Product descriptions that sell — tips and examples
Writing the perfect product description is as important as picking the perfect product to sell. A good product description can help you sell more while a bad one can confuse customers and make them leave without purchasing anything.
A product description is some of the first text people read on your page, and it should be compelling enough that they decide to buy what you’re selling.
This post will explain the top 10 best practices for effective product descriptions.
- Focus on your target audience
- Turn attention to product benefits
- Use storytelling to entice
- Watch your word choice
- Be unique and use your own tone
- Get technical and educate your customer
- Make it scannable
- Use compelling imagery
- Consider SEO
- Set KPIs to measure success
What is a product description?
A product description is text on a product page that highlights the features of the product or service and its benefits to the buyer. It is strategic copy that gives customers the insight they need to make an informed buying decision and helps convince them to complete the purchase. The product description can also explain details like why the company made the product, how it fits into the buyer’s lifestyle, or how it’s different from similar products.
Benefits of a good product description
A good product description helps buyers feel confident about a purchase. Effective product descriptions:
- Build trust and convince the customer to make a purchase.
- Give enough information about the product.
- Improve customer service by engaging the buyer like a salesperson.
- Maximize the search engine optimization (SEO) value of the page to make products more visible in organic search.
How to write a compelling product description
A strong product description is crucial, but actually writing them well is not always easy. The product description is one element of a product detail page that you should always be split testing. Here are some proven best practices to help you start strong.
1. Focus on your target audience
Keeping your target audience in mind when writing your product description will help you determine tone and word choice. Try to write the description as if you are talking to a specific person within your target audience.
There are many ways to target your audience in your product’s description, like using the word "you" to address the customer directly. The description should also highlight:
- Who uses the product.
- What problems it solves.
- How it fits into the customer’s daily life.
- How it could improve their quality of life.
This product description lists features but also addresses a specific audience. The description directly targets people who are looking for gift ideas, and the use of ‘‘you’’ personalizes the purchasing experience for shoppers who want to buy a unique gift.
2. Turn attention to product benefits
Compelling product descriptions focus on the benefits of the product instead of just listing the product's features. Emphasize the advantages it will provide to the buyer.
The product’s features are important, but showcasing the benefits to the user creates a more personal connection. According to Ignite Sales, 95% of purchasing decisions are emotional. So before you list security features, for example, emphasize how the product will ease the buyer’s anxiety and provide peace of mind.
Start with a key feature of the product and ask yourself why that feature is important. Then write the product description to emphasize the ”why.”
Vivo Barefoot’s product descriptions keep a strong emphasis on the benefit to the user. This audience is interested in minimal shoe designs that allow them to feel connected to the terrain, so the product description emphasizes feeling grounded and connected.
3. Use storytelling to entice
Storytelling keeps your audience engaged. The exciting story of your organization or product can help you create a relationship with the buyer. It gives the product personality, which is especially useful when trying to sell something that your audience has never seen, smelled, or touched.
If your product doesn’t have an exciting origin story, a hypothetical or imaginary story can do just as well. Let your customers dream a little. The story you tell could be about the product, the company, or the people and processes involved in making the product. To help create a story around your product, consider including:
- Details about the source of the materials used to make the product.
- An interesting anecdote behind the origin of the product.
- Who was involved in the design and creation, and where the idea came from.
- Any unique processes used to make the product.
Lush offers an enviable retail experience in many ways. The product descriptions on the company’s shower jelly product pages are short but narrative. The copy gives a couple key details about the product itself, but centers the story on the twilight zone and the buyer’s evening ritual.
4. Watch your word choice
Most product descriptions are fairly short so choose each word with care. Below are a few best practices for word choices in your product descriptions.
- Use language that entices and motivates your target audience.
- Lean on sensory adjectives that invite the reader to use their imagination.
- Avoid being too passive — have faith in your offering.
- Refrain from using too many superlatives.
And always adapt your words to your target audience. A product targeting a middle-aged adult could be described with more warmhearted language while a product targeting teenagers might use casual words or slang.
Sugarfina brings their luxury in-store shopping experience online with great word choices — including a sweet pun with, “you dessert the best.” The product descriptions are carefully written to help the buyer experience flavor and texture before ever making a purchase.
5. Be unique and use your own tone
To ensure that your products and services stand apart from the competition, weave the brand voice and tone through your product descriptions. If brand guidelines call for a more professional, formal tone, then keep that language — even if the product itself seems more casual. If your brand voice is more whimsical, then be playful with product descriptions.
