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How to write fantastic product descriptions

Including 6 top tips

A good product description can be the difference between a sale and a missed opportunity. Whether you’re an experienced e-commerce professional looking to improve your skills or a newcomer trying to get started with your online store, this article will provide the knowledge needed to create product descriptions that engage, persuade, and drive sales.

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What’s the purpose of a product description?

A product description is more than just a bit of text that you add next to a picture of your product. A good product description sets up the path through which your potential customers learn about and are persuaded to buy your product. A well-crafted product description communicates the essential aspects of your product, resonates with your customers’ needs, motivates them to make a purchase, and should be considered an important part of your marketing funnel.

You should think of your product description as a storytelling opportunity, and show why your product is the perfect solution for your customers.

With that in mind, let’s dive in and learn how to craft product descriptions that resonate and persuade.

What should be in a good product description?

A good product description will speak to your customer, resonating with their needs and pain points. Before we get into how to best persuade potential customers with your copy, let’s look at the basic components of a good product description.

Features and benefits

To write a solid product description, it’s important to understand the difference between features and benefits.

Features are the specific attributes or characteristics of the product. These might include size, colour, materials used, technical specifications, etc.

On the other hand, benefits focus on how these features directly improve the customer’s life. They help a potential customer answer the questions, “What’s in it for me? What value would this bring to me?” For instance, a feature like “noise-cancelling technology” in a pair of headphones can be translated into the benefit of “immersive listening without interruptions”.  

When working on your product descriptions, always keep the benefits to the customer in mind. While features are important to highlight, the main selling points will be found in the benefits. Your product description should combine features and benefits to create a story that speaks to your potential customer.

Clear description

When working on your product descriptions, you should keep the complexity of your product in mind when thinking about the overall description. The first goal is to ensure that potential customers have a clear understanding of the product.

For products that are easy to understand, a to-the-point description can be enough to start with. For example, if you are selling pants, it’s enough to introduce the product with a clear and engaging headline without going into details of its use.

On the other hand, if your product is technologically complex or highly specialised, you may need to add a more extensive description. You may want to cover what the product does, and some information about how it works. Use language that is accessible to a wide audience, avoiding overly technical terms (unless you’re certain that your audience is highly specialised).

The aim is to make your potential customers feel they have the knowledge they need to make a purchase confidently. Clarity should always be a priority in your product description, whether your product is easy or complicated to understand. Ensure your customers leave your product page with a clear understanding of what they can expect.

Extra motivation

Consider what might motivate potential customers to make a purchase. This could include limited time offers, discounts, or free shipping. You can nudge potential buyers toward a decision by creating a sense of urgency or added value.

How long should a product description be? 

There is no exact science for the length of a product description. It should be long enough to describe the product in detail without becoming so wordy that the real value gets lost in a wall of text.

A general guideline is to aim for a product description that is brief but also thorough. Again, remember the differences between complex products and those that are easier to understand. For simpler or everyday products, a few sentences or bullet points could be enough to provide the information customers need to decide. If your product is complex, you may want to use more text to cover all your bases.

The key is to strike a balance, ensuring that every word serves a purpose in helping potential buyers understand the product’s value and why it’s the right choice for them.

Examples of excellent product descriptions

Product descriptions are at the core of ecommerce sales. Let’s analyse two examples of informative product descriptions that showcase product benefits and keep these brands’ customers’ main concerns in mind.

Description text: Top Cat Turkey – A triumph of turkey, slow-cooked to purr-fection.
Meowing Heads’ Top Cat Turkey is slow cooked to purr-fection using only the best quality, natural ingredients. Packed protein (93% turkey, beef & chicken!), this seriously yummy adult wet food is totally grain-free. We’re sure this whisker-licking dinner will have your kitty meowing for more!

UK pet food company Barking Heads places pet lovers’ needs at the heart of their product descriptions. It starts by creating a sensory experience, describing the slow-cooking process and the high-quality ingredients. They know their keywords and what will appeal to their customers’ concerns: ‘grain-free’, ‘free from artificial colours and flavours’. By focusing on the wholesome quality of the product, they reassure their cat-loving customers that they are making a nutritious choice for their furry friends.

Description text: Our go-to Black Hole® Duffel. This 55-liter workhorse organizes your gear and has enough space for a fun-hog weekend or a well-organized extended trip. Made with 100% recycled body fabric, lining and webbing. Made in a Fair Trade Certified™ factory.

In this product description for one of outdoor apparel brand Patagonia’s classic duffel bags, they excel in providing detailed information about the product’s sustainable materials and environmental impact. Given the brand’s well-established commitment to eco-friendliness and environmental responsibility, this focus is in line with their brand identity and with their customers’ concerns.  

Six top tips for writing persuasive product descriptions

Now that we’ve covered the essentials of writing copy for product descriptions, let’s look at a few tips that will make a difference in your copy.  

Know who you’re writing for

Before you start writing, it’s crucial to understand your target audience. The knowledge you have of your potential customers forms the foundation for crafting good and persuasive copy. Create detailed customer personas that address their preferences, pain points, and motivations. You can use these personas to create product descriptions that resonate and speak directly to their needs and desires.

