Practical Ecommerce

Inspiring Ecommerce Product Descriptions to Learn From

Product descriptions are vital for ecommerce success. So when you see a great one take note, learn from it, and try to improve your own product detail pages.

In a recent article, KISSmetrics, the analytics platform, described not having a product description as a critical search engine optimization error, not to mention what a good product description does for the shopper trying to decide whether or not to make a purchase.

This week, I came across two compelling ecommerce product descriptions that I believe can teach us about selling our products online.

Dollar Shave Club: Use Humor to Engage

Dollar Shave Club Does not sell complicated products. In fact, nearly any fellow who shaves his face — and even bearded men typically trim around the edges — already has a pretty good idea of what a razor is and does.

With this in mind, one might think that Dollar Shave Club would be tempted to write a bland, rather direct product description like, “Designed to give you a close shave.” While this would not be the worst product description ever written, it would not necessarily engage or inform the customer either. Are there, for example, razors designed not to give you a close shave?

The Dollar Shave Club uses product descriptions to inform and entertain shoppers.

The Dollar Shave Club uses product descriptions to inform and entertain shoppers.

The Dollar Shave Club’s website takes a different tact. The product description is clearly intended to entertain, not inform. The product is a twin-blade shaver that many, if not most, shoppers will already understand. Here is the resulting product description.

The Humble Twin keeps it simple, wielding nothing but truth. It’s like your old high school gym, before the class of ‘62 alumni donated $1 million and rebuilt it into a modern coliseum. Wasn’t it better back then? Whatever. If you’re a twin blade guy, then this is the business. And maaan is it cheap.

In addition to the entertaining copy, Dollar Shave Club includes several benefits associated with the Humble Twin.

  • 2 stainless steel blades.
  • 5 cartridges per month.
  • A good basic shaver, for guys who dig simplicity and precision.
  • Lubricating strip soothes the skin.
  • A shallow pivot head contours the face.
  • Reliable — this is the ’82 wagon that starts when the temp’s below zero.

The lesson the Dollar Shave Club can teach us is that product descriptions, particularly for easy-to-understand products, can be entertaining and engaging. We can also see that having a list of specifications allows us latitude in the prose portion of the description.

GORUCK: Demonstrate Technical Prowess and Use Video

GORUCK has a different challenge. Its primary product, a rucksack, is understood similarly to a twin blade shaver. But GORUCK’s version of this basic product costs $295, which is ten times as much as some competitors. So GORUCK needs to demonstrate, if you will, technical superiority. It needs to show shoppers why its rucksack is worth every penny.

While GORUCK uses a variety of different marketing tactics, including some helpful events like GORUCK Challenges, it also does a good job of describing its products on site.

As an example, the product description for the GORUCK GR1 has four sections.

First, at the top of the page there is a simple section that calls out some of the GR1’s basic features, including that it holds 26 liters of stuff and it is built to hold a 17-inch Apple MacBook Pro.

GORUCK has a basic product information section at the top of its product detail page.

GORUCK has a basic product information section at the top of its product detail page.

The next section of the page includes a short, prose description of the GR1 and a video.

The GR1 is GORUCK’s original and most versatile rucksack. Think of it as a dayruck or minimalist overnight ruck that protects a laptop (or a hydration bladder) with force. Comfortable in cities, warzones, when rucking to train, and at our Events, GR1 is our most popular piece of gear.

“GR1 works great at GORUCK Light, The Challenge, Heavy, and Selection.

The GR1 video shows shoppers seemingly everything there is to know about the rucksack.

The GR1 video shows shoppers seemingly everything there is to know about the rucksack.

The video is six minutes long and walks the shopper through most every aspect, benefit, and advantage the GR1 has to offer. It is a clear display of technical superiority.

The third section of the product description page is a series of lists enumerating the GR1’s primary features, its laptop or hydration compartment, and how it can be used in GORUCK events. Here is a sample.

  • Built in the USA of military-grade, highly water-resistant materials.
  • Two compartments: one main, one laptop/hydration next to your back.
  • Main compartment opens flat, internal pocket layout allows for optimal organization.
  • 17″ tall bombproof compartment next to your back is extra reinforced to securely take a laptop or hydration bladder into combat.
  • External slant pocket provides quick access to keys, snacks, and other small items.
  • 2” x 3” VELCRO® on front allows you to customize GR1 with the patch of your choice (patch is not included).
  • GR1’s low profile makes it an ideal assaulter’s ruck (houses and doorways are smaller overseas). While rucking, this means the weight stays closer to your back, which is the preferred technique.
  • Opens flat for easy packing and maximum organization — this is a feature found in Special Forces medical rucks.
  • Shoulder straps are extra padded to carry heavier loads more comfortably.
  • Designed to sit high on your back, placing most of the weight on the shoulders and back (the preferred technique when rucking because these are large muscle groups).
  • 3 rows of external and internal MOLLE webbing sized to fit a GR1 Field pocket and other MOLLE friendly accessories.
  • Scars Lifetime Guarantee: Ruck Hard, Play Hard.

This content may be helpful to shoppers, but collectively it also makes an impression. The volume of features makes the GR1 seems like something special.

Finally, at the bottom of the product description column, GORUCK has a table of product details, which the company has labeled “Specs.” Some of the content is duplicated from another section, but nonetheless GORUCK is giving its customers information in just about any form that customer could imagine.

GORUCK as a specification section at the bottom of the product detail page.

GORUCK as a specification section at the bottom of the product detail page.

The lesson here is really threefold. GORUCK is (a) providing its shoppers with good product information in several formats, (b) using a lot of product detail to demonstrate technical superiority and (c) using a video as part of its product description. Consider one or all of these approaches for technical, high-end products.

Armando Roggio
Armando Roggio
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Comments ( 2 )

  1. David Sabot March 18, 2015 Reply

    we have used funny product descriptions for almost 20 years on our site. People love it and it makes us seem more human. Check some out at Cheaphumidors.com

  2. Richard Boon April 9, 2015 Reply

    Another great post on product descriptions! Well done Armando!

    I just arrive from Danielle Mead’s post on product description on Bigcommerce’s blog.

    It’s so much easier to learn surrounded by skillful people.

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