UnderArmor’s ecommerce experience is true to the brand’s voice. Product description copy is short but bold, confidently declaring that this shirt “is everything you need.” The first sub-navigation tab uses the more physical “DNA” instead of “Details,” and the photo caption even refers to the model as “Athlete.”
6. Get technical and educate your customer
After you tell a compelling story and appeal to the benefit your product can offer the buyer, it may be time to get a little technical. Your product description should include the details that your target audience needs to make an informed purchase decision, like physical dimensions, models, and other specs.
It’s important not to flood the description with too much information. For this reason, some product pages add a section in an expandable widget or at the bottom of the page to provide information about the technical aspects of the product without cluttering the main benefits you want to highlight.
SCUF Gaming does this well with controller product pages. The top of the page targets the gaming audience, but SCUF still provides the technical details advanced players need. “Tech Specs” are in a collapsible accordion on the bottom of that page — accessible, for a clutter-free user experience.
7. Make it scannable
A scannable product description provides a quick way to understand the features and benefits. The harder your text is to read, the less your customer will pay attention. There are several ways you can format product description text to make it scannable.
- Stylize text with different font sizes or bold text.
- Use bullet point lists to draw attention to key pieces of information.
- Include enough white space to make the copy easy to read.
- Add emoji or icons to break up text and provide visual cues.
Volcanica simplified the product description for buyers using bolded text and bulleted lists. The origin of the coffee, its certifications, flavors, method of processing, varietal, and other relevant details are all provided in the description. These details are important to many coffee lovers when choosing their coffee.
8. Use compelling imagery
A set of outstanding pictures can elevate your product description. Shoppers can appreciate the design, size, colors, and other details that make a product attractive. A fantastic product image can almost sell a product by itself.
Videos are another excellent tool for enhancing descriptions. Whether it’s a demo or sizzle reel, it should showcase your product accurately and succinctly so people know exactly what they’re getting.
The KungFuPet product description features a clear image of a dog using the product. It also shows that the bottle has a food container, helping the buyer understand the product before reading the description. There is also a short video to show how to properly use the container.
9. Consider SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) targets potential customers and drives traffic to your ecommerce products.
Optimize your results by ensuring that your product pages contain relevant keywords. These are words and short phrases that describe your product in your target audience’s language. For example, if you’re selling HR software, you want to focus on the benefits and tell a good story, but don’t forget to call it “HR software” in the product description as well.
A couple other ways to support SEO with your product descriptions include:
- Making sure to provide relevant meta descriptions and alt tags for any photos you upload on your page.
- Including reviews to support the description. These are a constant source of new material and can persuade new customers through the power of social proof.
10. Set KPIs to measure success
Once you've finished creating your product descriptions, establish goals to determine whether or not they are effective. Your product description might require some revision even after launch.
Conversion rate, cart abandonment, product return rate, and search rankings are a few key indicators to monitor closely. If performance on these metrics is weak — or if it doesn’t improve after you rewrite a product description — adjust the text and continue monitoring.
You can do this by performing split testing. A good ecommerce tool will allow you to deliver different versions of the product description text to different audience segments, so you can figure out what works and what doesn’t.
Product description template
Keep in mind that there is no one template that will fit every product because every business and target audience is unique. When you’re ready to write a product description follow a few basic steps.
- Pull up personas and brand voice guidelines so you have them handy.
- List a few basic product features and ask yourself why those features are most important, so you can write about the benefits to the buyer.
- Consider the story that your product is telling and how it fits into the customer’s lifestyle.
- Write a first draft of your product description.
- Review your copy and replace weak or common words with more descriptive ones.
- Review your copy again and add text formatting or other small visual aids to make the content more engaging and scannable.
- Make sure the product description uses an SEO-friendly keyword that names the product the way the buyer talks about it.
You can create your own template once you have a firm understanding of how you want to construct your product descriptions.
Get started writing great product descriptions
A product description is a key component of what makes your brand unique and what helps shoppers make their final decisions. Creating a captivating description and addressing your customers' problems will help your business establish trust and drive revenue.
As you prepare to draft the next product description, first make sure you have the right buyer persona at hand. Review it again and get a clear picture of your target audience, so you can create a description uniquely targeted to them.
If you're looking for the right ecommerce solution to showcase your product descriptions, Adobe Commerce includes an intuitive page builder that allows you to manage content yourself. See our Adobe Commerce overview to understand how to build a strong digital commerce experience for your clients.