Writing product descriptions seems pretty easy – just name a few features and you’re done, right? Wrong.
A list of features isn’t enough to sell a product. Truly effective product descriptions need to entice shoppers, help them understand what your product will do for them and explain why yours is better than the rest.
Writing a unique and compelling product descriptions isn’t easy – but the time and resources required to produce outstanding product content is well worth the investment. An irresistible product description can make the difference between mediocre sales and hitting your next milestone – and a bad product description can actually cost you money.
If you’re in the process of writing product copy or are looking for ways to improve existing product content, read on.
Product Descriptions Have Two Goals
There are two main goals of a well-written product description. The first is to provide the necessary facts about the product. The product’s color, manufacturer, price, measurements, weight, and other pertinent information must be part of the description.
The second goal of a product description is to showcase the product’s benefits in a compelling and trustworthy way. This type of copy is creative, descriptive, emotional and often imaginative.
Having effective and articulate product descriptions that meet both of these goals is one of your best defenses against cart abandonment, because shoppers know exactly what they’re getting and how it will benefit them.
One of the biggest challenges of writing great product descriptions is meet these two goals while also making sure it’s optimized for SEO.
Elements of an Irresistible Product Description
While there isn’t a single template or formula for writing the perfect product description, there are some key elements that every product description should include.
1. ‘Romance’ the Customer
The creative and descriptive aspect of product copy should ‘romance’ the customer. Add details to the description that evoke a certain mood or feel. For example, instead of using the word “lighting” to describe a lamp, try “illuminate” or “warm glow.” A thesaurus really comes in handy when elevating your product descriptions.
Emotional copy creates a personal feeling or connection between the customer and the product. A couch isn’t merely a frame with 3 cushions and 2 arm rests, it’s a comfortable place to spend time with friends and family.
Burrow, a modular luxury sofa in a box, does a great job of romancing shoppers as they navigate through the benefits of buying a couch.
2. Entice the Senses
Use the five senses to add emphasis to the creative product copy. Include at least three different sensory details in each product description. You can describe how the product looks, how it sounds, how it feels, how it smells, and, in some instances, how it tastes. Use positive adjectives like “plush,” “velvety,” “scented,” “cozy,” and “comforting.” Avoid words that have a negative or neutral connotation like “cold,” “hard,” “rough,” and “harsh.”
Sensory details can help you conjure images of comfort, relaxation, friendship, romance, success, and satisfaction. After reading your product description, the customer should feel good about the product. It’s about creating a personal connection.
Mattress company, Casper, does a good job of teasing the shopper’s sense. Their mattresses aren’t just comfortable – they’re like sleeping on a dreamy cloud.
3. Add Some Humor
As the numbers of brands selling online has increased, so has the amount of bland, monotonous product descriptions. Stand out from the noise and make a bigger impact on your shoppers by adding some humor to your product copy.
Take this example courtesy of Palace Skateboards. They certainly aren’t the only ones selling Adidas Originals products, but the way they add humor to the product description makes it unique, engaging – and dare I say it, funny.
4 Simple Steps for Writing Compelling Product Content
Unfortunately, knowing what makes a truly great product description isn’t the same as writing one. It takes a talented wordsmith to write copy that communicates a product’s benefits in an engaging, believable and convincing way.
If your product descriptions aren’t driving the results you hoped for, follow these 5 simple steps that will take your product descriptions from mediocre to irresistible.
1. Know What Makes Your Target Customer Tick
You can’t write a great product description unless you know exactly who would want to buy your product. This requires a buyer persona – a detailed definition of your ideal customer that goes beyond basic demographic data. You need to know what makes them laugh, what they’re interested in and what problems they need to solve. Once you have that, you can write a description that speaks succinctly to your ideal buyer.
2. Focus On The Benefits
Consumers don’t just want to know about the features of a product – they want to learn about the benefits available to them or what problem it can solve. Check out how Amazon describes some of the benefits of the Kindle Fire:
Enjoy millions of movies, TV shows, songs, Kindle e-books, apps and games (positive benefit)
Power when you need it (positive benefit)
No more worrying about storage space (problem that can be avoided)
3. Don’t State The Obvious
When you run out of ideas or can’t find the right word to use in a product description, you might find yourself leaning on phrases like “excellent quality.” The only problem with this is that everyone says it. Obviously, no business will describe their product quality as “mediocre” or “not great.”
So, to avoid this common pitfall, try to be specific and include as much detail as possible. Lands’ End did a good job of this in their description of children’s snow boots. Instead of just saying that the boots were good quality, they explained why they were good quality:
Easy to get on and off, with 200 grams of insulation to keep them on their toes in the snow. We add insulation under foot (where heat escapes) to ensure their toes stay toasty. Featuring our unique OpenWIDE® construction designed to extend twice as wide so feet can easily slip inside. Plus, reflective tape for added safety and an interior name label so their boots won’t walk off on their own
4. Make Your Description Easy to Skim
Most consumers aren’t inclined to wade through long blocks of texts, especially when they’re in shopping mode. Make use of subheadings and bullet points to break up your product copy and be sure that the beginning of your description is as engaging as possible. That’s how you’ll get your reader hooked and keep them reading.
Don’t Forget About the Search Engines
While you always want to write product descriptions with your ideal buyer in mind, they can also be a useful tool to further your SEO efforts.
Think of the keywords your ideal buyer would use to search for your product and include those terms in your headline, subheading and body. Be careful not to overdo keywords though because that can actually backfire and hurt your search rankings.
Some things to keep in mind while writing product descriptions for SEO include:
- Use keywords and phrases throughout
- Optimize the headings
- Optimize the meta description
- Optimize the images
- Add product category content
Give Shoppers What They Need
When people shop online, they don’t get a chance to examine, touch or try on a product. Consumers have to base their buying decisions on the photos and product descriptions you provide. Make sure your product content gives shoppers the information and motivation they need to click “add to cart.”