Want to write great product descriptions?
Think of them like 24/7 salespeople at your online store. Just like real salespeople, they can make or break your business. So, they need to be sharp with a great sales pitch.
That’s what you’re going to learn here. I’ll teach you to write great product descriptions and show how successful businesses are using the very same techniques.
In this post:
What is a product description?
A product description is copy that informs potential customers about the product’s benefits to convince them to buy. Great product descriptions give compelling reasons to consider making a purchase based on the needs of target customers.
The “compelling reasons” are the main feature of strong product descriptions. There’s a common misconception that product descriptions need to describe the product. Their main job is actually to persuade customers to buy, which is more likely to happen when they focus on benefits, not features.
Which is exactly what this product description from Dryrobe does.
Why are product descriptions important?
Here’s a piece of solid evidence.
eMarketer studied how important ecommerce product page elements are to people who buy online. Over 80% of the respondents said product descriptions were influential to making purchase decisions.
As you can see, even product reviews weren’t that influential.
To make long story short—product descriptions are critical to conversions.
How to write product descriptions
1. Learn about your customers
Effective product description writing begins with research. The reason is simple: if you know who you’re writing for, you’ll know what they’re looking for.
The most common way to research customers is with a buyer persona: a representation of your ideal customer. It contains info like demographics, interests, needs, and goals.
This info helps with:
Tone and style of language
Customer’s goals for the product
Problems that the product might solve
Ways the customers will use the product
Features customers are most interested in
Take a look at this product description from Pipcorn as an example.
The buyer persona here is not just any person looking for snacks. This description is tailored for people who are looking for better-for-you, healthy products.
Customers in that segment would be interested in knowing the ingredients and the nutritional information. That’s why we can find all of this info in the description.
2. Make benefits shine
No one really wants a fridge, they just want their milk to stay fresh. The fridge is just a means to an end.
See what I did there?
Focusing on benefits rather than on the product itself is a better way to sell. It’s simple: the benefits show customers how the product can make them healthier, happy, more productive, etc.
This is what Taylor Stitch does in this description.
We can see that the description focuses on product weight. Indeed, a mid-weight and warm jacket is a better choice for changing weather. This kind of jacket would also be more convenient for traveling.
Just like that, Taylor Stitch showed customers how the product can improve their lives.
To try this technique, make a list of major benefits of a product and focus on one or multiple (if they’re related). Just answer the question: how can the benefit make my customers’ lives better?
3. Use casual language and tone
Casual language means using simple words, short sentences, and conversational tone—the way people actually talk to each other.
Writing good product descriptions with conversational language achieves the following:
Builds rapport with customers
Makes it easier to add engaging stories
This product description from Asphalte is a great one.
Note how short those sentences are—each one is kept within 15 words. This makes reading the description feel easier. Also, there’s no reason to use full words—contractions work much better.
Tips to write similar product descriptions:
Choose simple words
Use informal language
Keep your sentences short
Address readers directly (“you” and “your”)
By consistently writing product descriptions in casual language, you make your content more engaging and your brand more memorable.
Besides product description writing, Asphalte also has some great examples of lead generation campaigns.
Learn how this clothing brand grows its list of email subscribers with product surveys:
4. Add some humor
Humor is an effective way to write creative product descriptions that stand out.
Many customers appreciate quirky and fun content—often, it feels like a breath of fresh air, especially when we see a lot of generic marketing every day.
That’s why more brands choose playful, fun personalities. Chubbies is one of the best examples, writing exceptionally playful product descriptions.
Here’s one example.
If your brand communication style allows writing humorous product descriptions, definitely go for it. Humor can even ease the stress of buying—as long as it’s appropriate, of course.
5. Use sensory words
Zesty, flowery, pungent, fruity, minty…
Sensory words make readers “experience” product descriptions by planting a seed in their imagination. Science says the perception of senses is more emotional and engages our brain, so we will definitely react to them.
A simple way to increase engagement with sensory words: describe how your product feels, tastes, smells, or looks.
In this product description, Meow Meow Tweet uses this technique to describe a grapefruit mint body soap.
Sensory words allow this tiny text to pack a pleasant smelling punch. Just reading this product description can activate customers’ senses.
So, try using sensory words when writing product descriptions to let shoppers know what your products look, feel, taste, or smell like in real life.
6. Tell a story
Let’s reach the emotional side of your customers a bit more.
This time, we’re going with a powerful method: storytelling. Science calls stories “a human universal” because they convey values that can engage and unite us.
In product descriptions, stories can help:
Make your brand more memorable
Communicate your mission and values
Demonstrate empathy with your audiences
Let’s see how businesses are using this technique.
Dollar Shave Club uses stories with questions describing situations in which customers may need their products.
To’ak Chocolate takes storytelling one step further.
In this description of aged chocolate, the brand describes how the aging process gives the product an unbelievable taste.
Good product descriptions with stories are everywhere.
Why? Because you don’t have to be an experienced storyteller to write amazing product descriptions. Seriously, anybody could do it.
