Imagine writing a couple of sentences that would turbo-charge your ecommerce sales, improve your SEO, increase conversion rates, and impress your customers.
Say hello to good product descriptions and titles; the hassle-free, time-friendly, research-backed way for your ecommerce company to sell more.
Product titles and descriptions are two of the most important things to ‘get right’ when it comes to ecommerce, so how come we keep getting them so wrong?
The benefits of clear, engaging titles and descriptions are impressive too.
Recent research suggests that nine out of ten customers believed that product content was ‘extremely’ or ‘very important’ in deciding whether to buy.
So, it’s against that backdrop that we take a deep dive into the power of the small but effective world of product titles and descriptions.
You’ll learn about what a product description is, the benefits of writing better titles and descriptions, and how to write great product titles and descriptions.
We’ll also introduce you to a handy product writing template that’ll help you develop your titles and descriptions to sell more.
Finally, we’ll show you some great examples of product descriptions and engaging titles that help make the buying decision a little bit easier for customers.
So, let’s get stuck in!
What is a product description?
Okay, so let’s get the basics out of the way first.
Product descriptions are made up of a product title and a product description.
Visit any ecommerce website, and you’ll see the product’s title.
Directly below it, you’ll usually find a one or two-paragraph blurb explaining the product, its features and benefits and why you should buy it.
Ultimately, the product description is an opportunity for an ecommerce company to explain what the product is and why the customer should buy it.
Think of it as a gentle nudge for the customer to click on the ‘Buy Now’ button.
Product descriptions and titles vary wildly in tone, content, style and word count, depending on the product and the customer.
However, they all exist for the same reason; to get the customer to buy.
Benefits of writing great product descriptions
The benefits of writing great product descriptions are impressive.
Time and again, studies have shown that customers react positively to descriptions that are engaging, informative, and strike the right tone.
Here are some of the main benefits:
As we mentioned earlier, nearly 90% of customers rated product descriptions as important when they’re considering whether to buy a product.
You see, many ecommerce companies don’t prioritise descriptions.
Instead of putting the time and effort into creating high-quality, engaging product titles and descriptions, many retailers copy and paste the information from the company that made the product.
Some might call it lazy; others might say it’s a time-saver.
Either way, if your product titles and descriptions are carbon copies of all your competitors, your conversion rates will suffer.
Those savvy retailers who put their own take on a product will benefit from increased conversions and happier customers.
Helps persuade buyers
There’s a reason why big hitters like Amazon and eBay include a prominent CTA (Call To Action) button beside products.
It’s because consumers actively want to be told what to do next on their journey.
And just like CTA buttons help persuade buyers to buy a product, a great product description can make them fall in love with a product and say, “I need this product in my life.”
Customers like understanding a product. They’re less concerned with fancy features and technical jargon; they want to know what problems it solves in their lives.
Product descriptions help you rank in search results (SEO benefits)
You could have the most fantastic products available at the most competitive price points, but that’s not much use if people can’t find you.
As a result, ranking high organically on Google’s search results is a sure-fire way of increasing your sales.
And that’s where great product descriptions come in handy.
Think of them as an extra opportunity to use descriptive words and phrases that a customer might type into Google when searching for the product.
Creates brand loyalty
American poet Maya Angelou once mused, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Although she wasn’t speaking about ecommerce, Maya’s point rings true in online retail too.
Just because it’s online, it doesn’t mean you can’t make your customer feel something.
That feeling could be excitement, emotion, nostalgia, fun or something else.
Let’s take two fictitious retailers selling a lawnmower.
Company one has this product description:
Our top of the range lawnmower will ensure your garden grass is kept in shape all year round.
Powered by electric and cutting edge, proprietary software, it will provide you with a reliable way to maintain a garden.
With a weight of 7KGs and foldable, it can be stored safely in a garage.
Company two’s product description:
“I just wish I had bought one sooner!” – Happy customer.
Is there anything nicer than the smell of freshly cut grass? With EzyLawn, you’ll enjoy the smell of freshly cut grass but in half the time.
Robust yet lightweight, expect neighbours to compliment you on how great your garden looks.
