3 tips for writing great product descriptions

A great product description can be the make or break of your product. Many times, product descriptions are added as an afterthought when setting up an eCommerce store. Business owners tend to put down basic information such as the make and model, and leave it at that.

What they don’t realise is that they are missing out on a great marketing opportunity. Online shoppers are becoming increasingly selective about their purchases and since they can’t physically interact with the products, the description is crucial to help seal the deal.

Here are three tips to help you write beautiful product descriptions that work for you.

 

1. Define the problem you are solving

The first thing to keep in mind when writing description is that your are writing this for your customer, rather than for yourself. Talking about the work that went into making the product does not help the customer. What they want to know is; What problem does your product solve for them? How will it benefit them?

Your product descriptions are a way of marketing the solutions to the problems that you are solving for your customers. As management consultant Peter Drucker has said, “ The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

Customers appreciate it when companies demonstrate an intimate understanding of their needs. For example, let’s take a look at Clif Bar's Builder’s energy bar.

Cliff builders bar

This is a great example of a product description that solves a very clear problem: Aiding muscle repair and growth by including very specific ingredients in the energy bar. It includes a very detailed breakdown of its composition. This product description very clearly addresses the problem of helping to repair and build muscle. If the description had just read, “Protein bar comprising of 20g of complete protein” the problem being solved would be lost. In the same way, your product should always address the problem you are solving for your customers.

Of course, if you have lots of different products that solve different problems like Clif does, it's important and useful for you to have your product descriptions for each product saved along with all of the other product details, for easy reference and updating. Invest in an inventory management system such as TradeGecko that lets you create and save your product descriptions in bulk, to save you time and effort.

 

2. Sell the story.

The second way to write effective product descriptions is to focus on the vision of your brand. Why did you start selling these products? What does your brand stand for? In other words what is the story you are trying to sell?

Your product descriptions should tell the story of your brand. In order to do that, you first need to know what a brand is, and what your brand specifically, looks like.

This excellent definition of a brand by Seth Godin reads, "A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another."

What is the story of your brand that will compel customers to choose your offering over your competitors?

One brand that sells its story magnificently is the all-American footwear retailer, Minnetonka. The hugely popular brand has a long, rich history and is well known for high quality, handcrafted goods. It is also a brand that believes in social entrepreneurship and their product reflect its brand perfectly. Take this great product description for their women’s Me to We Moc moccasin;

Me to We Moc

This product description works because of its genuinity. The writer skips the boring details of what type of leather was used and what style the embellishments were meant to resemble. It focuses on the message behind the shoes and behind the brand. The purchase is more about what the product signifies rather than what the product actually is. The description tells you that you are doing more than buying a pair of shoes, you are “supporting the dreams of another woman”. In this way the product description captures the essence of the brand perfectly.

One additional thing to keep in mind when creating your product descriptions, is to make sure that the story is consistent between all of your eCommerce channels. Many retailers sell across multiple channels and it can be challenging to ensure brand consistency. Use an inventory management solution that allows you to manage your descriptions as well as other product details across multiple sales channels.

 

3. Avoid clichés

The last way to write a good product description, may seem like common sense, yet many business owners fall into this trap. The cliché.

Many business owners almost subconsciously use cliché phrases such as, “excellent quality product”, or “expertly crafted goods”. Although the best thing would be to avoid phrases like that completely. If you are going to use them, always substantiate your claims.

What makes the quality of your product excellent? Was it tested for durability? Who were the experts that crafted these goods? Are they world renowned? Using cliché phrases only clumps your products with the rest of the poorly described products in the market.

Instead, focusing on the specific strengths of your products gives it credibility and makes it stand out. One company that does this well is celebrated wedding shoe designer and long time user of TradeGecko, Rachel Simpson Shoes.

Rachael Simpson Shoes

 

This description of their Ophelia shoes is great example of a unique and targeted product description. The sentences use imagery to evoke a sense of comfort and support. The sentence, “The front part hugs your ankle beautifully & the ankle tie keeps you supported all day long” acknowledges that the wearer of the shoe is fashionable yet practical. It even implies that the wearer is ambitious or productive because they will be standing for long periods. The sentence is tailored for a specific audience. Focus on the strengths and the vision of your product when writing the description: Why should people buy you products over others? What makes it unique?
 

So the next time you considering how to describe a new product or are updating your eCommerce product descriptions, remember;

  1. Define the problem you are solving

  2. Sell the story

  3. Avoid clichés

And lastly have fun when writing your product descriptions! If you love your products and write about them with great passion and authenticity, your buyers will feel it too.
 

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Neeta Nelson is a Content Marketing Manager at TradeGecko: a cloud-based inventory and order management platform for SMEs, serving B2B wholesalers, distributors and eCommerce businesses.