While product page design has improved in the past few years, an often neglected area is sales copy.
A common mistake is to simply place the manufacturer’s product descriptions on pages. While this approach is easier, a more personal touch and unique tone of voice can help your product pages stand out and really sell the benefits of products.
I'm going to explain why good sales copy is so important, and look at some examples where retailers are getting this spot on...
Why product page copy matters
When many of your competitors are using the same manufacturer's product descriptions, there is a real opportunity to strand out in search results pages, since your description will be unique.
Customised product descriptions also allow you to provide more text and keywords for search engines to index.
OK, if you're selling photocopier paper, this is tricky to do, but just the sense that a real human being is writing product descriptions can set them apart.
What are the ingredients of great product page copy?
There is no hard and fast rule here and, as you will see from the examples, good sales copy can take many different forms.
Product descriptions should be unique to that website. Customers will appreciate that the page has been written specifically for this product, while there are the SEO benefits mentioned earlier.
Convey knowledge of the product
If the customer reading the description can get the sense that the copywriter knows the product well and has used it, then this makes the copy more trustworthy.
Don't stuff it full of keywords
Of course, retailers want to make sure their target keywords are in product descriptions for the search engines, but if it becomes too obvious to the visitor, it's a real turn-off.
A good copywriter should be able to get the target keywords in without overdoing it.
Product sales copy should be easily readable. Customers don't need huge swathes of text, as this makes information hard to scan and digest.
Use of short paragraphs, bold text, bullet points, images etc can help to make copy more visually appealing.
Some product pages have to convey a lot of technical information about products, such as tech specifications for laptops. By putting this information into a table, Comet makes it easier for customers:
Express key benefits of products
Good sales copy needs to be persuasive, and should convey the benefits of products, what it will do for them, how it will improve the customer's life, and so on.
The higher the price, the harder you have to work on the copy
If you're selling packs of pens or printer paper, then a basic description of the product should suffice, but if you're selling big-ticket items, then the copywriter will need to work harder.
If it's a luxury item, then the sales copy should reflect that. See the J Peterman example below.
Tone of voice
The examples below all show a friendly and natural tone of voice. According to Alice Little, Content and Community Editor at Lovehoney, this is all important:
We try to write in a friendly, natural way that gives first time customers the confidence to try our products and reassures our more experienced purchasers that we have the knowledge and expertise they're looking for.
We always aim to make it easy for the customer to see themselves using the product and feeling the benefit. We also give hints and tips in a product description to make the customer feel excited about using the product before it's even arrived.
Here are five of the best...
I've chosen this example, as it highlights how improving sales copy can immediately improve conversion rates.
The retailer uses creative copywriters to produce unique product descriptions, which sell the key benefits of products in a more human tone.
It has worked too. The new sales copy was introduced along with other product page improvements, which increased sales by 9.5%.
The sales copy on this website is inspired, and totally unique.
Patagonia uses a friendly tone, but still conveys the benefits of its products, and uses bullet points to outline the key features.
There aren't many examples that are SFW on the site, but here's one, an example of the natural tone that Alice referred to above.
The product page copy on Firebox matches the brand perfectly, as well as really selling the benefits of products, in the case the Magic Wand TV remote.
Which retailers are producing great sales copy? Please leave your comments below...