Product Description Word Counts: Why Length Matters for Amazon Content

Let’s face it: content is a lot of work. Between the legal teams, retailer requirements, and time and budget constraints, it is all too easy for content to burst its britches or shrink to a single ineffective sentence.

Yet, product descriptions are undeniably crucial to online sales and understanding how much information will convert a browser into a buyer is an important step in crafting your text. In a previous article, we looked at how to write essential content for Amazon (sometimes referred to as above-the-fold content). Here, we will dive into your Amazon A+ content length. Amazon also refers to A+ content as Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) and another common industry term is below-the-fold content.

Current Trends with Content Length

In the early days of Amazon, when we at content26 were still in the wild west of building content, enhanced descriptions were longer. Now, as mobile devices and voice-powered purchasing become preeminent, content is getting shorter . And, who knows, maybe our attention spans have gotten shorter? Let’s move on…

Currently, there are two types of enhanced content available on Amazon to vendors: Basic A+ content and Premium A+ content.

Generally, Basic A+ content allows more flexibility with the text and Premium is more visually driven. If you aren’t sure which you should be using, check out our article on the differences.

How Long Should I Make My A+ Content?

When it comes to A+ content, there is no “one size fits all.” The ideal word count for an enhanced product description depends on the type of description you’re creating.

In 2019, content26 teamed up with the University of Washington to produce a study investigating content. After evaluating more than 10,000 shoppers, the team discovered that some brands benefit from more informative shopping experiences, while others do best with social or sensory experiences.

An informative shopping experience is often best for well-known brands and products that can be evaluated by information (think printers or vacuums). Social and sensory experiences are ideal for up-and-coming brands and products that consumers like to feel (think throw pillows or phone cases).

In general, then, more text is beneficial for “information” products such as consumer electronics, while shorter text will work well for social or sensory products. Keep in mind, your product still needs text! Not all consumers will watch a video, or get enough information from pictures or graphics alone, so make sure you’re A+ content captures consumers in different ways.

An Example of Excessive Length

At over 1000 words, this A+ product description for an Olay Pro-X Microdermabrasion Plus Advanced Cleansing System buries useful information and breaks current Amazon style requirements . A longer enhanced product description is appropriate for this product (to alleviate suspicion among those who are interested in skin exfoliation but have never tried microdermabrasion), but words are only useful if they add value.

Instead, the description tells us more than seven times that the product produces a brighter, more even skin tone. It describes the brush’s three speed settings six different ways and waits until 700 words in to define microdermabrasion. Shoppers would be hard-pressed to find useful information quickly in this enhanced content.

Product Description - Too Long

Examples of Ideal Amazon A+ Content Length

This Samsung portable hard drive Basic A+ description gets the length just right. The hard drive is a complex product that costs up to $800 depending on storage size, so many consumers will be looking for some detailed information to give them the confidence to buy.

The text concisely breaks out six main features and benefits, each separated by brief, yet informative headers. The writing is succinct and to the point, adequately explaining the primary aspects of the product without sacrificing helpful information or getting bogged down in extraneous details.

Samsung Product Page

Things to Consider Before Writing

Before setting out to write your enhanced A+ product description, keep in mind these key internal and external factors that will likely influence the length of your content:

  • Consider your product. Remember products that are technical or from well-known brands should have informative, more detailed descriptions. Products that benefit from a social or sensory treatment should go with shorter text.
  • Keep it useful. With today’s short attention spans and trends toward mobile and voice purchases, be sure that your content adds value. Provide enough information to concisely address the main product features and benefits.
  • SEO value. If your description is too short, you’re likely missing out on the opportunity to populate your content with valuable search terms. You can learn more about Amazon indexing here.
  • Design requirements. Whether using Premium or Basic A+, balance your word count with sufficient product images and ample white space for easy readability.

Takeaway

Getting length just right in your A+ product descriptions can go a long way in presenting your products in the best light. As content trends shorter, be sure to make the most of every word.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 8/2/2016. For this update, we made changes to bring the information and recommendations in line with current content best practices. We also added a link or two.