, give as much information as required with as little words as possible.

 


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TIP NUMBER 4: Videos

Video is the new kid on the block, and give you the ability to set yourself apart from every other ebay and amazon seller. Vat19.com don’t have their own branded products, they just sell generic products you can find elsewhere on the web. What vat19.com do differently is they include a video with every product:

At the time of writing this article Vat19.com is receiving and estimated 4.21million !!! visitors monthly.

How many visitors do you get in a month?

In Summary

– Product layout is crucial
– Short and Sweet product descriptions
– Answer customer’s potential questions
– Include videos

You might be thinking that I forgot to talk about product photo’s?
I didn’t, just that is a whole other ball game. 
I will write another article soon, all about product photos! 

NEXT STEPS

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional

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