Writing product descriptions for your online store can get tricky sometimes.
You need to write a description that advertises all of your product’s great features, but run the risk of putting shoppers off if you make it too long.
You may also run into other common struggles when writing product descriptions, like establishing a consistent tone and keeping each description concise.
So if you’re ready to up your description game, check out our guide with nine tips to write product descriptions that sell.
By the end of this guide, you’ll know exactly how to write product descriptions which influence shoppers to make a purchase.
1. Define your buyer persona
Without a buyer persona, it will be more challenging for you to write a product description. Defining them will help you set the tone and voice for each product description.
Buyer personas are semi-fictional profiles of your ideal customer based on market research.
People often confuse it with “target audience”, a particular group that might be interested in your products.
Although similar, the buyer persona is different in that it focuses on specific individuals within the overall target audience. This way, you can describe your persona’s background, behaviors, interests, and so on.
Different products will appeal to different buyer personas, so each product description should be adjusted accordingly.
Notice how Peak Design focuses on the backpack’s ability to adapt to any lifestyle and environment.
Now, as a comparison, see the product description of The Everyday Backpack Zip, an alternative version of the first product.
The Everyday Backpack Zip talks about functionality a little bit, but its main focus is on its sleek, modern design.
The first product description is most likely targeted to those who prefer functionality over appearances, while the second one is for people who want to have the best of both worlds.
2. Convey your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Your company or product’s USP is what sets you apart from competitors. It is also a unique reason why your product or service is the best in the market.
Take TushBaby, for example. Its USP is to provide baby carriers that are comfortable for the children and parents.
This unique selling point is reiterated in the first paragraph of the product description, so customers don’t forget what the product stands for:
Here’s how to identify your USP and use it to write descriptions:
- Get inside your ideal customer’s head. What’s your target audience’s problem? How can your product’s features solve it? Why should they choose your product over your competitors?
- Explain your solution. Customers don’t buy products, they buy solutions to their problems.
- Entice them with a reason. Keep every product description concise, clear, and to the point.
3. Turn features into benefits
Product features are useless if consumers don’t understand how they are great for them. More often than not, sellers tend to list technical jargon that confuses their prospective buyers.
Compare these two descriptions:
- Our windproof jacket is made of breathable and light materials
- Our windproof jacket is made of breathable and light materials, allowing you to stay active whatever the weather
The latter is catchier and gives a solution to the customers’ problems and wishes, which needed to encourage purchases.
You can easily find the benefits of your products by answering the “so what?” question.
The jacket is breathable and light. So what? It doesn’t trap sweat inside. So what? You can stay active whenever you want.
4. Tell a story that evokes emotions
Emotions play a big part in decision making. Aside from features and benefits, a compelling story told through a product description might be what you need to convert people.
You can write the story of how the product was made, struggles while doing so, or success stories of changing customers’ lives.
What’s better, stories are also 2,200% more memorable than facts and figures.
Firebox, an online shop selling unique gifts, perfectly demonstrates how to use stories in your product descriptions:
Instead of using bullet points or plain language like “this activity book will help you reduce screen time”, Firebox connects with the audience by presenting the common problem of excessive phone use.
On top of that, it highlights the strong, emotional benefits of this book, which is helping readers remember how to be human again.
5. Use language and tone in line with your brand image
The language and tone you use in product descriptions are part of maintaining brand identity.
Whether you’re bold, professional, or playful, your brand personality trait is embodied in how you talk to your customers.
Let’s use previous product description examples to see how language and tone play a part in building brand identity.
Firebox has a fun, casual personality. This is clearly shown by the use of phrases and words like “nagging,” “real world,” and “some serious thought.”
Meanwhile, Peak Design is more modern and cutting edge, demonstrated by various adjectives such as “sleek,” “urban-inspired,” and “ever-changing.”
6. Make it clear and skimmable
Skimmable product descriptions don’t equal short product descriptions. It simply means visitors can spot the information within a few glances.
People have short attention spans and only read about 16% of what’s on the page.
Here are some ways to make your content scannable:
- Use bullet points
- Keep paragraphs no more than three sentences
- Maximize white space
- Emphasize important points with bolds, italics, or different colors
Let’s take a look at Innocent Drink and how they incorporate all of the factors mentioned as well as write a great product description.
7. Create a sense of urgency
Using a product description to create a sense of urgency compels people to take action fast. It plays with people’s psychology where they are scared of missing out on a great opportunity.
One case study showed that conversion rates can increase by 332% when a product is limited in some way.
To employ this method, you can create flash sales, show stock countdown, or launch a limited version of a product.
Also, use phrases like “limited time offer,” “last chance,” “exclusive one-day sale,” and so on.
Here’s an example from eBay, where it tells you when the product you want is limited in stock.
8. Write a call to action
A call to action (CTA) on a product description is typically a clickable button that pushes buyers to take the desired action.
CTAs have proven to increase conversion rates with minimal effort.
However, this only works with bold and clear buttons. A great example would be Glossier with its “Add to Bag” button.
Make the most out of your CTA buttons by incorporating these points:
- Use effective CTA phrases. Such as, “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart.” They are short and straight to the point.
- Consider the size. For mobile users, CTAs need to be large enough for thumb-clicking.
- Let it be seen. Don’t make visitors scroll to find the CTA. Only 20% of visitors will make the effort to scroll on a product page, especially on mobile devices.
- Make it stand out. Choose a design that contrasts with the whole page so visitors will be drawn to it.
9. Make it SEO-friendly
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the practice of improving your site’s search engine rankings, enabling you to reach a wider audience through keywords on search engines.
Include keywords related to your products in the product descriptions. Use a keyword generator like LSIGraph to help you find relevant keywords.
For the best results, also place your keywords in page titles, page descriptions, and image tags.
Other important elements in successful product pages
Aside from product descriptions, here are other contributing factors to product pages that sell.
1. Social proof
Displaying product reviews builds customer’s trust, validate customer’s buying decisions, and adds brand credibility.
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon describing people’s tendency to make a decision based on others’ opinions or actions.
97% of customer buyers admit that online reviews impact their buying decisions.
Without product reviews, you risk losing potential buyers.
2. High-resolution images
Product photos are a key element of your product page. After all, customers rely heavily on product images since they can’t physically touch the product.
In fact, 93% of consumers consider images essential in purchasing decisions.
Thus, the better the photos, the easier it is to persuade potential customers to make the purchase.
Make sure to:
- Upload high-resolution images
- Show your products from all angles
- Display product variants
- Take close-up pictures of the product
3. Clear pricing
Price is a sensitive issue, so be as transparent as possible if you want customers to trust you.
For instance, there might be a time when you have different prices for different versions of a product.
Don’t mislead the customers by stating the lowest price only. Give a price range, and then write in the product description that the final price depends on the version the customers choose.
On top of that, provide information about the shipping fee – whether it’s free, free after a certain amount of purchases, and others.
Last but not least, write clear Terms and Conditions if you’re offering discount coupons. State the expiration date, the maximum amount of discount, and other criteria that make customers eligible for the promotion.