5 tips for writing better product descriptions that sell

5 tips for writing better product descriptions that sell

When it comes to building a website, business owners think about SEO, hiring the best models, photographers, the works. We all know that much like a physical store, presentation and a tangible feeling of quality means everything. This same care must be taken when you begin writing the new product descriptions to fill your ecommerce website.

Visually we want to attract customers to the store and keep them on site. We want them to see high-quality images and perhaps video of the products. Ultimately though, the buying comes down to the customer’s natural ‘research and discovery mode’. This is where your descriptions and the overall product page copy needs to do its job and push that conversion over the line and the item in to the shopping cart.

Here are some of my tips for writing product descriptions that sell:

Lead with benefits not specifications

One of the age-old mistakes is to overlook the benefits of the product. When you’re an expert in your field and you know your products inside out, you start to look at them differently. You separate them based on specifications and minor technical details.

While the finer details of items and your product knowledge is important and some buyers will certainly require this information, remember that first and foremost consumers want to know the benefits of the products. Don’t tell them what makes the product on display different from another beside it, instead remember to focus on why this particular product is worthwhile and how it will benefit your consumer’s life.

Provide short and long descriptions

We’re torn as consumers between two major styles of written content when it comes to product descriptions. On one hand we want to be able to get a quick scannable snapshot of a product. Big bullet-point benefits and key pieces of info to aid the browsing experience and help the buyer create a shortlist.

Mobile device browsing and social posting has changed the way we absorb content and we want the highlights quickly at a glance. Though interested parties will also expect to see the finer details including a deeper discussion around the product and its specifications. Should the buyer be compelled enough to look for the detail, they expect to find it.

Having two separate description points on a page, one short form and one long form is the ideal solution – your ecommerce web designer should already have included this functionality. Consider using an expandable content section to cover both bases.

Romance isn’t dead

There is a kind of stigma attached to product descriptions for ecommerce, however stylish and persuasive the ecommerce website and brand, when it comes to product descriptions this often doesn’t carry over. The standard product description typically reads like something straight off the production line. Very to the point and factual.

Don’t be afraid to seduce your audience with your product descriptions. Your brand personality should ideally carry over consistently in to all aspects of your site and enhance the consumer’s shopping experience.

Make calls to action prominent

A short and simple tip is to keep calls to action prominent. Make sure that regardless of the quality of your product page copy and descriptions, your main call to action and purchase information is always clearly displayed on the page. The main two that come to mind would be the price of the item and of course your ‘add to cart’ or equivalent. The best copy ever written won’t make up for a bad user interface or layout.

Incorporate reviews in the copy

Customer reviews and rating systems have become a consistent best practice approach to inspiring online actions. This is particularly true for ecommerce transactions. I’d be very surprised if you hadn’t already included or considered adding a review or rating system to your store product pages.

Don’t be afraid to take this a little further though. Most stores will have a designated piece of functionality on a product page to allow you to call up reviews on products. But, if your product has sensational reviews, be bold. Include some of these reviews directly in your product descriptions. This tactic has a particularly high level of effectiveness if the reviews directly reference a common product FAQ or sticking point.

I hope this selection of tips has given you some ideas for improving your own product pages. If you want a few more, check out this post on how great product photos can increase your sales, for further inspiration.

Have any questions about the tips in this post? Or any suggestions of your own to share? I’d love to hear them.

About David Zupec

David Zupec is a web designer at the helm of Sailors & Mermaids, a small web design studio based in Michigan. His passion is helping small businesses build a successful online presence.