The fashion industry has its own rules. People buy clothes or lingerie first of all with their eyes and sense of touch. When we see something in the store that catches our eye, we touch it to check the quality of the fabric, we try it on and then we make a purchase decision. The decision-making process is slightly different in the case of online stores. It goes without saying, that visual content, such as pictures and videos, is important. It is due to the fact that the identity of a brand is mostly created with such content. Thanks to unique photos, famous models or eye-catching colours, customers remember a given brand and build loyalty. So what is the role of product descriptions?
Why is content so important in the fashion industry?
Product descriptions are, or at least should be, part of your brand strategy. In our opinion, they have two functions. The first function (and probably the most important one) is to help customers make purchasing decisions. This is due to the fact, that not all details can be seen in product pictures. How a given item of clothing is fastened? How many pockets does it have? How tall is the model? Is the fabric transparent? Does the fabric have a structure? How does it feel to the touch? All of these questions are important and all the information should be included in the product description. Each, even the smallest detail, can affect the purchase of the product - and most importantly -the rate of product returns. There is probably nothing worse for the customer service department than seeing the phrase “item not as described” in the return form. Owners of both small online stores and large brands must remember that the information on the website must substitute going to the store and trying an item of clothing on in a fitting room. Only a combination of photos or videos and a well written product description will do the job. This will help consumers to make a purchase decision and guarantee satisfaction with the dress, blouse or trousers that they receive by post.
The second function of product descriptions is to be part of a brand's communication strategy. When preparing descriptions for an e-shop, close cooperation with the marketing and social media departments aimed at using the same nomenclature and phrases in all channels is vital. As a result, the content in the e-shop will be coherent and consistent with the brand's vision and values.
How to write product descriptions?
We already know that product descriptions are extremely important in the fashion industry. However, the question is how should they be written to be as valuable as possible for the customer? There are several answers:
- continuous text:
Descriptions written in this way will certainly give the copywriter a bit more room for creativity, and will also allow for more complex, "flowery" sentences. However, when you decide to use this style to write a description, remember about the word count and make the most important features of the product bold.
- bullet points:
Bullet points are the most transparent form of text, and as a result the customer is able to quickly scan the text to find the most interesting information
- continuous text + bullets:
The hybrid of these two ways of writing will make the brand's marketing communication sound very clear (thanks to continuous text), and the text itself will be easy and quick to read (thanks to bullet points).
All things said, you should remember the most important thing: even the best and most well-thought-out descriptions will be no good if they do not contain information that is useful for customers. Therefore, do not flood the text with red herrings (or keep it to an absolute minimum), and focus instead on the language of benefits and information that is actually useful for customers.
Collaboration is the key to success
Working with such a large client as Orsay, we have learned (and we always repeat this to our potential clients) that preparing a good and valuable description is a complicated process (at least at the beginning). It requires the involvement and close cooperation of many people, and in the case of large quantities and large projects - the creation and implementation of efficient and well-thought-out processes. The project coordinator will have to work closely with the product management department and the photography studio.
You have to remember that using pictures as the only source for writing a product description is usually not enough. Mainly because not every detail is visible on a picture, and the task at hand is to provide the customer with information about every, even the smallest detail. Of course, the ideal situation is when the copywriter can go to the studio, view and touch each product. Nevertheless, such a scenario happens very rarely. In every other case the materials that the client provides us with are invaluable.
We could talk about how the ideal process should look like for (p)ages. However, this process may be different for each client. One thing is certain though, trusting a professional copywriting agency and outsourcing the production of product descriptions from the start of any e-shop is the wise thing to do. This will save you not only time, but what is priceless, you will have the peace of mind that that all the new product descriptions that appear on your website are just perfect.
*We write more about the benefits of preparing descriptions in our e-book “How to increase your e-shop sales in five easy steps”