Think you can slap up a mediocre product description and no one will notice? Think again.
Gamers have targeted Walmart for ridicule after the e-commerce giant published a shoddy product description of Diablo III. The original description touted the much-anticipated computer game as a “strategy video game” that revolves around an “interesting plot.”
Come on people. Part of the plot involves killing somebody’s zombie wife and then snatching fuzzy boots and gold coins off of her exploded corpse.
Getting It Right
The Diablo III blunder should remind companies selling products online of the danger presented by taking a laissez-faire approach to product descriptions.
Blizzard Entertainment should have supplied all of its e-commerce partners with compelling product information for Diablo III. The company had plenty of raw material that could have been repurposed to create fantastic site-specific product descriptions. Take this paragraph from us.blizzard.com: Shake the earth, blast your enemies with fire and ice, summon otherworldly minions and much more as you wield the powers of your heroic birthright.
That’s more like it. In this era of syndicated content, there’s no excuse for shoddy product descriptions, especially not on a major retail site like Walmart.
Reputations on the Line
Of course, Walmart is also to blame. E-commerce companies need to wake up to the fact that subpar product descriptions make them look bad. They should never use (or commission) product descriptions riddled with grammatical errors and shot through with nonsense.
Evan Killham of VentureBeat called the description for Diablo III “hilariously uninformed and grammatically unsound.” Sensing this couldn’t have been a one-time mistake, Killham uncovered more than a half-dozen other examples of lame descriptions on Walmart.com, concluding:
Walmart didn’t become the biggest retail company in the world by spending a lot of money on things like writers, editors, or research…
Ouch! Even though Walmart quickly replaced the slipshod Diablo III description, the blunder lives on thanks to blog posts and snarky user-generated reviews on both Walmart and Amazon.
Read the original Diablo III product description on venturebeat.com.