Writing eye-catching product descriptions for customer self-ordering

Posted in Electronic product catalogue management and tips.

B2B self-ordering has many benefits for the customer including the flexibility to peruse over the product list in one’s own time, and thus, not having to wait for an available sales rep. Also, there is more time for decision-making, and instant access to all the latest products. There are ways in which you (the seller) can enhance these benefits for your customers even further. One of which is having well thought-out product descriptions for each product in your electronic catalogue. Remember, your product catalogue is where you have to sell a product without a customer needing to physically interact with it, so descriptions are vital.

Knowing the fundamentals of a product – the type of people you’re selling it to, what its attributes are, where and how it would be used, and why it is better than your competitors’ products – already puts you halfway towards creating a captivating description. The following tips will help you to refine your product descriptions in such a way to make each product in your electronic catalogue sell itself:

1)  Speak directly to the customer

When a customer goes through the self-ordering process, there isn’t a sales rep to engage with on a personal level. The knowledge you possess regarding what your target market looks like should enable you to write descriptions that will relate to the customer. By way of the description, the product should feel like it is “speaking” to the customer, and that it is made for them and their particular need.

In product descriptions it is good to use the word “you” frequently. The customer is more likely to react positively when they feel special. To personalize this interaction even more, ask yourself what your average customer’s personality is like, what type of language they use and what they would like to know about a product. You can gleam all of this from previous interactions with customers as well as the questions they have asked about the products they are about to purchase.

2)  Cut out the obvious

There are certain phrases that have become a cliché in almost every product description out there. Phrases like “excellent quality” or “great value” crop up regularly and don’t serve any real purpose. Customers expect by now to see these types of phrases, but what specifically about the product makes it such good quality or value for money?

You can use these clichéd phrases as a jumping-off point to figure out how you can prove that something is what you claim it to be. Be very specific and focus on things that will imply quality or value. Think about the materials it is made from (which can imply durability) or the way in which it is manufactured.

3)  Benefits and features go hand-in-hand

Customers look for products that serve a purpose and that visibly show an effect in real-world situations. B2B customers, in particular, want to know that what they are buying will be useful in improving or maintaining company productivity. This is why it is essential to not only mention the technical features of a product but also how the product will ultimately benefit the company or make it better. Look at each individual feature and think why that feature would be beneficial to have or use. Remember features deal with the facts, and the benefits explain what the features do for the customer.

4)  Evoke a feeling with words and stories

When using an electronic product catalogue, your customers have to rely on images and words to help them imagine what it would be like to own the product. As the customer cannot physically touch the product, the description should be able to stir the customer’s imagination. Use adjectives that are sensory. Sensory refers to how you would describe the touch, taste, smell, sound, and so forth of a product.

Telling a story about the product and how it is used helps the customer visualize themselves as the protagonist. This makes it easier for them to make a decision about whether the product is what they are looking for. Telling a story in your description also has the added benefit of showing how the product can be used in real-life situations.

5)  Give it a good flow

When listing features and benefits, especially using bullet points, make sure to list the most important things first. These will give a good first impression and what follows merely serves to compound the “good news” listed earlier.

Also, don’t forget to draw up a few drafts of every description you write (no matter how little words are used). Every completed draft needs to be read out loud by you and others to see whether it flows well and makes logical sense to read. Also, check that all the facts relating to the product are correct. Then trim as much excess from the copy as you can to make it understandable and concise. Never go with the first draft, there is always room for improvement.

If you’re not already using Onsight customer self-ordering, find out more about this helpful feature in this article from our user guide: How customer self-ordering works.