How To Write Product Descriptions: A Quick Guide

Cartoon depiction showing a successful ecommerce transaction

The purpose of product descriptions is to offer customers important information about the features and benefits of your product. The better your product descriptions, the more compelled your customers will be to make a purchase. However, knowing how to write product descriptions can be tricky and many ecommerce business owners often make mistakes.

Product descriptions should help customers understand why a product is for the, compel them to make a purchase, and be searchable. 

What is a product description?

A product description is a chunk of information that potential customers read before they purchase an item. The information in the description includes, but is not limited to, specs, images, and any other relevant data.

Product descriptions are basically a virtual salesperson. These descriptions have the ability to make or break a sell. 

How to Write Product Descriptions

To write a product description that converts customers and works for your brand, you must consider the following:

  • Customer’s persona: Who are you speaking to and what are the problems you can solve? 
  • Brand voice
  • Focus on benefits over features 
  • Use descriptive and influential words 
  • Optimization 

One of the most common problems that small business owners have is that they simply write too much information. Product descriptions should be effective, efficient, and scannable. No one wants to dedicate minutes of their time to reading a product description. In fact, this will likely frustrate the consumer. 

Customer Persona 

Just as in love, not everyone is “for you” when it comes to your customer base. If you try to appeal to everyone, you’ll end up appealing to no one. Understanding who you are speaking to is crucial to knowing how to write product descriptions. 

To accomplish this, you have to know who your ideal customer is, what problems they have, and how your product can solve that problem. 

If you don’t know who your ideal customer is, then you need to determine that before moving forward with your product descriptions. 

Ask yourself these questions: 

  • Who benefits the most from my product? 
  • What problems does my product solve? 
  • What objections will prospective customers have about my product prior to purchase? 
  • Why should a prospective customer purchase my product instead of a competitor’s? 
  • When customers talk about my product, what descriptive words do they use? 

While there is more work that should be done to create a thorough customer persona, answering these questions is enough to get you started. 

Brand Voice

Speaking is about capturing people’s attention. Crafting your brand voice is crucial to knowing how to write product descriptions that resonate with your target audience. When you imagine a conversation with your customers, how does it sound? Are you approaching customers like you’re in a sales meeting, meeting up for beers, or hanging out at a networking event? 

  • What do you say? 
  • How do you present yourself? 
  • What do you think about your brand? 

Keep in mind, a lot of your communication to your customers is non-verbal. Do your best to speak in a way that they can understand. One way to craft your brand voice is to determine how you would want your customers to characterize your business. 

Characteristics of brand voice include: 

  • Educational 
  • Informational 
  • Authoritative 
  • Playful 
  • Passionate 
  • Quirky 
  • Authentic 
  • Edgy 
  • Reserved
  • Friendly 

It is important to use your brand voice consistently and create continuity across all platforms. One important part of understanding how to write product descriptions is ensuring they speak to your customers the same way you speak to them on social media or email marketing. 

However, there is a difference between voice and tone. As explained by Mailchimp, you have the same voice all the time. What changes is your tone – these changes in tone occur when you’re out to dinner with friends, in a meeting with your boss, or interacting with neighbors. 

Additionally, tone changes depending on emotions. It’s important to consider the emotional state your customer’s might be in when they begin searching for a product. If you offer restoration services after a disaster, ensuring that your tone is calming is critical. 

If you offer a variety of products, it is still important to maintain similar voice and tone across all products and platforms. 

Cartoon image showing products in an online store

Showcasing Features and Benefits in Product Descriptions

The key to writing great product descriptions is to offer customers a lot of relevant information that will help them make the right buying decision. 

Using features and benefits to sway encourage purchases is one of the crucial aspects of understanding how to write product descriptions. However, it’s important to not bore your customer. You should highlight only the features and benefits that will motivate a purchase. 

When crafting product descriptions that will include features and benefits, you must keep a few things in mind: 

  • Features must include the benefit – simply listing a feature without explaining why it’s important will not convert customers 
  • Don’t list every single feature and benefit – choose a handful that are the most relevant to your customers
  • Ensure that customers understand how this product will solve a problem they have

Using Influential Words to Sway Buyers

One thing that can greatly influence your customers’ buying decisions is the words they use when reading your product description. 

However, if you employ the use of these words – such as “most advanced” without backing it up with why, potential customers are more likely to roll their eyes than believe your description. If your product is the most advanced, you must prove it to the reader.

 If you can’t prove it, tone down your product description or provide positive customer feedback to show how your product solved a problem for someone else. 

Using Search Engine Optimization Strategies

To improve your chances of ranking well in Google for your keywords, you need to make sure that your product descriptions are optimized. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how Google, or any search engine, determines how to rank your site, blog, or marketplace listing. 

Essentially, you optimize your content so that these search engines rank it high, giving potential customers a better chance to find your business. Your product descriptions should be compelling and should include keywords from your SEO strategy. 

With a well-designed website, website structure, social media page, and content, you will get a better ranking in Google search. Work your keywords and phrases into the description to maximize its ranking in the search engines. Keep your descriptions short and concise. 

There isn’t much of a point to knowing how to write product descriptions if your ideal customers cannot find you or your product. 

Cartoon man next to an image showing product iteration

Using Images and Videos in Your Product Descriptions

You can say more without loading your product descriptions with words. LiveClicker found that when ecommerce business owners included product videos with their product pages, conversion increased 88%. Conversion rate optimization takes on many forms, with this being just one option. 

While videos and images aren’t exactly part of understanding how to write product descriptions, they are obviously a necessary component. Employing the use of videos to show how your product performs is an excellent way to engage prospective customers. Additionally, the use of images and video further optimize your content for search engines. 

Avoid Common Mistakes

There are several pitfalls you should avoid when learning how to write product descriptions. Some common mistakes made by ecommerce businesses are: 

  • Not using product descriptions at all 
  • Using the same description from other sales material, such as infographics, brochures, or catalogs
  • Reliance on images over description 
  • Not being customer-focused 
  • Heavily feature technical benefits that customers may not understand 

It’s no surprise that product descriptions can be confusing to small business owners. If you want to sell more, you’ll need to focus on your product descriptions. Keep these tips in mind to improve your descriptions and use them to showcase the features and benefits of your products

That’s All There Is To It!

You’ve likely written a really great rough draft based on these suggestions. Before publishing your product description, double check and make sure you have: 

  • A compelling headline 
  • Highlighted benefits 
  • Included solutions 
  • Used language that resonates with your customer in your brand voice 
  • Descriptions that are easily digestible 
  • Employed a SEO strategy 

If you are ready to dive into the world of ecommerce, or you need to optimize or scale your current ecommerce business, Mindsize is here to help. We offer a myriad of services including ecommerce development, consulting, and support services. Contact us today.