Writing product descriptions that are easy to read and generate sales is an important part of setting up an online store.
Table of contents

How to write product descriptions that sell

Having trouble coming up with product descriptions for your online store? There’s a lot more to a compelling product description than you might think. You need to give customers the most relevant, enticing information about your item in a memorable way without rambling for too long. 

And even though the term is product description, it means more than simply describing. With your product description you’re appealing to people – and people aren’t search engines. They care about more than just buzzwords. They want to discover whether they see themselves using your items, and your descriptions should help them do that.

Speak like your customers

Imagine when you’re writing product descriptions that you’re not at a computer at all, but that you’re having a conversation with all your customers at the same time. How would you speak with them in person? That's a good starting point for how to talk about your items.

Does your audience respond to humour? If it does, try cracking a joke or two. Which words or phrases have you noticed they use a lot? Try to fit those in there. And most importantly, speak directly to them – the word ‘you’ makes everything sound more personal and relatable. 

Knowing your customer also means understanding their motivations and concerns while shopping. What do they want your items to do for them? What are they tired of dealing with? Knowing these points can help you address them directly and skip the generic fluff in between. 

Specific product descriptions sell

Being as specific as possible about what sets your products apart is how you’ll get them off the shelves and into people’s hands. Anyone can say that their new light bulbs or tennis shoes are ‘made with love’ or are ‘the best in the business’, but can they prove it? 

Don’t just tell your customers your products are great, but show them all the features (specifically the ones they’re likely to care about) and get them to believe your products are great on their own. 

Being vivid and colourful (but not hyperbolic) helps with this. Here are a few things Zappos says about one of the shoes they sell: 

  • The Angelfish captures classic boat shoe style in a feminine design

  • Genuine hand-sewn construction for durable comfort

  • Stain and water-resistant leather upper for durable and lasting wear

  • 360° lacing system with rust-proof eyelets for a secure fit

Phrases like ‘water-resistant’ and ‘hand-sewn construction’ suggest a quality product without having to say the phrase ‘quality product’. And many of these are features that customers search for, so including them will drive traffic to your online store.

Tell stories in your product descriptions

Customers respond wonderfully when they’re asked to imagine using your items; so get them picturing the sensations and feel of what they’re buying. Tell them a story about the experience they’ll have with it.

You can also tell stories about the people who make your items. When customers are engaged in a narrative about your item’s history, they lower their guard and are more receptive. When you’re writing these stories, you want to address: 

  • Who is making the item?

  • What inspired them to make the item?

  • What were some of the challenges that had to be overcome to make it?

  • How was it tested and perfected? 

Finally, you can tell stories about other people who have bought your items by including testimonials. People often put more trust in items that have been socially validated. 

Write easy-to-follow product descriptions

A website that’s simple to navigate provides a better experience for customers. Even if you’ve done everything right, a bad user interface can make your customer say, “I’m not reading this” and never know what they’re missing. 

Product descriptions should be simple to follow just by naturally moving down the page, without throwing huge walls of information at readers. Generally speaking, the rules to follow are: 

  • Use catchy, intriguing headlines

  • Use bullet points where possible for better readability

  • Include some white space

  • Use a decently large font and write in chunks of 2-3 sentences

All these steps add up to much better, more relatable product descriptions that pique people’s interest a lot faster than reading pages of exaggerations. When you write product descriptions, do everything possible to avoid sounding formulaic – if your product description conveys passion, your customers will notice.

Want to try this out with a free SumUp Online Store? Create one now to get started.

Create a SumUp Profile

Max Elias