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In terms of e-commerce, the job of any good product description is to persuade the customer to take the next step…in this case, to purchase your product.

In order to persuade, you need to inform and entice.

However, when it comes to product descriptions, perhaps the biggest mistake eCommerce site owners make is to use the generic “text description” provided by the manufacturer. Manufacturer descriptions tend to be full of product features making them dull and dreary and leaving the customer feeling that they’ve “heard it all before”.

The key then, to creating powerful product descriptions that sell is to bring something unique to the table…to capture the product’s essence and highlight your product’s unique benefits so that the shopper will be compelled to buy.

Capturing the Product’s Essence

Your satisfied customers are the most qualified to aptly describe your product’s true essence and this is valuable information that you can use in your product descriptions to entice new potential customers.

Take your customer reviews very seriously and utilize their feedback to capture the true essence of your product in your product descriptions. The key here is to focus your product description on selling the essence (the benefit) and not the product.

For instance, a manufacturer may list “advanced security technology” as one of their most important product features, however the end user will tell you that they love the security system because it gives them “a greater peace of mind”.

This “greater peace of mind” is really the true essence of this product and will be far more successful at motivating new potential customers to purchase.

So how do you capture the essence of a product? Talk less about features and more about benefits.

Benefits Versus Features

Although some product descriptions may need to list features, product features are not benefits and most often fail to motivate.

Benefits however, not only motivate a customer to purchase, but also help educate the customer about the product, providing additional value for the price. If done properly, that added value can be something that the customer simply can’t resist.

To find product benefits, many copywriters use the “so what?” method.
Essentially, take any product feature and simply ask “so what?”

As purchasers, we search for products that we need and that we feel are useful. Many products may have the same benefits however; we tend to gravitate towards products that have something different, some unique benefit that similar products simply can’t provide.

Let’s say you sell reclining chairs. You’ve got a good clear picture with the product features listed (like width and height). After introducing the product, your production caption reads Imagine relaxing and putting your feet up at the end of a long, hard day”

“Oh boy, do I need that!” is the response you are looking for. However, if the customer doesn’t have a backbreaking job and putting their feet up at the end of the day isn’t really a big deal, you’ve just earned yourself another “So what?”

You could try appealing to your customer’s five senses including sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste and use image related words that help put your customers visualize themselves “in” the chair.

“Melt into this buttery soft, easy recliner and smell the fine, soft-tipped leather; the durable protective finish will protect your investment for generations to come.”

Not all features will turn into powerful benefits. The key here is to find the benefits that appeal to the needs of most customers who come to buy your product.

Optimizing Product Descriptions

Your product descriptions also need to be search engine friendly. Optimized copy adds another dimension to your product descriptions and to your e-commerce website. By integrating targeted keywords into your copy you hold the interest of potential customers as well as the search engines.

When done correctly, it’s the best of both worlds that can not only generate calls to action, but also increase rankings.

Start by conducting a little keyword research to find out what customers are using to find your products, then incorporate these keywords into your copy descriptions, headings and other text copy.

Of course, keyword placement is important and will depend on many other variables, like whether your page includes other optimized copy such as category information or a general product overview.

If you have a large inventory or if you feel uncomfortable with the idea of creating search engine friendly product descriptions yourself, it’s probably best to hire a search engine optimization company with experienced copywriters.

Look for experienced experts who not only understand eCommerce web content development but will also take the time to understand your business.

Product Descriptions Need to be Succinct and Correct

Lastly, it’s a good practice to use the ‘kiss’ principle and avoid creating unnecessarily large and overwhelming product descriptions. Also, be sure to have your product description text copy proof-read by someone other than the writer to avoid posting typing errors or incorrect information.

Carissa Krause

Carissa Krause is currently a marketing and project specialist at 1st on the List. Over the years she has worked with clients on a wide range of projects that include areas like local SEO, backlink profile review, content development, social media, and more. Whatever the project may be Carissa focuses on achieving greater efficiencies and putting plans into action.