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Product Description Optimization

As marketers, we assume our entire eCommerce site is important, but the thing we really need to laser-focused on is product description optimization.

In this article, I’ll share everything I’ve learned about product description optimization over the last 13 years.

I Didn’t Use to Care About Product Description Optimization

I didn’t start my A/B testing marketing career thinking about product page descriptions. Like most marketers I focused on the:

  • Homepage
  • Category pages
  • Site layout and design
  • Email signup popup ideas
  • Experimenting with the checkout flow steps
  • Thinking about the difference between mobile and desktop shoppers
  • etc. etc. etc.

These topics are a universe in themselves and I spent years working on them. And then, through the scientifically rigorous process of A/B testing, I discovered the level that had the biggest sustained impact on conversion rates.

Your product description.

What Is Your Product Description?

I’d argue that the most important real estate on your product page is your product description– it’s where you present your sales pitch to the shopper.

Sales pitch?

Some of you are reading this and thinking, “how is a product description a sales pitch?”

This is a common mistake we marketers make. If the goal is to radically improve conversion rates we need to stop thinking of the product description as a place where we describe features and benefits and start thinking of it as a sales pitch.

Product Description Optimization The Job of Product Description

Once this subtle shift in thinking sets in it changes everything.

How Do You Optimize a Product Description?

Like any good sales pitch, your product description is a three-part act with an opening, a middle, and an end. Details about those three elements are explained in this next section.

What Should a Product Description Include?

The Opening

The first thing we need to do with the opening is that it grabs the user’s attention. The opening of the description matters because at the start of the pitch the shopper isn’t fully committed to buying from you. Shoppers are smart– they know there are other brands available online. Therefore, in our opening, we need to plant doubt about those other options. My favorite trick is to use an opening like:

All [mattresses] aren’t created equal.

Here [mattresses] will be replaced by the product you are selling. What I like about this opening is that it lets the reader know that all mattresses aren’t equally good, but doesn’t reveal why they aren’t created equal. To do that she needs to continue reading, which is exactly what I want her to do 🙂.

The opening has a second job– to make this new visitor trust us. People don’t buy from people they don’t know. You need to add a {button} on your product page for people who want to know you better before buying. People who click this {button} should be told your story. The actual mechanism for how this {button} works is explained in this case study.

The Middle

We’ve successfully prevented the new visitor from rejecting us within the first 30 seconds– a 2020 study by Wolfgang Digital revealed that 41% of eCommerce traffic bounces– now we need the visitor to fall in love with our pitch.

And to do that, we need to prove we are world experts on the problem they are looking to solve.

Here’s why demonstration of expertise sits at the heart of product description optimization– we are living in a highly specialized world and the consumer wants to buy the highest value product, that perfectly fits their needs, from the world’s best expert on that subject.

So, let your potential shopper know you are an expert.

The Closing

The final step is to anticipate buyer objections like “this item seems too expensive”, “I don’t think it’ll last long enough”, “I saw a lower-priced option on Google, maybe I should buy that”, etc., and bust those objections.

Why this matters

If the new visitor reaches the button of your product description and still has questions they don’t know the answer to, guess what they’ll do?– they will say to themselves, “I really like this product, I just don’t have all the info right now, I’ll come back later and place the order.”

The trouble is that there is a tiny probability this shopper will return. Databox did a survey of marketers and found that the average percentage of new visitors on a site is 68% (source). This means if you don’t convert the visitor on your site right now there is a 68% you’ve lost them forever.

How Do You Write a Product Description?

A great product description is one that nails the opening, demonstrates expertise, and anticipates and addresses buyer objections.

But to clarify this point I’d like to dig deeper.

Imagine you had a retail store and a customer wandered in. You would most likely walk up to this guest and engage them in a conversation. The purpose of that conversation would be to:

  • Understand if they actually intended to visit your store or were passing by and decided to stop.
  • Have they been struggling for a long time?
  • Are they currently using a competing brand or totally new to this space?
  • What type of anxiety are they experiencing? – price, if the product will help, if it’ll be too complicated to use?

During the course of that conversation, you would know which bucket to place this shopper into. The sales pitch the shopper experiences will be personalized based on that conversation. This is a really rich experience versus what shoppers experience on the product page. Why don’t product pages personalize the sales pitch based on the situation of the shopper? We’ve invented a new tool to solve this, it’s called Active Participation.

About Frictionless Commerce

We deliver an unfair advantage to technical product DTC brands (for example, Dyson) by improving advertising effectiveness by 20% in 90 days. This is achieved using a buyer psychology conversion copywriting framework. All paid traffic eventually reaches the product page and this is where we strike. Our process.

If you like doing the hard work yourself, our founder Rishi shares conversion ideas on LinkedIn every day. Connect with him here.

If you want to make your life easier and still increase conversions, jump on a call.


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