20 Sep 5 Tips for Writing Compelling Product Descriptions
Writing compelling product descriptions can mean a huge difference between selling your products to your online shop visitors and watch them purchasing similar products from your competitors. How do you convert your website’s traffic to sales? It’s simple – you put a little bit more effort into creating amazing stories around your product, ultimately leaving people no choice but to click the „buy“ button.
1. Target Audience
The most successful brands make high conversions of products because they invest into getting to know their target audience. This is not as difficult as it sounds and while the process of knowing your customer can be time consuming, the truth is that the product descriptions tailored specifically at your target audience sell while the others don’t.
You can use Google Keyword Planner to find out specific words and phrases your customers use when searching for products in your online shop and those of your competitors. This is a free tool that almost every company uses today.
Another, more in-depth strategy to identify your ideal buyer is creating a Buyer Persona. That’s where you can answer not only questions regarding the demographics of your audience but also the writing style that your customers prefer, the needs that they try to satisfy when purchasing and many other specific details that will help you develop a great copy.
If your product is, for example, a deodorant for men then it’s so much easier to address your product description to this person instead of “everyone who might be interested”:
Welcome to a home filled with deer heads, huge fireplaces, unpublished manuscripts and gold-plated hot tubs. Old spice classic envelops you in a clean, manly scent that has served mankind for decades. And it fights odor all day, turning your armpit house into an armpit home.
Let’s Look at an Example of a Buyer Persona That I Created:
Tim is 31 and a successful business consultant, working for a large international organization with approximately 3000 people worldwide. As a busy bee, he spends a lot of time traveling to different locations to pitch his company’s services. There is a certain appearance expected of him – a classic business suit as well as generally cleanly appearance. As a result, he is looking to buy a deodorant that keeps the freshness all day. Other features that interest him are ensuring that the deodorant of his choice doesn’t hold any harmful substances and doesn’t leave the infamous ‘pit stains’ on his white dress shirts.
So now, with this information I can tailor the deodorant that I sell in my online store to Tim, because now I know what Tim is looking for.
One great example of companies that understand their customer needs and desires is Schick:
Here is how Schick describes their product:
You’re a man. You’ve got facial hair. And most likely, that means you’ve used a lot of razors, but you were
never satisfied until the Schick Hydro® 5 Razor – now designed like no other razor to protect your skin from irritation.
Its exclusive Hydrating Gel Reservoir* has been upgraded to provide instant lubricating protection – and hydrates for up to 1 hour after you shave. Plus, our five Ultra Glide® Blades contain built-in skin guards that help control skin flow to reduce friction.
2. The Components of a Product Description
The key to seductive product descriptions is not only in the words that you choose but also in the way you organize the text on your page. For a product description to be engaging and to have the potential to grab the reader’s interest immediately, there are different ways of designing the page layout. These components have to be mentioned in every product description:
Features: basically, these are the characteristics that define your product.
Benefits: while the first point is about the list of words that describe your product, benefits answer the most important question: Why? This is exactly what people want to know. Why should I buy from you and not from any other shop?
Your Company’s Story: it can be a short three line paragraph that is included with every product copy of your online store. It can be a slogan that sums up your business in 3-5 magic words. The third option would be a longer paragraph that gives your visitors even deeper insight into your company and your product’s story. You can even mix them.
Here is one great example of combining your product features with the benefits:
About the Product
- Now available in black or white
- Higher resolution display (300 ppi) – with twice as many pixels
- Built-in adjustable light – read day and night
- No screen glare, even in bright sunlight, unlike tablets
- A single battery charge lasts weeks, not hours
- Massive selection, lowest prices – over a million titles $2.99 or less
- Lighter than a paperback, holds thousands of books
- Exclusive features help build your vocabulary, learn about characters, and connect with like-minded readers – all without leaving the page
- Try Kindle Unlimited free for 30 days-includes over 1 million titles
For the purpose of visualizing, the features are marked in bold in the description above. Every bullet point carries not only a feature of the Kindle but also convinces the visitors as to why it’s a good investment. Take the third point as an example – essentially you can read books day and night without damaging your eyes.
While these bullet points are easy to scan through, Amazon is sure to describe their product in even greater detail. In fact, it devotes a whole page to this one product and justifies in every sentence not only the benefits the customer would get but also the price.
