You can find generic product descriptions on almost every eCommerce site on the internet. They offer little value besides listing all the product features and inviting you to purchase them. Suffice it to say that it’s not a good way to write product descriptions, not if you want visitors to actually buy something.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, especially when there are hundreds of descriptions to come up with. For most website owners, writing all those descriptions is a tertiary task that they don’t want to concern themselves with. It’s something they’d rather delegate to creatives while focusing on running their business.
Whether you’re looking for a team of content writers to do the work for you or plan on handling all the descriptions yourself, you need to know what an ideal, efficient product description looks like. Hopefully, the tips we provide here today will enable you to write product descriptions that convert.
Identify the Buyer Persona
An outstanding product description begins with the correct identification of the buyer persona, a set of characteristics that describe a potential buyer of that product.
A buyer persona is a somewhat loose idea about what your store visitors are like and why they’re interested in the product. You need to understand their goals, pain points, and potential objections to the product you’re selling.
It helps you figure out why that person is interested in a particular product and in what ways it will help them solve a problem.
Why should you identify the buyer persona? Because otherwise, you’re just targeting a broad spectrum of people who may or may not qualify as buyers. If the description is too impersonal, you’ll fail to attract people who would have real, tangible benefits from the purchase of the item.
Benefits over Features
Reading a list of features is as interesting as going over nutritional value charts on food products. It’s useful, sure, but it doesn’t tell you much about the product other than what specs it has.
Some people can use technical information to decide if they’ll buy the product or not. Tech-savvy buyers can make a decision on which laptop to get based on their specs alone. However, that doesn’t apply to the general populace or undecided buyers.
For most people out there, a list of features is just not going to cut it. They’ll need more before they decide to spend money on the product — they’ll need to know how the product will change their lives by solving a problem they’re having. That’s why you need to focus on the measurable and immediate benefits of the product you’re describing.
When buyers see that the product can improve their lives for the better, no matter how slightly, they’ll be enticed to buy it and take advantage of those benefits. Let them imagine their everyday lives with the product in their possession and show them all the improvements it would make.
It goes without saying that mentioning product features can still be useful. However, don’t just list them and be done with it. Instead, integrate the features into your storytelling. For example, you could say that an air humidifier adds moisture into the air (feature), eliminating the constant feeling of irritation accompanied by dryness (benefit)
Avoid Filler Content and Marketing Jargon
The product description needs to read like a conversation between you and the prospective buyer. It should feel natural, unforced, and colloquial.
Oftentimes, we see product copywriters fall into the trap of using marketing jargon and empty strings of “power” words to try and make a sale. It’s even easier to switch to meaningless phrases when you have dozens of descriptions to write.
Regardless of how much work you have, you should never rely on filler content to do the work for you. Phrases like “excellent product quality” and “premium features” are devoid of all meaning, even if it seems like they’re conveying a message. Would you tell your friend that your new smartwatch has excellent product quality? No, because you’re a real person, and that’s not how real people talk.
Instead, you would go on about the watch’s features and all the positive changes it’s brought about in your everyday life. Use that when you’re writing a product description. Don’t waste the reader’s time with meaningless strings of “words that sell.”
Tell a Story
Providing some background details about the product or the company making it is an excellent way of creating an emotional bond. Benefits and features are all well and good, but to truly reach your buyer, you need to make them the continuation of that product’s story.
The story doesn’t need to be long. In fact, overextended product descriptions have the opposite effect on the readers. They get bored and confused, neither of which are good selling points.
You can say something about who made the product, or what inspired them to make it. Let the potential buyer envision their life with the product as an integral part of it. This bond, this vision of a life that includes an item with a story of its own in it — that’s what sells.
Make the Description Scannable
There’s something to be said about how the description looks like to the person who’s reading it. You probably have experience reading blocks of text that don’t seem to end.
If you want your buyers to read anything you write, you need to break up those walls of text. Use bullet points to make the descriptions extra scannable and increase the font size to account for all the people who might have trouble reading it.
Leave plenty of white space to entice the visitors to keep reading. If they run into a paragraph with no end in sight, they likely won’t begin reading it in the first place.
Be careful when varying fonts and colors, however. While a bit of variation can do you a lot of good, too much of it may come off as unprofessional or cartoony.
Product Description Don’ts in 2021
Before we wrap this up, we thought it would be a good idea to draw your attention to some of the most frequent product description killers that we come across.
Of course, there’s nothing worse than a missing product description. It seems like one of those mistakes few eCommerce websites would make, but alas, we still run into more than enough to warrant this warning. You don’t have to write entire essays about the products on your site. In fact, we’d discourage it, as overly long descriptions tend to be ignored. However, you should also never leave the descriptions blank either.
Next, you don’t want to just copy the description straight out of a print catalog or use the manufacturer’s description word for word. You’re not doing anyone a favor if you’re just copying existing content and calling it a day. Catalog descriptions tend to be rather impersonal and aimed at the general public, which goes against what we’ve been saying so far. On the other hand, manufacturers often include overly technical descriptions of their products. While useful to some, complicated details certainly don’t sell products as much as carefully thought out descriptions do.
Lastly, don’t become self-absorbed as you’re writing a product description. It’s easy to fall into the trap of glorifying the brand and using brand-focused language to describe the product. Remember to keep talking to your audience at all times. Have a conversation with them and deliver a product that solves their pain points. The brand is just the means to an end, not the sole focus of the description.
Write Product Descriptions that Matter
Writing attractive and efficient product descriptions is about more than just stringing several marketing buzzwords together. Even to the untrained eye, words and phrases that glorify the product without really saying why, seem like empty, overused cliches.
Saying that a product is “the perfect solution” will not suffice. In fact, it hasn’t been sufficient in years. Instead, bring the product to the attention of serious, qualified prospects. Show them how the product can change their lives and how it’s beneficial for them, and they’ll show you the meaning of a satisfied buyer.