Craft Killer Product Descriptions that Sell: 10 Expert Tips

Imagine this: you’ve just clicked on a product that caught your eye while browsing through your favorite online store. The image is appealing, the price is right, and now you’re keen to learn more. You’re met with a wall of text—dense, jargon-filled, and impersonal. Or worse, the product description is vague, leaving you unsure about what you’re actually purchasing. Disappointed, you click away. Sound familiar?

Now, let’s flip the script. What if that description had been captivating, clear, and personable? What if it answered your questions, addressed your needs, and painted a vivid picture of how this product could enhance your life?

This is the power of a killer product description that sells, an unsung hero in the e-commerce world. It can turn casual browsers into eager buyers, boosting sales and enhancing customer satisfaction. But writing such descriptions isn’t about embellishing facts or using fluffy language. It’s about speaking directly to your customers, understanding their needs, and highlighting the true value of your product.

With annual eCommerce sales predicted to rise above $6 Million Dollars in 2023, you might raise the question…

How do you craft product descriptions that not only inform but also persuade and delight? Here are 10 practical tips that can help transform your product descriptions from mundane to magnetic, enhancing your e-commerce success.

Tip #1: Know Your Audience

Before pen hits paper, or rather fingers hit keyboard, it’s crucial to know who you’re speaking to. Your audience isn’t just anyone with an internet connection. It’s a select group of people who would find value in your product, also known as your target demographic or buyer persona.

know your audience

Think about your buyer persona as an individual. Let’s call her Lisa. What does Lisa’s daily life look like? What are her challenges, her desires, her goals? By understanding Lisa, you can craft a product description that feels like it was written just for her.

Maybe Lisa is a busy mom who values convenience, or a tech-savvy millennial who appreciates innovation. Each persona will resonate with different language, tone, and emphasis. For instance, the busy mom might appreciate knowing that your product is easy to use and time-saving, while the tech enthusiast might want to hear about your product’s advanced features and compatibility with other devices.

To know your audience, delve into market research. Look at your customer data, conduct surveys, monitor social media, or even directly engage with your customers. The more insight you have into your buyer persona, the more personalized and appealing your product descriptions will be.

Remember, you’re not just listing product specifications; you’re having a conversation with Lisa. Speak her language, understand her needs, and show her why your product is the solution she’s been looking for. You’ll find this direct approach isn’t just effective—it’s also surprisingly human and relatable.

Tip #2: Focus on Benefits, Not Just Features

As you start crafting your product descriptions, it’s easy to fall into the trap of listing features. After all, you’re excited about your product and you want your customers to know all the great things it can do. But here’s the truth: features tell, benefits sell.

benefits not just features

Features are factual statements about your product—what it does, its size, its components. While important, they don’t necessarily tell Lisa why she should care. That’s where benefits come in. Benefits translate features into value by explaining how the product can improve Lisa’s life, solve her problems, or meet her needs.

Consider a smartphone with a large storage capacity—that’s a feature. The benefit? Lisa can store all her favorite apps, photos, and videos without worrying about running out of space. Or take a skincare product made with natural ingredients—the benefit might be that it’s gentle on sensitive skin and free from harmful chemicals.

To effectively communicate benefits, you need to revisit your understanding of your audience. Ask yourself: What does Lisa care about? How can your product help her achieve her goals? Answer these questions in your product descriptions, emphasizing the benefits over the features.

In doing so, you’re not just describing a product; you’re painting a picture of a better, easier, or happier life that Lisa could have with your product. This is much more compelling and emotionally resonant, making it more likely to convert Lisa from a browser into a buyer.

Tip #3: Use Powerful, Sensory Words

Language has an incredible power to evoke emotions and sensory experiences. By choosing your words carefully, you can make your product descriptions come alive, creating a vivid mental image that engages and entices your customers.

Sensory words, as the name suggests, appeal to our senses. They describe how something looks, feels, sounds, smells, or tastes, making the reader feel as if they are experiencing the product firsthand. For example, describing a cake as “moist,” “rich,” and “decadently chocolatey” is far more enticing than simply saying it’s a “chocolate cake.”

But sensory words aren’t just for tangible products; they can be used effectively for services or digital goods too. A project management software could be described as “intuitively designed,” offering a “seamless workflow experience,” and making your tasks “effortlessly manageable.”

Powerful words, on the other hand, stimulate emotion. Words like “transform,” “discover,” “revolutionize,” and “captivate” can make your product feel exciting and dynamic.

Using sensory and powerful words in your product descriptions can create a more immersive and emotional shopping experience. It’s like taking Lisa on a test drive of your product, igniting her imagination and making her more likely to click that “buy” button.

Remember, though, the key is to use these words naturally and appropriately—forced or exaggerated descriptions can come off as insincere. Aim for authenticity and relevancy, always aligning your language with your brand voice and the expectations of your audience.

