Writing product descriptions is challenging, but it can also be a lot of fun.

Writing product descriptions is challenging, but it can also be a lot of fun.

Writing a description of a product seems like something that would be simple until you actually try to do it. According to the website Practical Ecommerce, descriptions must be unique, compelling, and informative to capture the attention of online shoppers. Uniqueness is also essential to avoid a Google penalty for copying descriptions for identical products from competitors or having little variance to your word choice for products in the same category.

The person reading a product description needs to see the value in it before even considering taking the next step and making a purchase. If it’s dull or doesn’t convey value, it only takes one click to look for the same merchandise somewhere else. In order to write product descriptions that convert to sales, you must know the product extremely well. It’s also essential for you to have a good understanding of the typical buyer you are trying to reach.

Who is Your Buyer?

Every product has an ideal target market, such as college-aged students or mid-level working professionals. When writing your product description, speak to this person directly and make liberal use of the word you. You can see a good example of this type of writing at the Shopify blog. The writer here nails it by describing an LED flashlight, which normally would be a rather ho-hum product, to outdoor adventure types in direct and descriptive language. This writer understood the ideal customer’s language and sense of humor enough to work it into the product description and generate sales.

Don’t Just Make a List of Product Features

Telling the potential buyer the features of a particular item may be factual, but it’s also boring and doesn’t answer what he or she really wants to know. People don’t care about features as much as they want to know how the product will solve a problem. In other words, they want to know what is in it for them. Will it make them feel more productive, happier, healthier, or more attractive in some way? If so, that is what you should highlight. As the Shopify blog so eloquently expresses, you’re not just selling a product. You’re actually selling an experience.

Avoid Filler Words and Making Unproven Claims

The old adage of show, don’t tell applies just as much to product descriptions as any other type of writing. Potential buyers know that any company can claim its products offer excellent quality, but that doesn’t really mean much to them. It’s best to avoid that type of language altogether and focus instead on the benefits and technical details of each individual feature. You want readers to decide for themselves that the product you’re describing offers excellent quality rather than asking them to take your word for it.

Allows the Reader to Imagine Owning the Product

When you’re writing online product descriptions, people can’t hold the item in their hands to decide if they want to buy it or not. It’s up to you as the copywriter to describe the item in such depth that the reader actually imagines himself or herself using it. Use sensory adjectives that allow the customer to see, touch, hear, smell, or even taste what you’re trying to sell. Once they get that mental image in their minds, they have made an emotional connection to the product. That is exactly what you want since more people make purchases based on emotion than any other single factor.

Incorporate Reviews Whenever Possible

Besides emotion, one of the other big factors that sway buying decisions is the opinions of others who have purchased the same product. Many online retailers allow customers to review products so future customers can understand their experience better. It’s also helpful to show other types of social proof of the popularity of your product. If it has been featured in a magazine or discussed on a social media site, be sure to take a screen shot of that and list it next to the product itself. This lends immediate credibility and helps to break through any remaining hesitation people have about buying the product for themselves.