4 Must-Read Product Description Tips for eCommerce Businesses

product description

Think back to the last time you felt comfortable–no, not just comfortable–compelled to fork over your credit card information to purchase a product online.

What was it about the product description that made you feel excited, confident, and secure to pay for something you most likely hadn’t been able to see, touch, or experience in real life?

Was it that the features listed ticked all the required boxes?

Was it that it painted a picture that gave you an understanding of how your life would be made better?

Or perhaps it was that it made you laugh, and you had a positive emotional response to the way the brand described the product or service?

Product descriptions can make or break your eCommerce business.

Product descriptions will either persuade your customer to click “buy” or to move on and spend their money elsewhere.

Consumers can be very discerning in their judgements, and you want to give them every reason to purchase from you without hesitation.

But we’re not going to simply talk about what works…we’ll show you what works.

Use the following pieces of advice, accompanied by specific examples, to shift your targeted customers closer to adding an item to their cart and completing checkout.

#1: Make Descriptions Customer-Centric.

You may think that your product should be front and center when writing descriptions–there’s a reason they’re called product descriptions, right?

Actually, it’s often better to put the focus and emphasis on the customers. Let them know how this product will solve their problems and change their lives for the better.

If the copy focuses entirely on the product, and not the person using it, the message will be pretty dry.

Even if you base the story on solutions, a business-focused narrative won’t highlight the transformation.

Read the example below to see how the description paints a picture and communicates how the 70 Piece Train Set from our client Cubbie Lee Toy Company develops critical cognitive and social skills for customers’ children.

Click here to see the full description.

It’s hard to resist a classic quality toy like this one when considering the positive impact it will have on a special little one in your family!

Be sure to answer the all-important question “What’s in it for me?” for your customers–because that is what they are all wondering when browsing products and services.

#2: If Appropriate, Use Humor.

Who said product descriptions always have to be serious?

Keep shoppers engaged by tapping into their sense of humor.

For example, Lucky Grooming is a Sūmèr client that sells safe, healthy, and effective hair and beard products for men. 

Their brand tone is comical in nature–so it makes sense for their product descriptions to also make consumers chuckle.

Click here to see the full description. 

As you can see in the example above, the copy pokes fun at the concept of scratchy beards scaring ladies away from their men, and presents Lucky Grooming’s Classic Beard Oil as a solution.

The description still includes an array of product benefits after the comical hook, ensuring that it balances both a positive emotional stimulus with practical and useful information.

#3 Be a Storyteller.

Research has found that merely touching and holding an object increases the desire to own it.

Unfortunately, with eCommerce, customers aren’t (usually) able to touch and feel the product until they buy it.

To combat this limitation, try to tap into your customer’s imaginative powers and tell a story that describes how the product can be featured in his or her life.

As mentioned in tip #1, it’s all about painting a picture. Describing a setting or scenario in which your product or service would make a positive difference can help customers get excited about what it potentially means for them.

If your product description tells a story, you’ll transport your potential customer into a fictional scenario that he or she can make real by clicking “add to cart” and proceeding to checkout.

Click here to see the full description. 

For example, in the description above ModCloth discusses the “sunny reception from your friends” once you “come dancing across the dunes in these stunning shoes by Salt Water Sandals!”

#4: Don’t Use Superlatives Without Evidence.

You may think that throwing in embellishing words and phrases like “excellent product quality,” “great choice,” or “perfect” is a good decision when it comes to persuading your potential client to buy your product.

You’ve likely seen them used in dozens of descriptions when doing your own online shopping.

However, these more obvious phrases can fall flat and lead your prospects to think yeah, yeah, that’s what everyone says–especially if you don’t have the evidence to back it up.

If you don’t provide product information that gives consumers reason to believe that these statements are valid–none of your efforts will matter.

What matters is the proof–such as product features and benefits–that allows customers to come to these conclusions.

In other words: show, don’t tell.

Click here to see the full description

One brand that does this well is Nike.

As you can see in the Nike Air Max 2017 example above, they list the benefits of their product in a simple and concise way that communicates the product value without having to state it too explicitly or embellishing it with fancy superlatives.

If you have the goal to increase conversions and suspect that your product descriptions are keeping you from achieving this, we recommend you take time to reassess your current copy and try some of the strategies listed above.

Often eCommerce businesses can make the mistake of writing “unique” product descriptions in an attempt to intrigue and entice potential shoppers. Read this post to learn why this isn’t always the best strategy. 


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