May 16, 2014

10 Lessons From The World’s Best Product Description

When it comes to selling online, your product descriptions are the most important factor when it comes to getting people to buy. If you walked into a traditional store and had questions, there would be a salesman there to help you choose and answer any questions.

In an online store, your description has to play the role of the salesman.

Have you ever heard of the saying “Learn from the best?” In online retail, as much as we may not like to admit it, Amazon has to be the best there is. With revenues in the billions, Amazon is the one we hate but secretly envy.

Amazon touts the Kindle to be their best selling product, and Morgan Stanley estimates that Amazon will sell $5 billion worth of Kindles in 2014.

$5 Billion!

Needless to say, the Kindle is Amazon’s crown jewel, so if there was ever a sales page or landing page to get inspiration from, it would be the Kindle.

Amazon sells a bunch of different Kindles, but let’s have a look at the Kindle Fire HDX – which boasts the most reviews of all of the Kindles.

Our goal from analyzing the Kindle description is to incorporate these takeaways into our own descriptions. Remember – Amazon can pay this much attention to the Kindle because it’s their star product, but your star product isn’t theirs. Capitalize on this gap and dominate your market!

Lesson 1: SEO Optimization

The Kindle page is the best of the best, and Amazon has done their SEO well, too, for an online store. The Kindle Fire HDX’s title tag is worth noting. As of this writing, it says “Kindle Fire HDX Tablet – Personal Movie Tablet, Best College Tablet”

With just one awesome title tag, they have nailed a whole bunch of keywords: Kindle, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HDX, Tablet, Personal Movie Tablet, and Best College Tablet.

Woah. The URL also has the keyword “student gaming tablet” in it. That’s a lot of keywords they are targeting. Let’s see how successfully they’ve done it:

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 3.07.14 PM Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 3.06.24 PM

For learning SEO, check out this post.

Lesson 2: Product Images

To the left of the title, Amazon has their product images. Just above the image, Amazon has put a little headline and subheading about the Kindle and it’s features. What they are doing here is they are bombarding you with messaging that says “Kindle is the best!” By the time you scroll down, you’ll already be sold.

I really like that their first image packs a one-two punch of being both an image of the product itself, and if you click on it, it plays a video that starts with that same image.

They’ve also got a little headline above each image thumbnail that explains what that image is about – this is a great idea because at times its not too obvious what your product is for!

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 3.07.43 PM

Under the thumbnail, they have an option for seeing customer images and uploading your own images – I’m not too sure how successful they’ve been with this feature, though, since out of $5 billion worth of Kindles, they’ve only got 9 customer images. Maybe they get a lot more but filter them out.

Still, if you’ve got customer images, it’s awesome to showcase them because it’s one of the biggest forms of social proof there is.

Lesson 3: Options and Upsells

On just one big product page, Amazon sells a few variants of the Kindle Fire HDX. I’m a big fan of using this method, because you don’t have to make multiple pages for each option – if you do, you’d have too many product listings in your categories, and you’d also confuse search engines by having too many similar pages with very little variation.

On the right of the page, below the add to cart button, Amazon has added some accessories as an upsell. The best part about this is that the upsells are not just links to accessories – you can just check the box before you add to cart and all of those products will be added to your cart in one go – reducing the number of pages you have to visit and steps you have to take.

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Amazon probably chooses these upsells very carefully. So should you!

Lesson 4: Feature Blurb

Right next to the beautiful product images, Amazon has a bunch of bullet points that is in effect a watered-down description of the whole product. Notice how they’ve formatted each bullet point – the heading is bold-faced, followed by an explanation in a regular, but large and readable font.

They’ve even snuck in a USP point in the end – if you use Amazon Prime, they entice you with free 2-day shipping.

Lesson 5: Press and Showing Off

Before Amazon starts their product description, they show off.

They show off their press mentions – what the bigshots in the media and publishing have had to say about the Kindle.


