When was the last time you bought something online? This morning? Yesterday? It's okay, you can tell us. We love shopping online, too. And we are not alone.
The number of online shoppers keeps on increasing year after year.
There are now 2.05 billion digital buyers spread across the globe. That means one out of every four people in the world is an online shopper. Online shopping has become part of our daily lives.
If you sell products or services online, it’s important to stand out. This is where product descriptions come in.
A product description is one of the most important features of an online shop and has a great impact on conversions. It holds incredible power, but a good one can be hard to write.
A lot of online stores miss the boat by focusing on product features in their product descriptions. The best product descriptions focus on improving the customer's life and giving them a great experience.
What Is a Product Description?
It is the marketing copy that describes a product and explains why it's worth purchasing. It tells customers the product features, the problems it solves, and other benefits in order to generate a sale.
A product description can turn a casual shopper into a buyer. Yet, too many online stores make the grave mistake of talking about the product instead of selling it.
If your current product descriptions are not very well written, it's not too late. Here are five easy steps you can follow to write product descriptions that convert.
1. Focus on Your Ideal Buyer
If you write product descriptions with everyone in mind, they will address no one at all. You’re trying to sell to everyone, but you may end up selling to nobody.
The first step to writing a great product description is to have a target audience. Take time to define your ideal buyer. If you don't know who will be buying your product, you won't know what to include or leave out in your description.
Visualize your ideal buyer. Which words do they like to use? Which words do they hate? What kind of humor do they appreciate (if any at all)? What questions do they ask?
Your product descriptions should address your target audience personally. It should feel like you're having a conversation with them. How would you speak to a potential buyer if they visited your brick and mortar store? Integrate that language into your product descriptions so you can have a conversation that resonates deeply.
Ask yourself: "Who will benefit most from this product?" It may be a specific age group (retirees or college kids), gender (men or women), demographic (fishing enthusiasts or new mothers), or another defined group of people.
If you're selling different products, define the ideal buyer for each one. Write down who will benefit most from each product, then speak to that person.
2. Captivate with Benefits
You live and breathe your company, so it's very easy to get excited when you're writing individual product descriptions—so excited you end up focusing on the specifications and features.
The problem is your potential buyers are not interested in boring specifications and features. All they want to know is what's in it for them. How will your product solve their biggest pain points?
This is why you should turn features into benefits. This is a superweapon you can use to ignite a prospect's interest in a product.
What excites you about your product and makes it different from other products? Is it ethically-sourced materials, meticulous construction, or the bells and whistles?
These are the product features.
Now, think about what those features do for your potential customers. Do the ethically-sourced materials make people feel good about buying your products? Is the product so well constructed that it is safe for children? Do the additional features make whoever buys the product stand out?
These are the product benefits.
Many people fall into the trap of only describing the features when writing product descriptions. If you simply list the features, the buyer won’t be able to understand how your product will help them.
Before you start writing product descriptions, note down the features and benefits of your products. For every feature you list, write down how it will directly benefit the buyer. Think of how your product increases pleasure and eliminates pain points. Translating features into benefits will help you to write more captivating product descriptions.
3. Tell a Story
Everyone loves a good story, be it a war story, a bedtime story, or a love story. Telling stories to others is one of the things that makes us human. Storytelling is a powerful marketing tool—especially for product descriptions.
A good product description gives all the relevant details, convinces the potential buyer of the product’s benefits, and also packs an emotional punch. Buyer behaviour is influenced by emotions and the best place to elicit emotions is in your product descriptions.
A compelling product description does not just describe a product, it tells the customer why they should buy the product. It tells a story about how the product will impact their life.
Most marketers and online store owners think about the product when telling its story. However, an effective product description speaks directly to the customer.
Fill in any gaps your potential buyer may have about your product. For example, if you are selling tea, you can talk about its historical significance, traditional uses, and its other benefits. Your customer will visualize the tea being carefully cultivated and enjoyed in the rural parts of China or Africa. They will imagine how life will be with this tea and will want to have it in their lives.
By telling a brief story about the product, you connect with potential buyers on an emotional level and not a transactional one. This plays a big role in converting prospects into actual buyers.
When telling a story, answer these questions:
- Who created the product?
- What was the inspiration for making the product?
- What was the journey from initial idea to physical product?
- How will the product fit in a person’s day-to-day life?
When you tell a story in your product description, you set the scene and help the buyer visualize. Features and specifications can never do this. Your job is to get the potential buyer to think about the product as an emotional companion or conquest and they will quickly forget that they're being sold to.
4. Use Natural Language
There's one way to tell if you've written a great product description. After writing it, read it out loud. Does it sound like a computer-generated string of words or like a conversation you would have with a friend?
If the words you've used in your product description aren't the words you would use to describe your product to a friend, inject life into them. When you use natural language, your potential customer is able to connect with your brand.
A good product description should also reflect your brand's tone. Is your brand very professional or conversational? Do you like to keep things straight-laced or do you love tongue-in-cheek humour?
You need to be consistent with your tone. For example, if your company is very conversational and sells dresses, you can use words such as "hot," "sexy," "vibe," and "cool" in your product descriptions. The tone you use should be part of your branding and should be seen in other parts of your website.
5. Add Power Words
Power words separate great product descriptions from mediocre ones. They elicit an emotional response in people. Use them to convince prospects to take the leap and buy your products.
There are different categories of power words.
Some play on popular fears:
Some highlight urgency:
- Running out
- Last chance
Some allude to exclusivity:
- Only available to...
- Members only
- Login required
- Be one of the few
- Be the first to hear about
- Money back
- Lifetime guarantee
- No risk
Above all, there are two power words you should never forget to use: "you" and "because." Whether you're inciting a sense of urgency or playing on fear, these two words can add an extra punch to your copy.
When you pack power words into your product descriptions, you make people forget they are about to spend money on products they know nothing about.
As you write product descriptions, add descriptive words and adjectives. Instead of saying "high-quality," say "spectacular" or "sensational." When you use words like these, you subtly convince buyers that your products are impressive, exciting, and worth buying.
Write Awesome Product Descriptions Starting Today
Product descriptions are usually short and to the point. The best ones are clear, concise, and skimmable.
Remember, the goal is to give your shoppers the information they need. Avoid pushing your products and tell buyers how their lives will change for the better if they use them.
Great product descriptions will enhance your product pages. Start writing them today!