Physically touching an item is the single most important component of buying according to shopping expert Paco Underhill. (author of “Why We Buy”). When marketing goods online, your pictures and written descriptions become a proxy for the physical act of touching the item. Think about it.
Your bidders and/or buyers ‘touch’ of your item will be nice and amazing and fun to the extent your pictures and words (and templates) are nice and amazing and fun.
Use blinding Neon Yellow text and see how well you do. Use blurry pictures and no written description and see how well you do. If you do those things, don’t expect your bidder to have a a good experience, it’s impossible. Expect their ‘good touch’ to result in comfort with your listing. Expect their ‘bad touch‘ to result in them quickly leaving and never coming back.
So if your words and photos are a proxy for physically touching the item, then as David Ogilvy, the master of Direct Response Marketing, makes it clear, long-form copywriting clearly work better than short-form writing. You want to give them as much information as they can possibly want. They’ve stopped, looked, and are now seriously considering buying or bidding. They won’t mind if you have an extra paragraph about why your fabric is better than your competitors.
Paco Underhill goes on to suggest that the single most important factor in determining whether a customer is going to buy something, (in a physical retail environment), is the length of time they stay in your store. Repeat – How long they stay in your store.
Does this translate to the internet selling environment? Is time ‘on your listing’ an indicator of their likelihood to bid or buy? Ever wonder why most online guru‘s trying to sell you an information product have their sales pages go on and on and on forever? Maybe they understand this principle and have tested it’s value.
You have a choice in your item description, enter substantial details, say a little, or say nothing. If you choose to say little or nothing, you are absolutely choosing to make your buyers, or bidders less comfortable than you otherwise could have by adding substantial facts and details. That’s a mistake. Your wisest approach is to ensure you consider, then answer every question your buyers might have.
Who are you really writing for anyway? It’s really the people who are very interested right? And the people who are really interested and serious about bidding or buying, want as much information as you can possibly include. They will read it all. The people who aren’t really that interested won’t read anything anyway, so long-form descriptions are the only sensible approach. Make it a fun and memorable digital touch.