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How to avoid common product description problems in eCommerce

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“That sounds ideal for what I need!” is the kind of response you want from a potential buyer when they peruse the product page they’ve reached through your high-ranking search engine page result. It’s the all-round optimal result of having created a highly effective product descriptions for your eCommerce offering. But ask yourself, ‘how often does that happen’ and the answer is probably ‘not as often as I’d like.’ For many eCommerce merchants, it’s deficiencies in the quality of product descriptions causing problems of lost sales and user dissatisfaction.

So, what are these product description problems, and how can you take steps to eliminate them? The following article explores ten common issues with eCommerce product descriptions and suggest solutions which will enhance your product descriptions, help them to drive conversions and enhance how potential customers see your brand.

1. Inaccurate descriptions

Product description problems start with inaccuracies, If you mislead customers, it results in higher return rates and damage to your brand reputation. A description which doesn’t match the actual product specs, features and benefits not only disappoints buyers, but erodes trust in your competence, reliability, and attractiveness as a purchasing source.

Solution: Every product description must be meticulously accurate, with all features and specifications up to date, correct and complete. Cross-check with the actual product to confirm consistency and accuracy.

2. Inconsistent tone of voice

Maintaining brand identity demands a consistent tone of voice. Inconsistent descriptions confuse customers and dilute your brand image. Take these examples:

I’m very particular about my morning coffee. I have high disposable income and am prepared to pay premium price for a coffee-maker which fulfils my exacting demands. I click through on a search result for my query: “high-quality coffee maker best technology.” I land on a product page with a machine which piques my interest…

Product 1: Brew the perfect cup every morning with our sleek and modern coffee maker, designed for those who appreciate the finer things in life. Its advanced technology ensures a rich and flavourful coffee experience every time:

  •       Grinder: Built-in conical burr grinder with 5 grind settings
  •       Display: LCD touch screen with intuitive controls
  •       Programmable Settings: Customisable strength and temperature control auto-start timer
  •       Brewing Technology: Advanced Thermal Brewing System with Pre-infusion Mode

 

Below this product is an alternative suggestion:

Product 2: Get your caffeine fix fast with this budget-friendly coffee maker. No frills, just a decent cup of joe to start your day right.

The first description hits the target with alluring features, high-tech attributes, and an elegant written tone. The second? Overly casual and friendly tone, lacking in key details, bearing little relation to the original product I found during my initial search. As a potential customer, it’s confusing when I contrast these two descriptions, widely differing in style, tone, and content. It makes me question to what extent the brand understands what I want, who it is targeting, and why I should even trust them.

Solution: Define exactly what tone of voice you want and need to best reflect your brand’s personality, and ensure all descriptions adhere to it. You need this consistency to help build a stronger connection with your target audience and make your brand more memorable (in the right ways!).

3. Lack of detail

Our product 2 example above shows how a lack of detail in product descriptions leaves customers with unanswered questions. The result? Hesitation due to lack of input to make an informed decision, and inevitably, an abandoned customer journey as I return to the search results page to find a seller who can satisfy my information needs.

Solution: When you have them (and, like I said, there’s no lack of information available) display comprehensive details about the product: materials, dimensions, usage instructions, and any unique features (USPs).

4. No Product reviews

Social proof, in the form of product reviews, are crucial for building trust and credibility. Their absence only engenders suspicion and scepticism – more customers rely to an extent on peer reviews to validate a purchasing decision.

Solution: Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews by implementing loyalty schemes or offering incentives. Giving reviews prominence on your product pages significantly enhances your credibility and could well be the deal maker for hesitant buyers.

5. Not bringing the product to life

“Our cleaning spray removes dirt and grime from various surfaces.”

Nothing untrue there. But it doesn’t exactly jump off the digital shelf at you. However humble or mundane it is, the product description should create a vivid picture in the customer’s mind. Use sensory words and storytelling techniques to make the product feel real and relatable.

“Revitalize your space with our dynamic cleaning spray, designed to tackle stubborn dirt and grime, leaving your surfaces gleaming and your home smelling as fresh as a breezy spring day.” 

