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The magic of writing product descriptions

4 min read

Accurate product descriptions are an essential part of a good online customer experience. Often they are the last detail your customers read before the checkout. Thus, well-written and comprehensive descriptions can be the final nudge convincing your website visitors to buy from you. In this article, we'll tell you how to write good product descriptions that sell.

Why product descriptions are so important?

Before going to the writing tips, we think it is useful to explain the reason why product descriptions should not be overlooked. Shopping online provides consumers with significant benefits when they search for information and evaluate options, there is no denial of that. However, sometimes the help from the store personnel or the possibility to try out the product would provide invaluable assistance for customers to make the right decision. Therefore, product descriptions play an important role in forming the overall website user experience.

The information provided on the website must compensate for the lack of physical contact with the product and communication with the shop personnel. Together with the other content formats, like product images and videos, product descriptions have a major role in closing the information gap between online and brick-and-mortar shopping.

Learn more about the other factors making great ecommerce websites

How to write product descriptions?

1. Know your customers

When writing product descriptions it should always be kept in mind that most businesses have a broad clientele - from the hardcore shoppers with broad experience to the newbies in the subject. Your product descriptions and the language you use should match the target audience and what they’re looking for. 

Complicated terms and detailed specifics aren’t necessarily what first-timers are looking for - offer a relatable description in addition to the product details. Meanwhile, a more experienced shopper will be looking for more performance-related terms and details. Knowing who your customers are and what they find valuable is essential for writing compelling product descriptions.

2. Be specific

By offering accurate descriptions of a product, you’re making a promise and set up the customer's expectations of what they’re going to receive. Write clearly about the features of the product and guide your customers to use the product in a way that it is supposed to and provides the most value.

Try putting yourself into the customers' shoes and imagine the frustration if you received something else from what you ordered. Not cool, right? Disappointing experiences also negatively affect your reputation, brand, and customer retention. Of course, there is also a legal obligation to deliver what was promised.

If writing tempting product descriptions while staying truthful feels overwhelmingly difficult, it might be your products that need fine-tuning.

3. Write about the benefits

Let's face it. Product description's role is to sell and make your customers feel like they need the product. So, let your customers know about the awesomeness of the product and what they are going to miss if they don't take action.

Good product copywriting is always balancing between the utilitarian side of things and building a desirable story around the product. Because not everyone is familiar with the different models or abbreviations, explaining how the features actually affect the performance makes the rental experience more understandable and easier to approach.

4. Be mindful of your customers time

A good product description doesn't have to be lengthy or complex. What it needs are details that set each product apart from each other and communicate the value and features of the product.

An easy tip that will help you stay simultaneously informative, interesting, and short is to create rules for writing. You can for example define rules for the structure and character limit to help you stay consistent and within reasonable borders.

5. Make your descriptions easy to scan

To help your website visitors get a fast overview of your products and services, you should make the descriptions easy to scan through. Good scannability comes down to the formatting of the text.

To make your product descriptions easier to read and scan through, remember to use headlines, keep the paragraphs short, add space after paragraphs, and use bullet points when listing features.


6. Connect the text with images

A great product description itself won't make a great product page. Other content included on the page, such as product images, videos, size charts, and delivery or pick-up information, have a significant role in shaping the online customer experience.

By building a link between the text, images, and other content on the product page, you add clarity on what product, size, and model could serve the shopper the best. For example, a clothing rental company could incorporate a model in their product pictures, in which case it would be natural to write, "The model is 180cm tall and wears size L".

7. Optimise for SEO

While writing descriptions, two things should affect your choice of words: your customers and search engines. The right choice of words will help tremendously with your search engine visibility.

Using relevant keywords in your product descriptions doesn’t only help out with accurate listings and an approachable rental experience, it improves your website's visibility in search engines. A good level of SEO or search engine optimization is what makes you show up on the first page of a search engine when people search for similar products and services you offer.

The take-aways

Set expectations and something for the customer to look forward to - and keep your promise. 
Your product descriptions serve the same purpose services provided by a salesperson in a shop: writing accurate, descriptive, and targeted listings help consumers enjoy a great experience both online and offline.

Have your inventory sorted out and linked with the exact offering you are showing on your website. This helps to streamline all back-office processes in your store and avoid those awkward situations where you have accidentally sold something you don't have in stock.

Hope you enjoyed the read. Next, give an eye to your website and product descriptions in particular. Do you find anything that could be optimized?


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    Article written by Akseli L.

    A marketer who gets excited about all things e-commerce. Outside of office hours, you'll most likely find Akseli from the countryside, hiking and shooting landscapes.