Writing product descriptions can be daunting and difficult. When I am working with client companies, I often find their product copy can be cheesy or dry. This is particularly true for resellers, who tend to use the manufacturer's descriptions. Here are four ways to improve your product description and better engage with customers.
1. Inject some personality
The product copy should reflect your company's values. If you are a large corporation and your message is 'a safe pair of hands', then the text included should be a reflection of that message. If you are all about the fun, the product description should also be fun. Make sure you stay true to your brand and your values. Take a company like Innocent Drinks. They were one of the first companies to give their products personalities. Their style is cheeky, friendly and amusing, as are their product descriptions. The product copy for their strawberry and banana smoothie is a great example:
"Whether they’re foraged at a pick-your-own, served with a side of cream at the tennis or crushed lovingly into our drinks, strawberries are delicious. And we’re very fussy about which strawberries we use in our smoothies, which is why we grow them where the sun always shines and taste them up to seven times before they go into our bottles. And it’s also why we’ve added 25% more of them to this smoothie. The more the berrier, indeed".
As you can see it is fun, entertaining, friendly and completely reflects their company brand and identity. Now, I'm not on any sort of commission for Innocent but they are a good example of a strong brand who write product copy that is very much in keeping with their company. When you read the product descriptions you could probably guess the company without even seeing the item.
2. Employ an expert
If you are a business that sells thousands of different products, then writing product copy can feel well, just a bit brutal. Employing a copy writer can ensure engaging copy, written in 'plain English'. Be aware that the writer needs to really 'get' you as an organisation. They need to understand where you are coming from and what you represent, otherwise it will never reflect your personality.
3.Tell a story
I am a firm believer in the power of storytelling. This is not a new thing. In fact, if you look around, storytelling is used all the time and to great effect. You see it used in politics, training, sales, marketing and in advertising. You are looking to connect emotionally with your potential customer. Along with the images and reviews, the product description builds up a picture, in the visitor's mind, of what it might be like to own the item. The more realistic that fantasy, the more you will connect on an emotional level with the visitor and the more likely they are to press the 'buy now' button. This may all seem terribly manipulative which is exactly why is also needs to be completely authentic. What is it that makes your brand different? Why should people choose your products? What is your USP? If you manufacture your products sustainably and this is a core value, this should definitely be emphasised in your product copy. If you only make one thing and your USP is that you are the best at making it, then make that part of your story.
Storytelling is a great way to connect with your customers in a way that is both engaging and emotive. Get it right and people will buy into your brand and start to push that 'order now' button. Get it wrong and new leads will be turned right off.
4.Cross your t's and dot your i's
You have moved heaven and earth to ensure that your product copy is engaging and a reflection of who you are as a company. Don't let yourself down with sloppy grammar and spelling mistakes. If your style is informal and chatty, there is a greater risk of grammatical errors. Make sure you run all your copy through a spell checker and get someone who has not been involved in the writing process to give it a quick read through. Customers need to feel confident that you are a professional organisation. Minor errors can make everything feel very amateur. Don't make it hard for visitors to press the 'buy now' button.
Do you have other tips and hints on how to write great product descriptions? If so, we'd love to hear from you.
Does your e-commerce site encourage browsing?
More importantly does it convert browsers to buyers?
We all like to see the statistics demonstrating X number of new visitors to your site. However, if those potential new leads aren't (virtually) hanging around to browse and ultimately buying something, they remain just stats!
Make it easy for your web visitors to browse. Make it hard for them to resist a purchase.
After 13 years working in the e-commerce sector, here are my three top tips for improved browsing and better conversion rates:
1. The navigation
This is the principal way in which customers browse the website. It is therefore essential that it is logical, clear and fast. Is it in a logical location? Most people expect to find it at the top of the screen on a desktop and as a 'hamburger menu' on a mobile or tablet. Creative designs are all well and good but if the customer can't orientate themselves on the site, they're not going to get very far.
Is the filtering system clear? If you've spent a lot of time working on the design and content of the site, it becomes easy to get bogged down in the details and fail to see things from the customer's point of view. How easy is it to drill down to the product you want? It can be helpful to include a 'mega menu', allowing customers to quickly search for the relevant item. Jewellery resellers, Jewel Hut do this well. Hover over a top level navigation item, such as Pandora, to see this in action. Simple additions, such as colour and font, can help a visitor identify where they are on the site and on the filtering menu. If some of the text is a link, then make sure there is colour on the roll over. This will indicate to the visitor that there is a link to another page.
We live in a very fast paced world and if a site fails to load quickly, visitors are more and more likely to abandon the page.
47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less
40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load
You only have a few seconds to capture someones attention, so don't lose out because of slow loading speeds.
