What is a product description?

A product description is that small block of text that pulls the most weight in online sales. Essentially, it does the job of the salesperson in a store. It provides information on attributes that are important for a customer to know before they choose to buy.

Why write good a product description?

Who would’ve thought that simply by playing around with the words describing a product would eventually bring you much more money as a seller!

But, it’s true. Research from Birmingham City University tells us exactly that. Many of your inventory related issues can be solved by simply writing good product descriptions. Let’s find out more.

Researchers from this British University crawled through 68,000 items sold on eBay, one of the world’s largest online marketplace, in order to understand how describing an item a certain way fetches the seller more money on eBay. They scanned through more than 15 million words on eBay, that were used by online sellers to describe their product.

Here’s what they found

ebay online retail sales

Let’s look into an example first. A watch labeled as “men’s” was sold for an average of 30 pounds, while the one labeled as “gents” sold for an average of 70 pounds. Now, why does this happen? It is an understanding of the mindset of people. Customers want to be told what they want to hear. It’s as simple as that!

When a seller says that the car he is selling is “clean”, “reliable”, “honest”, etc. rather than calling it “second-hand”, obviously, the customer would be drawn towards the former car. Only 9 out of 1000 listings on eBay used the word “second-hand” car. So, the description of your product is as important as the quality of the same. It is extremely important that you put some effort into using the ‘right’ words for each item so that the customer gets attracted to it.

The keyword tool from eBay can help you write an apt product description that sells.

Related: How to Handle Reviews Like A Rockstar!

How to write product descriptions that sell?

  1. Think about the customer

    When you think of the person most likely to buy this product, what comes to mind? Many retailers follow a standard template for descriptions, but adding an extra touch of thoughfulness can go a long way.

    A good product description is a replacement for the conversation you aren’t having. Make it good with descriptive words and a touch of creativity.

  2. A good CTA

    All that description will get you nowhere if there’s no Call To Action. Yes, it might seem obvious that someone on a product page should click on the buy button. However, once they read a description, many people need to know what they get by buying.

    An enticing CTA does the job of getting the customer to convert. It can range from being a simple ‘buy now’ to a more elaborate, ‘see why others like you prefer this product’ to lead to the reviews.

  3. Keep it real

    Even someone into hard core marketing knows that there is no such thing as a world-class toothbrush. Use superlatives, by all means, but don’t make them incredulous enough to turn customers away. Describe what your product does well than how it looks.

    Likewise, avoid using phrases like ‘best in class’, ‘market leader’, etc. Everyone is a market leader in their own company. This does nothing for the description and may even bore the customer into turning away.

  4. Good spelling and grammar

    For your product to look like a good standard one, how it is described matters a lot. For example, missing apostrophes in the product description were found to have a negative impact on the market. Basically, using the correct spelling and grammar for any item establishes an impression in the customers’ mind that the particular item is sold by a company that cares for quality, considers the customers’ situation and genuinely tries to make them happy. This builds trust in their minds and makes them come back to you. An example is, a watch said to “have water resistance”, sold 50% more than a “water resistant” watch.

    A good tool to check grammar and correct framing of sentences is Grammarly.

  5. Use the right keywords

    Equally important to giving a perfect description, is the use of the right keywords. Understanding what a usual customer will search for and placing the exact same keywords in your product description will help your product get fetched much easier and faster than the rest. Now, this means more sales. For example, if you are selling a NokiaN95, keywords you must keep in mind are “NokiaN95”, “ Cell Phone”, etc.

    product description

    Tools to find the top searched keywords are Google Keyword Planner and Moz’s Keyword Explorer

    Also Read: 7 Steps to generate a keyword list

  6. Give sufficient information

    These days, when online markets are witnessing increasing returns of products by the day, researchers are putting all effort to understand why this is happening. And, what has been found to be one key reason for this is an improper or insufficient description of the product in the online marketplace.

    When the customer is given the wrong or insufficient information, he is likely to misunderstand the product and purchase it. After delivery, if he is unhappy he will return it. This can be avoided by simply putting a little effort in properly describing what you are selling, and it’s an absolute no-brainer.

  7. Tell a story

    A mini-story approach can work well for product descriptions. For example, compare these two descriptions:

    a. This combi-grill comes with advanced mordorish technology that helps you grill faster and with less smoke.

    b. With less-to-no smoke thanks to Mordorish (TM), this grill is the stuff orcs use to cook large chunks of meat. Or we think they would, anyway.

    Which one is more interesting to read? A good product description takes time to write, but it does the job of selling in a fun, intuitive and informative manner. If you’re not focusing on product descriptions, you’re doing yourself a world of disservice.

  8. Learn how to measure their success

    A good product description is only useful if it does the job, which is to sell. Set targets for what your product description should achieve. It should reduce the number of calls from customers asking for details, reduce cart abandonment, and result in fewer returned products. You can measure the success of your writing/ rewriting exercise by looking at some of these metrics.

  9. Choose your medium wisely

    Sometimes, it is important to know what to spell out and what to display through other media. For example, you can describe an interactive toy better with a product video than a lengthy description. In such cases, use the description as a onvincing tool to speak your brand language and to have the right keywords to result in organic searches.

  10. Take some chances

    Brands with strong, powerful voices are often successful. It is hard to miss the sass of MailChimp or the restraint of a luxury fashion retailer. Take some chances- your description can position your product at the right perception level.

    Use this to your advantage. Never let a bad description stay and don’t be afraid to set the standards for what you want to say.


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