Getting potential customers to your Amazon product listing is one thing, but the second (and arguably most important) thing is actually convincing them to buy.
Your customers are faced with a barrage of choice on Amazon, which means your product needs to be particularly enticing to get your customer to go through with the sale.
Your product descriptions are one valuable device available to you to help you stand out from others. Of course, you need to include appropriate keywords to help get your product found, but imagine how boring descriptions would be if that’s all they consisted of?
What you need is a description that’s really designed to sell; here’s how you can achieve that…
Know Your Customer
Ok, knowing who your ideal customer is and understanding exactly what makes them tick seems to be advice that is trotted out frequently, but that’s only because it’s true.
Sometimes people worry about deliberately excluding people, fearing that they will be “missing opportunities” if they don’t try to cast as wide a net as possible. The problem with that is you run the risk of appealing to no one.
Descriptions which are created as a catch-all with no particular target customer in mind often end up sounding bland or possibly even confusing to potential customers. As HubSpot states: “Having a deep understanding of your buyer persona(s) is critical to driving content creation, product development, sales follow up, and really anything that relates to customer acquisition and retention.”
This is why it’s important to do your market research and construct detailed buyer personas which help you to get into the heads of your ideal customers and craft descriptions which will appeal directly to them. HubSpot outlines a quick process in the infographic below:
Define Your “Voice”
What is your brand personality? How will you appeal to those customers you’ve identified above? If you want to avoid sounding like a bland corporation, defining the “voice” of your brand is important too as this will translate into your product descriptions.
Voice is a feature which can help set you apart from your competitors. You can convey to shoppers the characteristics and culture of your brand. You also leave clues as to who you are and how your customers can expect to be treated.
How do you define your voice? One way of going about it is decide what you are and what you are not. For example, “we are irreverent and cheeky, but we do not use offensive language.”
Define Features and Benefits
Before you start writing up any product descriptions, it’s always a good idea to have a clearly defined list of features and benefits, but don’t get the two confused. In short, the feature is “what it is” while the benefit defines “what’s in it for me?”
Just remember, your potential buyers aren’t so interested in a list of features as they are in the answers to “what’s in it for me?” The buyer wants to know that the product choice they are making will solve a problem or provide for a need (or want) that they have.
Write out a list of all product features, then a corresponding list for the benefits. Think about your customer persona and brand voice as you write those benefits — how or where might the customer be using the product and what issues do you solve?
You don’t have to go overboard, sometimes short and sweet conveys it best. As an example, see how Amazon describes the voice search feature on their Fire TV Remote;
Avoid Enormous Titles
We’ve all seen them, and it seems to be a growing trend to include absolutely every keyword possible in your product title for your Amazon listing. Honestly though, how does it make you feel about a product when you see that? Personally, I think it screams “spammy internet marketer” and it seems many others are with me on that!
Sellers are creating these enormous titles thinking that they’re going to get some kind of keyword benefit, but as we’ve pointed out before, Amazon does not give more weighting to keywords in the title than to those listed in the keywords field.
So, think about your title from the perspective of Amazon search and from the perspective of the customer. Make it snappy and accurate so that Amazon ranks it and customers get it right away without feeling like they had to read an essay to get to the point. (Amazon’s guidelines for product titles can be found here).
Note: There is confusion over the number of characters allowed and it’s little wonder. Amazon has said 250 characters (which would be very long), though in practice, each category tends to have their own limits. As an example, the style guide for the Kitchen category indicates 100 characters.
In short? Follow the Amazon guidelines for what to include in product titles and for character length in your category, but remember one of the simple rules of good copy: don’t make your title any longer than it really needs to be in order to persuade your prospects.
Highlight What Makes You Different
Take a look at any competitor offers; are there vital benefits on your list which they are not highlighting? This could well be your sweet spot for differentiating your product from theirs. What you are looking for is specific needs which you can cater to which make you different.
For example, there might be a dozen examples of merino wool socks, but yours is the only one which highlights a sustainable, eco-friendly source that allows buyers to contribute to the well-being of local farmers.
Or, quite simply, everyone else offers the raincoat you sell in black, whereas you have high-viz orange; perfect for the cyclist who needs to be seen in inclement weather.
Evoke the Senses
Where and how would your buyer use your product? Prior to writing your description, note down the circumstances you can think of where your product will be used — this helps you to create a description with sensory elements which help the buyer picture using it.
As an example: “This “shoulder saving” lightweight, breathable raincoat is made of a patented, waterproof fabric which keeps you warm and dry, but won’t weigh down your pack on those long hikes.”
Think about how your product can appeal to any of the senses; smell, touch, taste, sound or sight. Food and beverage retailers can give you some inspiration, with sensory adjectives such as “velvety”, “smooth”, “oaky” or “crisp.” Just avoid overuse of superlatives or bland phrases such as “excellent quality.”
Keep it Simple
Amazon gives you 2000 characters to write a product description, but the worst thing you can do with that is write a wall of text, just to try to get in the maximum allowance. It goes back to what we mentioned earlier about titles — it should be as long as is needed to persuade the buyer that you’ve got the right product for them.
One clear paragraph written with simple sentences is often all it takes. Sure, use some of your keywords in the description, but you’re not adding anything by “stuffing” and you may well be screwing up readability and putting off the customer (which will negatively impact your best seller ranking anyway).
Here are some points to note:
- There’s no need to repeat what you’ve said in your bullet points — make it a powerful description which adds something new.
- If your product has particularly technical aspects, use this field to describe in plain English what they mean and what the benefit is. For example, see the description of a Canon camera bundle here (it could be improved by further explaining some terms in plain language). “With an ISO range of 100-6400 (expandable to 12800), you can shoot in low-light situations, reducing the need for a tripod or a flash.”
- Don’t just copy and paste manufacturer descriptions. There are many examples of this on Amazon where the description is an obvious copy and hasn’t been formatted for readability. Besides, could you do a better job?
Amazon product descriptions that sell aren’t usually slapped together in a couple of minutes; they are carefully crafted with the ideal customer in mind and with thought behind what will matter to them.
Know the answer to “what’s in it for me” for your customers and convey that in your descriptions. Make them readable and engaging — a wall of text or a giant product title is often just off-putting.
Importantly, emphasise what makes you different from competitors. If there are others selling the same or similar products, you can use your product descriptions to stand out and demonstrate character if you’ve put the thought and planning into it.