Better still, with handy foldable arms, the EzyLawn can be stored anywhere and won’t get in the way.
Which paints an accurate picture to you; company one or two’s description?
You’ll most likely choose company two, which do a great job of putting the customer at the centre of the story and helping them visualise their lives with EzyLawn.
The take-home message here is that the more you engage customers through your descriptions, the more likely they are to associate you with positive memories and thoughts and therefore, it’ll improve brand loyalty.
Stand out from your competitors
We mentioned earlier how most companies take the easy option.
Instead of letting their creative juices flow, they copy and paste product information from the manufacturer’s brochures or marketing material.
But as the old saying goes, “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
Instead of copying product descriptions verbatim, get creative with your product descriptions, and you’ll soon start reaping the benefits from standing out amongst your competitors.
Ways to write product descriptions that sell
Sometimes, it’s best to simplify things for customers.
You see, unless they’re a techie, the vast majority don’t care about all the technical jargon, the power, the new fancy software or the weight.
So, what do they care about?
How it’ll make their lives better, solve a problem, entertain them or all three.
Let’s take one of the great examples of product descriptions in the modern era; Apple’s first iPod.
Here are some of the things they didn’t bother speaking about; 5GB hard drive, 90 MHz processor speed, 32 MG of onboard RAM and a 1.8-inch hard drive.
Because nobody cares.
Customers care about how it’ll solve a problem in their lives.
And Apple recognised that and cut out all the jargon and went with a straightforward sentence of just five words to describe the new iPod:
“1,000 songs in your pocket.”
Here are some tips for writing product descriptions that sell:
Answer questions that your customers have
Before writing a product description, think long and hard about the product, its features and benefits.
Then figure out the answers to what problems your product solves, what makes it a top choice against similar products, what customers will gain from using your product and why they should buy it today.
Use power words and influential words
Words have the power to nudge us into split-second decisions.
Free, Sale, Only one left, Selling fast, Bestseller, Half-price; they’re all tried and tested words and phrases used in retail.
And there are many other words you can use in your product descriptions that’ll help customers complete a sale.
According to Social Media Today, the five most persuasive words are:
And according to legendary advertising copywriter David Ogilvy, the 20 most influential words are:
Buffer has compiled a massive list of more words you can use; 189 Powerful Words That Convert: Write Copy That Gets Your Customer’s Attention Every Time.
Try using the above words in your product descriptions and titles and watch your sales increase and conversion rates improve.
Avoid cliches and words that don’t truly match your product
While using power words can turbocharge your sales, avoid all the nonsensical cliches that customers hate to see.
Innovative. Revolutionary. Incredible. Market-leading.
Yawnnnn… they’re everywhere.
Unless your products genuinely are revolutionary or stunning or any other buzzword, make sure they are revolutionary or avoid using those types of words.
Describe your product honestly
Selling a 7-foot Christmas tree that is 2 feet doesn’t help your business or customers.
Nor does a product description that says a product has a battery life of twelve hours, only for the customer to find out it lasts less than seven hours.
Winning a customer’s trust is difficult in the modern era but if you have it, make sure you maintain it.
Keep all your product titles and descriptions honest.
After all, the goal of your product description is to describe the product accurately, so keep this in mind as you work your way through a description.
Use words and phrases that your customers use
One of the essential things in any business industry is knowing your customer.
And once you know who they are, you can appeal to them by speaking their language.
For example, the language and tone used for a new PlayStation 5 console’s product description will be pretty different from the description used to sell a telescope to a stargazing enthusiast.
And unless you’re selling something in a very particular niche, keep your descriptions informal and conversational in tone.
Use contractions in your product descriptions like, for example; you’re instead of you are, you’d instead of you would.
The goal here is to communicate with your customers how they communicate.
Avoid using product descriptions from manufacturers
While they know their products well, manufacturers aren’t selling them online, so their descriptions aren’t necessarily the best.
By copying and pasting descriptions from manufacturers, you’re losing the opportunity to connect with your customers and persuade them to buy.
You’ll also lose the opportunity to improve your SEO on Google’s search engine if your descriptions are carbon copies of competitors’ product descriptions.
