18 March 2022

A passion for fashion.
How to put style into eCommerce product descriptions.

A passion for fashion.<br/> <strong>How to put style into eCommerce product descriptions.</strong>

Some people say fashion has a language of its own. At Alpha, we think it has many.

This case study looks at how Alpha took on the creative task of copywriting product descriptions for one of the world’s leading ecommerce fashion retailers, helping to develop a distinct brand tone of voice that appealed to its youthful, international target audience.

And, when the global lockdown sent ecommerce platforms into overdrive, it looks at how this client turned to Alpha to scale up the quantity and speed of its product descriptions on a massive scale.


The background

For high-end fashion e-tailers, product descriptions are much more than just a list of features. While photos can convey the “look” of a garment or accessory, online platforms usually rely on words to describe what it “feels” like to wear and own it.

In the fashion sector in particular, eCommerce platforms use product descriptions to convey what each brand stands for and the attitudes it evokes. Often in 55 words or less.

Our client is an international leader in both the manufacture and distribution of high-quality clothing brands, including its own in-house labels and those it distributes under licence.

With a focus on the continuous growth of its ready-to-wear youth fashion lines, it needed to create a more distinctive tone-of-voice that would capture the individuality of each product but that would also highlight brand identity and values.


The project

Alpha was contracted by our client to produce creative eCommerce product descriptions in part thanks to our extensive experience in copywriting and localization for the fashion sector with some of the world’s leading global brands.

We know the languages of fashion, and their many different voices. So we were initially contracted by our client to provide batches of around 50-100 new product descriptions in English based on photos and product information supplied in Italian.

With the product information expertly localized by our linguists, our creative copywriting team initially provided a range of description styles through which a clear, distinctive tone of voice and description format was identified and honed.

Working for a client that pushes the boundaries of technical innovation in the products it develops, the language used in the product descriptions had to reflect this cutting edge. From chiffon overlays to contrast border-piping, our copywriting team was up to speed with the highly specific terminology to describe the unique features of these products.

Just as importantly, we developed a distinct house style that was used consistently by our team of copywriters across all product descriptions. The descriptions needed to be highly specific about product features, helping to improve SEO performance. But they also needed to have a “street edge” that would appeal to the youth target market.

To achieve this, we always finished each product description with a creative “sign-off” line. With references to pop culture and using striking, street-inspired language, these sign-off lines helped to create a brand identity and worked as a call to action.


The result

For ten months, our client turned to Alpha on a regular basis to copywrite product descriptions for new collections and product range updates. Although it is unable to share specific data, our client has communicated to us that the product descriptions have played a significant part in meeting and exceeding its sales targets for its eCommerce platforms.

Then, in early 2020, the importance of eCommerce in the global economy took on a whole new dimension. As lockdowns closed the majority of the physical retail sector across the globe, suddenly eCommerce became, for many, the only consumer choice. And, in the fashion sector as in any other, brands needed to step up to the new demand and the opportunities it presented.

In this context, our client recently contracted Alpha to produce 1,400 unique product descriptions within a single month. Despite the short lead time and the large volume of content, it’s a project that Alpha is fully equipped to handle. That’s because our in-house team of copywriters has both the brand knowledge and the scalability to respond to changing workloads as and when they arise.

Each project is different, and the requirements for this batch of descriptions require both more detail and a more creative tone of voice. Of course, we are more than ready for the challenge.