As a product description writer, I’ve written thousands of descriptions for e-commerce sites, Amazon and eBay listings. I haven’t always written for the pet industry – I often had lists that included dozens of extremely similar products that just seemed so… obvious. How much can you really say about sprinkler parts, especially when the manufacturer’s specs were just a couple of words and numbers?
What helped me power through even the most boring of description jobs was my fondness for online shopping. Now that I write almost solely for the pet industry, it’s gotten even easier, because nobody loves online shopping more than pet owners. What’s not to love about shopping with a doggy in your lap, exploring the hundreds of amazing options that just aren’t available at that pet store?
Understanding how people shop online will help you write product descriptions that close the sale. Even a few measurements and a picture can become compelling content that sells.
Yes, you can write a creative product description about anything. Here’s how.
Customers don’t online shop for the sheer joy of reading product descriptions. But they make a huge difference in the online shopping experience. It’s up to you to turn a dry, insufficient list of manufacturer specs into highly visual content.
The Rule Of 5
Imagine that you’ve been searching online for a product for a while. By the time you get to the 5th product, you’re starting to feel as though you’ve gone through most of your options. Hopefully, this 5th product description has a little “something more.” The product itself might be identical, made in the same factory, with the same measurements, photo, materials as all the others. But longer, more descriptive content makes you visualize the product arriving at your doorstep. Though the information is basically the same, the fact that it’s expertly, uniquely written makes you feel as though you can trust the website more – just for presenting the information in a more creative, visual way.
And that’s what you need to do to get a reader, researching the 5th similar or identical product, to finally click “Buy” when they find yours.
What You Can And Can’t Infer
When you’re writing product descriptions, you might not have the product on hand. You may have never even used it, or tried it for yourself. But if you have hundreds to write, that can’t slow you down.
If you’re supplied with scant information, you might have to make some inferences. At the same time, you can’t over-promise by making claims you’re not sure the product can support. For example, in most cases, you can infer that the product you’re selling is “durable” and “sturdy.” These aren’t big promises, but I wouldn’t use those words unless I could infer that the product was reasonably tough.
You can infer a dog bed is soft, cozy, even plush. It most likely is, and besides, softness is subjective. You can infer that it will keep a dog warm in the winter, or that the extra padding on the base and sides is great for older dogs. You can’t infer, however, that the dog bed would relieve joint pain unless you’re certain it’s designed to do so.
Let’s say your product is a raised dog dish made of wood with a distressed brown finish. It’s made in China, so of course it’s not vintage, but it could be described as vintage-inspired if it would complement that sort of decor. You could describe the finish as rust-colored, or chocolate brown, or cherry-wood.
If you’re selling a small dog shirt, you could also suggest breeds that it might fit. While every dog is shaped differently, you can probably infer which kinds of dogs fit best in certain clothing items, especially if you have the measurements and are familiar with many breeds. An extra-small shirt could become much more appealing to a chihuahua owner if her breed is mentioned in the description. It makes it easier to visualize her chi in the outfit, though she probably already knows that her pup is an XS.
Give Them What They Want
Consider why your customer needs this item. What they’ll use it for. What they’re looking for in the product description that will tell them, “Yes! This is perfect.”
This might mean your product description can’t please everyone. It might be too big for certain dogs. It might be too small for others. It’s better to truthfully represent what the product is and isn’t for than to be vague. That way, you’ll get fewer returns, but more sales with customers who appreciate knowing what they’re getting.
Need Help Getting Those Product Descriptions Written?
The sooner they’re written and uploaded, the sooner you’ll start seeing more sales and fewer abandoned carts and questions during the sales process. If you don’t have time to get them done – or just need a copy expert in your corner to make sure they’re hitting all the points – I’d love to help.