Tip #4: Keep it Short and Sweet

In a world of information overload, attention spans are shorter than ever. Long, verbose product descriptions risk losing your audience’s interest before they’ve even reached the halfway mark. To keep Lisa hooked, you need to be concise and to the point.

Does this mean your product descriptions should be as brief as a tweet? Not necessarily. They need to be as long as they need to be to convey the benefits of your product effectively and convincingly. The key is to use words economically and avoid unnecessary fluff.

Break down complex ideas into simple, digestible information. Every word should serve a purpose, whether it’s describing a benefit, evoking an emotion, or compelling action. If a word or phrase doesn’t add value, consider cutting it.

Think of your product description as a movie trailer. It’s a teaser that highlights the best parts, stokes curiosity, and leaves Lisa wanting to know more. By being selective with your words, you make each one count, making your message more memorable and impactful.

So, when writing your product descriptions, strive for clarity and brevity. Keep it short, keep it sweet, and most importantly, keep it compelling.

Tip #5: Use Scannable, Easy-to-Read Formatting

Even the most compelling copy won’t work if it’s not easily readable. In our fast-paced digital world, people often skim content instead of reading word-for-word. Your product descriptions need to cater to this behavior by being easily scannable.

Start by breaking up your text into bite-sized chunks. Large blocks of text can appear daunting, causing potential buyers like Lisa to skip reading altogether. Use short paragraphs, ideally no more than two or three sentences each.

Bullet points or numbered lists can be your best friends here, especially when listing features or benefits. They organize information neatly and can be processed quickly, making them perfect for readers on the go.

Subheadings also play a critical role in breaking up your content and guiding the reader’s eye through the page. They can help highlight key points and make your text more digestible.

White space—the empty space between elements of your page—is another essential tool. It gives your content room to breathe, improving readability and reducing cognitive load for your audience.

Finally, consider your font size and style. Avoid tiny, ornate fonts that may look artistic but are challenging to read. Stick to simple, clean fonts and ensure the text size is large enough to be read comfortably, even on smaller screens.

By making your product descriptions scannable, you cater to the reading habits of your audience, improving their experience and increasing the chances they’ll stick around long enough to hit the ‘buy’ button.

Use a tool like the Hemingway Editor to reduce unnecessary jargon from your product descriptions.

Tip #6: Leverage Social Proof

Nothing can boost a product’s appeal quite like the endorsement of happy customers. This is what we call ‘social proof’—the psychological phenomenon where people mirror the actions of others, assuming those actions reflect the correct behavior. In the context of online shopping, seeing others rave about a product can convince potential buyers like Lisa that it’s a worthwhile purchase.

use social proof

How to you use social proof in your product descriptions

  • Reviews and testimonials are a powerful form of social proof. If a customer has left a glowing review about the product, consider incorporating it into the product description. Of course, make sure you have the customer’s permission to do so.
  • You can also use ratings. Displaying a high average rating can reassure prospective buyers about the product’s quality. If your product has won any awards or recognitions, or if it has been featured in media outlets, these can also serve as forms of social proof.
  • Another form of social proof is showing the number of people who have purchased or are currently using the product. Seeing that a product is popular can encourage potential customers to jump on the bandwagon.

However, be honest and transparent when using social proof. Don’t make up reviews or inflate numbers, as this can damage your credibility and customer trust.

Leveraging social proof in your product descriptions can offer reassurance and build trust, nudging Lisa closer to the ‘add to cart’ button. It’s like telling her, “Don’t just take our word for it—see what others are saying!”

Tip #7: Incorporate SEO Best Practices

While crafting an engaging, buyer-focused product description is essential, let’s not forget about the other key player in the digital shopping experience: search engines. If your product descriptions aren’t optimized for search engines, they might not reach your target audience in the first place.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) helps your product pages rank higher on search engine results, increasing their visibility to potential customers like Lisa. Here are some SEO best practices to incorporate into your product descriptions:

  • Keywords: Identify relevant keywords—these are the words and phrases that Lisa would type into a search engine when looking for your product. Once you’ve identified these keywords, include them naturally in your product descriptions. Be careful not to overdo it, though; search engines may penalize ‘keyword stuffing.’
  • Meta Descriptions: This is the short snippet that appears under your website URL on a search engine results page. It should be compelling and accurately reflect the product’s main selling points. Including a keyword here can also boost SEO.
  • Image Alt Text: Search engines can’t ‘see’ images, but they can read text. By adding alt text—brief descriptions of your images—you give search engines more context about your product page. If possible, include a keyword in your alt text.
  • URL Structure: A clear, concise URL with a keyword can improve your search ranking and make the page more user-friendly.

While SEO can seem complex, incorporating these practices in your product descriptions can significantly enhance your online visibility, helping you attract more potential customers. But remember, SEO is a balancing act. While it’s crucial to include keywords and optimize your pages for search, your primary focus should always be on providing valuable, engaging content for your readers.

