How Bad Product Descriptions Are Hurting Your Sales


Two of the most frustrating online shopping experiences for a consumer are when an online search brings up the wrong products or brings up what appears to be the right product, but the product page lacks the images and descriptions needed to close the sale. Unfortunately, failure to make products easily searchable and presentable is frequently due to bad product descriptions. This is an issue that’s so common for a wide assortment of retailers selling through eCommerce platforms to big omnichannel chains. For those players that get it correctly, there’s a clear route to differentiation and improved conversions.

Low-quality product content is one of the most typical reasons for returns. The National Retail Federation estimated that Americans spent $630 billion on presents in 2015, also estimated 15% of those purchases—about $100 billion—were returned. Of these items returned, 22% were because of a product seeming different online than in person.

So what is at the source of the issue? Many retailers store their information in silos (disparate systems which don’t work nicely together) throughout their organization, which makes the presentation of a single, coherent view of the product material for clients a time-consuming and expensive procedure. This trickle-down complexity of content confuses the customer when content isn’t consistent for the purchase conclusion—the most essential phase of the commerce experience.

Adding to the complexity is the fact that there’s not a one-size-fits-all remedy. What works well for a particular product category might not work for others. The online grocery market, for example, needs a different set of product information compared to the consumer electronics market. When it might be the exact same shopper in both situations, the advice which customer is searching for differs when purchasing organic produce and a pair of headphones. This makes it more difficult for retailers and manufacturers, in addition to the companies they deal with to fix their data problems.

So, what can retailers do to improve their online user experience?

4 Ways to Fix Poor Product Content

1. Go visual.
Shoppers respond to images, such as those stored in a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system. They reveal more than just the best side of merchandise—clients want to see products from several angles. Capture their attention by presenting the product like they were in a physical shop. Video works, too!

2. Go private.
To match the ideal product for your customers, place articles in context: comprehend the customer within their location and reflect their brand affinities. To enable this, a Master Data Management (MDM) system can enable a distinguished experience by integrating customer, location, and brand domain names in your offer.

3. Go faster.

Customers want to be amused, to see new things, and also to focus their attention on something. You have to keep content current and compelling by collaborating with trading partners because of constant enrichment and dynamic updating of product images and data. The usage of a Vendor Portal, plug-and-play integration into product picture and data pools, and integrating User Generated Content (UGC) from social sites are crucial to speed the flow of content.

4. Go deeper.

For customers to find your merchandise, you require a robust content strategy to make your offerings easily searchable, whether on your website or through search engines. So dig deep in capturing the type of content that boosts the item to the top of the search and helps you bury the competition down the search results.

Putting it Together

In a limited character count world, the right words to describe a product are at a premium and are well worth the effort to get these right. Not only will the ideal descriptions assist conversions but delivering the right descriptions together with graphics, characteristics, and context is where a Product Information Management (PIM) system can turn into an ineffective eCommerce or mobile site into an outstanding, personalized experience for customers. And incidentally, retailers that invest in robust product content and related media can reduce the number of returns they experience during the year.

Retailers need to provide high-quality product information that’s accurate, up-to-date, and meets the consumer’s requirements. By identifying the most essential features to emphasize (i.e., product images, materials, measurements, sourcing information, etc.), retailers will be sure they’re fulfilling their customers’ needs and help them make informed buying choices.

Quality and precision go awry. If this high-quality product content is redirected into the wrong product, it’s totally wasted. There’s a strong link between the content a merchant supplies and client satisfaction, so assuring customers that what they see online is truly representative of the product they will receive is a very important step toward increasing sales and brand trust.

Besides high quality and accurate product material, retailers will need to make certain that the systems they use work together. If data can not be transferred between systems, and when one view of product content for customers doesn’t exist, mistakes will be made. To prevent unnecessary product returns and protect customer relationships, retailers should invest in an enterprise content network with master data management (MDM) and merchandise data management (PIM) capabilities, which will enable content collaboration across physical and digital stations. Recent research showed that 19% of consumer goods companies assert that MDM will be among the top 3 sales and marketing-related tech investments in the future. Utilizing a content network that enables collaboration along each step of the supply chain is not only vital to revenue, but also is becoming crucial in order to stay competitive in the industry.

Clients expect an accurate and detailed product description to inform their buying decisions, particularly when they’re shopping online. When retailers lack the right content, consumers refrain from making the purchase or buy knowing they may need to return the item if it does not suit their needs.