Business Tips

How to Write Product Descriptions: From Spelling to Selling Out

Read Time: 8 min

Two merchants hanging around an eCommerce dashboard and writing product descriptions for an online shop.

Product descriptions are an essential element of any online store or eCommerce website. Intended to aid the sale of a product, these relatively brief paragraphs are responsible for conveying the most important information about a product to potential customers. Although seemingly simple, writing compelling product descriptions can be a challenge. From simple mistakes like spelling and grammar errors to a more nuanced lack of enticing language, sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to get it right. In this article, we’ll go over what product descriptions are, why they’re important, and offer you 10 tips for writing better product descriptions that convert to sales.

What Is a Product Description?

A product description is a summary of your product’s features, benefits, and other important information. Merchants display each unique product description on the product page of an eCommerce website. They’re there to provide customers with all the information they need to make an informed purchase decision.

Product descriptions can take many forms, from a simple bullet list of features to a more detailed narrative-based paragraph. It’s a place to insert a little brand personality and make the product shine. The manufacturer or retailer will often write parts of the description, including product dimensions, materials, price, SKUs, and other relevant information.

Why Are Product Descriptions So Important?

Product descriptions serve several important purposes for your business. First and foremost, they provide customers with the information they need to make a purchase decision. Customers want to know what they’re getting for their money, and a well-written product description can help them understand the product’s features, benefits, and value. 

With so many products available online, it’s essential to make your product stand out from the crowd. A well-written, keyword-rich product description can help improve your website’s visibility in search results. Making your product description unique, though still accurate, will help differentiate your product from others in the market and convince customers to choose yours over a competitor’s.

Additionally, an accurate product description reduces the odds of dealing with a transaction discrepancy in the first place. Banks will refer to the product description in the event of a chargeback dispute. If the customer says the product was not as expected, you can show it matches the product description, helping you win the chargeback dispute.

10 Tips for Writing Product Descriptions That Actually Sell

Now that we’ve covered what product descriptions are and why they’re important, let’s go over some tips for writing product descriptions to boost your online sales.

1. Tell a Compelling Story

One of the most effective ways to make a product stand out is to tell a story about it. This can be the story of how the product was developed, how it benefits customers, or how it fits into their lives. By weaving a story into the product description, you can create an emotional connection with customers and make the product more memorable.

2. Turn Product Features into Consumer Benefits

Customers care about how your product’s features will benefit them. Instead of just listing a product’s features, make sure to explain how each one benefits the customer. For example, instead of saying “Our product has a durable frame,” say: “Our product is built to last, saving you money on replacements in the long run.”

3. Write Economically, Nothing Beats Short and Sweet

Customers are busy and don’t have time to read through long, rambling product descriptions. Keep the information and descriptions short enough to be readable, and formatted well enough to be skimmed.

4. Use Natural, Everyday Language (Put Down the Thesaurus)

Customers are more likely to engage with conversational product descriptions. Avoid using technical jargon or overly complex words, as these can be confusing or off-putting to some customers. Instead, use simple, clear, and easy-to-understand language.

5. Anticipate the Needs of Your Target Audience or Ideal Buyer

Think about who your target audience is and what they care about when it comes to the product you’re selling. Are they looking for long-lasting and high-quality products? Are they more interested in price or convenience? By anticipating the needs and preferences of your target audience, you can tailor your product descriptions to better appeal to them.

6. Make Sure Your Product Descriptions Are Scannable

Most customers don’t have the time or patience to read through long blocks of text, so it’s important to make sure your product descriptions are scannable. Use headings, subheadings, bullet points, and other formatting elements to break up the text and make it easier to read.

7. Add High-Quality Images and Video

Visuals can be a powerful way to complement and enhance your product descriptions. High-quality images and videos can give customers a better sense of what the product looks like and how it works, which can be especially helpful for products that are difficult to describe with words alone.

8. Enhance SEO Potential

To SEO optimize product descriptions, be sure to include relevant keywords, but don’t overdo it. Search engines can penalize websites for keyword-stuffing their content. Instead, focus on writing natural, compelling descriptions that incorporate keywords naturally.

9. Determine Goals & KPIs

Before you start writing your product descriptions, it’s important to determine your goals and key performance indicators (KPIs).[1]Key Performance “What is a KPI? KPI Basics“. Accessed on June 23, 2023. What do you want to achieve with your product descriptions? Do you want to increase sales, improve SEO, or drive traffic to your website? By setting clear goals and KPIs, you can measure the effectiveness of your product descriptions and make any necessary adjustments.

