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Online Shop Optimization – the Path to the Perfect Product Description

Product descriptions are an important quality criterion for online shops. They give the visitor the most relevant information on an item in the shop, and, therefore, substantially contribute to whether or not a visitor jumps off the page, backs out or carries out the ordering process.

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Especially for products that are consulting-intensive and in need of explanation, the visitor should be thoroughly informed about their various qualities. This (product) adviser should explain how this can happen in individual cases.

The First Step to Product Description

In order to draw up a corresponding product description, several fundamental questions should first be clarified, which will help with the later work and also serve as a guideline.

Possible questions are, for example:

  • Which target groups are being addressed?

  • What information will the customer be expecting about the product?

  • How does the product differ from other manufacturers? Are there unique characteristics or improvements?

  • What problem is solved by the product?

  • With what emotions will the searcher be visiting the product page? What emotions will lead the customer to the product page?

  • Are there frequently-asked questions about the product. If yes, what are they?

The Target Group

The target group is an important factor, because it will inform the choice of words. A product description "that misses" the customer makes no sense, because the customer will then find it difficult to exercise his or her intention to purchase.

Two examples of this:

  • A wholesale retailer for tools and consumer goods will make technical information and data sheets available to its customer. The visitor, in general, knows what he or she is looking for and ultimately only requires information such as DIN norms, connection options, compatibility with other systems, etc.

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Figure 1: Order tools in the online shop: facts, data, designation, and price suitable for craftsmen

  • In contrast, an online shop for fashion will best appeal to its customer with a lot of images. In principle, it is not pieces of clothing that are being sold, but rather the feeling of wearing them, the colors, the style, and the associations connected with this in the mind of the visitor consumer. Not seldom do we in our agency receive the request: “Please write it as if a good friend were recommending a piece of clothing.” This, of course, does not work with all product descriptions, but it is a good indication of the direction in which the writing style can go.

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Figure 2: Fashion from the online shop: Here, the customer will find a significantly livelier writing style

The Information

The intention to buy an item is different from person to person. Nevertheless, information can be collected before writing, which will answer the questions the customer might have before his/her purchase. In the purchase of a car, men might focus more on motorization and technical gadgets, while women focus more on design, the interior, and everyday practical use.

A further example would be the purchase of a garden hose. What information would the customer want to read about? That the hose can be used to water flowers and plants in your garden is probably clear to everyone interested. But what about the following points?

  • Material (thick, thin, heavy, light)

  • Diameter = flow rate

  • Does the hose kink easily?

  • How easily can it be rolled up?

  • How should you best stow away the hose? (Cross-link to a hose cart?)

  • What connection possibilities are there and are all the connection elements contained in the set?

  • How robust is the hose when exposed to cuts, rocks, and other mechanical stress?

In the hot summer months, garden hoses are also popular as "cold showers." Why, therefore, not also point this out and at the same time awaken some emotions (joy, having fun, family, etc.)?

The Difference

If a product has a quality that differs from those of other manufacturers (USP), this should absolutely be pointed out in the product description. If this is a substantial function, I would place the focus on this and allow it somewhat more space in the text. But be aware: don't exaggerate! The product description should not be similar to a sales event on a senior citizen's excursion.

The Problem

Many products are problem solvers. For me as a copywriter, this fact has to be equated with a point of attack. If the product solves a problem, this can be pointed out in the text and be used to take the visitor by the hand. "You have a problem? I will show you the solution."

What problems could someone have who wants to buy a coffee pad machine?

  • Problem: The previous coffee machine allowed the filtered coffee to cool off in the pot after just a few minutes.

Solution: "Enjoy freshly-brewed and delicious coffee to the last drop at the touch of a button."

  • Problem: This is a single household. A coffee machine for filtered coffee will probably not make sense.

Solution: "With our pod coffee machine, you will waste neither coffee nor water. Every cup is sheer pleasure."

  • Problem: The customer likes to drink different types of coffee, which his or her filter machine cannot provide.

Solution: "No matter whether you prefer cappuccino, latte macchiato, cafe crema, or espresso. Simply insert the appropriate pad into the machine and enjoy the variety ... "

The Emotions

Advertisement arouses a desire in people, even if this is subconscious in many cases. This need awakens emotions that finally lead to an intent to purchase. If these emotions are specifically targeted in the product description, the customer will be able to more easily identify with a product. This increases the probability that he or she will order it in the end. Naturally, emotions are no guarantee for a sale, but they can nevertheless positively influence sales figures.

A few examples:

  • Cars: Buyers of sports cars like action and adrenaline, buyers of minivans prefer comfort and family, buyers of compact cars are looking for an economical vehicle.

  • Fitness: Buyers of a set of dumbbells want muscles and to feel attractive in their body; buyers of treadmills want to break their limitations and increase performance; buyers of pulse monitors want control and safety when they exercise.

  • Fashion: Buyers of an elegant evening dress are looking for attention and simply want to look good; buyers of a top for sports want to look good while training and to emphasize particular parts of their bodies.

Naturally, the categorization of customer emotions is not always easy and can quickly lead to stereotypes, but as an approach for a good product description, it is well suited and can lead to great results.

How do I Research the Most Important Keywords for the Product Description?

There are various methods and tools for keyword research. A good overview of the terms to be used can be obtained with the WDF*IDF tool from OnPage.org. Here, I simply enter the search term, and within a few seconds, the most important terms are made available to me.

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Figure 3: Term research with the Ryte WDF*IDF Tool

Text assistants provide a great advantage. Here, I insert the text and can check at any time whether my text corresponds to the specifications. If the graphical overview does not suit the purpose, simply utilize the keyword list below the diagram.

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Figure 4: Alternative to graphic presentation: the most important terms in table form

Google itself is also an excellent supplier for more keyword combinations. If, for example, I enter the search term "jeans" into the search field, Google shows me further search recommendations in the lower screen section.

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Figure 5: Research keyword recommendations with Google

These search terms are sorted according to the frequency with which they are entered by Google users. If I click on a search term, I get new recommendations again on the following page. Thus, with time, a comprehensive set of keywords is created.


Product descriptions have further tasks beyond giving the actual information to the visitor:

  • They generate search engine traffic

  • They increase the CR (conversion rate)

  • They prevent unnecessary returns due to mistaken purchases

  • They prevent possible unnecessary support requests by the customer by providing detailed information in advance

When writing, I always consider what information I would expect from a product description. What would I like to read when choosing a product?

If the product description is written intelligently and is well thought out, the shop will gain the additional plus point of being placed "on top." When writing, never forget that on the other side of the equation there is a person who has a need. If this need is met, the product description will have fulfilled its task perfectly.

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Published on Jul 24, 2017 by Oliver Wrase