How to Write Product Descriptions That Sell

All your marketing efforts come down to leading a customer to your product page.

Your product is just a few clicks from winning a buying customer. You need to close the deal with a compelling product description that convinces your customer to commit to purchasing your product.

How a product description is written makes a big difference to customer experience. A great product description can lead to a confirmed purchase within seconds or a permanent loss of a potential customer. It may convince a customer that they need your product or that the competition is the better option. 

Writing a product description is a process that starts with researching your target audience, understanding their language, designing your message size and format, and using the right media to represent and feature a product’s benefits.

In this article, we go through the seven rules of writing product descriptions that sell.

1. Choose the right language

All sellers know their products well; good sellers know their customers even better than they know their products. They speak their language, understand what triggers them, what they want to hear, how much they want to know, and the right words they expect to hear.   

Standing in front of his store, calling for his goods, an Italian seller might wonder why no buyer stops by or even recognizes him. Later, he gets it; they are all tourists who don’t know Italian. The wrong language. He thought he was speaking to his customer, but he wasn’t.

Similarly, you may wonder why your new sports trainers page is getting poor sales from the United States, who are instead looking for sports “sneakers.” You thought you were speaking to your customer, but you were talking to yourself.  

To make sure you are not talking to yourself, instead of to your clients, keep the following points in mind:

Survey before writing

Ask your potential customer which information they need. Easy as it sounds, many sellers miss this point and rush in writing about their products from their technical point of view, with no respect to what customers anticipate. 

To avoid this mistake, interview potential customers and gather the specific information they need to decide on a product. If you don’t have a large pool of potential customers, you can use available reviews and questions sections of your competitors’ pages. 

Frequently asked questions are simply essential missing description information. Watch out for the language used by reviewers, the terminology familiar to them, and note the first-hand buyer’s average level of knowledge. 

Use native language

In many cases, especially for long description pages, it makes a big difference, whether selling to a specific region or targeting multinational buyers. 

It would help if you considered the language you choose for the description page. Ask yourself which language is spoken most by your audience, whether you need multiple language pages, whether you need to use a local dialect to target your niche community, and how sensitive your target groups are to the language spoken. 

This Heinz example of a product description is designed for the British loyal lovers of baked beans.

Use the right words

Vocabularies used can paint a different message. 

  • The elderly use idioms unknown to teenagers. 
  • The Instagram community has its own common terms that the Snapchat generation doesn’t know. 
  • The language used for selling supplements and pharma products is way more formal than selling selfie sticks. 
  • Using the 420 hashtags tells your CBD customer that you know what you are selling.

Take a look at this eaze example of using the language familiar to CBD customers in the United States.

Use ‘power’ words

The conveyed marketing message in your product description must also be emotional. Plain information is not enough, and flat words are boring.

Search for words that can trigger the right emotions in your potential customers. Those are power words. 

To trigger happiness and lust sensations, try to mention heartwarming, alive, crave, or delirious words. Apply words like glamorous, sensational, and tempting to reflect on prestige, novelty, or excitement. Use this guide from sumo for more examples.   

Use an appropriate word count

For each kind of product, customers have logical expectations of the text’s size expected on your description page. Make no mistake; more is not always better. 

Some clients are automatically forsaking your page if they were confronted with too much text. 

Less is usually more. It is safer to use fewer words and structure your page so that those customers expecting more details can expand text, click a details tab, or scroll down to read more. 

The more expensive a product is, and the more it is related to health or safety, the higher the chances that people expect larger description pages.

Pay attention to technical terminology

You must know the technological know-how of your customer. A guy buying a standard $19 shirt might not need to understand the difference between Egyptian and Turkish cotton.

In contrast, this technical detail will be familiar and expected to a granny buying a $500 worth bathrobe. 

The same is true for a gamer who knows the value of NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 compared to a doctor buying a simple Chromebook for their daughter’s school work and can’t tell what a graphics card exactly is.

Take a look at this example from a Tesl shop using terms that mean something to an EV owner but not to most other people.  

2. Highlight key benefits

One common mistake in copywriting is to have a long list of features with little focus on their benefits. However, such a long list can be distracting, and it is not always obvious why a particular feature is beneficial. 

What’s the difference between features and benefits? 

Imagine you are selling pencils that are square-shaped. Just listing the shape feature is not enough. While round-shaped pencils can easily roll off the table, yours solves a customer’s pain with a not-perfectly flat working area – a benefit. 

Without focusing on the benefit, most people might miss the point of why square-shaped pencils are better.

Let’s take a look at this lunch bag for a real-life example.

You may think that a bag doesn’t require much explanation. This one has many unique features, and the product description makes sure that there is no doubt about why they are beneficial. 

It briefly mentions some details about the material, color, and weight and then describes the features’ benefits in detail.

Feature: The bag is designed for maximum storage efficiency. 

Benefit: You can carry more foods easily. 

Feature: It has multifunctional pockets. 

Benefit: You can use them for cash, cell phone, credit card, driver’s license, iPad mini, kindle, bottles, knife and fork, napkins, and other small stuff.

Feature: Insulating safe material. 

Benefit: It can keep foods and drinks cool or warm for up to 4 hours to enjoy a perfect tasting meal wherever you are.

By elaborating on the benefits, it is evident for the potential buyer that this is not an everyday bag. And this product description seems to be very successful. More than 1,800 ratings are a good indication that this bag has sold well, and a good product description has helped.