Interesting as well: Kindle Paperwhite is the bestseller among other Kindle products that Amazon offers. The terms “bestseller” or “best-selling” draw the attention of option-shoppers and is certainly something that you should consider including in your online shop.
Now, let’s see how Herschel Supply Co. included the product details (features + benefits) and the company’s story:
Herschel Supply Co. :
In the early 1900s, Peter Alexander Cormack and his wife made the journey from Wick, Scotland and settled in the small town of Herschel, whose population today is counted at 30 residents. Founded in 2009 by brothers Jamie and Lyndon Cormack, Herschel Supply Co. adopted the name of the small town where three generations of their family were raised. Herschel Supply Co. is based in Vancouver, Canada and manufactures the finest quality backpacks, bags, travel goods and accessories.
The details of a Herschel Supply Co. product are inspired by the utilitarian features once found inside hiking backpacks and travel bags from earlier years. All of the products have standard details including liners, key clips and pocket sleeves to ensure they remain useful for todays users.
Herschel Supply Co. would be lost in the internet shuffle if it weren’t for these editor’s notes. People relate to interesting tidbits and success stories. In fact, they completely eat it up. Your consumers want to know how you created your brand and most importantly, what you stand for. In only 10 lines, Herschel illustrates the story behind the products.
3. Let’s See How the Formula Features + Benefits Work:
For this purpose let’s imagine that you’re selling dog accessories and specifically ties, bow ties and necklaces.
1. Here are the key features of the ties:
– 100 % cotton
– elastic loop
– length and width measurements
– easy attachment
– comes in 5 different colorsWell, we can leave it at this, but wow is that boooooring.
2. Now, we’re going to add some benefits to these descriptions:
– made from 100 % organic cotton and tested for toxic materials, this tie won’t hurt Sir Benedict the labrador
– elastic loop makes it easy to attach to your pet’s collar and adjust the length for maximum comfort
– from classy, sophisticated, black ties to dynamic, colorful ties that makes sure your pet gets the attention it deserves!
These would be great examples of our bullet points. See how it immediately adds value and justifies the price? In particular, the first point may put dog owners’ mind at ease.
3. How about the longer version of our product?
Crafted in a timeless shape, this dog tie is ideal for your fashionable companion – attention and jealousy from other dogs and dog owners as well as those “aaaw” and “wow” moments on the street are guaranteed. Made out of natural organic cotton with an elastic and adjustable loop for ease and comfort, this classy accessory is carefully handcrafted and finished with the finest design. Match your dog style to you for any occasion. These dog ties never go out of fashion.
4. Stand for Something
Your brand needs to stand for something specific. This is the core message and the core values that define your existence and your customers need to know it. If your visitors don’t see the connection between your website, products and vision then they won’t connect with you.
Do you stand for classy, timeless and expensive products? Here the buzz words that your customer is trying to find is “quality”, “exclusive”, “biological and green” as well as the best materials possible. Or are you a company for the man’s man? Rugged, durable, tough and bearded? You can’t be everything to everyone but with focused attention on your audience, you can be successful in an online environment.
For example People Tree stands for environmentally friendly and sustainable fashion:
While many fashion brands talk about ‚corporate social responsibility‘ or ‚ethical fashion‘, we go further. We follow the principles of Fair Trade in every aspect of our business. All of our products are made by artisans and producers who work to Fair Trade standards. People Tree has been a pilot case for certification for Fair Trade Manufacture under the World Fair Trade Organisation and we were the world’s first clothing company to receive the World Fair Trade Organisation Fair Trade product mark in 2013.
Fair Trade makes a powerful difference. People Tree is helping to alleviate poverty in the world’s most marginalised communities.
5. Make Room for Imagination
It’s important to keep in mind that your customers can’t physically see your product when they’re browsing through your online shop. Therefore, your product description needs to fill in the gaps and connect the item you want to sell with the buyer by appealing to his or her senses.
Make them feel the soft yet durable textiles, smell only the finest of woods and leather, see how it would look on and fit them and how other people would perceive them.
Learn more on how to appeal to your customer with all the five senses and later implement it for your product description, read this article here.
Add the descriptive words carefully. Every word in your description needs to add value to the characteristics of what you intend to sell. However, adding too many adjectives can spoil your copy. Remember that you want to convince people instead of confusing them.
Get some good yet simple examples of appealing to your customer’s five senses here.
And now, it’s time for you to try your hand on writing fresh and compelling descriptions. Happy writing!
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