Stats showing conversion rate improvements from professionally written product descriptions?

March 31, 2011 •
graphs and charts

I tweeted this question this morning:

Unfortunately, my Twitter friends weren’t able to help me out much. Thanks anyway guys! You know I love you!

So I had to actually do a bit of searching for myself! (Unacceptable, I tells ya!)

What my search turned up

Here’s what I found (all from Jakob Nielsen, and none specifically answering the question, but still, it’s helpful):

“poor product information accounted for 8% of the usability problems on the websites we tested. Even worse, poor product information accounted for 10% of the user failures…” 10 High-Profit Redesign Priorities, Jakob Nielsen, Usability Expert

Well written content can improve usability by 124% — How Users Read on the Web, Jakob Nielsen, Usability Expert

“Credibility can be increased by high-quality graphics, good writing…” How Users Read on the Web, Jakob Nielsen, Usability Expert

“In our study, incomplete product descriptions were the cause of much scepticism.” B2B Usability, Jakob Nielsen, Usability Expert

“Good and detailed product descriptions are essential when the customer can’t see and touch the products before buying. Content design closed the sale.” Spotlighted Links From April-December 1999, Jakob Nielsen, Usability Expert

“The less familiar users were with an item, the more detailed information they wanted before deciding whether to buy it.” E-Commerce User Experience: Product Pages, Jakob Nielsen, Carolyn Snyder, Rolf Molich, Susan Farrell (purchased PDF report)

“Sometimes words can explain things the picture [and features table] doesn’t show.” E-Commerce User Experience: Product Pages, Jakob Nielsen, Carolyn Snyder, Rolf Molich, Susan Farrell (purchased PDF report)

“Problems with product pages — when users couldn’t get their questions answered or couldn’t get a product into the shopping cart — accounted for 17% of the sales catastrophes in this study.” E-Commerce User Experience: Product Pages, Jakob Nielsen, Carolyn Snyder, Rolf Molich, Susan Farrell (purchased PDF report)

I know there’s more out there. Can you help?

I remember reading a paper with quite a bit of information about how expansive, helpful, unique product descriptions increase conversions. But I couldn’t find it.

Do you know of any research? I’d love if you could paste it or link to it in the Comments below.

Feel free to comment...
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Charles Cuninghame wrote on April 1st, 2011

"74.5 percent of consumers indicated that they use a company’s web site to get information about a product or service, but only 44 percent of consumers surveyed felt that the information met their needs. "...customers that have a positive experience are three times more likely than those that had a neutral or negative experience to buy a product from the company that delivered the experience." From: http://www.servicexrg.com/news-Web-based-experience.html Hope that helps.

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Glenn (Owner) wrote on April 3rd, 2011

Thanks Charles. Excellent stats.

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David wrote on May 13th, 2011

You may or may not be aware of the scheme Zappos ran: http://www.typeclear.com/notes/2011/fix-your-spelling-for-better-income/

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Jon wrote on May 16th, 2011

Hi Glenn Some copy testing in this big list, http://whichtestwon.com/past-tests cheers Jon

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Glenn (Owner) wrote on May 17th, 2011

Hey David & Jon. Thanks for those links. Very interesting. David, it would have been even MORE interesting if we'd been able to see the conversion stats before and after. Bummer. Jon, I've Delicioused that site, and will spend many juicy hours reviewing. Nice one!

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Jon wrote on May 17th, 2011

No worries, it's great fun choosing which one wins, I've found not thinking about it much helps. I also picked up your mothers day special SEO books, I can't really do a video of my mum as she's 10000 km away in the UK. Looking forward to reading them. Which is best to read first? Cheers Jon

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Glenn (Owner) wrote on May 18th, 2011

Yeah, I've done a couple of those 'guess which one wins' things, and going with gut feel worked best for me too. You could still give your mum a late mother's day gift. Send it by email and tell her not to open it until you're on a Skype video hookup. Then film the hookup! The best one to read first is SEO Secrets. Cheers mate.

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Hannah wrote on June 8th, 2011

Ooo interesting collection of links! It's always fun to look at the stats when it comes to conversion. This will help me out in future when speaking with potential clients, thanks.

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diane wrote on March 9th, 2012

This is exactly the info I was looking for. Thanks!!!

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