How to Use Product Description to Increase Sales

By Susan Delly
July 20, 2012

Online sales are very different than those of brick-n-mortar stores.  With eCommerce shopping, your website is your sales staff, the best and the worst of it all rolled into one sales opportunity.  When shoppers come to your online store, they have to browse, select and buy products on their own, without any human interaction.  This means that your storefront has to peak their curiosities and your products have to sell themselves.

It’s your job, as a web shop owner, to set your store up for maximum profit.  There are many things involved in accomplishing this and one of the most important is your perfecting your product description.  Because there is no sales associate there to sell, reassure the indecisive, or answer questions about the item of interest, the product description needs to.

So… how do you make the most from your product description?  Let’s go through the 3 A’s (Audience, Attention and Articulation) to answer that question.

1.       Audience  

The first step is to understand your audience.  Write to them, speak to them and sell to them.  This also means you’ll have to know your product well enough to deliver it in a compelling package.  If you’re selling to teens, use pop culture references.  If you’re selling to parents, use proper grammar.  If you’re selling to a general audience, try unique, well-written description that appeals to basic emotions.  The idea here is to connect with your buyers and deliver the product in a way that they’ll appreciate.

2.       Attention  

The internet is a big, distracting world so it’s very important to quickly and securely grab your browser and turn them into a buyer.  To do that, you can use a little humor, ask questions that draw them in or even wrap them up in a story of your product.  Your method may change from product to product and will definitely depend on #1, your target audience.

Some of my favorite sites do a really good job with this.

One of my favorite ice cream bars is introduced with “Better than a candy bar, because you get ice cream, too!”  Now… come on, who doesn’t want to sink their teeth into that one?!

A newly popular shoe company touts a pair of shoes I want by saying, “An animal print that’s constructed with no animal products!  Be fierce, yet animal friendly.”  That’s perfect for me (their target audience)!

And a vintage clothing site gushes over a new dress design with, “A scorcher of a new wiggle, the Dames dress is made of curve-hugging…” You know, even men who read that want to buy it for their girl!

3.       Articulate

After you’ve captured the attention of your target audience, it’s time to move on to articulation… tell them about your product in an informative, compelling and interesting way.  Make your product unique and use descriptive language to engage your shoppers.  Do not use the cut and paste descriptions that the manufacturer supplies.

If you’ve done your job here, most questions should be answered before they come to mind.  To do this, sit and think about things that people may want to know about the product you’re promoting.  Also, these descript product descriptions and the keywords that you add will help SEO and allow your product to be found more easily through searches on Google, Yahoo and other sites.

After you’ve got the basics of your product description covered, it’s time to move on to other areas of the product page like relevant links and a call to action but… we’ll save those for another day, a future blog.

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