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Marketing teams spend long hours debating how much content should appear on product pages.
I’m seeing a scary trend where product descriptions are getting shorter and shorter.
Our product pages are seen by 2 types of people: Skimmers and Diggers.
Skimmers like short content but Diggers are detail hungry and abandon when the information they want to learn more about isn’t available.
By blindly shortening content we are frustrating Diggers, and Diggers are our most likely buyers.
In this video I share a surprisingly simple solution:
Marketing teams have this really incredible and incredibly hard job of figuring out how much detail to include in the product description area of their product pages. Should we include the detail that is super extensive, or should we keep it really summarized? And this is a very difficult question to answer, and there’s no real clean way of doing it. All of the options are expensive and risky, so marketing teams are kind of stuck and they have to pick one path. But I’m going to teach you a very simple idea which eliminates the need for us to have this debate at all. So here’s the basic idea. We know there are two types of shoppers. What we call skimmers and diggers. Skimmers are looking for just top-level information. They just want to understand what the core benefits are. They don’t want to make the wrong choice. They want all the details, but they want to be able to skim through it quickly.
Diggers on the other hand are very detail-oriented. If you’ve met a do-it-yourself type of person, that’s a great example of a digger. These people are not just interested in understanding what your claims are, but they want to understand how those claims are backed up, why those claims matter, why those features matter, and if you mentioned some negative details, they want to dig into that as well. So we have these two very clear distinct groups. Writing copy that satisfies both groups at the same time is difficult, because if you write copy that is more geared towards skimmers, then you are really frustrating and infuriating your diggers. If you write for diggers, then you’re showing a lot of content by default on the page and skimmers are going to struggle so you’re going to lose sales of skimmers.
Let’s look at an example. I want to use a nice consumer product example of Dyson. They have the same problem. They’re selling a product, a hairdryer that costs $400. It’s certainly more expensive than what a hairdryer is for most consumers. And they’ve mentioned a lot of like… This is their whole description right here. So this is pretty much where it ends. These are little videos and these are key controls and there’s a little more here, then there are recommendations. From a design perspective, it’s a pretty well-designed page. Clearly, they’re trying to keep things to a minimum. So let’s look at how a skimmer would react on this page versus a digger. So a skimmer would come in and say, “Special gift edition. Okay, that’s cool.” Includes Dyson 1.4 round brush and Dyson design detangling comb. They’d be like, “Oh cool, there’s a detangling comb.”
Now a skimmer would just look at this and say, “This is a detangling comb,” that’s the end of the story. But a digger potentially could be interested in understanding… You remember they’re here to buy the hairdryer, so they weren’t looking for a detangling comb. This could be a very important selling proposition, selling point, but the reader might be curious to know what this is. And there’s no way for me to actually dig it into this further. It’s a hard wall. I can’t dig into it. So if I’m not sold on that keyword, that I’m not going to buy it. But imagine how many people are going to look at this and say, “Okay, you’ve injected a new idea. I now know that I could get a detangling comb. Would it work for my hair type? Does it enhance the value? Does it make using the hairdryer even more effective, because I already have a comb at home? I don’t know if it’s a detangling comb.”
All of these questions are cropping up and they’re not being resolved. Similarly, over here, we talk about the Dyson digital motor V9. Well, if I’m a do-it-yourself type of person, I want to understand what’s the benefit of a V9 motor versus a digital motor, whatever it is. There is no mechanism here for me to dig in and understand what it is. They mentioned the word fast drying. Again, that’s just a top-line keyword. If I’m a skeptical shopper and I want to dig in, there’s no mechanism here to address those questions. So how do we solve this for diggers? The solution is very, very simple. What you need to do is you need to make all of these keywords into a hyperlink, and when you click on it, show a little lightbox popup that explains in detail what that feature means.
Now, you want to design it in a way so it’s not screaming for the user’s attention because remember if you have a page that’s kind of… You have all of these underlined sections, that also increases cognitive load. So you want to design it in a way that’s very, very subtle so that only a person who’s looking at that feature and paying attention to it will notice that it’s a clickable link. So if you are using a blue shade, use a really light blue shade so that it’s only visible for people that actually are paying attention to that element. Or you can come up with different techniques. You can come up with a mouse-over, where if it’s mouse-over, then you make it look like a link. So it’s not looking like a link by default. There are hundreds of ways to skin the cat. But the point here is that you’re creating a clear path for these diggers to investigate and learn more without distracting the skimmer. And that is the best way for you to create content that works for both and massively improves conversion rates.
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