Easy Personalization Tip of the Week: Product Descriptions

Here is part two in our series:“Easy Personalization Tip of the Week”. If you find these tips useful, we’d love to hear from you!

Words matter

“If you care about your product, you should care just as much about how you describe it. In nearly all cases, a company makes its first impression on would-be customers or partners with words — whether they’re on a website, in sales materials, or in e-mails or letters. A snappy design might catch their attention, but it’s the words that make the real connection.”

– Jason Fried

Consumer brands are catching on to a trade secret that news and book publishers have been practicing for a long time: carefully craft and test headlines, titles, and short descriptions for maximal engagement. Customers decide within seconds whether a product interests them based on nothing more than an image and a handful of words. Given that these words are instrumental in determining whether or not someone buys a product, it’s important to carefully vary descriptions based on the individual you’re trying to reach.

Product description personalization

“The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

– Mark Twain

When I ran the store team at Zulily, we started from the hypothesis that words matter, and ran experiments to validate our thinking. The results were positive and led to even deeper insights about our different customers and their preferences. I’ll share one of our experiments to get your creative juices flowing.

For our urban european customers, we decided to experiment with highlighting the natural fabrics and  organic materials used to create our products. These product descriptions did much better, in both initial engagement and conversions, than product descriptions for the same products that focused on price and visual descriptions. The same experiment, when run for urban U.S. customers, led to insignificant impact.

Personalized description samples

We thought up a few more examples that illustrate how the same product and image can be made to appeal to different segments.

Product: flight to Maui

Segment: new mother, island lover, Seattle-based
Description: There’s no better destination than Maui for a family getaway. Buckle up baby for a quick flight to sandy beaches, where the only toy you’ll need is a shovel!

Segment: newly married, male, vacation traveler, San Francisco-based
Description: Want to make her swoon this winter? Surprise her with a direct flight to the most romantic beaches on the planet.

Segment: college student, frequent flyer, Portland-based
Description: Forget New Orleans this spring break. Travel to Maui instead, where you can post all your photos to Facebook ‒ embarrassment-free.

Product: floral dress

Segment: 20s, single, female, college educated
Description: Some women like sweatpants for relaxing on the weekends. We like to up our game with cotton florals — you never know when a fellow book lover might walk by.

Segment: 40s, married, female, professional
Description: Whatever you’re escaping: kids, spouse, or work emails, do it wearing your softest cotton floral. No one will dare bother you when you look this relaxed.

Segment: 50s, married, male, female gift shopper
Description: You might prefer tight and black, but she doesn’t always agree. Show her you care about how she feels with a dress you know she’ll love.

Do these use cases apply to your brand? How could you use product descriptions to better engage your customers, while learning more about what’s important to them as individuals? I hope you’ll check in again next week, for another easy personalization tip from the team at Amperity.


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