Those pesky, profuse product descriptions… E-commerce success depends on them but darned if there’s an efficient way to write great ones.
The human touch can get pricey. Wouldn’t it be great if artificial intelligence (AI) could do the job? Recent advances in technology have reignited the conversation about product description automation, causing store owners to hope, once again, for a new solution to this age-old problem.
Here’s a roundup of the current situation.
What Internet Forums Say
For answers, one good place to look is software development forums. A quick glance around some of the big ones reveals that we’re not quite there yet. When a visitor asked for a product description generator on the Shopify forums, the harvest was bleak. Ultimately, there were recommendations to use Fiverr, a weak solution.
A Reddit thread also insinuated you could try to use Excel to write product descriptions, but upon further review the idea wasn’t very inspiring. It was complex and not very efficient. There appears to be no comprehensive software out there that can do the job right now.
What About Content Spinning Software?
What about spinning software? Spinning is, of course, changing paragraphs into similar paragraphs that will pass Copyscape. SEO is a major benefit of generating fresh product descriptions.
If 30 people are selling an item online, and they are all using the same description, then you can move ahead of them in the search engine rankings if you use a different product description. In theory, spinning software allows you to generate unique product descriptions. In practice, spinning software has never been very good, and that hasn’t changed in the last few years.
For one thing, spinning generates sentences that are grammatically incorrect, have improper syntax, use flawed idioms, and generally have a potpourri of problems. This article has some marvelous examples of the sub-par writing that content spinning creates. They need to be checked by a professional copywriter, but at that point, they become more trouble than they are worth.
Quill: the Future of AI Product Descriptions?
Quill allows marketers to create better stories, or rather intelligent narratives, from raw data. You enter facts, and Quill will create an organic report. You can find examples on their site. Quill says they plan to allow brands to write thousands of product descriptions (descriptions which are indistinguishable from what a human would write) in a matter of seconds.
Yet, the dream is a ways away. As of now, Quill focuses on marketers who need to generate reports, not e-commerce owners who want to generate persuasive copy that will improve sales. Quill has potential, but it’s not ready yet.
The Future of AI
One of the toughest things to accept in this technology-driven world is that some things are beyond the scope of the computers. In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the strongest computer in the universe is asked, “What’s the secret of the universe?” The supercomputer replies, “42.”
42 as you may expect, the answer pleased no one in the book. And for the immediate future, AI product descriptions won’t be crowd pleasers either. But AI spending is exploding (it’s expected to reach 46 billion by 2020), and a breakthrough could be around the corner.
Yet, the consensus is AI is quite a ways from making a splash. For instance, even Amazon’s hi-tech grocery store still has some kinks. AI needs improvement in the world of content marketing too. Right now, the human touch is essential for product descriptions and content marketing.
Admittedly, many businesses don’t have the time/staff to properly invest in content marketing. That’s why content agencies like NoStop (and not AI) are your best choice if you want to outsource product descriptions and content.