You can get inspiration for stories in many ways:
From your brand origin story
Inspiration behind your products
Your commitment to brand values
Unique product manufacturing methods
Challenges you overcame to be where you are
The ultimate benefit: stories can make more people connect with and like your brand—that’s something to strive for.
7. Add visuals
This one is a no-brainer.
If we look at the eMarketer study results cited in the beginning, we’ll see that 83% of customers need product images—even more than descriptions.
That’s why high-converting product pages combine descriptions and visuals to create the best possible experience for visitors.
Ember does this exceptionally well. The brand uses images to complement descriptions—this example below talks about the temperature app for the product.
By showing the product and the app together, Ember makes it easy for potential customers to imagine having them.
Wandering Bear Coffee takes a similar approach but adds animations. The example below shows how to brew ground coffee at home.
Having an animation is a way to demonstrate how easy coffee brewing is at home. The combination of a good product description and a visual here can help overcome objections and hesitations buyers might have.
Parachute offers another great example.
The brand helps customers choose the right bathrobe size by describing and showing three people of different heights.
We can find many more examples but the bottom line here is—
Make visuals and product descriptions complement each other to ensure easier product exploration. It’s amazing how the two can come together to create a better shopping experience.
8. Make descriptions scannable
Scannable product descriptions are short, sweet, and to the point.
Many people prefer to scan websites instead of reading them, so it makes sense to write your product descriptions to facilitate this.
Let’s see how it works with some examples.
Blume, a body care brand, highlights the benefits of a clay mask with a nice headline and a bullet list.
Simple and to the point, agree?
Next, Blume uses subheadings and short paragraphs to explain the benefits of each ingredient in the same product. This way, readers can get more details just by “scanning” the text and stopping where needed.
PRESS Foods marks allergens in bold for customers’ convenience.
Making scannable product descriptions is easy. The examples of Blume and PRESS taught us these tips:
List features with bullet points
Use bold text to highlight your points
Write short paragraphs (one or two sentences)
9. Mention production practices
More and more people are voting with their money—against businesses with unethical production practices and towards sustainable, eco-friendly brands. More than 70% of customers are likely to favor sustainably made products over others.
That’s why, if possible, I encourage you to mention your production practices when writing product descriptions. Of course, this only works if your practices match the customer standards and expectations.
You can do it by linking to info about them, like Allbirds does here:
You can list important points, like Faguo does in this example:
With more and more shoppers choosing ethical businesses, it makes sense to demonstrate your commitment to them.
So, consider adding this info to product descriptions on your site—sustainable production practices are something you should be proud of.
Tip from Faguo: Forget traditional marketing.
Faguo promotes itself by:
Investing in a strategy to offset carbon emissions
Raising awareness of the impact of excessive consumerism
Encouraging customers to care for their clothing instead of buying new
These 10 Examples of Ethical Marketing (including Faguo) will show you how businesses redefine marketing and battle consumerism.
10. Add answers to FAQs
Adding FAQs is a simple way to give some extra info about products.
You can use FAQs for any product or service. Having them on a product page can help reduce hesitations to buy, as customers will feel more confident. They also won’t have to leave the page to go searching for answers on your site.
Let’s see some examples.
Wandering Bear Coffee has a nice one for us.
This product description for ground organic coffee answers questions related to consumption, production methods, and ethics.
To create the best possible FAQs—
You’ll need to find out the most common questions customers have about your products. For example, the questions for a clothing item could be related to sizing, production methods, and materials.
11. Optimize for SEO
SEO optimization for product descriptions includes adding keywords.
Most ecommerce platforms, including Shopify, advise merchants to do this. Keywords help to rank by making it easy for Google to understand the page content. And since ranking means traffic, keyword optimization is a must.
To optimize for SEO—
Find out what keywords Google has for your products. Type the name of your product in Google and see what options it generates.
Here’s what I mean: let’s say you’d like to sell shoes.
Type in “walking shoes with” to see many options for keywords.
You can do the same for pretty much any product.
For more professional keyword research, you can try tools like Ahrefs and Ubersuggest. They will even allow you to see keywords of your competitors. Both, by the way, are free (but Ahrefs is free only if you use it for your website).
12. Do A/B testing
Some product descriptions might bring in more conversions than others.
To find the best-performing options, you need A/B testing. It’s a method that allows comparing the performance of two or more versions of a product page.
With ecommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento, testing is easy You just write multiple product descriptions for the same page and test.
Things worth testing:
Bullet point list
Test results will show you that some versions perform better than others, so you know which one will drive the highest conversion.
Summary: how to write product descriptions
Now you know the secrets of writing great product descriptions that sell.
Regardless of your experience, use the techniques you’ve read—as you can see, the key is understanding your audience. When you know what your customers are looking for, you have a good idea of how to write product descriptions for them.
At the end of the day, it’s a product description. Treat it accordingly. Show how your products can help real people—and they’ll feel more convinced to take action.
Caro has nearly twenty years of experience as a professional writer and editor. She specializes in the fields of tech and ecommerce content.
Caro has degrees in Business and Arts, as well as post-graduate qualifications in Editing and Publishing.