Writing unique product descriptions for will help your customers make better buying decisions. When you write descriptions that connect with your buyer you’re making it easier for them to choose you over the competition.
Now you don’t have to re-write every single product description on your site, start with the top 20% of products you are selling. If that’s where the eyeballs are already going, rewriting those descriptions will be your easiest wins.
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So in this blog post, I’m going to give you a high-level overview of what product descriptions will look like if you’re willing to take that extra step and actually build a store that has a chance at winning.
Tip: If your store has been up and running for a while, I suggest focusing on improving the product descriptions on your most-viewed products. Use Google Analytics to find out which pages get the most views.
Product Description 101
Have you noticed more people are using Google PLAs (Product Listing Ads) to sell products? They are, and your product description copy must be great if you expect to compete. Sure, you'll sell something here and there with mediocre copy.
But excellent writing gives you conversion rates that get your business rolling in cash instead of struggling or failing.
Your ability to convert readers into customers determines how much you spend on advertising to generate $1 of revenue. If you spend $1.25 to produce $1 your business is failing no matter how much merchandise you sell. If you spend $0.80, you are struggling. If you pay $0.10, you are doing fantastic.
There are a few simple things you can do to improve your product listings.
Understand Your Target Market
Product listings are usually jam packed with product features. That's a mistake. When people buy something, the features of that something are always of secondary importance.
People purchase products because they believe they'll get benefits by having it. Those benefits they perceive meet some basic need they have.
There are two kinds of needs. First, and most obvious, is the explicit need. Think of that as the "logical" need. For example, "I need to drive nails, so I am going to buy a hammer." That's a no-brainer.
Less obvious is the emotional need. People always look for one or more of 8 key emotional benefits.
- They want more free time
- They want a better family life
- They want more freedom to do what they want
- They want more peace in the life
- They want to achieve their dreams
- They want more comfort in their lives
- They want food for their ego
There can be other emotional needs like the need to feel sexy, but at least one of the emotional needs listed above is always a factor.
For a person to make a decision to buy, they must believe a product will meet both their "logical" and "emotional" needs.
You can only create an effective product listing and write compelling copy if you understand exactly what those needs are. You've got to get into your customers' heads.
You do that by hanging out in Facebook (or similar) user groups and reading reviews (on Amazon). See what people talk about.
Understanding The Sales Funnel
A sales funnel is a process that takes a person from the point where they perceive a need to making the decision to buy. Any complete sales funnel must do 2 critical things. It has to convince viewers the product meets their needs... it's the right product for them both logically and emotionally. After it's done that, it needs to convince the viewers to buy the product from YOU instead of a competitor.
Different types of advertising introduce viewers at various points in your sales funnel. SEO typically brings people in at or near the top. That means your copy has to do all the sales funnel work.
PLA Ads bring viewers that are already far along in the sales funnel. They probably have already made the decision to buy the particular product, or at least the type of product you're selling. So, the copy you write needs to focus on convincing them to buy from you. Does yours?
Internet selling has created the concept of a "landing page." That's the page that a viewer sees after they make a decision to click on your internet ad or SEO result. Landing pages have evolved over the years from seemingly endless pages with massive amounts of copy to short pages with or without a video.
PLA ads typically take viewers directly to a page where the viewer can buy the product shown in the ad. So, with PLAs, the product listing page is also the landing page. That means your product listing page mainly needs to convince people to buy the product from you. It needs to drive them to make a decision to click the Add To Cart button and buy from you NOW.
Let's look at an example of what NOT to do.
Consider this DOG STATIC REMOTE TRAINER. The copy in the PLA is...
What are Product Descriptions?
Below is a screenshot of a product page from one of our demo Drop Ship Lifestyle stores. The description, features, benefits, and even the product photos come straight from the manufacturer.
Typically when you get approved with a dropship supplier, they’re going to give you either a CSV or PDF file with all the details. They’ll send over everything such as pricing, descriptions, image links, and specifics.
Now here’s the problem with that… While on one hand I’m grateful because this information is a great starting point, it is stock information.
It’s generic, everyone selling these products, all of the competitors, are using these descriptions!
If you copy and paste this product description into Google, you will find similar pages on competition pages like Home Depot, other dropshipping stores, and even Petco.
