At Vesta we have seen millions of product descriptions over the years and are frequently asked by both retailers and suppliers what makes a great product page?
For me it is one that describes your offering in a way that convinces me I have to have it.
In store you get to interact with a customer and can respond to their questions and cues. With Ecommerce you need to appeal to their imagination and senses, and convey to them that their life will be better if they have your product.
That is a big ask from a short piece of text.
It is possible, however. Using tried and tested techniques on your product pages will get you writing descriptions that sell.
Top tips for a winning product page:
1. Know who you are writing for
Your messages can be bland and generic when you don’t have an audience in mind. When you are writing to a person, you can choose the right tone, style, and power words. In the industry we call this a buyer persona. It is a fictional picture of your ideal customer- his or her job, career path, family, age, income, gender, goals and challenges. It enables you to write directly to them.
Keep in mind nowadays most ecommerce solutions support the ability to have multiple buyer personas when creating and displaying your content. My favourite recent experience of this was with a client who sells home improvement products and had 3 distinct buyer personas:
- Home DIY’ers
Each persona needed targeted language and varying degrees of complexity in the amount of detail they would be shown. After entering the website they were guided through a user experience which identifies which one of the 3 personas they fall in to and then displayed content appropriate to their selection.
2. Tell them a story
People love a story. Draw them in with something. Make it personal - a quirky story about where this product comes from, a tale about a customer. Those olives aren’t just “from Greece”. They are from the sun-drenched slopes of the Peloponnese, gently shaken from the trees in the early morning by local farmers.
Be careful with this one though as it's easy to go over the top which ties in to point number 4 below, stay away from the dreaded “wall of text”.
3. What problem does your product solve?
Your product may have some amazing features that you want to share, but what your customer really wants to hear is how it helps him or her. Instead of just emphasizing the bike has a carbon fiber frame, tell them what impact this will have on speed/performance etc in order to help achieve a new personal best..
4. Make it easy to read
In today’s times nobody wants to plough through reams of information. We want it:
- To the point.
- Easy to scan.
- Short sentences.
- Headings and bullets.
Be sure to use a combination of both long descriptive text for story telling aspects supported by short and sharp bullet points that call out key attributes of the products. This is the perfect place to highlight the elements your customers may be trying to find quickly.
For example that new TV with specs of:
- Screen Type: LED-LCD
- Screen Definition: Full HD
- Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080p
A mistake I see made frequently is not thinking about how these bullet points should be used within product categories to allow quick and easy product comparisons. Using the TV example above, if I compare 2 or even 3 different brands of TV side by side are you going to;
- Lay out all the tech specs in the same order for me so I can quickly compare specs? Or;
- Are you just going to give me the marketing blurb exactly as the supplier gave it to you meaning I have to comb through each product description trying to work out how each compares to the other?
Guess what? If your answer is the second one, chances are I'm going to go shop somewhere else that makes my purchasing decision easier.
This is also where data normalization becomes super important. Make sure to standardize acronyms and industry terms that the end consumer may not be familiar with. This TV says 4K and that one says Ultra HD - are they the same thing? What about this oLED one vs the LED one?
Take the time to create your own library of accepted terms and if data you recieve from a supplier does not fit your terminology make sure you transform it to create a consistent shopping experience for your customers.
5. A picture tells a thousand words
Good quality images make all the difference to your product page. They bring a product to life, especially when your customer can’t touch and feel it. Even an entry level phone can take good photos these days, and people have high expectations when it comes to images. Make an effort when it comes to your pictures and you will see the results.
In a future article I am going to go into product photography in detail as its an industry in its own, but at a high level think about:
- Number of images per product.
- Covering multiple angles.
- In use and or explanatory images of how the product functions.
6. Get your product found with SEO
The best product page in the world isn’t going to help if your customer can’t find you. Pay attention to your SEO so your product is the one they find when searching. This means product page titles, properly completed meta descriptions, alt tags on your images, and product descriptions.
Spend time getting your product page right. Capture the tone of your business and target your content at your ideal customer. Then wrap it up with solid SEO and your Ecommerce is set up for success.