Writing Product Descriptions That Sell


Imagine you head into your local clothing store and start browsing the sweater section. A salesperson walks up to you and says, “Knit sweater. 100% organic cotton. Navy blue. Sizes XS to XL”, then turns around and disappears. If that sounds weird in reality, why would it be any better for your product descriptions on your online store?

Too often, online storeowners think that having great products is all they need to bring visitors to their sites. While quality products are the core of your business, your conversion rate will be pretty low if you don’t have the product descriptions that convince them to buy.

To give you hand, here is our simple 7-step guide to writing product descriptions that sell:


1. Analyze your product’s features and benefits

Most product descriptions focus on the features – size, color, material – but many forget to highlight the benefits to the customer. How is this product making their lives better?

Product description examples
Weak: Brown boots. 100% leather. Rubber sole. Waterproof.

Strong: These versatile brown leather boots combine style and comfort and can be worn on a casual weekend or at the office. The waterproof, 100% leather shell ensures long-lasting durability and the rubber sole cushions and supports your feet.


2. Study your customer’s needs and wants

After you’ve identified all the features and benefits of your product, you’ll need to identify which ones are relevant to your target customer. While your leather boots may be very fashionable, if the majority of your customers use them for hiking, you’ll want to focus on durability and comfort.

Product description examples
Weak: These fashionable leather boots will turn heads, making you the queen of the catwalk.

Strong: These durable, waterproof leather boots can survive any weather conditions. The shape cushions and protects your feet for hours of adventure.


3. Use the right style when writing product descriptions

To make your product description persuasive, you’ll need to use the right tone and vocabulary for your audience. Are your customers young techies that want fresh, down-to-earth writing, rather than corporate jargon? Do you need to show your clients that your are a trusted expert who knows industry terminology? You can’t please everyone, which is why you need to pick a style that works for your buyer and stick with it.

Product description examples
Weak: Top of the line camera lens. Great for portraits and landscapes. Easy to carry.

Strong: This lightweight telephoto lens offers sharper, higher contrast imaging. Its 1x magnification makes it perfect for tele-macro-photography.


4. Write for SEO

Online stores get 25% to 35% of traffic from search engines like Google or Yahoo. Ecommerce SEO is a complex topic and requires ongoing maintenance. The most basic rule is NOT to copy the product descriptions from another website, even if it’s your suppliers, as Google will penalize this as duplicate content. Write with keywords in mind, but don’t over-do it.

Product description examples
Weak: White wedding dress of your dreams! White wedding dress made out of lace. White wedding dress is mermaid shaped with white wedding dress veil that complements this white wedding dress. White wedding dress is available in sizes XS to XL.

Strong: Feel like a princess in this beautiful, white wedding dress. Made out of handcrafted lace, this white wedding dress is mermaid-shaped and comes with a matching veil. Available in sizes XS to XL.


5. Optimize the layout

Our attention spans have gotten increasingly shorter as we are constantly bombarded with information. Split your product descriptions into bite-size information and highlight the most important points.

Product description examples
Weak: This chair is handcrafted from the finest wood using centuries-old techniques developed by our family over generations. It is available in white, black and beige. Standard delivery is free for orders greater than $400, otherwise, a $50 shipping fee is applied.


This chair is handcrafted from the finest wood using centuries-old techniques developed by our family over generations.

Available colors: white, black, beige

Delivery: Standard shipping fee of $50 per order. FREE for orders over $400.


6. Add credibility with testimonials

Testimonials are tricky; consumers are skeptical about anonymous testimonials that could be completely made up. A good testimony should be from a real user and specify the qualities and benefits of the product. Readers respond well to faces and a photo of your happy customer, along with information about who they are and even a link to their website.

Product description examples
Weak: This was a great product. Just awesome. – John Doe

Strong: This accounting software helped me to save several hours per day by helping manage my accounts more efficiently. – John Gibbins, Owner of greatonlinestore.com


7. Update your product descriptions

You’ve written the perfect product description – good for you! Unfortunately, if you think you can just publish it and forget about it, you’re sorely mistaken. Out of date information can cause customer confusion and distrust. Check back often to make sure that all details are timely and relevant. Better yet, keep it in mind when writing the descriptions in the first place.

Product description examples
Weak: This year’s New York Times best-seller in paperback.

Strong: The 2009 New York Times best-seller in paperback.


Even if your online store’s product catalog is enormous, appealing product descriptions are vital for attracting visitors and boosting conversion. By spending the time and energy to write effective descriptions, you’ll be improving sales and SEO.

Learn how to internationalize your product information thanks to our guide

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