When it comes to selling products online, one of the most prominent factors for success is having a product description that sells.
After all, assuming you’ve been successful in driving traffic to your website or marketplace listing, have got the price right and are using high-quality images, your product descriptions can often make or break the sale.
Which leads us to the next question...
What should a great product description look like?
Throughout this article we will share some great product description examples, discuss what makes them successful and provide guidance on how you should be adapting your own for different sales channels, such as your website and Amazon.
We have also provided a product description template that can be adapted to meet the needs of your own product.
Why is it so important to write a detailed and compelling product description?
Let's say you run an eCommerce store selling jewellery. You’ve managed to optimise your website and are ranking for many lucrative keywords on Google.
Subsequently, your store now has a substantial amount of targeted traffic (young women in their 20’s).
This alone isn’t enough to generate sales.
While it’s easy to assume that increased traffic automatically means increased sales, if your product descriptions aren’t compelling enough to convert these website visitors into customers, everything else can become a wasted effort.
Don’t just take our word for it though.
According to a research study conducted by Shotfarm, as many as 95% of consumers believe that product descriptions are either important or very important to their buying decisions.
So, with this in mind, what does it really take to write a product description encourages sales?
To answer this, we’ve summarised the best hacks, tips and best practices that will help you write powerful product descriptions, whatever you sell.
Product Description Hacks
1. Put yourself in your buyer's shoes
Trying to be all things to all people is often the fastest route to failure.
Put simply, the more people you try to target your product at, the vaguer your product descriptions will be.
In many cases, this will result in fewer sales.
So, instead of falling into the easy traps of trying to appeal to the masses, you should be thinking about your ideal customer and how you can personalise the content for them.
Start by anticipating the common questions these customers are likely to be asking.
Let’s say you sell clothing.
Chances are your buyer’s might be wondering about the material and fit. Is it stretchy? Is it fitted, loose, true to size?
Being upfront and honest with this information can instil trust and confidence, not to mention reduce return rates.
Take Urban Outfitters for example.
Product description example: Urban Outfitters
As you can see from the example above, they are very upfront about what their customer’s say about the product with regards to sizing – even if it’s that customers find it to be on the smaller size.
Rather than it reflecting badly on the brand, however, it reassures the potential buyer as to the sizing they should be opting for – something that tends to be a concern amongst those purchasing clothing online.
Urban Outfitter’s aren’t the only ones using transparency to address customer queries and concerns though.
Homeware and furniture retailer CB2 have successfully tackled the common question – will the furniture fit?
Rather than merely listing the measurements as bullet points, the company has been more creative in how they convey this information.
Product description example: CB2
In fact, by using an image to showcase the dimensions and titling the section “Will it fit in your space?”, CB2 show that they have thought about the customer’s perceived risks and have made it as easy as possible for them to consume this information.
Anthropologie are another retailer getting this right.
By highlighting key information such as “burn time” for their candles, not to mention including their brand’s “promise”, they reassure potential buyers of the quality of the product and effectively set expectations.
Product description example: Anthropologie
We’ve already touched on it, but aside from product transparency, another way to write product descriptions that sell is through targeted content.
Not On The High Street hits the nail on the head with this.
Product description example: Not On The High Street
By referring to the gift recipient with the use of ‘him’ and ‘his’, not to mention using phrases such as ‘that hard-to-buy-for man’, the seller demonstrates that they really understand who their target user is, in turn convincing the buyer to purchase the product as a present.
Regardless of what it is you’re selling though, the real secret for getting targeted content right is to fully understand your buyer. When writing your product descriptions, this begins with the language they are likely to be using.
Only then can you begin to tailor your content to them. Think about how you might talk to them if you were selling your products in a face-to-face environment. What tone would you take? How formal/informal might you be? Which words and phrases are they likely to be using? Is humour appropriate?
For most products, a conversational tone can work wonders in helping you to engage with potential buyers.
A great example of a company that does this well is Think Geek.
Product description example: ThinkGeek
You can immediately tell that the product description has the ideal buyer in mind. From the way the content mentions the specifics of Skyrim, to the way it engages the buyer to relate to the product, this is the perfect example of a great product description that is personal to the target audience.
2. Entice your buyer with benefits
When it comes to writing a product description, you may find yourself distracted with all the preliminary basics such as specifications and features.
Problem is, the end buyer isn’t always so interested in what these specs and features are.
That’s not to say they’re not important, but chances are the buyer is more interested in how the product will directly benefit them and why they should buy it.
Listing out these product benefits is a great way to let potential customers know that they need your product in their lives to make it that bit better.
Think about it this way, you aren’t just selling a product, you’re selling an experience.
Take the example from Method Home, for instance.
Product description example: Method Home
Ultimately, the language you use in your descriptions really can have the power to influence a sale. Engaging, persuasive and descriptive copy is key for this.
Another great example of a brand that does this perfectly is Anorak Online.
