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The Kong Academy provides actional hints, tips and guides to making the most of your eCommerce store.

Big-up your Product Descriptions

Kong Academy - How to sell online

Here we take an indepth look at particular topics of interest to beginner and established webstore owners.

Big-up your Product Descriptions

Julian James

Unlike in the high street, there are no physical sales assistants in your eCommerce store to answer shoppers’ questions, be of any assistance, or close a sale. Instead, your Product Descriptions have to do most of their job — they are your virtual sales assistants.

Product Descriptions are at their best when, like clear, well-informed sales assistants, they SELL. Product Descriptions are that important.

Buying Behaviour

We’ve designed Kong so that you can get the max out of online shopkeeping. Good-looking stores sell goods better, including how your Product Descriptions show and tell.

Your potential buyer — your shopper — has tapped your store’s Product Page. Are your Product Descriptions engaging and persuasive enough to SELL? When you wrote them, did you think of your typical shoppers in terms of buying behaviour?

Shoppers List

To write great Product Descriptions, list your typical shoppers’ behaviour. This exercise keeps you on track, and reminds you whom you produced your products for. List them like this:

  • My dream ‘keen-on-my-products’ shoppers don’t even need my Product Descriptions to buy; they scan the headings and load their cart. 
  • My ‘normal’ shoppers check my products’ Features, appreciate each Benefit, and are likely to buy.
  • My ‘hard to convert’ shoppers do lots of site-hopping before they read my Product Descriptions. They need to be convinced that a product has enough Benefits to make their lives easier, better and happier. If it has and the price is right, they’ll buy.
  • My unexpected bonus shoppers don’t have time to compare or quibble; my Product Descriptions must quickly win them over.  

Such a ‘Shoppers List’ helps you to materialise your shoppers; your potential buyers — it really brings them to mind. It also triggers questions like: What makes them laugh or become sceptical? What makes them hesitate? What makes them tap and buy?   

Big-up your Product Descriptions

You might source your products from manufacturers or third-parties. If you do, don’t fall into the trap of more or less copying their supplied Descriptions. Big-up your Product Descriptions to fit your eCommerce store’s ‘personality’ and your shoppers’ aspirations. 

Write as if you’re talking directly to one shopper. Address him or her as “you”, and use phrasing that’s familiar in your line of business. This will add clarity, heighten shopper-experience, and help search engine optimisation (SEO) raise your store’s rankings. 

Lead First

Begin your Product Description with the most important info. This ‘lead first’ inverted pyramid is a staple of news writing and reporting. Formatting is also important, so make full use of your text editor.

  • Bullet-points are great for listing Features and Benefits
  • Links to manufacturers’ sites are helpful
  • Photos and YouTube demos are persuasive

Page 1

Throughout retail history, right up to today, page 1 of any shopkeeping advice includes something like: “Cultivate trust with customers and potential buyers, and they are more likely to buy." Cultivate trust; yes! Write honest, accurate Product Descriptions, and support them with photos, buyers’ reviews and testimonials. Be clear about your terms and conditions; include any guarantees, and explain what you do about returns and refunds.

Benefits Rule; Not Features

Features are particular points about your products. Benefits are how Features will solve your shoppers’ problems. Concentrate on your products’ Benefits — how they will make your shoppers’ lives easier, better and happier. 

For example, two Features of a waterproof jacket are its welded seams and covered zip-fastener. The Benefits to your shopper are more straightforward: he or she won’t get wet! Visuals could add emphasis here; like separate photos of the seam and the zip.

Features and their associated specifications can bloat your Product Descriptions and tell a dull tale. Benefits rule; not Features. Benefits get shoppers excited about handling your products. Here’s a lively Benefits-filled Product Description:

This heavy-duty explorer’s phone is ready for anything. A robust dust-defying, waterproof case protects it from sodden mud, wet humidity and forked lightning. Turn up ringtone and receiver volumes extra loud, and use noise-reduction to lift your voice above the din. Mount with Gorilla-grip accessory at night — the 41megapixel camera’s flash doubles as a searchlight.

No lazy adjectives like ‘amazing’ or ‘excellent’ are in that to bore or mislead, and there are no empty word-pairings like ‘high’ and ‘quality.’ The Product Description attempts to prove its claims — granted, they are a bit over-the-top!

Emphasise Benefits to keep your eCommerce store — your eCommerce business — thriving, and your shoppers will fill carts and big-up their buying.