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Writing the perfect product descriptions for your eCommerce store

Many businesses are so familiar with their products that they find it hard to fully describe the benefits to someone who is new to what they offer. Explaining your offering to your audience in the product description is an important part of engaging your customers, so this article will examine how to write perfect product descriptions that turn browsers into buyers.

Know your audience, their problems and interests…

As a business owner, chances are you’ll have extensive experience with your clients and customers and no-one will know them better than you do. There are two areas where you should really aim to know your customers well – their problems and their interests. The most powerful thing you can do for a customer is to offer to solve their problem, and if they’re not bound together by a problem then you should get to know their interests. For example, if your customers’ problem is that they need a website and don’t know where to turn, you should make it clear in the product description page that you offer professional, hassle-free website design. Alternatively, while buyers in the luxury industry may have no immediate problems, they may be very interested in luxury goods and fashion trends.

Write in plain English

Businesses often rely on industry language to be understood but there are many advantages to speaking to your audience in as plain a way as possible. To start with, while business language may save time when talking to your colleagues, avoid using it in product descriptions as the audience may not have the same emotional reaction to it as you do. For example, ‘game-changing’, ‘disrupt’ and ‘leading-edge’ are all phrases that might be common and descriptive in a business context but they’re rarely used outside of it, so may prove far less effective when used with your audience.

It’s also well-known that attention spans are very short when using the internet, particularly if your audience has an immediate problem to solve. The best way to ensure a quick read is to keep the reading age of your product description low, and this can be achieved by relying on a utility such as the Hemingway App. This doesn’t mean talking to your audience like a child, but simplifying your sentences can mean that as many people as possible can absorb your product description easily, helping them concentrate on the benefits rather than the sentence structure. 

Sell the benefits

Talking of benefits, sell them. Selling the benefits is a staple technique amongst copywriters and it goes alongside knowing the features of your product well. How can your product change your customer’s life? For example, a likely feature of your mobile phone is that it has an email app. What’s the benefit? It means you can check your emails wherever you are, respond urgently and have access to information even if you’re on the move. Another example might be a toy that has batteries included. That’s clearly an important feature, and the benefit is that it’s good to go straight out of the box, which means no disappointed children on Christmas day.

Be persuasive

Robert Cialdini wrote a book called Influence, which became a bible for this aspect of business writing. In his book, he argued that while we think ourselves rational, there are things that act as persuasive triggers that immediately make us more likely to comply. It’s worth reading the whole book but we’ll cover a couple of those triggers here, authority, likeability and social proof.

First is authority. Let’s say we were selling toothpaste. Who’s an expert on toothpaste? Dentists. Now, if I told the audience that 9/10 dentists recommend my brand, isn’t that an excellent way to persuade the audience that my product is their solution and they’re in safe hands?

If your audience likes you, they are more likely to use your services or buy your products. While a lot of the ‘likeability’ may come from your marketing and a well-written ‘about us’ page, you should also be sure that the tone of your product descriptions matches the way your audience likes to speak. So, if you’re a vegan skincare brand with all-natural ingredients, you might want to write product descriptions that sound edgy and talk about the green credentials of your product.

Social proof is another expert persuasive feature. It involves showing the customer that other people have a positive opinion of what you’re selling. One of the most widespread ways of doing this is to include customer reviews for the product just under the product descriptions, or if you’re providing a service then testimonials from your clients have the same effect.

Call to action

Calls to action, also known as CTAs, are usually the last thing you see before buying a product or inquiring about a service. “Buy today”, “Click here now” and “Enquire today” are all examples of CTAs. They’re usually the last part of any product description, give a direct, time-limited instruction and leave the audience in no doubt of what you want them to do next.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our short guide on writing product descriptions and if you put these ideas into practice, we believe you’ll have sales copy that converts.

Do reach out to us to discuss your eCommerce challenges and grow your sales.


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