How to Write eCommerce Product Description: Best Practices


How Do I Write Product Descriptions That Actually Sell?

Think of product descriptions as your online sales associate—just like a brick and mortar sales associate. The best brick and mortar stores have selling down to a science. Their products are arranged on shelves and displays to catch your eye and encourage you to buy. As soon as you take more than a few steps in any direction a salesperson is by your side, ready to help. Music and lighting set the perfect mood, and the whole buying process is so simple, you walk out with whatever you needed plus something else.

Your online store obviously can’t recreate that experience (hence why your e-commerce content is so important). When a visitor arrives at one of your product pages, your product images take the place of the displays and your product descriptions act as your salespeople. That’s why basic descriptions just aren’t enough. You need to put just as much thought into creating one compelling product description for each thing that you sell as those brick and mortar stores do with their layouts, mood-making special touches and sales training.

I’ve been writing product descriptions for so long it feels like I should’ve been creating copy for horse buggies and ringer washing machines. One thing I can say from experience is most small businesses don’t know how to write effective product descriptions. Most of the time, they turn to blog posts and online articles that answer questions. They follow the one-size-fits-all methods for creating persuasive product descriptions and end up with cookie-cutter descriptions that sound just like their competitors.

The Anatomy of the Product Description

Check the above screenshot from Uniqlo – the photos speak for themselves. As well it has basic information – material, care instructors, description and shipping information. The description is short as it has to be for a T-shirt, it highlights the most important features and is readable because of the bullet points.

Don’t use cliches like “this is the best quality”. Instead point out why your product is the best one, list the benefits it will bring to your customers and they will realize by themselves that your product is good.

Crocs list their best qualities. But focus your attention on the way they do it. As we can see from the above screenshot, Crocs are water-proof, comfortable, quick to dry and easy to clean.

But do you see the humor they use when listing all these good features? Instead of the boring “water-proof”, they say “water-friendly”. You don’t just like them, you “fall deeper in love”. And a cute addition is that it’s “fun to wear” them.

Final thoughts

So you are already familiar with product description best practices and can start applying immediately. But here’s the question: do you have enough time to write them all or you’d better hire a copywriter?

Well, even if you hire a professional writer or an agency, you still need to review their work. And since you know all the ins and outs of how to write eCommerce product descriptions, you won’t end up paying for a poorly done job.

The last thing we want to share is that A/B testing can be your best advisor. It simply means that you write two different description versions, run them for the same period separately, and see which version outperforms.

For example, you can write one short and one long description of your page. The short version runs for 3 months. Then you replace it with the longer version and it again runs for 3 months.