Tip #8: Create a Sense of Urgency

The sweet spot of e-commerce lies in the intersection of desire and immediacy. When customers feel that a product they want may soon be out of their reach, it can motivate them to act quickly rather than risk missing out. This is where creating a sense of urgency comes into play.

Urgency taps into the human fear of loss. Phrases like “limited stock,” “sale ends soon,” or “last chance to buy” can spur potential customers like Lisa into action. By implying that she might miss out if she doesn’t act immediately, you’re encouraging a quicker purchase decision.

How to create a sense of urgency without resorting to pressure tactics or dishonesty

  • Through time-limited discounts or special offers. Promoting a sale that’s ending soon can incentivize customers to buy now rather than later.
  • Highlighting when stock is low can also work. If Lisa sees that there are only two items left in her size or color, she might be more inclined to buy immediately to avoid disappointment.
  • Even language can convey urgency. Phrases like “selling fast,” “only few left,” or “popular choice” can make customers feel they need to act quickly.

However, it’s crucial to use urgency ethically. False scarcity or pressure tactics can erode trust and damage your brand reputation. Always be transparent and truthful in your urgency marketing, ensuring that any claims about limited stock, time restrictions, or high demand are accurate.

Remember, the goal isn’t to pressure or trick Lisa into buying—it’s to help her make a decision that she’ll be happy with. Use urgency as a tool, not a weapon, in your e-commerce strategy.

Tip #9: Include Clear Calls to Action

A product description might be the most persuasive, engaging piece of writing out there, but if it doesn’t guide the customer on what to do next, it can fall flat in its objective. This is why including clear calls to action (CTAs) is an essential part of writing killer product descriptions.

A CTA is a prompt that tells the reader exactly what action to take and how to do it. In the case of product descriptions, it could be “Add to Cart,” “Buy Now,” or “Start Your Free Trial.” CTAs play a critical role in guiding your potential customers through the buying process, reducing friction and uncertainty.

While the CTA itself is usually brief, it’s not always about what you say, but how you say it. Personalizing your CTA can make it more compelling. For example, instead of “Buy Now,” you could say “Get Yours Today!” or “Claim Your Discount Now!” This creates a sense of ownership and immediacy, increasing the likelihood of a purchase.

Placement of the CTA is also important. It should be easily visible, usually near the end of the product description, so that after reading, the customer knows exactly where to click to proceed.

Additionally, consider the design of the CTA button. It should stand out from the rest of the page, typically through contrasting colors, making it clear where the customer should click next.

In essence, a CTA is the bridge between a compelling product description and a sale. By making your CTA clear, persuasive, and easy to find, you’re smoothing the path from consideration to purchase for customers like Lisa.

Tip #10: Experiment and Iterate

Our final tip is perhaps one of the most important: don’t be afraid to experiment, analyze, and iterate. As much as we’d like it to be, digital marketing is not an exact science. What works for one product or audience may not work for another.

A/B testing can be an effective way to find out what works best. This involves creating two versions of a product description (A and B), each with a different element—maybe it’s the headline, the CTA, or the way the benefits are framed. Show these versions to different segments of your audience and see which one performs better.

Use analytics tools like Google Analytics to track engagement with your product descriptions. Metrics like bounce rate, time spent on page, and conversion rate can provide valuable insights into how your descriptions are performing and where there might be room for improvement.

Feedback from your customers can also be enlightening. If customers frequently ask questions about a product, it might mean your description isn’t clear or comprehensive enough. Use this feedback to continuously refine your descriptions.

Remember, writing killer product descriptions is an ongoing process, not a one-and-done task. Be patient, be curious, and be willing to learn from your successes and your failures. And most importantly, keep your focus on serving your customers—their needs, their desires, their language. By putting them at the heart of your process, you’re bound to create product descriptions that truly sell.

In Conclusion: Make Your Product Descriptions Work For You

Crafting killer product descriptions that sell is an art as much as it is a science. By blending persuasive copywriting, marketing psychology, and SEO tactics, you can turn your product descriptions from mere informational text into compelling sales tools.

Remember, at the heart of every effective product description is a deep understanding of your audience. Knowing Lisa—her needs, her desires, her problems—will help you craft descriptions that resonate with her, showing her exactly why your product is the answer she’s been looking for.

Also, keep in mind that your product descriptions are not set in stone. As you learn more about your audience and your product’s performance, don’t hesitate to tweak and improve your descriptions. Use data, feedback, and your own intuition to guide your revisions.

In essence, product descriptions are more than a necessary part of your online store—they’re a powerful opportunity to connect with your customers, communicate the value of your product, and, ultimately, drive sales. So, take these tips, infuse them with your unique brand voice, and start crafting product descriptions that sell. Happy writing!

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