How to Order a Great Product Description
Good product descriptions are enormously important for the success of an online shop. After all, in contrast to traditional brick-and-mortar shops, customers shopping online do not have the option of picking up the product in question to inspect themselves. In a classic offline business setting, in all likelihood there would be an attentive salesperson on hand to answer any questions and show off the product. For online shops, this task is performed by the product description, and just as a good salesperson is defined by a set of specific characteristics, a good product description must also fulfil certain criteria in order to win over customers.
A common mistake made by online shop owners is to simply use the official product description provided by the manufacturer, but as Google penalizes sites with copied content in its rankings, this runs the risk of lowering the site’s online visibility. What this also means, however, is that with unique and informative product descriptions, you not only provide a valuable service to existing customers, but you can also improve your Google PageRank, making your store easier for new customers to find.
To get exactly the product description you need, the first thing to do is decide upon an approximate structure for all of the texts within a given shop category: How many paragraphs should the text have? Should the individual paragraphs be divided by subheadings? If appropriate, you can provide the authors with the exact, or approximate, wording for the individual subheadings.
If you use this information as a template, the author will be able put together a text that fits in well with the other product descriptions on your site. This will also make it easier for the visitors to your shop to compare the different products and find the one they need. The better customers are able to navigate your website, the more likely they are to buy from you rather than the competition.
What questions should your briefing answer?
To ensure that the author is able to write a good product description, do not forget to provide all relevant information to the corresponding product. Remember, a good briefing should always answers the following questions:
- What makes the product special?
You know what defines your product. In your briefing, give the authors a rough idea of what you would highlight about the product to a potential customer if you wanted to sell them this product. What are its most important characteristics and applications? Does it distinguish itself from the competition in any significant way? For some products, it might be a good idea to include a short history of the manufacturer at the beginning or end of the text.
- Who is the target group of the product?
You know best the group that your shop is trying to entice. That’s why it’s important that you describe this target audience in your briefing in as much detail as possible. With a detailed description of the customer, the author will have a good idea of who is being addressed and should then be able to adapt the tone and style of the text accordingly. After all, a product designed mostly for teenagers should be advertised differently than one meant for a group of older, middle-class class shoppers. In addition, you should also decide whether or not the author is allowed to address the reader directly. Doing so can give the text a more personal appeal but might be too casual for some audiences, so it’s important to take this into consideration beforehand.
Where can the author find additional information on the product?
It is a very good idea to include additional sources of information for your author to use as research. For example, you might want to consider providing links to similar products in your shop so that the author can get a feel for the appropriate tone to use before getting to work.
How detailed should the product description be?
Should the author primarily use the official information given by the manufacturer as a basis for the text, or is a more detailed description required?
Some clients prefer that the author be especially knowledgeable about the product; in this case, you can simply state in the product description that only authors who have actually used the products themselves may accept the order.
Should information on the shop itself be included?
Often, a product description contains general information on the store or mentions a special offer or special terms and conditions. If these should be included in your product description, it’s important that you make that clear in your briefing. For the customer, some important information to know might be, for instance, information on the delivery costs. For example, if a product in your shop is being offered free of shipping costs under certain conditions, the product description can be used to inform the customer of this.
Always keep in mind that an ideal product description is not only meant to serve as advertisement but should also provide customers with information that serves their needs. No product is designed to do everything. Your customers know that and will be sure to appreciate a product description that is as accurate and informative as possible. Above all, do not forget this rule as it applies to both online and offline purchases: Those who feel they are being given good advice will gladly come back for more.