I want my space revitalised, I love the idea of gleaming surfaces, and a breezy, non-intrusive fragrance is always pleasant…It’s certainly more convincing than removing ‘dirt and grime from various surfaces’ – purely instrumental description, but with none of the benefits of its results.

Solution: Emphasise how the product will fit into the customer’s life, highlighting the benefits and experiences it offers. This approach helps customers visualise owning and using the product, increasing the chances they’ll purchase it.

“Transform your home with our powerful cleaning spray, effortlessly cutting through dirt and grime to leave your surfaces sparkling clean and fresh.”

My home needs transforming. I don’t like cleaning to be arduous work. Who doesn’t love sparkle?! I’ll buy it.

6. Dilution of message due to repetition

  1. Dilution of message due to repetition

Product description problems can occur at large scale. Bulk generation always runs the risk of falling into the repetition trap, which dilutes your message.

Solution: Descriptions should vary – there are a lot of words out there, so use them, and avoid using the same phrases repeatedly. Ideally, you should create a diverse set of templates and rotate them to avoid monotonous, repetitive-sounding copy, and to keep content engaging and fresh. This is where an AI product description generator comes into its own, as it can diversify the descriptions for a product line which has minimal variations:

  1.     “Capture every moment with our high-speed 32GB SD memory card, ensuring you never miss a beat.”
  2.     “Store your precious memories securely with our reliable and durable 64GB SD memory card.”
  3.     “Experience seamless data transfer and ample storage space with our cutting-edge 128GB SD memory card.”
  4.     “Our versatile 256GB SD memory card offers swift performance and extensive capacity for all digital needs.”
  5. “Upgrade your device with our top-tier 500GB SD memory card, designed for speed and storage efficiency.”

7. Failing to keep up with trends

Staying current with industry trends and buzzwords is vital for keeping your product descriptions relevant. That means terms like:  Top Rated (customer satisfaction and social proof), Eco-Friendly (environmentally conscious consumers), Trending (associated with current popular trends), Versatile (multi-functional use), Free Shipping (cost-conscious buyers), or Innovative: (cutting-edge technology or uniqueness)

Solution: Regularly update your descriptions to include current trends which appeal to contemporary preferences. It ensure freshness, but also keeps your SEO performance tight for product searchability.

8. Lack of SEO-friendliness

Failing to be on top of SEO best practices for product descriptions results in poor search engine rankings, making it difficult for customers to find your products – they can’t appreciate your excellent content if they can’t find it!

Six of the most common SEO failures for product descriptions on eCommerce sites:

 

  1. Lack of keywords: Missing out relevant keywords that potential customers are searching for will usually result in lower rankings.
  2. Duplicate content: Simply copy-pasting manufacturer descriptions, or using the same product descriptions across multiple pages, leads to duplicate content issues which impact SEO performance.
  3. Thin content: Short, uninformative descriptions which lack detail don’t attract search engines and have little value to potential customers.
  4. Ignoring user intent: Descriptions failing to address the needs, questions, or concerns of potential buyers lead to lower engagement and higher bounce rates.
  5. Ignoring mobile optimisation: If product pages aren’t mobile-friendly, a poor user experience ranks lower on mobile searches.
 

Solution: Incorporate relevant keywords naturally into your product descriptions. Use keywords related to your products, (in this article, it’s words like “product description problems eCommerce,”) to improve visibility. Optimise meta descriptions, use alt text for images, and ensure your content is mobile-friendly. Finally, research, research, research! It’s not a one-off endeavour.

Artificial Intelligence: harness your algorithmic artistry

We haven’t mentioned the challenges for large product inventories of manual product description creation, but what’s clear is that more and more businesses are using AI tools to remain competitive. That’s why we offer our own tool – Descriptionwise – an AI-powered product description, title, and meta description generator with a special focus on eCommerce needs.

Using your product data, Descriptionwise creates high-quality, customisable product content. It integrates seamlessly with major Product Information Management platforms like Akeneo, Pimberly, and Sales Layer, and its learning model can be trained on your brand voice for unique, consistent, engaging descriptions. Scale your business with ease and improve your product descriptions – get some hands-on practice right now with our free trial and see just how we can turbo-power your product descriptions.