Write Product descriptions that sell

A Complete Guide to Writing Product Descriptions That Sell

If you have products that you can’t move off your shelf, it is the right time to take a closer look at your product descriptions. Product descriptions are important when it comes to selling products. A more complex product requires detailed product description to convince someone to buy it. The details should address concerns, fears and any buyer barriers. And above all always provide attractive photos to complement the descriptions.

If you have don’t have a description that screams ‘Buy Me Now!’, you might be as well be putting your customers to sleep. Or worse, driving them away – straight to your competitor’s website.

It is important to recognize that different people buy products for different reasons. Therefore, aim at writing a specific copy that will appeal to them and maximize your sales. Write product descriptions that give differentiating details. Copies that help convince someone to buy the product. It needs to make you want to get the product now. It’s worth noting that writing a product copy requires knowing consumer psychology. This takes a lot of thought and time but its worth the effort.

Here are a few pro tips to get you started.

Write Product Descriptions To Target Your Customers

The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.

Peter Drucker

When writing product descriptions, always have the targeted audience in mind. Carry out a thorough copy research. This will ensure you are able to come up with a target-specific description.

  • Qualitative Research: 

    Do you know who your customers are?

    Knowing what customers want, how they want it and when they want – this is the winning test hypotheses. Make sure you understand what drives your customers and prospects to make a purchase. You can then reflect this in your product description. This way you are able to convince them to buy the product with ease.

    While doing copy research, you need to gauge the competition. Research what claims they are making and how do they portray their product. Choosing to fit in instead of standing out is a losing strategy. Do carry out a thorough qualitative research using various data collection methods like surveys or customer trail sessions.


  • Consider Your Target Customer: 

    Take a closer look at your customers – what are the factors which contribute to rebuttals. This way you can address their purchasing objections. You need to empathize with the buyer. Thus be sure to do your research. Think in terms of who is your customer and how can your product help them?

    Know the reasons why a buyer might prefer to buy your product and your competitor’s. Address your ideal buyer’s needs and wants. Consider the ifs and buts that may prevent buyers from getting your product.

    Another thing to remember when you’re thinking about your target customer is the tone. You need to make sure you are using the same words they use to describe their problems and your solution to it.


  • Develop Buyer Persona: 

    Use the information you have gathered in your research to create a buyer persona. This will help you to create your ideal customer. Then target this ideal customer when you’re writing down product descriptions. Otherwise, you stand to fail to achieve any meaningful results.

    Qualitative analysis will help you develop an accurate buyer persona. This, in turn, will help you write a well-aligned copy.

    A buyer persona is basically an imaginary representation of buyers. This is based on real data that reflects their behaviors. This exercise will make you think like your ideal customer and will help you connect with them.

How Much Product Page Copy Do You Need To Write?

When you’ve done your research and created a buyer persona, the next question would be “how much description is enough?”

Write as much as product copy as necessary. The product page needs to be long enough to give the product essentials. And also short enough to make it an interesting read.

  • Get To The Point: 

    Customers skim content as they read online. They mostly read the start of sentences and the start of paragraphs than the end.


  • Short Words, Short Sentences, Short Paragraphs: 

    David Ogilvy, an advertising legend, suggested using short sentences, short words, and short paragraphs. Mark Twain also echoes the same as he advised on the use of simple and a direct style.


  • The Art Of The One Sentence Product Pitch: 

    This method strips your product descriptions into a single sentence. This is especially useful if you rely greatly on word-of-mouth method for buyer acquisition. This sentence needs to be able to deliver your product’s value concisely and fast. Your message needs to be short, clear and easy to remember.

    For example, Mark Zuckerberg described Facebook as a place where you can type someone’s name and find out a bunch of information about them. Simple and easy to understand.


  • Format Like Your Reader Is In A Hurry: 

    Formatting is especially important. It will either draw attention to or away from the product description. Some key formatting considerations are bullet points, photos, and buttons. Others are paragraph breaks and mobile optimisation.


  • Photos: 

    It’s important to invest in great photos. A picture is worth a thousand words – appeal to the visual senses of your customers. Therefore, work at having great photos. Try taking photos of your product in natural bright light, with high-resolution and from several different angles.

Focus On The Solution, Not The Product

Remember that people show interest in what the product can help them achieve and not in the product itself. Therefore, in your copy focus on this to ensure it grabs buyer’s attention.

  • Paint A Picture: 

    You need to be able to appeal to your prospects’ deepest desires. Help them visualize, how it will feel and look once they own your product. In short, work with all their senses – if your product is related to food, target smell, sight and write a mouth-watering description. If you’re selling high-priced luxury items – sell indulgence, promote exclusive branding. Remember you are selling uniqueness and status.


