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Finding the balance between answering every question that would stop someone from buying your product, and not overwhelming them with text they won’t read, is a tricky process.
To help you find that balance, and still get all of your product information across, we spoke with Maria Bonello, Director of Strategy at SMAKK Studios. This is something she’s had a lot of experience with.
“This is something that we come across a lot in everything we do, because people don't want to read a lot of text, but you still have to answer their questions,” says Maria. Here are some of the strategies she suggests for her clients.
Keep your descriptions short and sweet
Just because people aren’t inclined to read a lot of text doesn’t mean there’s no place for text on your product page (that would be weird). When you’re writing, Maria has some good advice to keep in mind.
“What you want to do in the product description is keep it as short and simple as possible,” says Maria. “Give the details that are most essential, and then use other methods to illustrate key points wherever you can; through photography, iconography, maybe even testimonials. What I always suggest to our clients is that you keep the copy as concise as you can, and only give the product details that you can't show through any other indicator.”
"Only give the product details that you can't show through any other indicator."
What kind of other indicators, you’re probably wondering? When it comes to product communication, images are your friends.
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Use images strategically
Think about all the different things a customer might want to know about your product. If it’s art, maybe they want to know how big those dimensions are “in real life.” If it’s a bracelet, maybe they want to know how it’ll look on their wrist.
These are all things your product photography can help you communicate, so you don’t have to use your words. “You can use photography to communicate details is about scale or size. It's a great way to show that sort of detail,” says Maria.
Beyond just photos, you can also use icons to communicate key product details.
“There are icons that you can implement in other ways, below the product description, to illustrate other product features,” says Maria. For example, if you offer quick and easy returns, there’s no need to write your entire return policy on the product page. An icon and a few words can do the trick, like this example from Mejuri.
“There's also a lot of different ways that you can share product details with an illustration, so it's not just photography or icons. Is there some sort of diagram that you could show? Choosing the right images is just about being meaningful—the photography should be there to support the copy, and not the other way around.”
"The photography should be there to support the copy, and not the other way around."
Formatting is your friend
So you’ve done what you can with words and images. Now it’s time to tie them together by using your layout to help people absorb the information they need about your product.
“Thanks to eye tracking, we know that if there's no formatting, people will just read in an F-shape on the page,” says Maria. “But if there's formatting, people actually in tune to read things: bullet points work really well, as do headlines that stand out on the page.”
“When you’re planning your page, try to have as much key information the headlines as possible to tell your product’s story. In the details, you can use things like bullet points to help keep it light. Beyond that, a flexible layout is your friend. So, maybe in one section, you can have the left side be photography, and then on the right side you have your copy, and then switching that as you go down the page.”
While there’s no one right or wrong way to create a product page, since so much of your content decisions will depend on your product and your audience, Maria is very clear about one thing, no matter how many or how few words you end up using.
“It's all in the way that you present the content.”
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