3. Educate your customers

Not all customers are looking for a specific product. Some are after satisfying a need or reliving a pain; they are looking for a solution for their problem

They might stumble upon your product page, and they don’t even know that this product exists and that it offers a solution for their troubles. The product description’s role is to educate your customers about the solution to a problem and sometimes even make them aware of a problem. 

One good example comes from a laptop shopping experience. After buying a new laptop, a customer is looking for screen protectors. She landed on a screen protector product page, which offers blue-light-blocking and anti-glare features in addition to physical protection. 

The customer was not even aware that blue light is a problem; the description shall already help her understand the dangers of blue light and how the screen can influence her sleeping quality. 

Some products are, however, straightforward and don’t require any explanation. For other products, it might not even be clear what they are and why they are helpful. 

Take socks as an example. When looking for socks, you don’t need technical details to make a buying decision. You are probably looking for a particular color, and you may be interested in the material. 

You don’t expect a lengthy description; the picture tells you whether these are the kinds of socks you’re looking for. Since you don’t expect a fancy product, a short, simple product description is sufficient. 

The description below briefly mentions the basic features and doesn’t use many words. 

Compare this to the product description for a nail art printer. Have you ever heard of a nail art printer? If not, you are not the only one. That is an excellent example of a product whose description requires quite some explanation.

You learn that this machine enables you to print any picture onto your nails. Even photos. Who would have thought this is possible? 

The product description also includes details about how to use the machine. Surprisingly, the whole process takes only 40 seconds. This is crucial information because most people would probably think that it’s a long, complicated process. 

Overall, the product description is pretty long. But this is certainly necessary for this kind of product.

4. Showcase your awesome branding

Branding is crucial. People associate a brand with specific characteristics. Recognizing the same features over and over again builds loyalty and trust. For this reason, consistency is essential. 

You should always use the same logo, colors, and font and also write in a specific tone of voice. This is especially important for product descriptions because they stay on the website for a long time and are seen by many people.

An excellent example of a unique tone of voice is Rituals. All their product descriptions give you the impression that it’s about an exceptional product. They choose the words very carefully, take you on a journey and give you the impression that using their products is a memorable experience. 

Have you ever had a shampoo that empowers your senses and invigorates your hair? 

Or a shower gel that takes you back to the wondrous golden age of the 17th century? Well, I guess you should then try Rituals’ products.

5. Use bullet points

Long paragraphs for product description are a recipe for failure. Online shoppers are equally impatient as window shoppers; they give you one chance to catch their attention, and then they are either hooked or gone.

If your product is a simple basic commodity, like an Amazon battery charger, short bullet point statements shall be enough; four to six points, each with a brief feature statement.  

A longer description becomes necessary for products that require elaboration on benefits and customer education. Bullet points provide a readable and skimmable structure to lengthy texts. 

In general, five bullet points are optimal. Try to come up with at least three points and don’t exceed seven points

The method used in this best-selling cream example below shows an even more skimmable way of writing the bullet points. Summarizing the point in one or two words (heading) makes the whole description readable in less than a few seconds and leads the reader directly to the details that concern them most. 

Even in product landing pages like the one for MacBook Pro 13″, you can recognize that Apple uses the same method but in a different style. 

Here, you scroll down each section corresponding to a bullet point. 

Also, in less than a few seconds, you would have scrolled down on the product page, catching the heading words, then later stopping at the sections that interest you the most, and start reading the details.

6. Optimize your product descriptions for search engines

When you look for products, you use specific keywords that help you find what you need. To make sure that your product shows up when your potential buyer is looking for something, you have to include these keywords in your product description. The art of writing SEO-friendly product descriptions is called “SEO copywriting.”

For example, when you sell wireless vacuum cleaners, you have to of course mention in the product description that they are wireless. But consider that keywords in the description title and subheadings count more. 

So, if you want to target customers that specifically look for wireless vacuum cleaners, make sure to also mention this characteristic in the title and not only in the body of the description. Also your image descriptions and alt texts should contain important keywords.

7. Use media to tell a product story

Not everyone prefers to read, and not each story can be told in words. 

Some products require minimum text, and most focus on images. Clear examples are paintings, clothes, and fashion. Even for basic products like a battery pack or a USB cable, people look for vital technical details like permissible voltage or connector end-type product pictures. 

In other products like home appliances and gadgets, people will expect a video on the product page that gives a more profound impression of the product and even explains how it works. 

The golden rules for using media could be summarized in a few points: 

  • Use only HQ images: Having no image can be better than a poor quality image.
  • Use natural backgrounds: As Amazon usually advises, using natural white background lets customers focus only on the product. 
  • Use text in the picture:  Transfer part of the text used in the description to the images to point out to customers what they need to look at.
  • Use accurate images: Ensure that any details appearing on the picture represent your product precisely. Avoid contradictions between images and text as they raise suspicions. 
  • Use icons: Icons add structure to images and visualize text information. They also help to impose your brand identity into your product description. 

The bottom line

Product descriptions are essential for your e-commerce success.

Without writing compelling product descriptions, your products will not convert as well as you want them to. 

Writing product descriptions is not rocket science.

But there are some rules you should follow to ensure you give your products the best chance at selling.

Hopefully, this article gave you some helpful insights.

If you want our team to write product descriptions for you, check out our product description writing services to learn more about how we can help you create better product descriptions, faster.

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