Product descriptions are quintessential to your bottom line. And when it comes to writing top-selling product descriptions, many eCommerce businesses can’t find the ideal formula.
If you’re not quite sure just how much weight potential customers put behind your product copy, think of the practice in terms of ordering from a menu.
Generally, there are two kinds of descriptions.
Omelet with goat cheese and bacon. Cooked to perfection.
An omelet as rich as butter, fluffy perfectly cooked eggs are filled with creamy whipped goat cheese and topped off with bacon slow-roasted in rosemary and brown sugar. A remarkable texture pairs with an unforgettable taste. This one turns your whole body into one gigantic taste bud.
At a glance, it’s clear that the second option fleshes out the details. There’s a little more sexiness, for sure. But that’s only part of the perfect product description checklist.
The way we see it, there are 4 essential components for product descriptions that create conversions on all your eCommerce websites.
1. Disruptive headlines and product names.
In the world of digital marketing, you’ll hear “disruption” thrown around quite often. In a nutshell, this term means that a savvy marketer changes the dynamic in the market place. For example, iTunes disrupted the music industry by changing listening formats. Uber turned the taxi industry on its ear.
In this way, disruption promotes visibility. And you can execute this technique with disruptive headlines and product names. In concrete terms, customers would sooner buy a candle labeled “Cayenne Orange” than “sweet and spicy.”
Trader Joe’s is a master of disruption in product names. Case in point:
This product is not called “Vegetarian Turkey.” Or “Tofurkey.” It disrupts by wittily showing the customer what they’re buying.
Breaded Turkey-Less Stuffed Roast with Gravy. That grabs attention.
2. Product storytelling
Product storytelling is a must. This technique is often overlooked in eCommerce. Conversions happen when you show the impact the product creates, even if it’s not transformational or life changing.
When it comes to selling products (read: not services), many small business owners forget about the customer stories. Several eCommerce professionals believe that there aren’t stories to be told. Not true.
While it’s easier to divulge transformational case studies in service-based industries, eCommerce goods afford the same strategy.
Let’s say you’re selling crackers. Yes, I said CRACKERS.
Now, what kind of story could you tell about something so simple?
In the 16th Century, John Pearson decided he wanted to create a biscuit with a longer shelf life. So he mixed only flour and water and baked it. He didn’t get a biscuit, though. He got a cracker, the tastiest food that never spoils. Thing is, crackers aren’t just for sailors and soldiers anymore. They’re the perfect foundation for your party’s unforgettable hor d’oeurves…or for crunching on when you’re on a Netflix-binge.
Yes, literally any product holds a story inside it. Use this to your advantage.
3. Don’t fear quirkiness.
Successful product descriptions are not easily forgettable. When you play it safe, you end up with milquetoast.
To illustrate our point, we have to go back to Trader Joe’s. Their fearless flier has some of the quirkiest product descriptions out there. Quirkiest and most successful, too.
Their professional copywriters often turn to history, facts, or wacky legends to get the point across. Case in point:
One bright, spring afternoon, a Trader Joe’s Crew Member decided to whip up her grandmother’s legendary sweet potato pie as a treat for the rest of us. That one, selfless, sugary act raised an important question amongst the pie-eaters in the test kitchen that day—why hadn’t we ever offered a sweet potato pie in our stores? That day’s impromptu tasting set things in motion. The happy result? Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato Pie with a Touch of Maple Bourbon Flavor. And, boy, is it good.
Reading that, you might think “who cares if someone brought a pie to work?” While the product description goes on to illustrate the ingredient sourcing and experience of the baked good, this opening angle showcases humanity.
Not humanity in the “save the whales” sense of the word.
The product description reveals how the offering comes from an act of friendliness. In other words, “we’d do this for our friends, why can’t we do it for our customers?”
Don’t write about the product. Write about the experience.
Specifications will only go so far. While your audience wants the product details, they also want to know about how it will make them feel. And how the product will improve their lives.
Even if the offering is something small, chances are it will create an impact in some way or another.
If you’re selling tires, write about increased safety and how that gives drivers peace of mind.
If you run a coffee shop, write about the experience of spending an afternoon with a spellbinding book and strong, fragrant cup of joe.
Even something as simple as candles can conjure an experience the buyer wouldn’t have without the product. For example:
The unmistakable aroma of apples will fill your home or office with a comforting scent that brings warmth and relaxation. With just a dash of cinnamon, the Apple soy candle emits a full-body fragrance that cultivates a comforting environment in your home. Light the wick any time you want to unwind with a good book, soak in a bubble bath, or turn your living room into a fragrant orchard before family and friends arrive for a gathering.
Now for the next question…
Where do you find qualified leads to read top-selling product descriptions?
Organic search is tough (and expensive) in eCommerce. We recommend social media marketing and targeted advertising to draw traffic to your website/product landing pages.