Having competition is fine if you’re planning on becoming an internet retailer for other brands. But one way to stick out from the competition is to use unique product descriptions.
Why are Unique Product Descriptions Important?
There are a few different reasons why you’ll want to write unique product descriptions. I just mentioned that it helps you to stand out from the competition, but there are a few other reasons you might not have thought of.
First, unique product descriptions are going to boost your conversion rate. When you’re rewriting the stock product descriptions, you’ll want to educate customers and answer any questions they might have about the product.
Following my method of dropshipping, most of the time, when people come to our stores, they’re very close to making a purchase and not just ‘window-shopping’.
Another big reason for unique product descriptions is Google. Google loves unique content.
If Google sees that several websites are selling a certain product, but your page is the only one with unique content then they'll prioritize your site in the search results. Improve time on-page and bounce rate and Google will love your website even more!
To recap why writing unique product descriptions is important:
- Stand Out From The Competition
- Increase Conversions
- Better Educate Our Visitors
- Increased Organic Traffic
Tips for Writing Better Product Descriptions
1. Research to Find Out What Buyers are Saying
This is one tip that will come with time, but once you’re in business and converting visitors into customers, you’ll start to pick up on what customers are looking for in a product, and what are the common questions.
When writing your product descriptions gear the wording towards meeting the needs and answering the common questions. Below is an example:
This stroller is great for large dogs. It features a sturdy frame and rides low to the ground for easy, front entry.
The Pet Gear Expedition Pet Stroller is one of our top sellers and most loved products. It’s big enough for a large dog, but compact enough to put in your car as you head out to the park or to the mall for some shopping.
If a common question is, “Can I take this pet stroller in the car?”, in the product description you write, “This pet stroller is a great way to take your pet on a long walk through the park, or even pack up to go on a shopping trip to the mall.”
2. Work With What You Have
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel! Improve off what you have.
Start with the stock descriptions and make those unique. Add more adjectives to it, make the descriptions more personal, and relate the copy to the product images the customers will see.
Tip: Play into the images on your Shopify product pages, because those are what the customers see first.
It has a waterproof floor, front swivel wheels, rear brakes, and bug proof mesh that provides air circulation.
The Expedition Pet Stroller is constructed from a steel frame with a polyester and mesh cover to ensure it’s sturdy and safe, but also breathable and light. It also features rear brakes to make sure your dog stays put.
3. Turn Features Into Benefits
When you’re improving product descriptions, one of the easiest changes you can make is transforming the features into benefits. As always, keep your customer, and what they would want, in mind.
Take a look at the list below and see how the before features were transformed into specific, detailed benefits.
- Adjustable stroller height to handle, from 40.25"–42".
That removable liner? That’s there to make the pet stroller easy to clean. Easy fold mechanism? That means you can pack it up and take it with you on the go. Small changes here can make a big impact on boosting your conversions.
4. Add an Authentic Touch
A great way to create a unique product description is adding a personal ‘Note From The Staff’. Now, you could use a person’s name instead of ‘staff’.
And when I say name, one thing I like to do is create a brand representative avatar. If this website we are using was a real example, I would probably use my own face and name, so it would say instead “A Note From Anton”.
A Note From the Staff: What I love about the Expedition stroller is how easy it is to clean. After taking our older dog to and from the lake in this thing all I have to do is spray it down with a hose in the yard, leave it out to dry, and then it’s like new again!
You shouldn’t make something up or pretend the product does something it doesn't. The best way to come up with this part would be to use data and comments from customers. You could find these in product reviews, manufacturer notes, or other places online.
Either way, you definitely want to put your time into researching things like this when you’re rewriting your product descriptions. These personal touches really make a brand stand out. Most other drop shipping stores don’t do these things.
Doing this in your store however, will instantly connect your brand with the buyer.
5. Include a Personal CTA
Finally, in your product description include a CTA (call-to-action) so visitors know what to do next. A simple sentence such as the example below is a great starting point:
This product is in stock now and can be delivered in 3-5 days. Click ‘Add To Cart’ now to place your secure order and we will send you a tracking number within 24 hours.
