Imagine if you could have a super salesperson standing next to a customer every time they looked at your brochure, catalogue or website.
Your salesperson would draw their attention to the ways that your products could help them. He or she would answer their questions and respond to their concerns. The salesperson would demonstrate your product showing how easy it is to use.
The product descriptions on your website, catalogues and brochures should work like a top salesperson. They should not merely describe. They should sell.
Here are seven ways that you can increase your sales by improving your product descriptions:
1. Highlight your benefits
People buy products and services because they want to change something in their lives or business. The benefit is that change or improvement.
Think of the last time that you bought chocolate. Was it to give you an energy boost when you felt tired? Maybe it was to cheer yourself up when you felt low? Perhaps it was a gift for a friend who had invited you over for Sunday lunch? The benefit of the chocolate was the energy boost, the comfort or the happy friend.
Canny marketers hook straight into the hopes and fears of their customers. What are your customers hoping to achieve by buying your product? What do they wish to avoid? Talk to them about these things.
2. Engage customers’ emotions
Paint vivid pictures of what your customers will feel and experience when they use your products. What senses will they use – sight, hearing, taste, touch or smell? How will they feel when they get the benefits of your products – relieved, happy, safer or more beautiful?
3. Explain the practicalities
All purchases involve some practicalities. For example, when you buy furniture, you need to know its exact dimensions so you can check if it will fit into your home.
What are the practicalities that you need to explain to your customers? Is it your products’ size, shape, weight, nutritional value, washing instructions, delivery timescales, return policy, service provision, manufacturing process, green credentials or fair trade principles?
4. Overcome objections
Consider what might stop people buying your products. Compare your own offerings to similar products and services. Think back over the questions that potential customers have asked you in the past and how you have responded to them.
Are your products more expensive than similar ones? If so, you’ll need to explain how they offer value for money. Are your products cheaper? Then, you will need to demonstrate that they are good quality, despite their low price. Are you selling a personal service? You will need to show that you are qualified and experienced enough to deliver the service.
5. Validate with testimonials
Amazon and Marks & Spencers make good use of customer testimonials on their product pages. They ask customers to review individual products on a 1 to 5 scale and leave comments.
When potential customers hear good things about your products, they are more likely to buy. However, it can work the other way too. Poor ratings and comments about individual products may reduce sales (but you will learn a lot about how your products are performing).
You may prefer to have one set of customer testimonials for your product range as a whole, rather than comments about each individual product. If so, you could have a testimonials page or sprinkle quotes across your website, brochure or catalogue. Client lists also add creditability to your offering, especially for business services.
6. Show with photos, demonstrate with videos
Seeing is believing. When it comes to physical products, photos are absolutely essential. Make sure that your photos showcase your products well. Decide if your products will look at their best with models or on their own? And please do not photograph light-coloured objects against a white background – a common photo faux pas.
Videos are a great way of showing your product in action. If possible, include happy customers in your videos so that their testimonial is part of the demonstration. Videos can also uploaded to YouTube to gain extra publicity.
If you are selling a service, you can use case studies or samples or your work instead of photos. You could also make a video of one of your speeches or presentations.
7. Display appealingly with a good layout
Think of your web page, brochure or catalogue as your shop. Would you show your products in a chaotic, disorganised shop? Would you expect your customers to buy anything if you did?
Your layout should be attractive, straightforward and consistent. Personally, I find the layout on Amazon too long and too busy. I would prefer to have more detailed descriptions of the actual products and fewer customer tags and sponsored links.
Boxes, tabbed pages and links can be good ways of displaying the images and descriptions of your products.
Increasing your sales
Engaging, easy-to-use descriptions can significantly increase the sales of your products.
Thinking like your customers is the key to writing product descriptions that really sell. When you understand your customers’ hopes and ambitions, their fears and worries, then you will know how to best describe your products to them.
About the Author: Margaret Webster is a freelance copywriter & marketer. www.pagster.co.uk. Margaret Webster helps companies to increase their sales, respond to competition and communicate with their customers, employees and other key audiences. She does this by writing their websites, intranet sites, brochures and other promotional material. She uses her marketing knowledge and experience to ensure that her writings help her clients to build their businesses.
Margaret’s approach is to begin each project by understanding the client company, its objectives and its audience. This has enabled her to write engaging, results-oriented copy for a wide range of audiences as diverse as track workers on the railway and CEOs of large organisations. Margaret also writes articles about marketing and corporate communications.