Writing product descriptions that convert

If you consider your ecommerce website as an online showroom then product descriptions are your salespeople. If your salespeople are not good at selling, you won’t generate many sales. 

Following are the best practices for writing product descriptions for an ecommerce website:

#1 Don’t use the exact same product description as supplied by your manufacturer

Many retailers (who are not manufacturers) use the exact same product description as supplied by their manufacturer and then they wonder why people don’t buy their products.

The image above shows the product description supplied by a manufacturer for the product ‘BURBERRY BE4291’ on the left-hand side. 

The right-hand side of the image shows the product description of the exact same product but the one created by a copywriter. 

Now, which product description do you think would result in more product sales? Obviously, the one created by a copywriter.

Just like with product imagery many retailers cut corners with the product description and just rely on the descriptions supplied by their manufacturer. 

Yes, it is going to cost you a lot to hire someone to write a product description for each product. But if you want to increase your website sales, if you want to stand out from your competition, you must be willing to go this extra mile.

If you have got thousands or tens of thousands of products listed on your online store then follow the 80/20 rule. Find the 20% of the products which generate 80% of the website sales. Then hire a copywriter (you can get one from upwork.com) to write product descriptions for this 20 % of the products.  You can also apply the same rule for product imagery.

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When you run an ecommerce store then your website is an online showroom and images & product descriptions are your salespeople. So if your salespeople are not good at selling then you won’t get many sales.

There is also one other big disadvantage of using the exact same product description as supplied by your manufacturers and that is the presence of duplicated contents on your website. Google doesn’t like duplicate content and won’t rank your product pages high if you use the exact same product description as used by hundreds of other retailers. 

Nicely crafted unique product descriptions help to improve your search engine rankings, which means more people will be able to find your products and buy them.

#2 List the features and benefits your customers care about in your product description.

 

#3 List all the important specifications in your product description so that your customers are fully informed. 

 

#4 Write product description in a conversational tone.

 

#5 What sets your product apart from other similar products in the market? Mention that in your product description.

 

#6 How does your product work? Does it require extra pieces? Talk about that in your product description.

 

#7 Where will customers use your product? Mention that in your product description.

 

#8 When customers can use your product? Is there a specific time or season? Mention that in your product description.

 

#9 Are there any secret/special uses of your products that your customers may not know? Explain that in your product description.

 

#10 What problem does your product solve? Explain that in your product description.

 

#11 Use proper formatting (bold, italics and underline) in your product description.

 

#12 Use several small paragraphs to write a product description.

 

#13 Use short sentences instead of long sentences to write a product description.

 

#14 Avoid using superfluous words, jargon, and slang in your product description. Replace jargon with plain English.

 

#15 Make sure there is a contrast between the background color and text color in your product description.

 

#16 List all of the key features of your product in a bulleted format.

 

#17 Clearly mention the product price in your product description.

 

#18 Clearly mention the product range in your product description.

 

#19 Clearly mention the product availability (In stock, Out of Stock, number of items left) in your product description.

 

#20 Clearly mention the product condition (new or old) in your product description.

 

#21 Clearly mention all the relevant product attributes (like size and color) in your product description.

 

#22 Make your product description free from grammar and spelling mistakes.

 

#23 Make sure your product description leverage ‘loss aversion’ 

In cognitive psychology and decision theory, “loss aversion” refers to people’s tendency to prefer avoiding losses to acquiring equivalent gains: it is better to not lose $5 than to find $5. 

– Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loss_aversion 

Incorporating “loss aversion” into your product description can boost conversions.

#24 Use specific statistics and numbers to boost the credibility of your product in your product description.

Number generates credibility and people are less suspicious of a statistical claim than they would be for a descriptive argument. For example: “75% of college graduates used our product” seems more believable than the claim “The majority of college graduates used our product”.

#25 Offer a guarantee for your product in your product description.

Guarantees demonstrate credibility, reduce risk & motivate prospects to complete the sale.

#26 Use a long-form product description for a high priced product

If you are selling a high priced product (say which cost $1000 or more) then you would need to do a lot more convincing in the ad copy. You would need to explain the features and benefits of your product in painstaking detail. Consequently, you can not get away with a short copy. In other words, you can’t expect to sell a high priced product with 100-200 words product description. 

Related Articles

  1. Schwartz five stages of awareness in marketing
  2. Product detail page design best practices
  3. Product images best practices for ecommerce websites
  4. Product pricing strategies for ecommerce websites
  5. Writing product descriptions that convert
  6. 12 ecommerce best practices for your category pages
  7. 25 web form design best practices – Optimizing forms for conversions
  8. Shopping cart design best practices
  9. Website navigation best practices
  10. Brand reputation audit to find conversion issues
 

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Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder of Optimizesmart.com

Himanshu helps business owners and marketing professionals in generating more sales and ROI by fixing their website tracking issues, helping them understand their true customers' purchase journey and helping them determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

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