Product pages: Would you buy it with that item description?

by | Jan 18, 2023 | Omnichannel, Retailers

As consumers increasingly research the products they buy online, they use item descriptions on product pages to inform their buying decisions. Not only does this information affect whether they buy your products at all, but it also affects whether they buy them from you or another retailer.

Providing online product information can be a risky proposition. Consumers believe your product is one thing, but in reality, it might be something they didn’t expect at all. Perhaps the photo was inaccurate, the sizing ran too small or the features were incorrect. Whatever the reason, when customers don’t get what they expect, they lose trust in the retailer.

Benefits of good product descriptions, item information

If your item data, product description, photos, videos and even customer testimonials are thorough, you’re more likely to get people to buy from you. That’s because you give them the best idea of what they think they’ll receive. If your content is accurate, people are more likely to come back and buy from you again because they will feel like they can trust you to be honest and deliver on expectations. They’re also more likely to recommend your business to their friends. Also more likely to write positive reviews for your product and services.

Fail to provide consumers with what they were expecting, and the opposite will happen. They’ll complain in reviews about your business online, post on social media about their poor experience and tell their friends to avoid you. That’s not even including the costs when the customer returns the item.

Expectations for item descriptions

Think back to your last few Amazon purchases. What made you confident about making them? Did you get what you expected? Were you satisfied with your e-commerce purchase experience? Was it because there was enough information, or because you knew that “because it’s Amazon,” the information would be accurate, up-to-date and thorough? Did you buy because of Amazon’s A-to-Z Guarantee that promises to refund the money if you’re not happy with the transaction? Amazon makes customers feel safe about making an online purchase, from the product description to the delivery on expectations.

Even if multiple retailers sell the same product on Amazon, the product pages and item descriptions are pretty much the same. That’s because Amazon requires all their sellers to follow existing templates created for each SKU. This way, consumers can easily compare specs, prices and shipping options without worrying whether they’re looking at the same item. All the information is standardized because Amazon studies what works well and what doesn’t. In fact, the only time you get to have a unique Amazon page is if you’re the first seller to offer that particular product on the site.

Improving your product pages

Now take a look at your own product pages through the eyes of a consumer. Would you buy from you, based on what you see? Based on your Amazon purchases and the individual products you sell, what information would be helpful to include? Is the data from your supplier sufficient, or is it lacking? If it’s lacking, can you get your supplier to provide additional information?

Also, review any product feedback and reviews that you’ve received. Is there a running theme that could be helpful to add to the product page? For example, do the sizes run small compared to other clothing or footwear you stock? Were weight, scale or proportions unexpected? Is the color in the photo inaccurate? Consider including some of this information on the product pages to help buyers make a decision.

If you don’t already allow reviews and feedback on your product pages, you should consider adding them. Though you do run the possibility of getting bad reviews, accurate product pages are the first step toward more positive reviews in the future. Social proof is essential to consumers, even if you have a few bad reviews. Customers get suspicious when they see 17 five-star reviews without even so much as one three-star review. They want to know if other people have bought your products and have been happy with them, and if they weren’t happy, they want to know why.

Bonus: While you’re at it, it’s also a good idea to review your return policy. When your product pages are accurate, there’s a good chance that your return rate will go down. If that happens, you may be able to consider a more generous return policy, which could give even more people confidence to purchase your products.

It’s in your best interest to make the item information on your e-commerce site (and other channels) as accurate and as thorough as possible. Accurate information reduces returns and associated costs, makes more people interested in buying from you, and keeps them returning for future purchases.

If you’d like to learn more about optimizing your item description and product pages and managing item data from your suppliers, SPS Commerce can help. With our item management solutions, we can help you turn suppliers’ product information and visual assets into rich, robust product pages that will help customers make good buying decisions in your store and on your website.

Brandon Pierre

GET WEEKLY UPDATES DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX.

Never miss an update from the SPS blog! Receive retail and supply chain news, valuable resources, expert tips and more.