2. How scannable is the site?
Reading online is 25% slower than reading from print. Why is this? Mostly because it is harder to do. Your eye is distracted by colours, fonts, pop-ups, advertising and images. When you read printed text, your eye moves naturally from left to right. This isn't the case for online text. Therefore, you need to make website copy much more scannable. Text should be visually broken up with white space. Sentences need to be short and, if possible, only include one concept, idea or product per paragraph. Filtering menus need to be very easy to scan over, enabling potential customers to easily see what they are looking for.
Physical shops - bricks and mortar stores - understand the power of their display window. They are always trying to catch the eye of a potential shopper. They keep their displays fresh. Mega stores such as Selfridges have been spending serious money for nearly a century to attract people into their stores. This concept can be translated into your virtual shop front, your home page and subsequent landing pages. If you sell women's clothes, make sure the category pages show clear, large images of the products. Visitors should be able to rotate the image. Size information should be very easily available and clear. You want your potential customer to be able to visualise themselves wearing the dress. The more they emotionally connect with the item and start to imagine owning it, the more likely they are to make the purchase. If your images are not up to scratch, visitors are very likely to abandon the page before purchasing anything.
There you have it, three ways to encourage browsers to buy. If you have other ideas on how to improve conversion rates, we'd love to hear from you.
The product page has one key objective: to get the visitor to hit the ‘buy now’ button. Its secondary purpose is to provide information. This instills confidence, encouraging the visitor to make the purchase.
How do you create the best e-commerce product page? How do you entice your visitor and make the purchase irresistible?
Most e-commerce businesses understand that there are certain things that need to be included on a product page:
We have recently redesigned and relaunched the Jersey Beauty Company website. We are one of those companies with literally thousands of different products. So, what do we do to make our product pages stand out, to make them a little bit different? How do we include all the relevant information without detracting from the product itself?
The about us page is usually one of the most visited website pages. It is where a customer heads to when they want to know more about you as a company, what you stand for and how you can help them. However, this page can often be overlooked or undervalued by e-commerce sites.
So how do you make the most of your about us page and better engage your website visitors?
1. Include a clear sense of mission and values
More and more consumers want to buy from sites with whom they have a shared sense of mission and values. This page is a place to clearly state your purpose and company/brand values. If you look at the 'about Waitrose' page, you will read about how they source their produce, their work with charities and what they are giving back. It includes information such as:
"We want to know where our food comes from, how it’s been produced and what it contains. It all starts with long-term relationships with our farmers and suppliers, and continues with our beliefs in championing British produce, supporting responsible sourcing, treating people fairly and treading lightly on the environment. This is the Waitrose Way. But it doesn’t stop there. With your help in branch and online, our Community Matters scheme has donated £14 million to local charities chosen by you."
When you tell customers what you stand for, you are connecting and engaging with them on a different level. Whilst this won't motivate every consumer, it will definitely resonate with some. It helps to build up a picture of the kind of company you are.
2. Tell your story
The about us page is the perfect place to tell your company's story. If you are a family run business people want to know! Customers always want to know about the people involved. If it works, tell your story via a video. This is the way websites are going. People no longer expect to read reams of text. A short video, of a couple of minutes, is often much more effective. Everyone loves a good story and it will help your business come alive.
Ben and Jerry's have a fantastic about us page. They tell their story really well. It starts with a fun video entitled 'explore some of the great moments in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream history'. This is followed by their story broken down in to decades. Its not one monotonous page of text and data. It is interesting, well presented and gives browsers the option to dip in and out of their story using the different decade tabs. Definitely one worth a look!
3. Your team
Who you areWebsite visitors love to see the people with whom they are interacting. They enjoy seeing people: from the owner of the company to the person that handles customer service. Make sure you have good photographs or images, displayed in a way that is in keeping with your company style and brand. Children's furniture company, Great Little Trading Company, have a page dedicated to what they call their 'testing team'. This page describe how all their product are tested by the very people who will use them: children. Photographs of the children testing the products and their names are also included. This page enhances their brand: a fun, creative company, with their customers, children, at its heart.
Employee testimonials also work really well. They can showcase your culture and give customers a glimpse of the staff having fun behind the scenes. Rent the Runway do this really well. If you scroll down to the 'us' section of this page, notice how their staff testimonials say something about what they do and how they work.
4. Customer testimonials
Testimonials should be all over your website. On the about us page you have the opportunity to take one or two testimonials and paint a fuller story of how a customer’s life was changed or impacted because of your products.
Find one or two testimonials that have really engaging stories. They should resemble the key customer personas’ stories. For example, if you sell jewellery and engagement rings, customers may want to see a story about a woman who got her rings from you and images or even a short clip from her wonderful wedding.
5. Links to products and a call to action
Recognising that many people visit the about us page, make it easy for them to get to the products that interest them. One way to do this might be to personalise the page with previously viewed products or items that match their persona profile.
Make sure you include a clear call to action and an on ramp, (on ramp is explained in previous blogs which can be found here) enabling visitors to easily purchase products and engage with you.