Product description example: Anorak Online
In fact, not only does the brand do a great job of describing the item in detail and highlighting where and when it could be used, they also touch on why this product makes a great alternative to a more traditional cool bag.
Decathlon go one step further though by leading with the product benefits, before summarising the more technical information.
Product description example: Decathlon
3. Appeal to your buyer's imagination
According to recent research, consumers have a higher desire to purchase a product when they have the item in their hands.
Unfortunately, the nature of eCommerce prevents physical interaction and instead, as a brand, you will need to think outside the box by appealing to your buyer’s imagination.
One way you can start to do this is by using language that encourages them to imagine what it would feel like to own or use the product you are trying to sell.
Once again, Think Geek nails this.
Product description example: ThinkGeek
Wayfair also get it spot on with their hanging light, demonstrating that it doesn’t matter what it is you sell, you can still make storytelling work in your product descriptions.
Product description example: Wayfair
4. Use sensory words to drive sales
Sensory words can also be incredibly powerful for driving sales, particularly in the culinary niche.
In fact, you can see from the following Green & Black’s product description how they have made use of this.
Product description example: Green & Black's
Make a note of how these sensory words don’t just refer to taste, but also to both sound and touch with emphasis on “crunchy toffee” and “smooth dark chocolate”.
Craft beer brand BrewDog have also adopted this approach, using phrases such as “honeycomb texture” and “velvet mouth-feel”.
Product description example: BrewDog
This product description copy writing technique isn’t just limited to food and beverage retailers though.
Take luxury beauty retailer Lookfantastic’s example below.
Product description example: Lookfantastic
5. Educate the buyer
While factors such as language, structure and detail are all crucial elements of a great product description, education and additional support can also help not only in driving sales, but also with enhancing the overall customer experience.
One example of how this can be used is on Dunelm’s Clear Edge Mirror product page.
Product description example: Dunlem
As you can see from the image, they have created a supporting guide full of steps, hints and important information on how their customers should correctly hang the mirror – something they’ve clearly identified as being a challenge amongst their target audience.
Although focused on an entirely different target market, both Lookfantastic and Dollar Shave Club educate their customers by including directions for use in their product descriptions.
Product description example: Lookfantastic
Product description example: Dollar Shave Club
Lookfantastic's example also demonstrates how you can use this approach to further highlight the benefits of using this product. In fact, they also go as far as to mention that the end result will be beautiful softness and shine.
Written content isn’t the only means to educate buyers though.
Product description example: Halfords
Within the Help & Advice section of Halfords’ product description, they share two videos; one on how to build a hybrid bike and the other on how to find the right size hybrid bike.
When it comes to your own products, think about whether there might be any barriers impacting the purchase decision. For example, consumers looking for a hybrid bike would likely be unsure how they would go about building it, or what size bike they might need. Another area that could need addressing is whether a hybrid bike is better suited for them than a normal bike.
Bonus Hack: How to write an Amazon product description
When it comes to writing product descriptions on Amazon, the general tips above certainly do apply.
That said, the structural layout and requirements expected from an Amazon product page heavily affects the way you will write an Amazon product description that converts.
To help you get started, we’ve compiled some top tips and guidelines.
Unique Selling Point
If you’re selling on Amazon, chances are you’re already in direct competition with hundreds (if not thousands) of other merchants selling a similar (or even the same) product.
This is why your unique selling point (USP) is key to helping you distinguish your products from your competitors and ultimately improve your chances of making a sale.
But how does this work if you sell the exact same item as other Amazon sellers?
Well, to start with, the USP doesn’t actually have to be about the product itself, but rather the way you sell it to your buyer.
Take a look at this example from BabieB.
Amazon product description example: BabieB
Now look at the product description of one of their competitors, Nuby.
Amazon product description example: Nuby
If you had the choice between the two, which one would you go for?
While there are of course other factors that influence a sale, the structure, language, storytelling approach and images used in BabieB’s example is (in my opinion) far more powerful than the alternative. This is supported by the fact that the product listing has 1,294 reviews, compared to only 9 customer reviews on Nuby’s listing.
Search Engine Optimisation
Another big difference between Amazon products descriptions and those you use on your own eCommerce site is the role they play in driving traffic to the product page.
Now even though keyword optimisation should be a focus regardless of sales channel, given the competitive landscape on Amazon, it’s important that you’re optimising your listings for all factors of Amazon’s algorithm.
This includes keyword placement.
But, how exactly do you go about researching which keywords to include, let alone where to include them?
Start by making use of the free tools available to you – Google Keyword Planner, ubersuggest, LSIGraph – as these will be able to give you an idea of the search terms shoppers are using to search for products that you sell. Remember, when prioritising these keywords, you’re looking for a balance between search volume and relevancy.
Keyword tools aside, one of the best techniques for Amazon keyword research is in fact a brainstorming session. Typically, you understand your customer base more than anyone and therefore should be able to think about the search queries they may be using when looking for your product.
Alternatively, a simple search on Amazon itself can give you an idea of what language other sellers are using to optimise their listings.