Showcasing good stuff that influencers have said about you and your product instantly builds confidence in a customer’s mind about your product and your business. If you have gotten press, you need to show it off.

Press isn’t limited to just newspapers and magazines – even if you were featured in a blog or publication that is huge in your own industry, it’s still something to show off proudly.

Lesson 6: Structured Like a Traditional Landing Page

Most product pages on ecommerce stores follow a pretty standard format. At the top, there is a headline, an image on the left, and add to cart buttons below the title or to the right of the page. Below that, you have social icons, and below that, the description and reviews.

Pretty standard and pretty straightforward.

With the Kindle’s page, Amazon takes a different approach. While the top of the page is pretty much like any other product page, the description is structured like an entire landing page by itself.

Take the Shopify home page, for example. Each new topic on the home page is clearly divided into sections, with headings, images, and differences in the background color.

The Kindle description looks pretty similar. Each feature/benefit has its own section – one feature, then the next, then the next, and so on, until you reach the bottom of the description, where they have snuck in a little button that says “back to top” so you can add to cart!

Lesson 7: Headline – Subheading – Points

The format Amazon uses throughout the description is that they’ve split the entire description up into subsections.

Each section has a large heading that focuses on a feature-benefit, which is accompanied by a subheading, an image, and a handful of points, each with their own explanation.

headline bullet

This format makes the entire page very easy to skim and go through. If you sell products that warrant long descriptions, the best way to write it would be this way.

On the internet, people don’t read so much as they skim. That’s why you need to treat each product description as an independent blog post or article.

Lesson 8: Incorporating Images in the Description

This is something I’ve seen Amazon do very well – and very few other ecommerce merchants do at all. Maybe this is a misconception stuck in everyone’s head, but just because it’s called a “product description” doesn’t mean that there can’t be any images in it!

In fact, most of your secondary product images should go in the description itself, rather than in the product image area next to the name. This is because you can explain each feature-benefit, and support whatever you say with an image next to it.

Lesson 9: Comparison Table

The comparison table is a really powerful selling point they’ve put in the description. By showing multiple offerings and comparing each one to the other, Amazon is selling 5 products on a single page!

Along with a head-to-head of each tablet with the next, there is also a link to each one, so if you decide that one would be better than the other, you can hop to that page from right there.

If I click on one of those links to a similar tablet, guess what? There is another comparison table waiting for me on that page as well!

It also makes the process of research a lot easier on the consumer, since they can see and compare all of their options in one go.

Making a comparison table is tedious and hard work, but it pays off – especially if you do it right. You could probably outsource it to someone on Fiverr or Elance for pretty cheap.

Lesson 10: Little Notes in Between

Finally, every here and now, the folks at Amazon have snuck in a little “note” between two sections of the description.

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This is more for visual relief than anything else, I would assume, but it adds a nice touch, especially since each one focuses on a benefit of using the product.

How to Use These Lessons

Amazon obviously puts a lot of work into their Kindle descriptions. They probably have an entire office or team devoted just to the Kindle product page and advertising it.

If you are a small business owner, you may not have the time and resources to go to these lengths for each and every product that you sell, and you shouldn’t invest your precious time and resources into turning every product page into a Kindle page.

Instead, focus on two specific products and go all out on those. Then gradually move on to others, but choose those in the same way you chose the first ones.

The products you want to focus on are:

  • Your best selling products – these products are your pride and biggest assets, and the stronger you make them, the better they will perform. They’ll convert higher, too.
  • Products that you get a lot of traffic for but don’t convert as well – these products are already getting so much traffic that it’s worth priming them up a little to make them convert better. It will also make your position in search engine rankings stronger.

Once you have covered one or two products from these two categories, move on to the next products – but from those categories themselves.

It’s going to be a long process, but the payoff will be huge, because the amount of value that you will create with your updated content will be unrivaled.

What unique innovations do you have on your product pages that makes them convert really well? Please share with us in the comments!


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