Blog

A guide for writing product descriptions

Sana Editorial Team
June 30, 2021
A Guide for Writing Product Descriptions

Writing substantial product descriptions is crucial to successfully selling your products online. It may seem like a daunting task, but there are a few things to keep in mind when writing your product descriptions.

In every product description, identify the target audience and cater to them, find the problem the product solves, and showcase why the product is unique. This formula is the most basic information needed to write a fully developed description.

Any business selling products online will need to understand what grabs attention; every business needs to write the best product descriptions with answers to questions that a potential customer would ask to provide a seamless, relevant, solution-oriented shopping experience. Without these small snippets of detail, customers would most likely not understand how the product meets their needs; therefore, taking the time to write great product descriptions can make or break your online sales.

What is a product description?

A product description is the marketing copy of an item. It showcases the value of an item, the problems it solves, and attracts potential clients or customers. Often, the product description introduces your product to your customer and starts the relationship you’ll have with that customer for the rest of their online shopping experience.

A good description will be detailed, provide a solution to a problem, showcase benefits, and entice the buyer with terminology tailored to the product’s target audience.

Why are product descriptions important?

The product description adds to a customer’s online shopping experience and is often their lasting impression of your product. It allows them to understand your company as well as how that product can solve a problem they have.

Using them enhances the look of your website, enhances SEO value, helps sell the product, and can highlight the differentiator of that product, giving your business an edge over the competition. The primary importance of product descriptions lies in showcasing the problem-solving benefits of your product without sounding too pushy.

Unique product descriptions across all of your e-commerce product pages can also help you keep better track of your marketing efforts, integrating data between your storefront and ERP system. In other words, more data on your products can give you more insights through your product data management system into your performance as a business.

What to keep in mind when writing a description

Evoking emotions in your customers when writing is crucial. The reader must be able to identify the purpose of your product quickly. Here are some things to keep in mind when writing your own descriptions.

1. Keep it simple

Ensuring your product description is sweet, yet to-the-point will help customers understand what they are buying. Adding in too much information may be too confusing for customers and may drive them away.

2. Use eye-catching words

Using bullet points with descriptive words is one way to catch a reader’s attention. Words like guarantee, best, easy, and proven generally catch the eye.

3. Understand your audience

Writing product descriptions meant for everyone will harm your products’ selling points rather than enhance them; instead, tailor your copy towards your target audience. A nine-month-old baby will not use the same products as a 45-year-old man. Narrow down your target audience and understand what they need.

4. Address pain points

This is when description focuses on the problems your product solves. It can be the best way to drive traffic to a company website and ensure a sale without being too pushy in a product description.

5. Don’t be vague

A product description should be as precise as possible. Descriptive and specific examples allow someone to understand the product. Anything too vague may make a description sound wishy-washy and push customers away. Avoid words like “actually,” “literally,” “honestly,” and gap fillers.

6. Avoid cliches

Overused words or phrases tend to drive customers away. They think they have seen it all before and the product being sold is the same as all the others. The point of a product description is to make it stand out, and cliches do not make a product sound unique. Using words like “beautiful,” “elegant,” and “excellent” is an often-overused practice.

7. Showcase the benefits

Do not focus on the company; focus on the benefits for the buyer. Every customer wants to know how the product will enhance their lives, not why the company loves the product. Highlight all the benefits and features that can solve the problems your target audience is likely having. Showing the benefits rather than features entices the customers into purchasing the product.

8. Use sensory words

Adjectives often don’t do a product description justice. However, adding words that evoke a feeling or a sense adds to the experience of shopping on a website. Use words like “smooth,” “soft,” “crunchy,” “velvety,” “powdery,” “bright,” and “dazzling” when applicable.

9. Offer evidence

Product descriptions will encourage a sale. However, many customers will look through reviews before finalizing the purchase. A product review has the potential to make or break the entire purchase. The more positive product reviews a company has, the more likely someone will purchase the product.

10. Edit carefully

Not only should the company be sure of what is being published on their website, but they also need to make sure it’s accurate and remains that way. Edit for any errors and any writing mistakes. This will help the product description look professional.

11. Review effective examples

Writing product descriptions can be a daunting task. It’s okay to look through previous examples from an existing company. Borrowing from examples is never a bad way to start writing your own.

Examples of effective product descriptions

Here are some of the best product descriptions that evoke imagery and enable customers to see themselves using a product. Each has a different way of using sensory words and showing off the benefits of products.

Example 1: Weber Spirit II E-210 Gas Grill

From the start, this product description elicits a sense of action in the reader by starting in the active voice. The content submerges the reader into a visual, sensory perception of the product with phrasing like, “So whether it’s a busy Monday or a relaxed Sunday – invite a couple of friends over, push the ignition and enjoy the special atmosphere that surrounds the grill.”

Example 2: PetSmart KONG Puppy Toy

This product description gets specific where it counts, helping to answer as many potential customer questions as possible: “Designed to meet the needs of a puppy’s 28-baby teeth, it helps teach appropriate chewing behavior while offering enrichment and satisfying a younger pup’s instinctual needs.”

Its verb usage and consciousness of the active voice elicit a sense of action in the reader: “Want to make crate training easier or extend play time? Be sure to stuff with puppy kibble and a dash of peanut butter. Add to the fun by including KONG Puppy Snacks and top with KONG Puppy Easy Treat.”

It wraps up its visuals by conveniently listing a few highlighted features at the end, adding brevity and making it easier for readers to skim for specific content.

It also expounds on the features of the product by using its benefits to illustrate usefulness to its target audience: “The compact open-cart design and the practical folding side table makes it fit even on small spaces, and you have all the basics you need to get familiar with gas grilling.”

Example 3: ThinkGeek Mini PC

This product description utilizes industry-specific terminology and product labels to capture better the wandering eyes of the well-versed reader who perhaps knows a thing or two about computers and may know more specifically what they’re looking for: “Featuring the new 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-1165G7 processor making it perfect for video editing, video rendering, graphics editing, and serious high-end business applications, while running multiple applications at the same time.”

It not only highlights its processor speed as a practical function for work usage, but as an enjoyable advantage for PC gaming, speaking to both sides of the same coin: “When the work is done and it’s time to play, the Phantom can play the latest and hottest games utilizing its NVIDIA® discrete graphics card. Its small size means you can take it with you for gaming or video editing on the go.”

Each example above shows what benefits the customer would receive while playing with descriptive words that promote sales. Each is a short and precise paragraph that is direct and to the point.

Consider using the examples above to get started with writing. Compare your own products to those of the competition and find keywords that make each description unique.

Need more key e-commerce tips?

Download our E-Commerce Project Guide for best practices from implementation to go-live.