eCommerce Copywriting Guide to Product Descriptions That Sell

SocialB Digital Marketing Blog Last modified: 31 Aug 2021 by Cheryl
Content Marketing | Ecommerce | SEO

Ever wondered why your products don’t rank as high as your competitors, even when they are the same or very similar items?

That’ll be down to your product descriptions!

And it doesn’t matter what you sell, from cleaning products to stationary from vegan sausages to soft drinks. Whether you’re in retail, a FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) or CPG (consumer product goods) seller, your goal is to get your digital shelf to the top.

But’s there’s more to ecommerce copywriting than getting to top of the search engines, if you want to sell. When creating your listings and product descriptions are you really bringing that product to life in a virtual world and answering all the questions that a person might be thinking about, whatever stage of the buying journey they are at.

Do you truly understand your target audience?

It’s time to put on your customer’s shoes and take off your salesman’s boots. In order to educate, entertain and influence shoppers, you need to get your message across and deliver exactly what they are looking for. If you can understand the thinking of what makes a customer purchase your product, you’re starting from a good place.

What’s the difference between great web design and great product copywriting?

Before we go further, let’s be clear about the difference between web design and product copywriting. No matter how glossy or elaborate your website is, if this isn’t backed up with engaging, informative and helpful content, your products will sit on their web page shelf.

The objective of a successful ecommerce website is to turn visitors into buyers through a combination of exceptional content to attract potential customers and a website design to provide a great user experience and present your store in the best light.

So, you want to improve your ecommerce sales?

When it comes to ecommerce copywriting, your first thought should be your customers not a search engine. The user experience comes first, aim to clearly explain the benefits of your products, why they will make the customer’s life easier, better and more fulfilled!

Secondly, if the above is done correctly, with a sprinkling of SEO, ecommerce copywriting will help your online shop, products and brand rank better on search engines.

It’s good to remember that ecommerce copywriting doesn’t just apply to product pages (although essentially, they are the most important pages on your site for conversions). When it comes to ecommerce copywriting the principals also cover category pages, promo offers and landing pages. These are all places where the right copywriting skills will bring in more leads and ultimately sales.

Remember the SEO fundamentals

Here’s where the sprinkling of SEO comes into play, it remains a vital fragment of your product descriptions and indeed across your ecommerce website. SEO will help increase your organic search traffic and help your ecommerce site rank higher in search engines so customers can find you.

Being successful in the organic listings has a knock on effect with paid search and can increase your paid search sales by over four times. So, there’s big wins to be had ensuring your SEO basics are in place.

Keywords, Keywords, Keywords

Keyword research is the first step in SEO and yes, keywords are so important that we’ve said it three times above! Are you aware that users of different ecommerce platforms use different keywords to search for and find the same products.

For example, where someone may search for a keyword on Google, another user on Amazon will use a different keyword for the same product. So, if you are selling your products through Amazon or other large retailers, adapting product description copy may be necessary to incorporate different keywords. In addition, you may also need to tailor your content towards a slightly different customer type.

This all means it is essential to spend time on keyword research. Without the right keywords, you won’t be able to optimise your product pages and descriptions for the right users on the right ecommerce platforms.

Writing product descriptions that sell…

While product descriptions need to describe the product, they also need to address the needs of the buyer.

Here’s our checklist to writing product listings that sell;-

Attention grabbing headlines

Within the realms of ecommerce, product headlines have a lot riding on them and should be used to lead the customer to the product.

Headlines are used throughout ecommerce – in search engine results when a customer searches for a keyword or phrase, on category pages and of course on the product page. That’s a lot of weight on a few words or single line content.

Once the product page has been landed on, the headline’s job is almost done, although it will still appear in the shopping basket, at checkout and on the sales email receipt, so make sure it stands outs, contains the right keywords and is specific and unique.

eCommerce copywriting style

Don’t over complicate your product descriptions or try to be clever, use a natural language than users can read easily. Time is of the essence before they move onto the next one, so keep them entertained and informed. The harder your copy is to read, the less likely it is to convert.

Telling the story behind a product can also help the customer to see the investment is worthwhile, while adding emotion can motivate the reader to take action.

Using bullet points make for easier reading and improved scannability, and for platforms such as Amazon bullets points are a big feature of the product description.

One size does not fit all

Where are you selling your products? Your website, Amazon, another large retailer? It really does make a difference to how you write your product descriptions. Even the number of characters can be different for each aspect of an ecommerce product listing depending on the platform you are selling on.

Answer questions and solve problems

Ask yourself whether your product descriptions answers questions or solve an issue. If not, then you need to change tact and engage the customer rather than just expecting them to hit the buy button. Let the customer know what’s in it for them.

Product pages should always be written from the perspective of your customers. Talking about their pain points, worries, fears or frustrations. By answering these with a focus on the benefits they will get from your product is a winning combination. Remember benefits over features!

Other conversion driving content

In addition to using the right words and language for ecommerce copywriting, don’t overlook other conversion driving content. Back up your written content with stylish and enticing images to grab attention or use a ‘how to’ video on your product page to visually demonstrate how amazing the product is.

The rights images, video and of course customer reviews will all have an impact and nudge the customer closer towards hit the ‘Buy’ button.

Share the love, what is your brand’s story? 

If you’re in business, you’ll be passionate about what you sell, so let that shine through. We’re talking about showing what’s at the heart of your brand, your company’s ethics and how you can tell that story. The old adage of people buy people still applies online, but you need pull them in and do it through words, images, videos, podcasts and reviews.

It helps to have a solid brand personality, if you’re not sure, ask yourself, if your brand was a person, what would they be like? Cheeky, trendy, serious, sensible? Just like a person, your brand personality should reflect your unique style.

When customers are able to emotionally connect with the values of your brand, guess what, they’ll be more likely to come back to you to buy and if they have a good experience, purchase again.

DO NOT HARD SELL!

Be informative, helpful, answers questions and even persuasive but don’t hard sell. It doesn’t work. You need to communicate why a product will make a customer’s life easier, a nudge to take an action is acceptable, a reason to buy is good, but a ‘you can’t live without’ comment is not going to work on today’s online shoppers.

Invest in ecommerce copywriting

All of above adds up to a big investment, ecommerce copywriting is not something to be rushed or added as an afterthought. It takes time, commitment and budget to craft and create product pages to achieve your goals, selling the right product to the right customer at the right time.

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