Friday, March 20, 2009

Product Descriptions: Introduction

As artists, crafters, and designers, many of us can be challenged with the business of business. Oh, if we could only create and not have to tend to those things such as accounting, shipping, taxes, and copywriting!

When selling products online or in the real world, product descriptions become critical to your overall selling strategy. They are the gears that makes the marketing wheels turn.

As a handcrafted jewelry designer with my own GalleriaLinda shop, I have noticed from my searches online that independent designers, crafters, and artists, especially have difficulty in understanding how to describe, title, and promote products through their writing styles and descriptions in their listings.

You know that content is the key to being searched and found online. There is a balance, however, to offering descriptions that will satisfy online searches while giving your buyer the information they need quickly.

I can’t address product descriptions without mentioning the importance of product photos. Product photos work either with your descriptions or against them. More on that subject later.

I found a variety of approaches to writing product descriptions. They seem to fall into five categories:

  • The technical – no matter the product, all you get is size, materials, color, and use in the description, if even that much
  • The story teller – will spin a creative and interesting tale that swirls around the product to enchant you but may leave you without real information
  • The disorganized – throws information darts and misses the board altogether
  • The creative – describes the product with flourish and marketing spin – much of which may be extraneous
  • The “got it together” – has description, technical information, and titles working together with appropriate keywords and provides all the information needed for one to decide to buy the product

Which one are you?

If you are serious about improving your product descriptions, the first thing to do is research, read, and ponder. Here are a few tips that will help you research:

  • Research the top online sellers of similar products to yours and read their descriptions. Be sure to research many selling venues and not just the one that you are using, as they each have a different “flavor.” This will give you a broader view into your product descriptions.
  • Grab a few printed catalogs that include products like yours and read it from cover to cover. What you gain from print media expands to not only the descriptive elements, but also photography styles and description structure.
  • Note things that you want to avoid and note those things that you would want to include in your own product descriptions. These could be key words, format, or writing style.

Think about this and check back, as there is more to come in this interesting series!

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