Don’t underestimate the importance of a well-crafted product description when it comes to building a successful e-commerce store.
Product information has the power to persuade
Think of the last great online shopping experience you had. I’ll bet that it had a few key things going for it:
- Simple design with clear emphasis (your eye wasn’t drawn to four different places at once)
- Ease of navigation (you knew where you were and intuitively how to get where you wanted to go)
- Clear pictures and descriptions of products (you imagined how this product would or wouldn’t fit into your life)
That all sounds obvious and straightforward, but I’ll bet you’ve also browsed a site recently where while points 1 and 2 were covered – point 3 was a major let-down.
Maybe the product images were out of focus, poorly lit or uninspiring.
Or perhaps the product description was a list of features without any kind of ‘how you might use this’ description.
Chances are (unless it was a product you just couldn’t find anywhere else), you didn’t spend much time or money on that site.
The product description and PIMs
Big companies spend a LOT of money on enterprise Product Information Management Systems (aka PIMs) because they have a lot riding on the usability of their online stores AND they have thousands upon thousands of unique items and/or variations (size, colour, etc) to present to buyers.
Think like the big guys
When you’re starting a new e-commerce site, one of the best gifts you can give yourself is CONSISTENCY. What is your naming convention for products? Sizing? Colours?
This is especially important when it comes to categories and tags.
When a human reads a sign that says “Women’s Clothing” pointing ahead and then arrives at a sign that says “Women,” that human can understand that those two signs (although technically different) meant the same thing.
When you use variations of categories and tags, you can unintentionally divide products that should rightly be organized together.
Perhaps the most insidious culprit here is the pluralization of categories and tags. Why? Because it’s the most subtle yet accidental.
Let’s say a customer is searching for a coat for a female on a Shopify site. The difference between Woman/Women and Parka/Parkas is only one letter each BUT, depending on your system, you could have four coats for women that end up in four different sorting buckets rather than showing up together (or on cross-sell opportunities).
Don’t let this surprise you
If you start with structure and consistency, this will never be a problem. Where people get into trouble is when they stop paying attention for six months. Or, they don’t properly train a new hire nor check their work on their first few hundred item entries.
Cleaning up tags and categories can be a huge, otherwise unproductive hassle.
So, do yourself a huge favour and set your Shopify business up for success the first time around.
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, don’t worry, we’re here to help!
We have created a toolkit to help you navigate some of the most common challenges in setting up a Shopify store.
Also published on Medium.