Keep your customers in mind as you write and anticipate the questions your customers might have. Addressing common concerns, objections, and queries shows that you understand their needs and creates trust in your company.

Finally, do your research to ensure you’re keeping up with your industry’s latest trends and customer preferences. By engaging with your own customers’ feedback, you are always improving your understanding of your audience and are ready to address any new points that should be addressed in your product descriptions. 

Define and maintain a consistent tone of voice

Setting and maintaining your brand’s tone of voice is another part of writing product descriptions that you can’t afford to miss. The voice you choose is a bridge between your brand and your customers, and it influences how they perceive you as a company. Whether your tone is direct and professional or friendly and playful, maintaining consistency across all product descriptions is important for building brand identity and trust.

Set a tone of voice that speaks to your customers’ preferences. For example, if your audience is younger and more casual, a conversational and friendly tone could be appropriate. On the other hand, if you’re selling bespoke luxury goods, a more sophisticated and formal tone would be more in line with your audience. Having the wrong tone can risk turning your customers off your products, so choose wisely.

Finally, avoid exaggerating or using over-the-top language in your descriptions. Customers value honesty and can become suspicious if your product descriptions sound too good to be true. Honesty and transparency are important for building trust in your company, so make sure your descriptions reflect these values.

Add social proof

Consumers often turn to others’ experiences to decide on their purchases, so social proof is an asset in your product descriptions. Social proof is the concept that people tend to follow the actions and choices of others, particularly those people that are similar to them. Authentic feedback from other satisfied customers adds credibility and builds trust in your brand.

You can add social proof by including snippets or short text from your customers’ reviews and testimonials. These snippets should show your product’s strengths, including the benefits highlighted in the rest of your description. 

You can also consider the impact of visual reviews, such as star ratings, and add those directly to your product pages. These visual cues provide an immediate impression of your product’s quality and the satisfaction of previous customers.

To get this social proof in the first place, make sure that you are actively encouraging your customers to leave reviews after their purchase, and that the process of leaving feedback is as simple as possible. Offering incentives, such as discounts on future purchases, can also motivate customers to share their experiences.

Don’t neglect your SEO

Product descriptions should be subject to a search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy, just like most other texts on your website. Including keywords into your descriptions is one way to get your products to a wider audience. Conduct keyword research to identify terms your target audience is likely to search for, and include these keywords naturally within the description, title, and any tags.

You can also follow other SEO best practices. For example, you can link to your product descriptions to create internal backlinks to other parts of your website.  

While improving your SEO is important, don’t forget about the user experience. Your product descriptions are primarily there to provide information to potential customers. Focus on creating content that addresses their needs, questions, and concerns, and make it engaging and informative.

Avoid keyword stuffing, where keywords are repeatedly and unnecessarily inserted into a text. This practice is penalised by search engines and worsens the readability of your product descriptions. Maintain a balance by using keywords thoughtfully, ensuring they are present where they are needed.

Make the text easy to skim

Many online shoppers will skim through your product descriptions instead of reading them in detail. The key to keeping these potential customers engaged is to structure your product descriptions for easy scanning. Here are several strategies to enhance the readability of your product descriptions:

  • Use bullet points to highlight key features and benefits.
  • Break up lengthy paragraphs into shorter sections.
  • Emphasise important points with bold or italic text.
  • Include clear headings.

Overall, you should consider readability when working on your descriptions just as much as you would for any other written content. Make it easy for your potential customers to find the information they’re looking for, and you will likely see your conversion rates rise.  

Always review and refine

Even the most well-written product descriptions can be worked on. It’s vital to regularly engage with your customers and see what feedback they have on your product descriptions.  By analysing performance data, such as conversion and bounce rates, you may identify descriptions that need extra attention.

You can also experiment with A/B testing to play with various parts of your product descriptions. You could A/B test different tones to see which best aligns with your audience, or choose different benefits to highlight and see what gets better results.

You should also consider auditing your product descriptions, just as you would audit other content on your website. Create an inventory of your product descriptions and regularly review them for outdated information, inconsistencies, or areas where they may need to be expanded or clarified. As you continue developing your online business, you must ensure product descriptions align with your current branding and messaging strategies.

By following these top tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating persuasive product descriptions that captivate your audience and drive sales.

Boosting conversions: the impact of effective product descriptions

Product descriptions are a core aspect of an ecommerce business. While often short, these pieces of text have the power to persuade and convert potential customers into satisfied buyers.

While there are basic parts to all product descriptions, the most important aspect to keep in mind is that you should create a connection with your audience. Research and understand your target audience’s preferences, pain points, and motivations to best show how your product can address their specific needs and desires.

While working with descriptions, don’t forget to include them in your SEO work. Adding keywords ensures a broader audience can find your products. 

To summarise, the art of writing persuasive product descriptions involves a blend of creativity, customer understanding, and technical optimisation. Applying the principles discussed in this guide, you can create product descriptions that engage, inform, and drive sales.

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