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Product Descriptions for E-Commerce - The Transformation From Cost Eater to Profit Center

Reading Time 5 mins | November 25, 2021 | Written by: Anne Geyer

Product descriptions are known to be tricky to write. We can compare them to the relative nobody likes to be around, the uncle nobody likes to see or have. Product descriptions are exactly the same - we don’t want them, they are expensive, but a necessity. However, product pages can be huge levers we can use and rely on, as they have a huge potential that has not yet been optimized. That is the moment the customer makes its final decision to purchase a product.

Shifting Focus Is Essential for the Company

A German fashion company has around 120 product copywriters for writing product descriptions. Some companies have large teams for writing international content. The following question is highly essential: Are these teams purely a cost center or do they also generate profit? When it comes to automated content generation, there is often a wide discussion about cost savings. However, the huge potential of optimized content and how it can significantly increase sales is completely forgotten - and this is what companies should really be about.

How Can We Actually Change This Mentality?

The answer is: Through Dashboards and KPIs!

It has become a habit within online marketing to communicate through dashboards for advertising campaigns. There are several dashboard types, for advertising campaigns, for SEO. They provide visualization and a better overview in many aspects, such as how many clicks does an ad produce. Here's the question: why isn't this being done for content, or rather for product descriptions? The only thing that is measured in terms of content is SEO visibility. Other KPIs simply do not exist.

Potential values that can be used as KPIs, however, are for example: 

  • return rates of a product
  • conversion rates on the product page
  • number of support requests regarding a product

Writing a Good Text Is Highly Important

A good text that sells well is highly important. Nonetheless, the focus should be on shifting our mindset in such a way that at the end of the day we can proudly say our company is profit driven, instead of being driven by reducing costs. 

AX Semantics Provides a Content Dashboard with KPIs for Product Pages

AX Semantics has released dashboards that are available for customers to purchase them. They are part of the content personalization software of the company, as this is an approach AX Semantics truly believes in that has also been embedded in the software as a long-term solution. This gives content managers a new way to measure and also test the success of their product descriptions. 

What Does That Mean for Product Descriptions?

Using Product Descriptions as Brand Ambassadors

The first key point is using product descriptions as brand ambassadors, and thus see them that way. 

Moreover, the desired message that has to be in the product descriptions has to be embedded - without doubt, all corporate values or environmental commitment cannot be mentioned in each text piece and this is why certain individual values of the company have to be embedded if it matches the product. In this way, the credibility of these values being of high importance is strengthened.

More and more customers are buying more sustainably and this shift towards a more conscious consumption has to be taken into account and thus communicate it in product descriptions as a retailer. Retailers have to adapt to the current trends and offer this to their customers if it is relevant for the product - such as climate-neutral shipping or sustainable production.

Visual Presentation of Product Descriptions

Another key point is the visual presentation of product descriptions. A German and Swiss study has shown that when reading content on a digital screen, the texts are not entirely understood, as the content is not being processed.

So how should product descriptions be prepared in the future?

The answer is simple: through lists and bullet points, so that customers can scan through the content and read the essential information that should answer all their questions about a product. If the bullet points provided sufficient information and caught the customer’s interest, only then one reads the content and understands it. This is why it is highly essential to take care of the visual presentation of product descriptions and give easy access to the content. Only in this way, the customer will buy the product.

Automate, Automate, Automate!

E-commerce companies have a lot of data about their customers. But what can they do with all this flood of data? Automate it!

More targeted and more tailor-made content has to be offered to address each customers’ individual needs, as the volume of data is getting too big. 

Furthermore, automation plays a very important role, and without it, companies cannot improve or do better, and they will fall behind, compared to those who come up with solutions.Nowadays, companies are faced with too many megatrends and changes. They should not come up with rushed results, as nobody is expecting perfect product descriptions by tomorrow. But they should have a shift in their attitude and focus on optimization and automation and on tailor-made product descriptions that address every customer’s needs, as these are the keys to successful results.

Anne Geyer