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How to Write Persuasive Product Descriptions that Sell

Published on Wednesday, October 4, 2023

When you buy a product from a brick-and-mortar store, you can get a good impression of its quality and usefulness by handling it yourself. But online, all you have to go on is the product description and reviews left by previous customers. That’s why a massive 87% of consumers consider product content hugely important in making a purchasing decision.

The problem is that many businesses write product descriptions that just, well, describe the product. While this is great for conveying information, it does very little to convince shoppers that your products are actually worth buying.

If your product descriptions simply offer specs, facts, and figures, chances are you’re missing out on a vast wealth of sales potential. But with our top tips for how to write product descriptions, and what to include in a product description, you can win over potential customers in no time!


What to include in a product description

A product description needs to tell readers what your product is and does. So every description you write should include essential information such as features, specifications, and usage instructions where necessary.

The trick to winning more sales, however, is to show readers how buying your product will enhance their lives. A designer watch, for example, isn’t just a timepiece, but an elegant status symbol that can be passed down through the generations as a treasured heirloom. And a fixed-rate savings account is less about squirreling money away than it is ensuring the best possible education for the holder’s children.

As well as demonstrating the value customers will gain from your product, your descriptions should also answer vital questions such as:

  • What problems does the product solve?
  • How will customers benefit from your product?
  • Why is your product better than the competition?
  • What makes it truly special?
  • When is the best time to use it?

Presenting the benefits of a product in a creative, compelling way can massively increase sales and improve customer satisfaction. This allows you to build a reputation as an industry-leading brand.


How to write product descriptions that sell

1) Focus on one ideal buyer

Unless a product is particularly niche, it’s probably bought by a wide variety of customers. Unfortunately, if you try to write a description that appeals to all of them at once, you’re likely to lose them all.

Rather than addressing a huge crowd, think about the one ideal buyer who’s most likely to want your product. What are their needs and problems? What do they want to know? What kind of language do they use? Would they appreciate some light humor, or do they prefer to keep things serious?

Once you know who you’re talking to, try to write a product description that really appeals to that one person. It also helps to speak to the reader directly, so never be afraid to include “you” in your copy. Use everyday language rather than pompous corporate speak, and try to create a conversation that draws your customer in.


Keep Reading: 2023 Holiday Ecommerce Marketing Guide


2) Benefits first, then features

Customers need to know the technical details of your products. But these aren’t what make the sale. To effectively persuade a potential customer, you need to show how your products address their biggest pain points.

Direct marketing expert David Garfinkel argues that most people buy for one of eight reasons:

  • Making money
  • Saving money
  • Saving time
  • Saving effort
  • Improving health
  • Reducing or eliminating pain
  • Increasing pleasure
  • Increasing prestige

Engage customers by explaining how your product gives them the means to overcome their greatest struggles. Then, follow up with technical details to add credibility to your claims and help potential buyers to justify their purchase.


3) Make your descriptions easy to scan

Eye-tracking studies by Dejan Marketing show that people read online content word-by-word just 16% of the time. So while engaging, well-written product descriptions are essential, making your copy easy to scan is arguably much more important.

One popular way of making product descriptions scannable is to include a short “benefits” section containing around five bullet points. That way, visitors can quickly discover how your product will address their pain points and make a decision about whether or not to buy. You could also include a short FAQ section to further convince readers who are on the fence.

Good ways to make your product descriptions easy to scan include:

  • Using clear headers for each section
  • Using short bullet points
  • Leaving plenty of white space
  • Slightly increasing font size
  • Using high-quality images

The easier your copy is to scan and read, the better your chances of reeling in potential customers.


4) Use specific language

Many ecommerce vendors are excited to tell customers that their products are “high quality” or “extremely effective”. But if everybody uses generic phrases like these, they tend to lose their selling power.

Instead of simply telling potential customers that your products are good, prove it by highlighting the biggest benefits. This not only makes your product descriptions more persuasive, but also helps them stand out from the competition.

If your products truly are “the best”, then explaining why should be easy. If it’s not, then you might want to reconsider what qualities make your product truly valuable so you can better focus your product descriptions.


5) Vision of life with product

A study from the Journal of Consumer Research showed that touching a product creates a sense of perceived ownership. In other words, it creates a connection between product and buyer that encourages them to make a purchase.

Online, you don’t have this advantage. So you need to fill in the gaps by presenting readers with an engrossing, relatable vision of life with your product.

Starting a sentence with evocative words like “picture” or “imagine” lets you stir the reader’s imagination. After that, explain how the reader will feel owning the product and how it can solve their problems to stoke desire.


6) Leverage sensory language

Many copywriting gurus recommend removing non-essential adjectives and adverbs from sales copy wherever possible. This helps keep product descriptions short and impactful – qualities that can contribute to higher sales.

However, the one place this almost never applies is in using sensory language.

Adjectives like “crunchy”, “bright”, “smooth”, and “juicy” create a vivid image in a potential customer’s mind. They bring the product to life and allow the reader to experience it even before they buy.

It’s easy to use sensory language when selling food. But it’s also effective for selling a wide range of other products. After all, a blanket that’s “soft” and “cozy” is a lot more appealing than one that isn’t!


7) Provide social proof

The greatest failing of online product descriptions is that they always come from the seller. Since you would never tell readers anything that would put them off, the impact of your words is limited. But that doesn’t apply when existing customers praise your products on your behalf.

Genuine, unbiased reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers are a powerful tool for boosting your sales. In fact, product pages that feature at least on customer review produce a 354% increase in conversion rates!

When you’re building your product page, make sure to include a testimonials section with a selection of your top reviews. You could even provide a rating system or integrated social media feed as further proof of your product’s popularity.

Social proof on product listing example
DTC brand, Recess, incorporates user reviews directly on product listings


8) Track your success

Once you’ve updated your product descriptions, you need to know whether they’re actually generating more sales. To do this, you need to set a specific sales goal and track metrics that show which descriptions are working and which need further improvement.

Popular key performance indicators (KPIs) to track the performance of your product descriptions include:

  • Sales conversion rate
  • Average order value
  • Cart abandonment rate
  • Organic search rankings
  • Returning customer rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Product return rate

If you have the time and resources, you might be able to further increase conversions and sales by running A/B tests for new product descriptions.


Partner with LimeLight Marketing for product descriptions that sell

Understanding how to write product descriptions that hook in potential customers is vital for maximizing your ecommerce sales. But actually developing the skills to create captivating copy takes more time and resources than most businesses can spare. That’s why ecommerce companies throughout the US rely on the experts at LimeLight Marketing to craft persuasive product descriptions that make more money.

Get in touch with our team today to find out how we can optimize your product descriptions to increase your online traffic and product sales.


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Brandee Johnson
Founder, CEO