If you operate an e-commerce website and thinking about investing in product descriptions or improving your website images, listen to this story:

When my uncle became engaged to a lovely Vietnamese lady, he asked me to be a part of the wedding ceremony. I was honoured, but in addition to needing to learn several hymns and brush up on my Wedding March, I needed to buy a new dress coloured red, the customary colour of guests at a Vietnamese wedding.

Practicing piano left little time for shopping, so I began my search for a red dress on Google. The term “red dress” got back 183,000,000 search results, the top being major online retailers such as Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Overstock. After viewing  several sites, I noticed that some product descriptions weren’t very … descriptive.

For example: “Women’s red cotton dress, size 8” didn’t tell me much. Some websites didn’t even have sizing information, and the images were small and blurry. I quickly bounced to another website with much better product descriptions and images that let you zoom in to see the texture of the fabric.

“Cadmium red ladies dress, size 8. Elegant corset-jersey dress with narrow V-neck. Ornate seam detail accentuates the feminine silhouette and exposed back zip closure.” Okay, now we were talking. In addition to the description, there were several images of the dress shown on a model at various angles. There was even a video of the model moving around in the dress so I could see how it moves on a body.

I Bought the Dress

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Increase your conversion rate with fabulous product descriptions.

Like most shoppers, I tend to be suspicious of e-commerce websites that do a poor job of describing the product. Poor product pages are unlikely to convert potential customers. What’s more, puny descriptions are unlikely to attract new customers.

Limited product information has a direct impact on how much new traffic comes through your website, especially over the long run, because your site is missing out on all that potential SEO value. Not to mention, it is disappointing for the customer. Online shoppers want to buy your stuff, but they won’t do it if you make the purchasing decision seem too risky. I know I felt disappointed bouncing from site to site, and I’m going to remember those sites from now on.

My new aunt’s family and I didn’t speak the same language, but my new red dress spoke volumes. And I felt confident as I “mingled marvelously” at the reception, the “red rosettes” draping slightly from the “crew neckline” was “attractive but not too sexy” – just like the website promised. Now that’s a well-written product description!