A product description is a piece of copy that gives potential customers information about the product, its features, and benefits. On a brand’s eCommerce website, a product description doesn’t just describe a product. It also plays the role of a salesperson—to persuade customers into buying.
India alone has an online shopper base of 180-190 million people, and this is growing exponentially, In an oversaturated market, you want to make sure that your product descriptions are well, doing more than just… describing your product.
Gone are the days of writing descriptions that simply ramble off a bunch of features.
The best eCommerce brands have product descriptions that inspire and persuade. In this blog, we’ll walk you through exactly that—how to write descriptions that will help your brand become more discoverable and convince customers to buy.
What should a good product description include?
A good bare minimum product description should include the materials/ingredients used in a product, the dimensions and other measurements. If you sell more than one product in a pack, mention the quantity as well. Here’s an example of a simple product description from Nassan store:
Have you ever dropped off from buying a product because there was not enough information provided in its description?
Since your buyer can not physically touch the product, it is your responsibility to describe everything that your buyer will need to know in order to understand the product and set the expectations right.
To make your product description more comprehensive and persuasive, here are a few points to consider:
- How is the product useful for the buyer?
- How does the product functions?
- What sets this product apart from the rest?
- Why should your buyer buy this product?
- What does this product go along with? (if it’s a food product – what other food does it taste great with? If it’s a clothing piece, what other clothing does it pair well with?)
Tips to write a product description that sells: with examples from real brands
Know your audience and set a language tone
Every product is made with an audience in mind. Know your target audience. Here is what you should know about your buyers before writing a product description:
- Where does he hang out online? Facebook/Twitter/Linkedin/Forums?
- What does he like to read?
- What is the language he interacts in? – You can actually call up your happy customers and talk to them to understand this.
Knowing all this will tell you exactly what to write for your buyers and give you directions on how to write it.
Set a tone of voice that your buyer will understand. This can be friendly, professional, inspiring or bold. For example:
Do they want to know all of the information or just the necessities?
Do they want a little humour and fun or more professional and direct and to the point?
Benefits over features
Now that you know what language to use, it’s time to decide the features and benefits to highlight.
When it comes to writing eCommerce product descriptions, you don’t have a lot of space to work with. And considering most consumers only spend a few minutes on an a product page, you’ll want to narrow down the features that are most compelling.
In general, shoppers don’t care about WHAT the product is; they only care about HOW it can make their lives easier and help them solve a problem. That’s why it’s important to highlight the benefits.
Here’s a great example from ThePantProject:
Not only are they addressing problems men face when buying pants, they also give advice on how they can be styled—all this in concise words.
Start with a killer hook
Some brands write long descriptions bombarded with information, especially on online marketplaces. They are good examples of how NOT to write product descriptions. Because, in the words of David Ogilvy, Nobody was ever bored into buying a product.
Go the extra mile to write a captivating hook for your product. This will make all the difference when customers make a buying decision.
Here’s a great example from Greensole:
This brings us to an important question:
How long should product descriptions be?
Anywhere between 100 to 300 words is a good word count for product descriptions. It’s always good to stick to the main benefits and features of the product and make it as concise as possible.
Organise your product description
More customers are likely to scan through your product description and make a decision. So, make sure you declutter the copy and make it as crisp and concise as possible.
However, this doesn’t mean you should omit critical information. Instead, break up the description into smaller sections, separate with paragraphs, and use bullet points. Make it easy on the eyes.
Take this example from Elevar:
The description is more than 100 words. But they manage to organise it into chunks of text that are easy on the eyes.
When you write product descriptions, don’t forget to optimise it for mobile. The text might look cluttered in mobile even though it looks great on desktop.
Avoid the buyer’s guilt
Isn’t it a bummer when you don’t get to know that one piece of information you wanted about the product before placing the order? Welcome to buyer guilt. We buy things online and they do not come as we expected.
Buyer’s guilt can always be avoided by setting the expectations right. You get this chance while writing your product description. If you are running an offer/discount, let them know it’s a one-time-only offer, let them know the terms and conditions clearly.
1. Make them aware that it’s an absolute bargain.
2. Compliment them on finding such a bargain (use the word “deal” or make them an offer for more luxurious brands).
3. Make the product sound exclusive.
4. Mention that the colours may slightly vary. Here’s an example from koskii.com:
5. Detail the product as essential (e.g., “These shoes are an essential accessory for your summer wardrobe”).
6. Highlight multi-use (e.g., “This dress can be transformed from day to night with a simple brooch or belt and change of shoes”).
SEO plugs in your product description
In terms of optimising your product descriptions for better discoverability, these are the two major points to consider:
Avoid duplicity: Remember that the description you use for your product at one place on the internet, should not be an exact match of the same product description anywhere else on the internet. This confuses google on which link to show and eventually doesn’t show any link out of confusion.
Insert keywords: Write product descriptions based on what your audience is searching for. You can find this out by doing keyword research. Include these keywords throughout your description wisely. Never stuff keywords all over the content. It gives a bad reading experience to the readers/buyers in this case.
Words of caution
Here is a list of words you should avoid in writing a good product description:
- Got, get, gotten – Don’t tell the customer to “get shoes,” suggest they buy it.
- Actually, honestly, literally – No one uses these in copy, even in conversation. They’re gap fillers when people can’t think of something else to say.
- Stunning – Stunning is overused so much on social media that it’s now considered lazy to use it in real writing.
- Just – It can also make a brand sound a little dumb.
- Nice – This word makes brands appear lazy.
- Very, kind of, maybe – Need I say more?
- Sorry – This has negative connotations
Tip: Avoid stuffing your description with adjectives — use more verbs. Action(verbs) speak louder than words (adjectives).
Read More: Accurate product descriptions is a sure shot technique of earning your customer’s trust. What else is there?
Find out in our free whitepaper “The eCommerce trust report 2022”
Here’s a recap of how to write a great product description:
- Know your audience and set your tone
- Benefits over features
- Start with a captivating hook
- Avoid buyer’s guilt
- Organise your product description
- SEO plugs in your product description
Go beyond the bare minimum by crafting product descriptions that inspire. Let your audience know how different you are from other brands.