Now while this article isn’t specifically about Amazon SEO – we have a whole article for that here – it is about how you can use your identified keywords in your product description.
Ideally, your Amazon product description is the perfect place to include the long-tail keywords that you haven’t been able to include in either the title or the key product features (bullet point) section.
Remember, the keywords used in the product description aren’t as heavily weighted as your title, but they can still influence where you rank on Amazon.
Ultimately, however, just like with any other product description, the best ones on Amazon are typically those that tell a story, so we would recommend that use your keywords as naturally as possible.
It’s also beneficial to elaborate on the key product features and provide further information.
Product Description Template
The first thing to note here that there is no right or wrong way to format a product description. Instead, we have combed the internet to find some examples of great product descriptions and from these, outlined a suggested template for your own site.
Before we jump in though, it’s worth thinking about the structure of these item descriptions. Will you want your product details to be split over separate tabs?
Product description example: JD Sports
Or do you want them to be covered in the same place?
Product description example: River Island
Alternatively, you could have drop down options.
Product description example: Bellroy
This is important to consider as it can impact how much depth you go into within each section of your item descriptions.
You should also think about whether you want to make use of images to help convey the product details.
Product description example: Made
Next, you should think about the industry you operate in. While we haven’t provided product description templates for every single product category, you should be able to tweak the example below for your own business.
Product overview: This is the perfect place to adopt a storytelling approach and really convey the benefits of buying the item.
Let’s say you sell clothing; is the item “perfect for layering in the colder months”, will the “close fit show of your waist”, is it “versatile to take from the office to party”, or can it be “teamed up with a clutch bag and heels for the ultimate evening look”?
Alternatively, if you’re an online seller of cosmetics, can the user “wear it alone or under makeup”. You should also think about using this section to convey the key highlights, for example is it “suitable for all skin types” and “not tested on animals”.
Use this paragraph to convince your potential buyers as to why they need this particular product and if necessary, think about creating a section dedicated to the key features where you could consider the use of icons to better visualise your message, similar to the Decathlon and Made examples above.
Product details: Product details are commonly listed as bullet points, to provide a quick at-a-glance summary. While the number of bullet points vary from retailer to retailer, we would recommend covering the following at a minimum (remember, not all will be relevant):
- Model size and height
- Item code
- Other key product features
You may also choose to include details such as whether it is machine washable or suitable for tumble drying, as well as highlight certain features about the product, for example if it has a zip fastening at the back.
In addition to this, it’s worth including whether or not items such as batteries are included.
Size and fit: We would always recommended that you link through to your company’s size guide or chart.
Volume/Dimensions/Weight: Similar to size and fit, for certain product types you may wish to include a section on the dimensions, weight and/or volume of your product. Again, you may wish to include an image or video to convey this information.
Details and care: Rather than listing this information as bullet points, you may wish to have a section dedicated to details and care. We’ve already touched on whether or not the item is machine washable or suitable for tumble drying, but also consider how the item will be cleaned .
Specification: For certain products you will need to provide additional information. Let’s say you sell a roof mount for a bike. Within this section, you should cover details such as load capacity, number of bikes held and maximum weight. If you were selling the bike itself, this would provide details such as appropriate age, frame material, suspension, tyres etc.
Specifications are also important for electronics, with the need to detail type, operating system, processor, resolution, screen size and so on.
If you're not sure whether to start, take a look at your competitor's sites to see what they cover.
Directions: How should the customer best use the product? Should it be “left on for one minute before rinsing”, or if you sell homeware, you may link to a guide with directions on how to build the product.
Help & advice: Depending on what it is you sell, you might go one step further and include a section dedicated to providing help and advice, whether this be through video or written content.
Ingredients: If you sell products in the food & beverage or health & beauty categories, you may wish to include the ingredients of the product.
Reviews: Although reviews are important for any product type, they are particularly useful on clothing websites. It’s also worth considering allowing customers to upload images with their review, as this can help to influence purchases.
Delivery and returns: Be as transparent with your customers as possible by including your delivery and returns information.
Questions and answers: Do you get asked the same questions time and time again? Why not consider including a questions and answers section.
Although each online business is unique and there is no one-size fits all approach product description template, you should be able to take the listed attributes and apply them to your own.
It’s also important to look at your competitor’s sites for inspiration. What works well on their product descriptions and how can you apply it to your own?
Ultimately, when it comes to writing your product description the process can be an overwhelming one. By following this template and implementing some of the ideas and tactics listed throughout this article, you will hopefully begin to stand out from your competitors and drive more sales.
Do keep in mind though that you should continually review these product descriptions to see what’s working and what’s not. Keep constant tabs on metrics such as page views and conversion rates for your product pages, and also get an idea of where the page traffic is coming from.
Were they already on your website or did they come straight to the page through SEO or referral sites? By monitoring all of this, you can tweak, adjust and improve them to increase both ROI and sales.
As always, we’d love to hear what works for you. Simply leave a comment below with your best practices for writing product descriptions that sell.