The 4 Product Description Tips You Must Implement in 2020

Boon Khai Goh
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Every product page consists of a product description—either in short bullet point or long descriptive format.

The business dictionary explains product description as the written copy of a product along with benefits, features, and price. It ensures consumers are equipped with the necessary information for their purchase decision.

It is essential for business owners and marketers to craft a compelling product description to close the sale. Product information company Shotfarm reported that one-third of customers abandon their shopping cart due to a poor product description, and eight out of ten customers would distance themselves from the brand.

Furthermore, Statista projected digital buyers would increase from 1.92 billion to 2.14 billion in 2021. In the U.S. alone, more than 15% of adults shop online at least once per week, according to Marist Poll.

“Not only traffic: Remember that product content is the most important cause of abandonment after cost and delivery time.”— Álvaro Verdoy, CEO and co-founder of saleslayer.com

Hence, your product description must stand out from your competitors, where it stimulates conversation between your customers and your brand identity.

Finally, your product description must include the 3 essential elements: benefits, features, and specifications.

What Kind of Product Description Do You Need?

It all depends on your brand and product. Every brand has a different and unique selling point, which requires a different product description.

Let me give you two examples: a Casio watch and a Harry Potter book each have a distinctive product description.

Casio F91W-1 Classic Resin Strap Digital Sport Watch:

  • Imported

  • Digital sport watch in rectangle case featuring alarm, chronograph functions, and night light

  • 33 mm resin case with mineral dial window, quartz movement with digital display

  • Water resistant and ribbed resin band with buckle closure

  • Measuring modes include net time, split time, and first and second place times

  • Functions include a 1/100-second digital stopwatch, hourly time signal, auto calendar, and day/date. Accuracy of +/- 30 seconds per month

Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7):

Now for the first time, J.K. Rowling’s seven bestselling Harry Potter books are available in a stunning paperback boxed set! The Harry Potter series has been hailed as “one for the ages” by Stephen King and “a spellbinding saga" by USA Today. And most recently, The New York Times called Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows the “fastest-selling book in history.” This is the ultimate Harry Potter collection for Harry Potter fans of all ages!

Both examples have a different tone of voice, personality, and style. Casio’s product description is precise and compact, whereas Harry Potter’s product description is designed to focus purely on its fans with influential testimonials.

Your target buyer might prefer bullets. Some might be attracted to long paragraphs. You can use A/B split testing tools such as HubSpot and Kissmetrics' A/B Testing Kit and Crazy Egg to measure the effectiveness of different product descriptions.

So, now you know the impact and variety of product descriptions. Here are 4 tips to further enhance your product descriptions:

1. Know Your Products 110% and Your Target Buyer 150%

Start by asking yourself with the 5 Ws (and 1 H) questions from your buyer’s perspective. When you understand your target buyer's thought process, your choice of words resonate with them.

A series of questions also leads to a better understanding of your products, which is necessary to craft a compelling story.

"Why" questions:

  • Why does your customer buy your product?

  • Why is your product unique?

  • Why was the product created?

"What" questions:

  • What problem does your product solve?

  • What are the products made from?

  • What are the features?

  • What is the functionality?

  • What are the dimensions and weight?

  • Is it waterproof?

"When" questions:

  • When is the product used?

  • How many times can the product be used?

  • Is it only one-time use or multiple times?

"Where" question:

  • Where does your customer use your product?

"Who"question:

  • Who is your ideal customer?

    • Geographical segmentation (i.e. district and country)

    • Demographics segmentation (i.e. sex, age and education level)

    • Psychographical segmentation (i.e. lifestyle and values)

    • Behavioral segmentation (i.e. purchase decision)

"How" question:

  • How to use your product? 

A Market-Oriented Example

A good market-oriented example is AVEENO® ABSOLUTELY AGELESS® RESTORATIVE NIGHT CREAM:

"This hydrating night cream works through the night to reveal younger and healthier-looking skin. Rich with antioxidant blackberry complex, vitamin C and E, it improves elasticity and firmness as you sleep. Wake up feeling moisturized and completely luminous.

  • Restorative night cream

  • Made with blackberry complex, vitamin C & E

  • Improves skin elasticity and firmness

  • Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic"

From the product description above, Aveeno understands their customer’s psychological needs, which is achieving healthier skin. Next, their words engage with their customer at an emotional level. (For example: It improves elasticity and firmness as you sleep.)

Aveeno ensures their buyer has sufficient and relevant information to make their purchase decision.

2. A Product Description that's Easy to Read

A study by Nature Communications stated our attention span has reduced to only 8 seconds, primarily due to social media and web searches. This is crucial information as a product description is required to be catchy and readable. When your product description is short and clear, it's easy for your audience to stay focused.

5 quick tips to improve readability include:

  1. Break a long paragraph into a few short paragraphs.

  2. Use bullet points.

  3. Use styles (bold / italics / underline).

  4. Use different fonts (Georgia or Times New Roman).

  5. Use headings with different font sizes.

A Market-Oriented Example

A clear illustration of readability is by L.L.Bean, Women's Bean Boots 8", which uses headings, paragraphs, italics, and bullet points sparingly in its product description.

3. Craft a Story in Your Product Description

BigCommerce found out that more than 60% of Millennials and 50% of Gen X prefer to purchase online, as compared to a brick-and-mortar store. This is where storytelling is crucial in your product description, since customers will be relying on your words to make a purchase decision.

“Storytelling is a fundamental human experience that unites people and drives stronger deeper connections.” – Kimberly A. Whitler

Nowadays, a lot of marketers use storytelling in their brands and products across all platforms. Essentially, storytelling in a product description paints a graphic image in the reader’s mind.

Photo and videos can also stimulate a similar feeling—the sense of urgency to touch. However, they can only improve the product’s desirability to a certain degree.

A Market-Oriented Example

A perfect example of storytelling is Pet Rock. Here is an excerpt from the product description:

"Rocks enjoy a rather long life span so the two of you will never have to part -- at least not on your PET ROCK’s account. Once you have transcended the awkward training stage your rock will mature into a faithful, obedient, loving pet with but one purpose in life -- to be at your side when you want it to, and to go lie down when you don’t."

Gary Ross Dahl, creator of Pet Rock, has captured the reader’s imagination with Pet Rock’s product description.

4. Insert Pain Points in Your Product Description

You can grasp the mindset of your customer. Next, persuade and close them by understanding the psychology of pain points.

"Products that induce social bonding feelings subconsciously is the key to product’s value proposition." - Gerald Zaltman, a Harvard professor

You can theoretically "hack" into the customer"s mind with a few keywords in your product description.

Types of pain points include:

  • Procrastination

  • Finances

  • Convenience

  • Scarcity

Now assign a list of pain point words to include in your product description. For example, menacing, panic, collapse, poor, fail, warning, danger, fired, and scam.

Here is an example of a title: 5 WARNING Symptoms That We Are Heading Towards Financial Crisis [And How to Prevent It]

The pain point is financial and the pain point words are "warning symptoms".

Summary

A good product description is hard to write. It requires patience and dedication to craft one. To improve your product description, you must focus on your target audience first. Then, think of how you can improve your readability. Next, craft a story in your product description to engage with your customer. Finally, don’t forget to insert a few pain points to resonate with their needs.

If you still struggling to write a product description, you might consider hiring a product description expert or a copywriter. Click here to find a qualified copywriter to help with your needs.

Boon Khai Goh

Boon Khai is a copywriter, who specializes in writing articles, executing marketing campaigns and running Facebook ads. As a marketing enthusiast and a traveler, he always collects flyers, samples, and exploits new marketing concepts at different countries to gain new insights.

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