Make your product descriptions easy to scan
Chances are, customers will scan through a product description to find anything they find interesting.
As a result, it’s vital to make your descriptions easy to read and scan.
You can achieve this by adding bullet points, headings, bolded and underlined words and font colour changes.
Let your product descriptions tell a story
One of the best ways to create product descriptions that sell is to master the art of storytelling.
Instead of using a mundane list of features, try making the customer the story’s hero.
For example, if you are selling a BBQ Grill in the run-up to the summer, instead of listing the technical specs, tell a story.
That story could be, “Sausages sizzling. The smell of steak and burgers filling the air while you and your friends enjoy a cold beer, with pop music the soundtrack to your summer.”
Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3. Test everything.
The beauty about product descriptions is that they’re pretty short by nature, and therefore, you can make tweaks when necessary.
As a result, it’s good to test different product descriptions to see which is regularly working.
Split test your product descriptions based on different formats, for example, bullet points v paragraphs, font colours and sizes, length of descriptions, tone and style of wording.
Product description template
While it’d be great if there were one template that’d be suitable for every retailer, unfortunately, it doesn’t exist.
That’s because every product is unique, every retailer has its brand voice, every customer is different, and what works for one might not necessarily work for another.
But that’s not a bad thing; being different and standing out from the crowd is a great thing.
However, the most successful product descriptions have some variation of this:
- Product name.
- Descriptive headline.
- Benefits those customers will enjoy, for example, hassle-free, less time, cheaper, more reliable.
- Testimonials from happy customers.
- The tone of voice matched to customer.
- Call To Action (CTA) Button such as ‘Buy Now’.
Examples of great product descriptions
Product: Apple iPhone 13 Pro.
Product description: “A dramatically more powerful camera system. A display so responsive, every interaction feels new again. The world’s fastest smartphone chip. Exceptional durability. And a huge leap in battery life. Let’s Pro.”
Why we love it: It’s short, explains why customers will love it (hello, better battery life!) and lets us visualise taking better pictures of our lives.
Product: Sony Playstation 5
Product description: “Experience lightning-fast loading with an ultra-high-speed SSD, deeper immersion with support for haptic feedback, adaptive triggers and 3D Audio, and an all-new generation of incredible PlayStation games.”
Why we love it: Sony tells customers everything they need to know; it’s fast, comes with impressive new games, and enjoys audio improvements.
Product description: “Designed in a thermal hi pile fleece, our luxuriously soft and fluffy feel robe will keep you warm and cosy as the temperature drops. Featuring a cosy hood, long sleeves and spacious front pockets, it fastens with a self-tie belt. Perfect for wrapping up warm on chilly mornings and evenings.”
Why we love it: John Lewis has helped customers paint a picture of being warm, cosy and enjoying winter nights in comfort.
Product: Gymshark Critical 2.0 T-Shirt
Product description: “No attention drawn. No reps missed. No questions asked. The Critical 2.0 T-Shirt is a minimalist gym top that promises a lasting service. Built from a supple cotton-elastane blend, it endures your training without shouting about it.”
Why we love it: The description helps customers picture themselves lifting heavy weights in comfort and tells the customer that it is well-made and reliable.
As ecommerce continues to take the world by storm, gaining a competitive advantage is challenging.
However, as we’ve explored today, those savvy retailers who do things differently experience a wide range of benefits.
While product titles and descriptions take up only a tiny bit of space on an ecommerce website, their power is unrivalled.
By being creative with your descriptions, you can instantly gain an advantage over your competitors through customer engagement and, of course, the SEO benefits for a hyper-competitive Google search results page.
The benefits don’t stop there; retailers who prioritise creating engaging product descriptions often report less cart abandonment, higher sales, improved conversion rates and a stronger relationship with customers.
It’s essential to think about your product descriptions not as an afterthought that you’ll complete later but as a piece of prime real estate that can turn a customer from “Umm, maybe,” to “take my money now!”.
And the beauty of product descriptions is that they don’t have to be fancy, technical or long.
After looking through our four examples above, you’ll see that some of the most prominent players in retail use simple language and make the customer the hero of the story.