Writing Compelling Product Descriptions That Sell

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Woman writing compelling product descriptions for her online store

A product description describes all the important features and benefits of a product. It’s one of the most crucial elements of a product page, and it should be written in a way that will entice your store visitors to follow your call to action (CTA). 

Keep reading if you’re ready to learn how to write effective product descriptions. We’ll walk you through nine full-proof ways to create compelling copy, plus other tips that should help simplify the copywriting process even if you have no experience in that field.

Table of Contents

9 Surefire Ways to Write Compelling Product Descriptions

1. Practice brevity

Dump the fluff and focus on the essentials first. Your consumers should understand what your product is about from the first few lines of your description. Then, any supporting product details should be placed under your main pitch.

You may follow the inverted pyramid method to help you get to the point. It consists of three core sections: the lead, the body, and the tail. 

Inverted Pyramid Method for product description writing

2. Include all relevant product details

Writing a product copy entails communicating everything that consumers need to know about your offer. The more relevant details you provide, the easier it will be for them to make a decision. 

The last thing you’d want to happen is for your customers to leave your page to do more research about your product. Once they switch to another tab, your chances of making a sale become pretty slim. 

With that, make sure that you include all relevant product details in your description. Depending on what product you’re selling, the must-haves of your description may include the following: 

  • Quantity
  • Quality
  • Material
  • Color
  • Dimensions or Sizing Information
  • Weight

If all these details are making your description too lengthy, you have the option to organize them into expandable sections. Here’s an example from The North Face:

3. Highlight both features and benefits

Let’s quickly define features and benefits. Product features supply facts and technical details. Meanwhile, product benefits provide customers with ideas on how a product can enhance their life. 

When writing product descriptions, you can appeal to the consumer’s emotional motivations by highlighting your product’s benefits. How will your product make them feel? How will it be a good addition to their lives? Why is it worth buying right now?

Then, you can aid their rationalization process with product features that support the promise of these benefits. Here’s an excellent example from The Yankee Candle

If you look at the “About Large Jar Candles” section, the first sentence perfectly encapsulates both the product feature and benefit: “Our largest Jar Candle provides over 110 hours of soothing fragrance designed to create a welcoming home for family and friends.” 

  • Feature: 110 hours of fragrance (supported by the burn time of 110 to 150 hours under the Specifications section)
  • Benefit: Creates a welcoming home for family and friends

Did you see the subtle copywriting magic in there? The description hooks the customer by illustrating the product benefit, and then it reinforces that benefit by giving details about the product’s features. 

4. Stick to your brand’s tone of voice

When you’ve successfully identified your target market and target audience, you should also have a good understanding of how you can best communicate with them. Do you talk to them in a casual and fun way? Or do you use formal and serious language instead?  

Your brand tone may adjust according to the message and platform where it’s being used. But it should still encapsulate your brand’s overall personality. 

Consumers like consistency. If they chanced upon your store through a funny social media post that you published, then they’d expect that same kind of lighthearted vibe when they finally visit your online store. Consistency will help your brand become memorable, so stick to that voice that best suits your ideal followers and customers.

5. Appeal to the senses

To make up for the lack of in-store sensorial experience, supply your product descriptions with phrases that can captivate your customer’s senses. 

Your product descriptions are a great supplement to your product images since the latter mainly appeals to the sense of sight. Try to inject additional sensory details, such as your product’s texture, taste, or smell since these aspects may be challenging to capture with just a photo. 

Also, remember to consider which of the five senses are appropriate for your product. For instance, it wouldn’t make sense to describe a gadget’s smell. However, it would make good sense to describe its visual, textural, and acoustic properties.

When you write, try to use precise adjectives instead of generic ones. Also, make sure to use terms that adequately support your product’s details and features. Doing this can help stir your customers’ imagination towards an accurate (and enticing!) image of your product. 

Here’s an example from the chocolate maker Green & Black’s:

6. Use power words

Power words are words that can prompt an emotional or psychological reaction in customers. And since a product description should strike an emotional chord with its readers, injecting power words may help you achieve that. 

In an article on Smart Blogger, Jon Morrow classified power words according to seven types. For easy access, we created a chart showing these seven groups, plus the power words that fall under each group:

Infographic showing the seven types power words, as identified by Jon Morrow

Using this chart as a reference, you can now switch up from the ordinary and take your copywriting efforts up a notch. Injecting power words into your copy can reshape a bland description into one that can drive consumers to take action.

7. Provide scannability using bullet points or checklists

Consumers look for convenience. They need to know a product’s details and specifications in the most digestible and easy-to-read format possible. 

So, keep your descriptions simple and snappy. You can do this by providing chopped-down details listed as bulleted points or checklists. This practice can help you maximize your whole product page as it will make more space for other important elements, such as images, videos, and the like. 

Here’s a scannable structure that you can follow when writing your product description: 

  • Product title → Heading 
  • Product specifications → Bullet points 
  • Product story and highlights → Short paragraphs

Below is an example from Firebox. The product title is highly visible, and the description is a combination of easy-to-read bulleted points and short paragraphs: 

Screenshot of a Firebox product page with a scannable product description

8. Tell a story

Emotions can have a significant influence on a person’s decision-making, and this includes their purchasing behavior. 

