Online Selling 101: Making Winning Product Descriptions

Product Descriptions that Sell Themselves

Ever wonder what product descriptions help to sell your products themselves? It’s not about listing your details about your product. Measurements and specifications can only take you to a certain extent.

The best laid product descriptions are in fact neatly written intros to your product. A well crafted piece of text with an intriguing story is the way to go. Clear and concise product descriptions which show why your consumers need your amazing product will drive sales.

Listed below are some clear cut hacks that would help you make exciting copy:

 

Product descriptions should cater to your target audience

Your copy is highly dependant on your consumers. Not knowing who you’re selling to will make writing product descriptions shots in the dark. A well targeted copy will resonate with your consumers, bringing in sales to greater heights.

Defining your target consumer base helps point your marketing plan in the correct direction. It also helps you to set your tone, making it uniform through all your marketing channels.

Here are a few points to consider when determining your ideal customer when getting product descriptions sorted:

Know your tone!

The tone of your writing plays a very important part here. Would slang terms work? What tone they’d appreciate. A great example is the witty product descriptions used by Chubbies. From the intro, all copy is oozing with witty text that would be appreciated by their target audience (millennials). However, this wouldn’t work for a luxury retailer such as Farfetch.

product-descriptions-chubbies-farfetch
The tone on Chubbies would never work on Farfetch

Walk a mile in your Customer’s Shoes

Picture yourself speaking to your prospective customer. By wording what you would say about your product to your customer, you could make organic copy. These always makes the best of product descriptions.

Read Customer Feedback

Take the time to look at customer reviews/feedback. These reviews will offer you a plethora of more wordage you could utilise. If you’re just starting out and have no reviews, SurveyMonkey, Typeform, or competitors’ reviews are great resources to get started.

Now that we got that sorted, we could pay more attention to what we can offer to our customers.

 

Good Product Descriptions have Features and Benefits listed clearly

Product descriptions, nowadays tend to confuse customers. Most of them are full of technical jargon. This doesn’t make it easier for everyday people like us to make a decision, quite the opposite. If you want to purchase a pair of running shoes, you’re not specifically looking for supportive ethylene-vinyl acetate midsole, something that is comfortable and stylish would do. I believe that technical details are important, but they should be harnessed in the correct manner. When technical features are listed, they help give your brand a degree of credibility. Benefits on the other hand, function as educated opinions. It helps customers determine why they need your product/service. Rather than scaring them off with technical jargon, using it to outline benefits makes magical copy. Magical copy is what makes sales.

Furthermore, it will help your products/services stand out from your competition.

One killer way to go about this is by listing all your features and asking yourself the simple reason, “Why does this feature exist?” This helps you see your product/service through the eyes of your customer. By taking a pair of boat shoes from Sperry as an example:

  • Stain and water-resistant leather (feature) offers durability and lasting wear (benefit).
  • 360° lacing system (feature) allows you to lace up these shoes to your preferred fit (benefit).
  • 18K gold plated eyelets (feature) for added style (benefit).
  • Genuine deerskin lining (feature) offers a great in-shoe feel (benefit).
  • Full-length, triple-density footbed features memory foam (feature) for all-day comfort (benefit).
  • EVA midsole (feature) provides exceptional comfort and flexibility (benefit).
  • Non-marking rubber outsole with razor-cut Wave-Siping™ (feature) for the ultimate in wet and dry traction (benefit).
product-descriptions-sperry
This Sperry Product Description highlights all the features and benefits well

By tackling clear benefits in your product description, you could trigger your consumers’ base desires, be it safety, security, love, freedom, etc.

This shows us that facts and features only help highlight what your product/service is, the main selling point comes via the benefits it offers.

 

Making your benefits into a well-written Sales Message

Now that we have narrowed down your features and benefits, the next thing is rounding all up. Our previous Sperry example, didn’t tackle this correctly. However, Nike, on the hand created solid copy for their Zoom Fly shoes. By going the extra mile, Nike turned their product descriptions into well crafted sales messages.

product-descriptions-nike
This is how well-crafted Product Descriptions should look like

A compelling sales message helps to communicate the benefits your product/service offers. Creating such a story isn’t witchcraft, here’s what you need to know:

Storytelling is Key

Your storytelling should always ring true with your customers. Product descriptions compensate for the inability for customers to not physically touch and feel your product. While multimedia is great, it’s the copy next to it, that can tackle the human base desire.

Utilise Superlatives, only with proof

It’s always advisable to steer away from using superlatives. This is not the case if you could back it up. By providing enough of facts and figures, use superlatives to your advantage.

Make your Product Descriptions visually appealing

When it comes to crafting good copy, don’t steer away from using descriptive adjectives. Without overdoing on the fluff, paint a beautiful visual picture with your text. The key is to place more prominence to descriptive nouns and verbs instead of adjectives or adverbs. A really good example of a well crafted description can be found at ModCloth.

Project your speech into text

Try picturing yourself in a physical store and your customer is right in front of you. Try transferring the speech you would use to inform them of your great products/services into text. The words wouldn’t be of proper grammar, but rather short sentences. The goal is to be informative while also projecting professionalism at the same time. As long as your copy is sensible and reflects your intended brand image, your voice will speak volumes.

Get customers’ opinions

It is a known fact that people tend to trust online reviews as close to an opinion of a friend. I know I do! Having credible reviews from customers will help you go a long way in ecommerce. It’s very much the same when you go to a movie, you would normally check its score on IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes. Pulling out quotes or images from user reviews and inserting them to your product descriptions or even social media posts could be very helpful.

 

Format and Optimise

The task of getting down words onto paper or screen can be very daunting. But when the hard part is done, you’re not done, yet. Your product descriptions should be optimised for good readability among people and machine (SEO in this case).

People don’t read online

By now you shouldn’t expect all people to read your text word for word. A good rule of thumb is to capture their attention with the headline. Subheaders are good to highlight certain benefits. Usage of bullets could help to support your claims. Multimedia like videos and/or images will help your products/services stand out. This recipe would be a key driver to keeping your customers engaged onto your website and social profiles.

Make Product Descriptions SEO-friendly

Search engines should be given second place when squared off against human visitors. Your content should have the right keywords in place. This gets solved itself, if your product descriptions are tailor-made for your target audience. Further optimisation, most of the time, will be required. By simply adding a dash of your keywords around your product descriptions should do the trick. Don’t overdo it however. Alt text on images should help you with getting discovered as well.

Wrapping it Up

Follow these guidelines and make your products revitalised with great, exciting copy. It would always help to put yourself in the place of your customer.

Are you proud of your own crafted product descriptions? Share with us in the comments below. We would like to see them!

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