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The beginner’s guide to writing product descriptions

You’ve selected the most incredible items which your research and instinct suggest are what your customers want and need. You’ve taken incredible photos which capture the uniqueness of your products, and help visitors visualize them in their lives: whether on their own walls, in their hands, or on themselves.

The final piece of the customer-facing puzzle is a product description. It’s the substance that matches your style, and is essential for doing justice to your inventory and for pushing purchases over the line. Though it can often be the thing that ecommerce store owners leave until last, and prove the least thought-through part of their store, we want to make your life easier by providing some top tips on how to compose the descriptions that your products deserve.

“You need this product in your life…”

  1. Images draw the eye, and price points impress the bargain hunter, but a product description - even if only words on a digital page - can help your customer imagine how a product can work in their day-to-day lives.

  2. Explain the problem that it solves (rather than just listing the full set of its features…many of which might not be as relevant as others).

  3. Consider referring to how other customers have successfully used it. Hint at its popularity. You might consider referring to external consumer review sites or even adding in quotes from your own satisfied customers.

  4. Suggest how friends, family, or colleagues might view its new owner. Consider referencing a season for which the product is best-suited… or emphasizing its all-year-round appeal.

  5. Knowing your target customer for a product can help you formulate a description that answers their questions in advance, and also lays out the USPs which might inspire.

Substance to match your store’s style

Sometimes a product description should be just the key facts. Other times you might choose to make it more informal and conversational in tone. Keep it short but with sufficient detail. Consider bullet points to

  • Really highlight what makes the product special and relevant.

If you have a strong image to illustrate the product, consider how your product description can reference and complement it.

SEO

Remember that your product description is designed to inform but also present SEO benefits, so include the wording most commonly-associated (and searched for), as well as some other relevant phrasing.

Seeing what other options pop up in the Google search bar when you input a description of the product might help with this, how competitors choose to list it, or a Google News search of media reviews of similar items.

Shopify has provided some great insights into optimizing SEO when it comes to products - you can explore them here.

“There’s a great story behind this product…”

If there is an interesting story behind the product, spell it out.

Imagine a stranger you wanted to impress at a meeting or dinner was asking you about the product. You wouldn’t tell them that no thought was put into it, and that it was just like everything else. What do you think they would find interesting? What story would you tell?

This might be why you or your store chose to create it or stock it.

In the spirit of telling a good story, and so as to underscore the product’s uniqueness and quality, if there were challenges in its creation, then outline them.

Continue optimizing your store

Once you’ve mastered the art of writing product descriptions, it’s time to look to other areas of your store to optimize - find tips and tricks in our blog. Happy creating!