10. Conduct A/B Testing

A/B testing is a technique that involves creating two versions of a product description and comparing their performance. This can help you determine which version is more effective at achieving your goals and KPIs. You can use A/B testing to compare different headlines, calls to action, or other elements of your product descriptions and see which one performs better. Consider the metrics you’ll use to measure success like the number of clicks, time spent on the page, or the amount of products added to a cart.

Product Description Examples

To give you a better sense of what a good product description looks like, here are a few examples of compelling intros:

Example 1

“Our lightweight, waterproof hiking shoes are perfect for any adventure. With durable construction and comfortable fit, these shoes will take you from the trails to the city in style. And with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can buy with confidence.”

Example 2

“Add some color to your home with our handmade one-of-a-kind ceramic vases. Each vase is unique, with its own pattern and glaze. They’re perfect for flowers, plants, or as a decorative piece in their own right.”

Example 3

“Stay connected with our sleek, high-performance smartphone. With a long-lasting battery, powerful processor, and stunning display, you’ll have everything you need to stay connected and productive on the go.”

Create a Unique Product Description Template

To make writing product descriptions more efficient, you may want to create a template to use as a starting point.

Here is an example of a basic product description template:

  • Introduction: This is the first thing customers will see, so make it attention-grabbing and compelling. Use a catchy headline or a short, descriptive sentence to introduce the product.
  • Features: List the most important features of the product, along with any relevant details or specifications.
  • Benefits: Explain how the product’s features will benefit the customer. What problems will it solve or needs will it meet?
  • Selling Points: Point out what makes this product different from similar products in the market and the value it offers that others don’t.
  • Call to Action: Encourage customers to take the next step, whether it’s making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or requesting more information.

A Brief Product Description Checklist

To help you create the best product descriptions possible, here is a brief checklist you can use as a reference:

  • Make sure your product descriptions are accurate, complete, and up to date.
  • Use natural, everyday language that is easy for customers to understand.
  • Turn product features into benefits that customers care about.
  • Make your product descriptions scannable, with headings and bullet points.
  • Include high-quality images and videos to give customers a better sense of the product.
  • Enhance your product descriptions’ SEO potential by including relevant keywords.
  • Determine your goals and KPIs before you start writing.
  • Conduct A/B testing to see which versions of your product descriptions perform the best.[2]Harvard Business Review. “A Refresher on A/B Testing by Harvard Business Review”. Accessed on June 23, 2023.

Deconstructing Product Descriptions: Conclusion

Product descriptions not only provide valuable information about the products but also play a subtle yet significant part in the payment process. Crafting compelling and detailed product descriptions can capture the attention of potential buyers and encourage them to proceed with the purchase. If you’re looking to attract customers who are confident in your product, start with the product description. And if you’re looking for secure credit card processing once you’ve brought in those customers, start by reaching out to PaymentCloud today!

A credit card terminal accepting a payment from a customer that read a product description.

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Product Description FAQs

How do I write an effective product description?

To write an effective product description, start by introducing the product in a catchy, attention-grabbing way. Then, list the most important features and explain how they benefit the customer. Next, highlight any unique selling points that set the product apart from competitors. Finally, include a call to action to encourage customers to take the next step.

How do I write Shopify product descriptions?

To write product descriptions for a Shopify store, follow the same tips and best practices outlined in this article. In addition, make sure to use the Shopify product description editor to format your descriptions and add any relevant images or videos.

What is the best product description format?

There is no “best” product description format, as it will depend on the specific needs and goals of your business. However, a general template that includes an introduction, features, benefits, unique selling points, and a call to action is a good starting point.

Are there any tips for writing eCommerce product descriptions?

Here are a few tips for writing eCommerce product descriptions:

  • Keep it short and sweet
  • Use natural, everyday language
  • Turn product features into benefits that customers care about.
  • Highlight any unique selling points
  • Include high-quality images and videos
  • Enhance your product descriptions with relevant keywords.
  • Determine your goals and KPIs before you start writing.
  • Conduct A/B testing to see which versions of your product descriptions perform the best.

Remember, the goal of a product description is to provide customers with the information they need to make an informed purchase decision, while also convincing them to choose your product over others.

Article Sources

  1. Key Performance “What is a KPI? KPI Basics“. Accessed on June 23, 2023.
  2. Harvard Business Review. “A Refresher on A/B Testing by Harvard Business Review”. Accessed on June 23, 2023.

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