March 3, 2020 by Ben Chafetz

5 Product Description Mistakes That Drive Away Customers

Here’s how Apple describes its latest MacBook Pro:

Designed for those who defy limits and change the world.

Whoa.

That’s a good description. That’s a damn good description.

Who wouldn’t want to defy limits and change the world?

Everybody.

And that’s why you shouldn’t underestimate the power of a great product description. Or the destructive nature of a terrible one.

A good product description can help boost your product’s appeal, enhance SEO, and increase sales – while bad product descriptions result in high return rates, low conversion rates, and poor reviews for your store.

Nobody understands this better than Apple.

While we can’t all be as extraordinary as Apple, you can make sure your product descriptions are rock-solid.

In this blog, we’ll discuss five of the most common mistakes eCommerce entrepreneurs make when describing their products.

Mistake #1: Bad Grammar, Typos and Other Basic Mistakes

Let’s do a quick thought experiment, shall we? Here are two product descriptions for a camera lens. Which one do you think would make a customer likely to purchase the product?

  • Description A: Protect camera lens from dust, sands, debris and objects. Camera cover is made from high-quality ABS plastic. Universal fit to any camera lens any size and type. Come with included carrying case, microfiber cloth for claening. Order now get free upgrade to extra lens cover.
  • Description B: The ExcelShot Universal Camera Lens Cover has been built from the highest-quality ABS plastic, and designed with a unique, patent-pending adjustment feature that allows it to cover any lens of any shape. Protect your camera lenses from dust and debris! Your lens will come with an included carrying case and a microfiber cloth. Order right away, and we’ll throw in an extra lens cover for free!

As you can see, the writing in example A, while not completely unintelligible, is a bit stilted, and has quite a few grammatical errors and a major typo (claening instead of cleaning). 

Put yourself in a customer’s shoes. Which product are you more likely to buy? The answer is obvious. Description B. 

Strong, clear, and high-quality writing inspires confidence, and creates a better image for your brand. In contrast, lazy writing or writing that’s grammatically incorrect will discourage customers from shopping at your store. 

There is no substitute for good grammar and quality writing. You can use online tools like Grammar.ly to refine your writing and check for errors and typos. Practice makes perfect, but if you really don’t enjoy writing, you may want to look into hiring a freelancer to help list new products. 

Mistake #2: Copying And Pasting Manufacturer Information or Other Product Descriptions 

Do you want your website to seem identical to your competitors? If the answer is “no,” then you should definitely avoid copy and pasting product information directly from the manufacturer. 

Copy and pasting product descriptions is lazy, and can negatively affect the SEO of your products. Google doesn’t like repetitive, copied content – so your page will be penalized if you copy or plagiarize product descriptions from other websites.

Instead, what you need to do is use the manufacturer description to inspire your own product description. You can still use the same basic information – but you need to personalize it.

Mistake #3: Not Using Bullet Points And Creating “Walls Of Text”

When a customer lands on your product page, they don’t want to be greeted by a “wall of text.” Likely, their eyes will jump around the page to several places, such as:

  • Product photos or videos
  • Add to cart buttons
  • Product price
  • Options for style/size/color/etc.
  • Customer reviews

While your customer is deciding if they want to buy a certain product, they’ll scan the page for relevant information. Don’t make it hard for them to find it.

It’s good practice to split your product description into two parts. You can utilize 3-5 bullet points near the top of the page to list the basics of the product, and add visual interest that will grab your customer’s attention. This also makes it easier for your customer to “scan” the page to learn more about the product. 

Then, you can add a more detailed product description a little lower on the page. Try to keep it under 100-200 words, and make sure you use line breaks when appropriate to ensure it’s easy to read. 

Mistake #4: Not “Selling” Your Product Through The Description

Just because a customer is looking at one of your products, doesn’t mean they’re ready to pull the trigger and add it to their cart. They need to be convinced – and along with good photos, a great product description is a big part of that. 

Think about your product description as a sales pitch. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Why would a customer want to buy this product?
  • Why should a customer buy this product instead of another, similar product? What makes it unique?
  • What benefits does this product offer to my customers?
  • How can I inform my customers about the proper use of this product? 

Each product is different, of course. But asking yourself these questions about your products and thinking about their benefits and unique features is one of the best ways to get inspired – and put together a product description that really sells! 

Mistake #5: Using Low-Quality Photos

No matter what products you’re selling, high-quality photos are very important. You don’t need to be a professional photographer, but make sure you’re using a high-quality camera, taking photos in a bright area, and capturing the items accurately.

And don’t be tempted to just use manufacturer photos of their products. If you don’t get permission, you could get into copyright trouble.  

Even if you do get permission, remember what we said earlier in this article section #2. Simply copying images (or text) from the manufacturer means your store won’t stand out from the pack – and you may not be able to bring in customers effectively. 

For more information about product photography, check out this blog from 121eCommerce, and see how you can improve the quality of the images on your Magento website. 

Avoid These 5 Mistakes – And Create Product Descriptions That Sell! 

As long as you avoid these mistakes, take your time, and craft thoughtful, sales-focused product descriptions for your online store, you’re sure to create product descriptions that will boost sales of your products. So think about how you can rewrite your old product descriptions to avoid these mistakes, and implement them whenever you’re adding a new product.

Looking for more tips and tricks about Magento and eCommerce? Don’t forget to check out the 121eCommerce blog. We’ve got plenty of resources for eCommerce entrepreneurs who are looking to enhance sales and grow their businesses. 

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