  • Answer Questions And Doubts That May Arise: 

    In your product descriptions, offer answers to your customer’s fears and doubts. Write in a way offering answers to each of their concerns.


  • Provide Sufficient Information: 

    Many buyers fail to make purchases simply because they didn’t have enough information. A lot of times the complexity and the price of an item demand a lot of information to be conveyed. When you’re selling a car, you need to give out more information as compared to when selling a bar soap. You can make use of “Read More” button to give further information.


  • Product Descriptions Should Help People With Comparison: 

    People compare different products before buying. Always work at giving comparable information about similar products. Present it in the same way. This will help users find the right product for their needs. Keep it all easy to compare.

    When your product descriptions are unclear, customers do not feel confident about buying your products. This, even with the best-taken photos.

Show Benefits And Features

Features for some products like expensive skis remain an invaluable part of the description. Therefore, features are not at all bad. But you need to highlight the benefits a buyer will get by using and having your product. This can be achieved by writing descriptions on how your product improves their lives. You can include starred ratings for each product or even a comparison page for similar products.

  • Capture Your Customer’s Heart: 

    Consider writing about what would be attractive to a buyer. Choose words that capture their imagination, add social proof and features you have in place often help address this.


  • Create A Sense Of Urgency: 

    Buying behavior is instinctual, its an emotional decision made in the now and not a rational decision most of the times. Scarcity and urgency tactics always play to such tendencies. You can trigger FOMO (fear of missing out) reaction by creating urgency and push customers into buying your products.

    Amazon has included urgency in their product pages. The positioning of the not-so-aggressive bolded question “Want it tomorrow?” sets the mood. And the countdown timer next to the “Add to cart” button does the trick.


  • Stick Some Social Proof On There: 

    You can take customers from awareness to consideration phase by adding social proof. Shoppers are able to consider making a purchase using the social proof you offer. It gives them a sense of affirmation that their choice to buy your product is not a bad decision.

    Examples of social proof are reviews and testimonials. Other forms are guarantee badges, starred ratings, case studies, publicity, and press. As buyers click on an item with no sales, the “Be the first to buy!” button often makes them leave the page. This is partially because the page lacking social proof.

    Badges, seals, and certifications are efficient types of social proof you can use. For example, adding “Editor’s Choice” makes your buyers appreciate that they are making a firm, correct choice.

    Do recognize that the reviews made  on your products are useful. They can be used to make highly compelling product descriptions.

    Make the best use of the reviews offered by your buyer, both the good ones and the bad ones. Use them to straightforwardly address the buyer fears and inform them of unexpected benefits gained from your product.


  • Use Powerful Words: 

    Some words have more impact than others, in this sense, they are more powerful than others. There are words which are 100 times more effective. These will result in high conversions when used in your product descriptions. Some of the words include “You”, “Free,” “Guaranteed”, and “New”. These words create a deep emotional connection with your buyers and prospects. These words also help increase the perceived worth of your products.

    A great example of using powerful words is “Free return shipping” and “Free shipping.” Buyers know rationally the shipping is not actually free. And that it’s covered in the quoted price of the item. On an emotional level, however, they get a feeling that they’re getting some additional value in addition to the product they’re buying.


  • Tell A Story: 

    People are at once attracted to a story. Their attention is yours now. Increase their emotional engagement by pitching your product as if they were reading a story. It also strongly influences their decision-making process. Stories often help your audience lower their rational barriers to persuasion techniques. It also makes people forget that they are being sold to. Instead, they focus on what it would be like to experience the story of your product.

    research carried out in Spain shows how stories put your entire brain to work. The research helped prove stories can be used to plant thoughts, ideas, and emotions into the audience brains. Scientists discovered that in telling someone a story, parts of their brain got activated similarly to yours when you experienced the story. This basically means that the listener is experiencing the same emotions as you are.


  • Some Great Ways To Make Use Of Stories In Your Descriptions

    • Past customers having used your product

    • Your make-believe buyer persona having used the product

    • How the readers would utilize your products

A grand example of a description that uses a story is Polka-Dot Love Skirt at the J. Peterman’s store. The description lets the reader -a woman- picture herself wearing the dress, then going out on a date with a man.

Product descriptions - Story telling exampleConclusion

Writing great product descriptions helps increase product sales and conversion rates. It may take you some time to nail it, but it is worth the effort. You really need to understand your targeted customers, understand what their key motives for buying your items are. Focus mainly on the experience and benefits of the product.

It can and will possibly be the only thing that comes between you and massive profits.

Shardul Deshmukh

Shardul is the guy who takes care of growth strategies, content creation, and outreach within the community for HumCommerce. He enjoys watching movies and trying new food.