Tip: Now, for our businesses, when we're rewriting product descriptions, I'm not usually the one that does this. In the beginning, I did everything myself, now I outsource tasks like these and I would recommend you do too, if you want to do it for a massive product catalogs. And a good way to do it is have your VAs do it in a Google Doc like this so you can review it from here. Once you sign off on it, they can move it over to your website.
Recap For Writing Unique Product Descriptions
Again, this is a pretty high level overview of writing better product descriptions, but there are ideas in here that everyone can benefit from. To recap on the tips for writing product descriptions:
- Research to find out what buyers are saying.
- Work with what you have.
- Turn features into benefits.
- Add an authentic touch.
- Include a personal call-to-action
And I’m sure if you haven’t done any of the above yet, this blog post is a big wake up call and eye-opener to what you can do to instantly stand out, have Google rank you better so you have better traffic and have better buyers.
To recap, let’s take a look at the before and after of the product descriptions we re-wrote for the Pet Gear Expedition Pet Stroller:
The Little Dog Remote Trainer is the reliable way to train your dog off-leash. This versatile and easy-to-use remote trainer will help you teach your dog new commands and manage misbehavior. At the push of a button on your remote, your dog receives a safe but annoying static correction from the collar. The correction gets your dog’s attention, and with 16 levels to choose from, you can be sure to find just the right level for your dog.
Is this boring? You bet! Chances are, the viewer already knew this. Remember, they entered a search phrase like "dog training collar." They pulled up this ad already having an idea of the product they want. So, you click...
You see the same picture again and the following description...
For dogs up to 40 lbs. and necks up to 33". 100-yard range. Electronic handheld transmitters deliver correction signals to the remote training collar from a distance of up to 100 yards.
- Adjustable, waterproof receiver dog collar
- Electronic remote provides correction signals to dog's collar
- 16 levels of stimulation plus a tone-only button
- +2 boost button option for distractions
Over 50 vendors sell this product. What encourages anyone to buy from this seller? Nothing. The copy is just a list of features... the same features the other vendors list. It doesn't address logical or emotional benefits, and it certainly does not give viewers a reason to buy from this seller NOW. If your copy looks like this, it's no wonder if you're not making many sales. Take a minute and go look at your product pages.
Why People Buy From YOU
Viewers will buy from you over your competitors for a few basic reasons.
- Higher Perceived Value - people buy when they think they're getting more value from you. That happens if your price is lower or if they get something more for the same or even a higher price. In drop shipping, manufacturers usually set a MAP, so you generally can't sell below your competition. That means you must offer more. Free shipping, no tax, and bundled bonuses are ways to do that. But even creating the impression that you have superior customer service can be perceived as a higher value.
- Reciprocity - people will want to buy from you when they feel you have done them a favor of some kind. Believe it or not statements like "Sale Prices Extended For 3 Days By Popular Demand" both create Reciprocity and Scarcity.
- Social Proof - people will want to buy from you when they know other people have bought from you and been both satisfied and happy.
- Authority - people will want to buy from you when they believe you are an expert in what you are selling.
- Scarcity - people will want to buy now when they believe they will lose something if they don't.
- Jargonless - people will want to buy now when they feel you are talking to them and not just using the same, lame product jargon.
- Better Benefits - people will buy from you when they believe you understand their needs better than your competition does and, consequentially, will deliver the benefits they want better.
A Product Listing Formula
Your successful product listing reminds viewers of the benefits they will get by owning the product.
It shows them the experience of owning the product. It also gives them a reason to buy from you.
A product listing template is shown at the left.
This model has produced six-figure sales on a regular basis.
The different sections should be in more or less the order shown, but you may need to make adjustments for your theme.
For the purpose of example, let's use the same dog training collar and create a better product listing.
Product Title - carefully craft a product title that describes the product, distinguishes you from your competition, and incorporates the most widely used search term. For example... "PetSafe Little Dog Wireless Remote Static Training Collar."
Product Pricing And Order Button - clearly state your price and any savings the viewer gets by buying from you. If you find just one other vendor at a higher price, the viewer can save by buying from you now. Don't be afraid to let them know. Consider... "$57.49 compare to $67.67". Make sure the Add to Cart button is clearly visible near the price.
Product Images - product images are important, but it's important to distinguish your images from everyone else. Most of your competition will just take the image the manufacturer gives them.
