How to write product descriptions that sell

how to write product descriptions - online shop

Why would anyone need guidance on how to write product descriptions? Surely, all you’re doing is writing what the product is, what bells and whistles it has, how fast it is, how cheap it is and so on.

These things are certainly important and will help your prospect come to a decision on whether to buy, but they may not be the things that prompt an interest in the first place.

Benefits first

Guides on how to write product descriptions often tell you, quite rightly that you should talk about the benefits rather than its features. But how do you establish what the benefits are? Have you even thought about all the advantages that your product offers the user?

For example, it’s common for car manufacturers to advertise that a model does a certain number of miles to the gallon. In case you don’t already know, that’s a feature and it could help the prospect make a final decision, but it’s not the sort of thing that would grab someone’s attention at the outset.

It would be better to take that feature and think about how it benefits the user. A high number of miles to the gallon means the user saves money so you could write something like, “It’ll save you money”. That just about hits the mark but it’s not all that tangible. It’s better to focus on what that cost-saving can actually get you. So how about, “In a year, you’ll save enough in fuel costs to buy a holiday in Tenerife.” There you go! Anyone who buys that car pretty much gets a free foreign holiday into the bargain!

Address their pain points

If you ever watch shopping channels, you have probably seen all those kitchen gadgets that presenters talk endlessly about. Often, it’s something as simple as a cooking pot with a built in heating element and timer. Whilst the presenter can wax lyrical about all the things that can be cooked in it, about how it’s simply a case of plugging it in and switching on, what they can never do is explain what problem it solves. How is it better than an ordinary saucepan on the hob or a casserole in the oven? Has anyone ever lain in bed losing sleep because cooking an Irish stew the conventional way is such a nightmare?

When you’re thinking about how to write product descriptions, think about the problem your product solves, and make that loud and clear.

Think about your target audience

There are all kinds of products that appeal to just about everyone. If you’re selling chocolate brownies, you know they’ll be enjoyed by children and adults, lawyers, builders, graphic designers, and taxi drivers. Your target audience is people who like cake so you don’t have to think all that hard about who you’re writing for.

But what if your products aren’t aimed at everybody? We’re not even talking about particularly niche items. Baby products are aimed at parents, certain clothing brands are aimed at twenty-somethings, and skincare products are, for the most part aimed at women. So, you need to think about whom you’re addressing and imagine how that person is going to react to the language you use. Will they feel like a friend is talking to them or will they experience a sense of condescension?

Speaking of language, think about the most appropriate vocabulary for your audience. Given the choice between “happy” or “jubilant” which would your reader use? Would they say “fortuitous” or would they prefer “lucky”? Using the wrong words can alienate people so sticking to plain and simple language avoids confusion and frustration.

When your audience isn’t your buyer

It’s also worth remembering that the person buying your product isn’t always the user. If you’re selling nutritious meals aimed at children, is your target audience the kids or the parents? Both audiences are valid since parents want their children to eat healthily while children could be your allies when it comes to getting the parents to buy. If you attempt to appeal to both audiences, you’re in danger of watering down your message. So, think about your audience and focus only on them.

Back up your claims

It’s easy to fall into the trap of describing your product as “leading” or “excellent” but you know in your heart that it’s just waffle. Far better to provide a statistic like “87 per cent of bakers surveyed said they’d recommend our rolling pins”, or some information that demonstrates just how excellent the rolling pin is like “made of solid marble for crisp pastry every time”.

In this way, you provide information that let’s the reader conclude that your product is good without actually telling them. And in case you didn’t notice, that last example gives both a feature and a benefit in one hit.

Put your reader in the picture

If you’re selling clothes in a clothes shop, one of the best ways of encouraging a customer to purchase is by getting them to try an item on. Let them feel how soft the fabric is, how comfortable the fit, let them see how great they look in the mirror. You can do a similar thing with your product descriptions. Describe how your product will make them feel, the admiring glances of onlookers, talk about pride of ownership and sense of achievement. Encourage them to imagine what it would be like to own that product. This is especially useful for online selling where you need to compensate for the loss of the touchy-feeliness of the physical retail experience.

The human touch

People often back a brand because of the individual behind it. Perhaps they recognise the struggles a brand founder has surmounted. Maybe they admire an inventor’s green credentials. If there’s an interesting story behind a product, don’t be afraid to use it. Sometimes a product is developed simply because someone was trying to solve a problem. Who was that person. What was the problem? Why was it important that the problem be addressed? How much time and effort went in to finding a solution?

For the manufacturer to go to all that bother surely demonstrates how necessary the product is, no? These stories resonate with people and in many cases, that flash of recognition can be the hook that gets the sale.

Make it eye-catching

If the name of your product is the same font and size as the description below it, then there’s nothing to grab the reader’s attention. Catch the eye by displaying the product name in a larger font. Similary, create a few key bullet points to tempt the prospect into reading in more detail. Typography plays an important part in marketing so take it seriously and learn some techniques for yourself.

Professional writing services in Ipswich, Suffolk

Your product descriptions should be interesting, exciting, and worth reading. Moreover, they should prove so irresistible to readers that they can’t help but buy. Writing like that takes a lot of time, and that is something that many business owners are seriously short of. Copywriting in Suffolk for over twenty years, we know how to write product descriptions. We have written descriptions for foodstuffs, software, pharmaceuticals, cruises, and more. In addition, we have wide experience in service descriptions.

We can write short copy for your online shop, or longer pieces for brochures and landing pages.

Why not get in touch and let us take off some of the pressure?


Image by 200 Degrees from Pixabay