How to write product descriptions

How to Write Great Product Descriptions

Small business owners might not be able to afford copywriters to create product descriptions, but it also means you shouldn’t settle for poor copy for your store. Don’t be scared 🙂 You can write them yourself.

Let’s find out what makes a great product description, why you need to speak your customer’s language, and most importantly, how do you write a product description for growing sales?

Why Is a Product Description Important?

First off, what is a product description example? Here’s how it usually looks:

A product description is copy on a product page that explains why someone should buy this product. It describes an item and provides customers with all the necessary information.

When shopping online, people can’t hold or test a product. 

Their decision to make a purchase in many ways depends on the product page content. However, it’s not enough to upload a photo of the product, state its name and price, and say a few descriptive words. When you have similar items being sold in two different shops, it’s the one with a well-written product description that will convert readers into customers.

Weak product descriptions will scare away even impulse buyers, not to mention picky shoppers. But if you know how to describe your product, you increase the chance of attracting your target customers that will fall in love with your store.

What Is a Good Product Description?

You’re ready to blow away shoppers with irresistible copy, but what do you write in a product description to do that? Think about what effect you want to have on your store visitors.

What is an effective description? It is the one that:

  • clearly states what the product does or how it is used
  • highlights the benefits of your product
  • provides all information that is necessary to decide on a purchase, like weight, size, care, materials, etc.
  • speaks the same language as your target audience
  • uses social proof and different types of content to strengthen your point.

How Do You Write a Product Description?

Now that you understand the importance of product copy, we can finally answer one of the most common questions among online sellers — how do you write a catchy product description? No matter what your skill level is, our tips will help you connect with shoppers.

Depending on how many items you sell online, writing product descriptions could be a time-consuming process. But the effort and investment will all be worth it when you see sales coming in.

Start with the basics

Regardless of how great your customer service is, most shoppers will not bother contacting a shop when they have a question about a product. So, think ahead and include all the basic details that buyers might look for.

For example, if you sell apparel, how do you write a clothing product description? Start with the basics that you can find on the tags:

  • Clothing type (t-shirt, skirt, dress)
  • Style (V-neck, skater, maxi)
  • Sizing (include a chart if possible)
  • Fabric (90% cotton, 10% polyester)
  • Wash care instructions (if necessary)

If you run an Oxxle store, you can specify attributes for different product types. This way you can segment products and standardize their description. For example, if you sell clothes, you can have a product type “Apparel” with attributes like brand, material, or season.

Mention technical product specifications only when necessary, such as for gadgets or appliances. Otherwise, all that information might overwhelm shoppers. Additionally, use generally accepted terms or jargon that your consumers would recognise. “Batteries not included” is simple and more understandable than “Portable electricity source not supplied with the product.”

Describe product benefits

You as a seller know the ins and outs of your product. And to you, it’s obvious how every feature can improve the lives of your customers and why it makes your product the best on the market.

As for shoppers, they see your store for the first time, and often all they want to know is what’s in it for them. They don’t have time to decipher specs you listed in a product description. 

That’s why it’s important to explain the benefits of your item.

Compare these sentences. Which are more comprehensible from a customer’s point of view?

Think about which features of your product make it attractive to your target audience and then describe the advantage of each feature. What problems does your product solve? How can it change customers’ routine? How will it help them?

Keep in mind your target audience when explaining product benefits. What influences your customers’ decision to make a purchase? For example, if you sell boots for travelers, it makes more sense to emphasise the fit and comfort of your product rather than its appearance.

Be smart with keywords

You want your copy to be appealing not only to customers but to search engines too. So, how do you write SEO friendly product descriptions?

An important SEO rule when you build an online store is to use long tail keywords in item descriptions. Instead of writing “RC toy car,” the phrase “RC red toy Mini Cooper” will get hits from more serious buyers. They are the ones who are in the latter stages of their search and already know the specific product they are looking for in the market. This is also great if you have a niche shop.

However, go easy when sprinkling your text with tons of keywords. Make sure that they flow well with the rest of the copy. Don’t force the keywords too much so that the writing sounds stilted.

Don’t forget about a page title and a meta description, snippets of text that describe a page’s content:

They help to tell search engines what a web page is about. Make sure your meta descriptions contain the same keywords as your product descriptions.

Oxxle generates page title and meta description automatically, based on the product names and descriptions you’ve entered. But you can also do that manually to make sure they contain accurate information and relevant keywords.

Show a bit of personality

When you sell online, it’s easy to come across as cold and impersonal. After all, a customer is interacting with a computer instead of real human beings.

Remind consumers that there’s a person on the other side of the screen by dropping a few hints of personality here and there. Talk about the expert care you put in creating the product, your inspiration for your brand, or what you did to make your buyer happy.

When it makes sense for your brand, use first-person pronouns (we, our, us), which is more engaging than taking on a neutral voice.

This is a good strategy for Facebook e-commerce sites that customers have easier access to. They would respond better if you are open and friendly.

Tell a story about your product

It’s easy to just say that the pair of shoes you are selling is “nice” and of “good quality.” That’s not entirely convincing to the shopper. You’d have to prove the quality that you are writing about. So, mention its “hand-stitched genuine Italian leather” and “18K gold-plated buckle.”

Effective copywriting is about telling a story. That’s the secret of advertising. Try thinking of a TV commercial for a cereal brand. It’s never just about the cereal. You’re also introduced to a loving parent getting their children ready for school in the morning. What’s your product’s story? It doesn’t have to be a literary masterpiece, but it should have a human touch. The consumer isn’t buying good Italian leather shoes. Rather, they’ll purchase it for the appealing heritage, lifestyle or memory it represents.