This is why a good product description is not limited to stating complete details. It should also strike an emotional chord with consumers to pique their attention, establish resonance, and inspire a purchase. 

Cue in: product storytelling. 

Telling a story can help you connect with customers in a more meaningful way. It helps you offer better transparency, elevate your brand message, and leave a lasting impression on your site visitors. 

To help you craft a story in your product copy, here are some questions you can answer:

  • Where did this product originate?
  • What is the inspiration behind making this product? 
  • What is the journey of this product (from creation to shipping)?
  • How can consumers incorporate this product into their day-to-day lives? 

Surrounding your product with an interesting narrative can increase its value. Ultimately, it can help customers justify it as a worthwhile buy. Take a look at this example by Sivana:

9. Optimize for search engines

It’ll be challenging to organically attract visitors to your business without search engine optimization or SEO. How can you apply SEO in your product descriptions?

Consider keywords as your best friend. You’ll need to research terms and phrases that are related to your products and that people are searching for on search engines. Once you have a bunch of keywords, you should choose one primary keyword for each of your pages. 

Word of advice: use the primary keyword consistently and naturally in writing your product description. You should also incorporate the term into other parts of your page, such as your page title, title tag, meta description, and alt tags.

SEO is a must if you want to run your business for long-term success. It can be a little tricky sometimes, so be sure to study some SEO best practices before investing in optimization efforts. 

Recommended Reading: How to Start Dropshipping: A Definitive Guide

Spot the Difference: Product Description Mistakes to Avoid

Not all product descriptions are equal. While some help businesses close sales, others fail to fit the bill and do more harm than good.

If you don’t want your product description to be on the losing end, here are some copywriting no-no’s you have to avoid: 

1. Copy and paste descriptions from the manufacturer

Writing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But if you want your online store to be taken seriously, you have to put in the effort to write original and compelling product descriptions. 

Your customers will see right through a product copy taken straight out of your supplier’s website. It sounds bland and robotic, devoid of any wit and warmth. In short, it’s a total turn-off. Not only that, but copied descriptionsalso called duplicate contentcould potentially hurt your search engine rankings. And is that really worth the risk? 

The solution? Write original product descriptions that can make your customers feel you are talking to them. Outsource the writing task if you need to. Just don’t make the mistake of simply copying and pasting texts—even if your supplier’s description sounds good enough.

2. Forget who you’re talking to

Your product descriptions must bridge a connection between you and your intended customers. This is why we can’t emphasize enough the importance of knowing your target market and target audience.

When you know who you’re talking to, you’ll be able to reflect their desires and motivations in the words that you use. You’ll be able to speak their language, and this will help you craft a product copy that resonates with them. 

3. Miss stating the important details

The last thing you want is for your customer to click away from your page because they couldn’t find the information they need. 

Yes, it pays to be concise in copywriting, but that doesn’t mean that you can leave out important information about your product. Make sure that every question a customer might have is answered in your product description. If needed, you may add infographics or videos that can help you provide more information without consuming too much screen space.

4. Commit grammatical errors

Grammatical errors can be a cause for confusion. Worse, your site visitors might get the wrong idea about your product or they might get the false impression that your brand is unreliable. 

Be meticulous. Go over the description again before publishing, and make sure that every detail is correct. You may even use an online grammar checker to help you out.

Stimulate the Senses: 5 Product Description Examples for Inspiration

Why it works: 

  • Product features are immediately linked to their benefits
  • Scannability is provided through the use of a bulleted list 
  • Every part of the product is clearly described

Why it works:

  • The description is concise, sufficient, and easy to understand
  • Details are organized in expandable sections 
  • Uses the slang word “glamouflage” appropriately to connect with their audience 

Why it works: 

  • The copy features rich, descriptive words that appeal to the brand’s ideal customers
  • It gives a sensory-filled description that emulates the use of the product
  • It contains phrases that inspire trust (i.e., carefully crafted and dermatologist-tested)

Why it works: 

  • Actively builds trust through transparency about the product details and product story
  • Educates consumers about materials used for the product

 

Why it works: 

  • The copy effectively expresses the brand’s personality by inserting humor 
  • It gives a fresh twist on a phrase that is ubiquitous in cruelty-free brands

Get Started: Product Description Template

There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for creating the perfect product description. But it doesn’t hurt to have a cheat sheet to refer to when you need the work done right. 

If you’re looking for a trusty reference, here’s a product description template that you can use:

 

One-sentence pitch

A thoughtful description or purpose of your product crystallized into one phrase or sentence.

Scannable product details 

  • Key takeaways in bullet form
  • Summary of relevant product details such as material, size, weight, quality, and benefits (can be further explained in expandable sections)

Descriptive details about the product / Product story

  • A more detailed explanation of the product that can answer the what, why, how questions that customers may have 
  • A section where you can narrate the story behind your product and how the product aligns with your brand’s message and value proposition

Conclusion: Words are Powerful Tools

Product descriptions are just one part of your product pages, but they carry substantial weight in turning consumers from visitors to paying customers. 

The words you use, how you tie them together, and how you organize them will impact the consumer’s perception of your product and your brand. 

If someone’s already on your product page, it means that their interest has already been kindled. And with a compelling product description, you can hook them in and get them to add your products to their cart. Now, get to work and start writing!

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