What’s in the Box, Mr. Brown?

Increasing consumer confidence is one of the primary objectives you should strive for when developing product-page content. There’s no question that the more confident the consumer is, the more likely she or he is to convert.

What's in the box? Make sure your customers know.As minor as it might seem, a good place to start in increasing consumer confidence is with your package contents’ content (like Amazon’s “What’s in the Box” content.)

What’s in the Box Is a Product Detail

Inaccurate or inadequate “what’s in the box” content contributes to returns, increases customer dissatisfaction, gives consumers fodder for negative reviews, and generally reflects poorly on your brand.

All of that unpleasantness is easy to avoid if you take some care when writing about your package contents.

In fact, not only should your copywriters treat your “in the box” content as royalty, they should also go out of their way to make clear in your product description what consumers can expect NOT to get when your package shows up on their doorstep.

For example, a recent description for a baby stroller we came across includes this sentence:

A non-PVC rain shield can be added for extra protection against the elements (not included).

Specific and helpful. What more could a reader ask for?

Thanks to the simple parenthetical, it’s clearer than a sunny day in Seattle that the consumer should not expect a rain shield with the baby stroller.

Predict the Need with Extra Information

L.L.Bean once estimated that 75 percent of their negative reviews are the result of inaccurate product descriptions or marketing copy. A cursory look at user reviews on the web will show that many negative reviews could be avoided by adding basic information to product descriptions.

If you sell portable electronics or entertainment devices, your copywriters should create macros for phrases like “requires two AA batteries (sold separately)” or “required RCA cord is not included.” If you create accurate expectations, even if it means that your customer will need to spend money somewhere else, you will win that customer.

Product details should included what's NOT included.

Kudos to REI for calling out the need for batteries in the first bullet of this product description for a camping lantern.

Incidentally, the bullets on that REI product page also provide clear features and benefits for the product, one of content26’s longstanding best practices for enhanced content.

Some brands provide a pictorial representation of what’s in the box info, such as the image below from a hand blender product page on Bed, Bath & Beyond. This is a great choice in addition to a written list of box contents, especially for products with lots of parts.

Pictorial example of what's in the box

Why risk angering customers and sullying your brand when you can take the simple step of including your package contents in a photo and easy-to-read language in your product description?

The Takeaway

Include accurate “what’s in the box” content with your product description. And mention what’s NOT included in descriptions whenever appropriate.


Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 10/11/2011 at content26’s old blog, content26blog.dev. For this update we made minor edits, updated examples, and added a link or two.