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Home Blog – eCommerce News, tips and tutorials Problems with eCommerce design: the lack of product information

Problems with eCommerce design: the lack of product information

It’s probably the biggest issue out there. You can go into a bricks-and-mortar store, pick up an item, feel it, open it, gauge the weight, the texture, the shape. You can read the labels, the manufacturer information, talk to a store owner about it.

Let’s compare that experience to what happens online. How many times has there been just a line or two of text? No detailed description? No guidelines for storage or for washing if the item is a piece of clothing?

So do something about it!

Go through your site, product by product and improve the descriptions. It won’t be easy or fast especially if you sell many items but over time you’ll see the rewards. Here are some of the details you can add:

  • Measurements: Width, height, length – overall dimensions.
  • Make sure all color and size variations are clearly displayed.
  • A size chart: Does the fit match global sizes or does it differ?
  • Care instructions: How to store it properly or what temperature to wash it in.
  • More information about the brand or the designer.
  • Links to press cuttings or reviews of the item. Don’t just take our word for it!
  • Is there a virtuous side to the brand? Does a percentage of the profits go to charity or good causes?

Study the language you use

Be sure and write according to your audience. Avoid overly technical phrases in the product description and use more descriptive terminology. You can always have more specific information in a ‘Technical Details’ tab for example.

Let’s look at how you can put more descriptive language into action.

Say you have an eCommerce store selling laptops. On one you mention the processor and graphics card in bullet points:

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650M

But how does this differ to other graphics chips? Is it right for me?

  • NVIDIA GeForce FTX 650M – Ideal for gaming, video editing and Photoshop

But what if all those product details just don’t apply to me?

Granted we don’t all sell designer t-shirts or hipster coffee beans excreted from a Kopi Luwak so how do you improve copy if you sell say hardwood floors or seeds for the garden?

The key is to write around the customer.

For hardwood floors think about the busy professional who doesn’t have time to keep their home clean. Proclaim the advantages of being able to run a mop once a week around it compared to other flooring. Think of the family with kids that have less to worry about from dusty carpets.

For the seed company think of the environmentalists who would like to grow their own organic fruit and vegetables. Think of the flowery window boxes on display in downtown apartments.

Once you take a step back and think about the people using your products you should be buzzing with ideas on how to improve your store’s copy.

Simon Tomkins Designer, developer and pixel pusher until things are just right. Interested in modern, functional design with a focus on speed, clean typography and conversions. Enjoys whitespace and strong coffee.

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