You can add a slight variation as shown at the right. It's important to include multiple images that give viewers an idea of what it's like to use the product. At least one lifestyle image is a good idea because it gives the viewer a visual idea of the benefits they will get after they buy. The picture at the right implies the viewer will have more comfort (happiness) in their life if they buy your product.
Product Videos - Depending on the particular product, videos are a great way to visually show viewers what benefits they will get from the product and how to use the product. Manufacturer videos are good, but YouTube videos will work so long as they don't direct viewers to your competition. Review videos are great, but be sure you watch them first.
Product Logos - product logos are great eye candy and may give the viewer the impression that you are the manufacturer. They may perceive this as another reason to buy from you. The best choice is a logo for the particular product on the page, not a generic manufacturer logo.
Bonus Offers - always should be at the top of your page. This is what distinguishes you from competitors. In marketing lingo, it's part of your Unique Sales Proposition (USP). Make sure people see it.
Benefits Description - this is where you connect with your viewer and let them know you can deliver the benefits they're looking for. The first sentence is critical. It must relate to the emotional reason they are buying the product. Consider the following...
"Imagine the fun you'll have when taking your favorite friend on a walk when they instantly respond to the instructions you give them, even off their leash. Your Little Dog Wireless Remote Training Collar eliminates out-of-control behaviors. A simple push of a button delivers a gentle stimulation or beep through the dog collar up to 100 yards away and gets your pup's attention."
Your Recommendations - you want to show your viewers that you're an expert and that you have selected this product specifically for them. A little research makes this easy to do. Consider...
"Get the best results from remote training collars by starting with both the training collar and a leash. After a short time, your dog will respond to the collar alone. We don't recommend leaving the collar on the dog for extended periods of time. Use it when you're outdoors and take it off in the yard or in the house. This is for small dogs. Your dog should weigh at least 10 pounds and less than 40 pounds."
Product Features - one of the most common mistakes is confusing product features with benefits. The product features are important AFTER THE VIEWER HAS ALREADY DECIDED THEY WILL GET THE BENEFITS THEY ARE LOOKING FOR. Consider...
- "Waterproof black collar
- Range up to 100 yards
- Easy-to-read digital remote transmitter
- 16 levels of stimulation with +2 boost option
- electrical stimulation or beep
- trains 1 dog at a time
- Includes receiver collar, digital remote transmitter, wrist strap, test light tool, operating and training guide, and four batteries.
- 1-year limited warranty."
Testimonials - testimonials are great, and the best testimonials tell viewers how great you are. Consider...
"I love this product. It didn't take long for my dog to adjust to the collar. What I'm particularly pleased with is the excellent advice I got from Specialty Dog Stores. Their instant phone service provided the help I needed to get the system working out of the box."
Other Information - anything else that supports the customer's decision to buy. Things like shipping details, warranty details... they go here.
So, let's take a look at the product listing landing page. Would you tend to buy from Specialty Dog Stores? Of course.
The more time you invest to create a great product landing page the better conversions you will see. Edit your PLPs several times before publishing them. Do some kind of split testing. When you get it right you can see a 20-30% increase in sales conversions. It's worth it!
Pet Gear strollers are a great way to take your pet with you on a long walk through the park, a walk around the block, or maybe even shopping at the mall. They safely contain and protect your pet wherever you go. This stroller is great for large dogs. It features a sturdy frame and rides low to the ground for easy, front entry. It has a waterproof floor, front swivel wheels, rear brakes, and bug proof mesh that provides air circulation. Made of polyester, mesh and steel.
32"L x 25"W x 23"H
Weight: 33 lbs.
- Large protective pet compartment.
- Ergonomic handle, with adjustable height.
- Wheel brakes and shock absorbers.
- Removable internal liner.
- Easy fold mechanism.
- 600 denier nylon.
- Interior safety tether.
- Front entry.
- Adjustable stroller height to handle, from 40.25"–42".
- Capacity 150 pounds
You will make significant gains in sales conversions by realizing that your product listing pages are really another type of landing page (product landing page [PLP]) and designing them to do four basic things...
- Show the viewer you understand their logical and emotional needs and that the product you are selling will meet those needs.
- Demonstrate to the user that you can meet all their needs better than your competition.
- Convince them that you provide a better value that your competition.
- Inform them of key product features.