The point of product descriptions isn’t just to list features/benefits (though you are doing that), but to sell the products, to persuade customers that this is something they really ought to buy.
How do you do that?
Write Customer-Centric, Not Product-Centric, Descriptions
Which of the following product descriptions more likely make you want to click the “Buy” button?
The Acme Razor comes with two trim options: ½” and ¼”. Runs on batteries or power outlet cord.
The versatile and stylish, not to mention compact and convenient, Acme Razor is your ultimate shaving tool. The choice is in your hands. The Acme Razor comes equipped with two trim options: ¼” for days when you really need to be clean-shaven and ½” for a little more rugged look. Either way, it’s your choice with easy snap on and snap off heads to fit your style. And there’s even more choice: runs both with batteries and power outlet cord.
Words like “versatile and stylish,” “choice” and “fit your style” speak to customers likely to be interested in being stylish and having choices to change their look. Equally important, words like “your” and “you” personalize the copy so it is directly addressing the customer. This is marketing copy–describing how a feature benefits you (the customer) in terms of needs and wants, as opposed to just a laundry list of features.
Grab their Attention
Studies show that most users are quick to lose interest in what they’re reading on a web page, clicking to go elsewhere in less than a minute if something doesn’t grab their attention. So if you haven’t written something that immediately interests potential customers, you’ve lost them. Which of these product description opening sentences is more attention-getting? At the very least, which is just more interesting to read and invites you to keep reading?
The Acme Razor comes with…
The versatile and stylish, not to mention compact and convenient, Acme Razor is your ultimate shaving tool…
Do want to read more about what the Acme Razor comes with, or do you want to read more about something that is versatile and stylish, compact and convenient? Our guess is the latter.
Make It Scan-able
Let’s say you decide, based on a combination of your instinctive feel for what your customers want coupled with customer feedback, to go with the more customer-centric, marketing-oriented copy. There’s still work to be done. What’s wrong with this:
The versatile and stylish, not to mention compact and convenient, Acme Razor is your ultimate shaving tool. The choice is in your hands. The Acme Razor comes with two trim options: ¼” for days when you really need to be clean-shaven and ½” for a little more rugged look. Either way, it’s your choice with easy snap on and snap off heads to fit your style. And there’s even more choice: runs both with batteries and power outlet cord.
Well, there’s actually nothing “wrong” with it, at least in terms of grammar and accuracy. But the problem is it is not easily scannable. People don’t typically read on their screens like they do a magazine article or a book. They usually just skim, looking for short headings that are meaningful to them that immediately jump out from the page. If you don’t make your copy easy to skim with highlighted selling points, chances are it won’t get read. Here’s how you take the linear narrative of the copy above and make it more scannable:
Acme Razor — Versatile and Stylish
Compact and convenient, and easy-to-use, the Acme Razor is your ultimate shaving tool. Check out these features that put the choice in your hands:
- Two trim options with easy snap on/off heads
- ½” for that rugged look
- ¼” for when you really need that clean shave
- Two power sources
- Power cord outlet
If your product is a razor, customers are people looking for razors, your product description needs to mention the keyword “razor.” In the headline, then again in the first sentence of the body copy. At the very least. This would seem to be obvious. But it’s amazing how many product descriptions are written that don’t use the likely search term until somewhere towards the bottom…long before people have stopped reading, let alone the search engines.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words…
Well, maybe not that many. But don’t forget to add a picture to your product description. People want to see what they are buying, not just read about it.