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8 Tips to Write Compelling Product Descriptions

8 Tips to Write Compelling Product Descriptions

Product descriptions are some of the most critical aspects of your e-commerce site, as these can determine whether or not a potential customer decides to buy your product.

For example, imagine a customer is looking through your website. One of your products catches their eye, and they want to find out more. They click on the product description, and it has basic phrases like "excellent product quality." There's minimal helpful information. This potential customer will likely think, "Yeah, fine. But what else?" The customer decides to search Google for more information and stumbles upon another website with the same product and a complete description. Great! They're sold on the product, but don't bother going back to your website for the final purchase.

If your descriptions are coming off as "blah blah," then it's time to change your copy urgently. Take a look at some valuable tips to catch potential customers' attention and encourage them to click on that purchase button.

What is a product description?

It's the marketing copy that explains what a product is and gives information on its features and benefits. It should also help compel potential customers to buy your product. An effectively written product description moves buyers through your conversion funnel. Persuasive product pages can generate new leads and keep customers coming back.

Henneke Duistermaat from Enchanting Marketing recommends answering these questions to help you write successful product descriptions:

  • What problems does your product solve?
  • What do customers gain from your product?
  • What makes it better than the competition?

Customers need sufficient information about the product before they buy it online. It's not enough to hope the customer will trust your product without all the required information.

One study conducted by the Nielsen Norman Group discovered that 20% of purchase failures result from unclear product descriptions. That's a hefty consequence that can easily be avoided with compelling copy.

Also, Simbar Dube from invespcro.com suggests including these important details in your descriptions:

  • Price
  • Shipping costs
  • Product availability
  • Product specifications
  • Product features

Next, let's get into helpful tips that can help improve the copy of your product descriptions.

1. Focus on your ideal customer

First of all, you must identify who your core customer base is. It's necessary to think about what questions your customers might have and answer them. The most effective product descriptions reach out to your target audience personally.

Without a doubt, getting to know your customers is a crucial part of the process. Creating a buyer persona can then be incredibly useful in achieving this. Simbar Dube provides this list of questions to ask yourself:

  • Who are you writing your product description for?
  • Are your customers older or younger?
  • What kind of descriptions will they accept?
  • Witty descriptions, or would they prefer generic ones?
  • How do you want your customers to portray your brand?
"Consider how you would speak to your ideal buyer if you were selling your product in-store, face to face. Now try and incorporate that language into your e-commerce site so you can have a similar conversation online that resonates more deeply." - Henneke Duistermaat

2. Optimize your product descriptions for search engines

Potential buyers can find your product faster if you use the right keywords in your descriptions. However, you must first narrow it down to the correct phrase to do this.

Simbar Dube recommends focusing on these factors:

  • Keyword difficulty
  • Search volume
  • Related terms

Another thing to consider is to avoid injecting a keyword repeatedly into your product pages. Instead, try these alternatives:

  • Include it once in your product page URL
  • Mention the keyword twice in the product description.
  • Have it once in the alt image tag.

3. Make it scannable

Research indicates that people are much more likely to scan a webpage instead of reading everything. Your product descriptions should use bulleted lists, short paragraphs, and ample white space. For lists, use features and specs. Benefits and highlights can be included in a short paragraph.

Avoid using generic phrases like “great design” or “high quality.” They don’t make you any better. Those phrases can be claimed just by anyone, including your competitors. - invespcro.com

4. Convince with social proof

Customers are interested in knowing what other people have experienced using your product, and they trust what they have to say. Feedback from previous customers helps clear up uncertainty and answer questions that potential customers might have. Social proof can include product reviews and testimonials on your website, Google, social media, or other marketplaces.

Quote about online reviews
Online reviews can be powerful tools of persuasion. Image credit: uschamber.com

5. Tell mini stories

Including some emotion in your product descriptions can help customers imagine what it would be like to have your product. Mini stories help the customers "forget" they're being sold something and are more easily persuaded.

Shopify recommends considering these questions when crafting the story about your product:

  • Who is making the product?
  • What inspired creating the product?
  • What obstacles did you need to overcome to develop the product?
  • How was the product tested?
"Once you’ve crafted your product descriptions, monitor your conversion rates to see how effective they are. If your numbers don’t increase, make adjustments and measure again." - uschamber.com

6.  Set goals and KPIs

The ultimate goal of a product description is to get a customer to make a purchase. Therefore, it's necessary to gauge if your descriptions are indeed effective. You'll need to choose a set of metrics to track on your product pages.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) include:

  • Conversion rate
  • Cart abandonment
  • Return rate
  • Support inquiries
  • Organic search rankings
Benefits of using KPI's image
Defining these metrics will help you understand what product descriptions are working best.

7. Include features and benefits

Undoubtedly, you need to know what motivates your target audience to make purchases. Knowing this will let you know precisely which benefits and features to include in your copy. It’s typically better to take a benefits-heavy approach because what matters most to customers is the value they get after purchasing the product.

"The problem is our potential buyers are not as interested in mundane features and specs. They want to know what’s in it for them—how it will address their biggest pain points. Successfully executing how to write a product description requires you to highlight those benefits of each feature." - Henneke Duistermaat, Shopify
Image showing features vs benefits
While it's important to know a product's features, that's not enough to convince a customer to make a final purchase.

Usually, having a features-only product description bores readers. Instead, focus also on the benefits your product offers. This will help make your product appear more enticing to potential customers.

8. Entice with power words

Power words are words that copywriters use to trigger a psychological or emotional response. These words increase sales because they engage more brain processing power. Using power words in your copy can be a significant influence.

"Adjectives are tricky words. Often they don’t add meaning to your sentences, and you’re better off deleting them. However, sensory adjectives are power words because they make your reader experience the copy while reading."

The type of power words you choose will depend entirely on what you're trying to sell and who you're trying to reach. Here are some examples of power words commonly used in content writing and copywriting:

36 power words list
These are only a few examples of effective power words.

Show Your Value

Finally, the most important part of a successful product description is that it needs to show your value proposition. Customers don't want a bunch of pointless "blah blah blah." They're interested in knowing exactly what value they'll get from using your product. Keep your customers well informed on your products, and they'll thank you for it.

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Laura Amarillas
By
Laura Amarillas
On
August 31, 2022
9
min read

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