To tell a story about your product, answer these questions:

  • What inspired making the product?
  • Who created this product? Was it a success the first time?
  • How did you test it? How did your product change since the prototype stage?

Share customers’ stories too — chances are, they’ve found an uncommon or innovative way to use your product!

Speak the same language as your audience

Imagine your ideal buyer. How do they talk? Try to mimic that voice, otherwise, the customer might not listen. Take on a style or tone that’s relatable to them.

If you sell quirky novelty items, then inject humor and fun into your descriptions. Unironically talking about a gag gift as if it were a priceless piece of art might make customers suspicious. 

Likewise, expensive luxury jewelry should be described with an air of elegance and grace if you want shoppers to take your store seriously.

Also, remember to state details that would be important to your consumer. When you know that the majority of your customer base is vegans, then don’t withhold the information that you use cruelty-free vegan materials for your products. Include features and benefits that address your buyer’s unique concerns.

Address your customers’ pain points

How do you use a description? Mainly to show customers why they need to buy your product and not a competitor’s item. That’s why your product description should anticipate customers’ needs and problems. To ensure that, keep in mind who your customers are and what they want from your product.

For example, if you sell eyeshadows, you may target professional makeup artists or amateurs. Artists would be interested in products suitable for complex and creative makeups. You can tell them that your products are long-lasting, waterproof, and have a huge variety of colors.

As for amateurs, they want something that’s affordable and not too tricky to use. Explain that your products blend easily, have convenient packaging, and provide a nice substitute for expensive professional makeup.

You can ask your loyal customers why they choose your store over competitors. It’ll help you to highlight the most common pain points and focus on them in your product descriptions.

Avoid cliches and empty phrases

How do you write an attractive product description? Get rid of words like “excellent”, “high quality”, “cutting-edge”, “the best on the market”. Yes, your product might be all those things. However, such words appear too often and lose their value to a customer.

To get rid of overused phrases, try to be more specific. Ask yourself, what do you mean by saying “high quality product”? Does it have a longer warranty period compared to your competitors? To a customer, “lifetime warranty” sounds more compelling than “high quality.”

For example, instead of saying: “We offer advanced products”, you can say: “Our products comply with the latest EU safety regulations.”

If you use superlatives like “the most popular” or “the best”, you need to provide proof for that. For instance, “Our online course has a five-star rating on Trustpilot” (don’t forget to add a link). Otherwise, it’s better to avoid superlatives and focus on benefits.

Add reviews to illustrate product benefits

Social proof is a valuable asset for product descriptions, as it can prove that you’re not the only person who finds this item worth spending money on.

Use customer reviews to appeal to your target audience. If possible, add reviews that mention common pain points and state how your product helped to solve them. For example: “This stain remover took out old grass and blackberry stains! I’m definitely going to buy more.”

Don’t be afraid to show emotion

Content that brings out emotions grabs our attention even if we’re not that interested in it in the first place. It applies to any type of content, be it a movie trailer or a product description, and that can be your secret weapon.

There are several ways to add an emotional component to your copy. For example, you can tell a joke or an unexpected fact, trigger happy memories, or associate your product with something pleasant. Ask yourself:

  • What can make your customers laugh? Keep in mind there’s a difference between silly, witty, and ironic humour.
  • What experiences might your audience share? How can you remind them of these experiences?
  • What do your customers care about? How can you address those things in your copy?

Say, you sell video editing courses and your target audience is millennials. After you list the course’s benefits, you can write something like: “With this course, you’ll be able to create a video just as easily as your teenage nephew makes those TikToks”.

Create for the mobile user

Take all the tips above and tailor them into a mobile e-commerce user. People will usually not bother reading lengthy descriptions, especially if they’re viewing your site from a smartphone or tablet.

Your message can easily be missed when a buyer scrolls through huge blocks of text. A vivid and engaging 300-word copy can be whittled down to 75 words without losing the intended effect.

If you prefer to write longer detailed product descriptions, make sure you format them for easier reading.

Use formatting for easier understanding

Give your page an overall professional look.

Change the font types, colours, and sizes to make your product description easier to read and scan. Emphasise headings and highlight information that you don’t want customers to miss. Add breaks between lines to avoid a cluttered layout. Bullet points are a great way to organize information but use them sparingly. 

Review and edit your copy

Proofread what you have written before publishing it for the world to see. Think of every typo and error as a lost customer. Show the high level of attention to detail that your business values.

It’s always best to get someone else to take a look at your work, especially if you’re not very confident with your editing skills. Even the best of us might fail to catch a misspelled word or two.

Let’s Review: How to Write Product Descriptions That Sell

So, how do you write a good description? Let’s recap for better understanding:

  1. Include all the basic details customers might look for. Avoid technical jargon where possible.
  2. Explain your product benefits rather than list features.
  3. Make sure your product description is SEO friendly.
  4. Show your personality or use storytelling to connect with customers.
  5. Adapt your tone and language to your target audience.
  6. Address customer’s pain points and explain how your product solves the problem.
  7. Avoid overused expressions that clutter the copy.
  8. Include customer reviews to product descriptions.
  9. Use mixed media like graphics, icons, and video to illustrate your product benefits and its use.
  10. If possible, add a bit of humor or emotional element to your copy.
  11. Format your product descriptions.
  12. Make sure product descriptions look great on mobile devices.
  13. Review and edit your product descriptions.

Now that you’re ready… Just start writing. We understand that this might be easier said than done for most people. So just keep in mind that your goal is to just share what you know about the product, and there’s no other person who can do that better than you.


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