Are your current product descriptions working for your online store? They should be converting your website’s shoppers into buyers and boosting your sales!

Perhaps the problem lies in the name —“product descriptions.” As the bland phrase suggests, many product descriptions simply describe an online store’s products: their specifications, color schemes, sizes, manufacturer, availability, etc. But there’s got to be more to the term than that… right?

Though many websites only provide generic or uninspiring product descriptions, that’s not the best technique to follow. As an eCommerce merchant, you don’t want to just describe your product to prospective customers, you want to sell it to them. Even veteran copywriters make this mistake: writing content that adequately describes a product but does not compel or convert.

Are you currently running an eCommerce website and looking to update your site’s content? Or are you just starting your online store and want to know the best way to approach writing product descriptions? Either way, here are some tips that will help.

How to write product descriptions that convert into sales:

1. Identify your target audience right off the bat, then write accordingly.

There’s a saying that goes, “Try to impress everyone, and you impress no one.” This old adage rings true to product copy, as well as life. Try to sell to everyone, and you sell to no one.

The most kick-ass websites address potential shoppers with product descriptions that speak to a specific market. When it’s time to write your own product descriptions, imagine your target audience. Who are they? and Why would they want to buy your product? Go a step further and conduct some research to learn more about your ideal buyers: their preferences, their buying patterns, and the triggers that would compel them to buy. It’s simple—identify the who and then find out why. Then write to sell. Once you have a good idea of who you’re selling to and why they need your products, your product descriptions will sound authoritative and personal, instead of general and tentative.

2. List your product’s features and tell your audience how they will benefit.

As an eCommerce entrepreneur, you may find it easy to write about your products. Coming up with your own product descriptions may seem exciting to you because let’s face it, you are the expert in your field and understand your product line more than most will. But being excited about your products and writing descriptions for them from your perspective won’t be enough to entice your prospective customers. You still need to get them excited about and interested in buying. One way you can do that is by listing your product’s features and benefits in an entertaining, appealing, and informative way.

Ask yourself questions such as: How does your product benefit your prospective buyer? Is there a certain need that your product can fill? Is there a certain problem that your product can solve?

Before anything else, it might save time if you write down all your product’s features and then translate them into benefits. Use bullet points to list all its features (which are facts about your product) and then rephrase the information to transform it into benefits (which are what the features can do for your prospective customer). You are not just selling your product; you are selling the benefit it will bring.

3. Use bullet points to your advantage.

We mentioned bullet points above so now, let’s take an in-depth look at how they will help you create product descriptions that convert. When describing your products, bullet points are your best friend. They attract the reader’s attention and funnel them to important key points about the product they are interested in. In fact, some customers will read only the bullet points before making that all-important decision to buy. But there is a way to further strengthen the impact your bullet points will have.

First, introduce the bullet points with a short paragraph using crisp copy. The short paragraph can include the compelling “fluff”, aka the soft-sell part of your copy, and persuasive detail on how your product can benefit the buyer. Next, when writing your bullet points, include the product’s specs and features. In doing so, you provide many levels of information that your shopper may be looking for. This delivery is both efficient and informative. It appeals to those who are looking for quick, easily accessible information. For those who are shopping around and comparing products or are more emotional buyers, however, it’s a good idea to write another closing paragraph after you finish your bullet points. This will help to round out your product descriptions and even provide an opportunity for you to insert a hard sell call-to-action that encourages your buyers to act quickly.

Remember – your visitors don’t want to read large blocks of text when shopping online. In fact, most consumers only read 20% of the words on an average web page. This is the reason you should make your product copy “scannable” to your prospective shoppers. Well-crafted bullet points can do the trick!

4. Write with the reader in mind but don’t forget the search engines!

When you’re writing eCommerce product descriptions and want them to convert into sales (umm, that’s always, right?), it doesn’t mean you’re only writing for your prospective buyer. You also and always have to produce content that is optimized for search engines. Combining these two ideas can be a little tricky. You need to include a keyword or two while being careful not to overstuff your product descriptions with keywords. Using too many keywords is unappealing and sacrifices quality in your attempt to rank in search engines. It is also caught and penalized by Google search spiders these days.

The key is to strike a balance: write as you would with the readers in mind. Aim to educate your audience about your product and sell to them. Then, when you’ve got all that you wanted to say in your product descriptions, find natural and strategic ways to incorporate a keyword or two into the copy. Take care to avoid making it sound awkward. When you are fighting the temptation to add too many keywords, remember that you’ll also get opportunities to put them in your photo titles, subheadings, alt tags, and more. Go lightly in the product descriptions and read the content aloud to yourself to make sure it sounds natural, not forced.

5. Edit, edit, edit.

This may seem commonsensical but, always take the time to edit your product descriptions after you’ve written them. And editing here doesn’t just refer to simply proofreading your copy for grammar mistakes or typographical errors. Edit with your reader in mind. Here are some points to consider:

  • When you wrote your product descriptions, did you miss anything important that your target audience may be looking for?
  • When you wrote the content, did you write it as a company owner or as a copywriter focused on the reader? Appeal to your shopper by using the word ‘you’ more, instead of the word ‘we’. In doing so, you will be addressing the prospective buyer instead of focusing on your brand.
  • Is your copy too long? Are you using too much jargon? Make it easier for your readers to find the information they need by using short, crisp sentences, bullet points, and simple words.
  • Are you too generic with your descriptions? Buyers will appreciate it if you are focused and efficiently get into the details they need. Make sure to rewrite any universal content and replace it with specific phrases. For example, “Product ships in a few days” sounds better as “Your item will ship within 24 hours and reach you in 3 to 4 business days.”

The Bottom Line

There are no guarantees in this world but there are proven steps you can take that will help your product descriptions convert browsers into buyers. By putting a little extra effort into your product descriptions, following the tips outlined in this post, and using a good eCommerce software for your site, you will increase the likelihood of consumers noticing your product. And ultimately, this leads to them to clicking the “Add to Cart” button and proceed to checkout.

What have we missed? Do you have secrets to share on writing product descriptions that convert into sales? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.