I hate shopping! My aversion to spending my days in the malls leads me to purchase virtually everything I need online. Not to mention quite a few things that I don’t need at all!
I love the fact that I can view virtually every available product rather than just the ones my local shops choose to stock. I revel in price comparisons and I am eternally grateful that I can avoid the inevitable fight for a parking space in town.
Unfortunately I really hate some retailers’ product descriptions!
Is this Machine Washable?
This is a very important question which makes it all the more annoying when it isn’t answered in a listing.
There is nothing more frustrating than finding something that looks ideal only to realise that vital information is missing from the listing. Who would buy inexpensive clothing without knowing if it going to cost them a fortune in dry cleaning? Why would anyone purchase furniture when they can’t see if it will fit through their door?
I know that you can return any unwanted goods but the whole point of buying online is to minimise hassle. Visiting my local post office and finding that there isn’t a lengthy queue would be a miracle up there with the second coming. Returning my purchases could conceivably take longer than driving to the shops to buy them in the first place. I don’t want to deal with returns, I want to be sure that I am investing in the right product when I order it.
If product descriptions are inadequate I quickly exit the site concerned and search for an alternative. I am confident that almost everyone else behaves the same way.
No product description, no sale, it is as simple as that.
But this doesn’t explain why many retailers are unwilling to pay for someone to write descriptions for them.
Speculate to Accumulate
As a copywriter I deal with online retailers every day. Many complain that their sites do not yield the sales that they had anticipated. In most cases the product descriptions are a major factor in the disappointing results. I am always eager to offer my services. Despite the obvious nature of the problem I don’t always land the work. When I do get the chance to write new descriptions I am invariably told afterwards that sales have increased enormously. No shit Sherlock!
Product descriptions are not rocket science. Tell people everything they need to know, answer all potential questions, explain the benefits, sell the dream and then Bob’s your uncle. Obviously there is a little more to it than that if you want to create a stellar description rather than an adequate one. Even an adequate one would often help considerably.
I try to write veritable humdingers! I never stop researching this subject and I am constantly refining my approach. Someone I used to work for once said that I could sell sand to the Arabs. I doubt that I could but I have become pretty skilled at selling fragrance lamps, skincare products and clothing to everyone else!
Copywriters like me don’t charge the earth to write great product descriptions. What we do charge pales into insignificance compared to the potential increases in revenue for the retailers. This really is a case of spend a little to make a lot.
Time to jump off my soap box!