How to write product descriptions that sell

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The copy you write for your store's product pages affects how users perceive it. But how do you separate your store's copy from that of competitors? What can you do to help users find you and decide whether to buy from you? In a world of ever-changing online competition, your store's descriptions need to be more nimble. They need to reflect the latest trends — whether that's more stringent description standards for high-end products or search engine optimization tips for lower-cost stores, all to improve your conversion rate and ultimately money earned from customers.

With so many e-commerce competitors out there, it cannot be easy to stand out. And while some might try to trick users into buying something they don't want, there are some clever ways for brands to stand out—by describing their products in ways that make them more desirable. I've found that starting with product descriptions that grab people's attention contributes a lot to their willingness to click through and buy something. Unfortunately, the two most common ways are adding a powerful value proposition.

What is a product description?

A description is like the heart of your website. It's where potential customers first discover your business, and it sets up the tone for everything else you do on your website. Product descriptions are very hard to write well. If you look back at the best-selling products of the past few years, you'll see they all had one thing in common: a compelling reason why someone should buy the product.

Your customers often don't need more information before making a purchase. A well-written product description demonstrates that the company understands their needs and gives them something to rely on. The most effective product descriptions refrain from generic language and focus on solving problems or providing value. Just writing out the retail price can be enough to influence visitors' buying decisions.

How to write a product description that sells

There are three goals with writing product descriptions: 

  •  First, qualify a product — in essence, your ideal customer is looking for a solution to a problem, and it needs to be clear that your product solves it. 
  •  Sell the product — you want potential customers to become customers, so you need to make sure they remember your name and what you offer. 
  • Offer a compelling reason why the prospective customer should buy your product instead of another product or service. Product descriptions are an essential part of any product's marketing strategy. They provide potential buyers with enough information to make an educated decision about whether or not they should purchase your product.

1. Choose a specific audience

Writing a product description is an art form. First, you have to know your audience. If you write to everyone, you're likely to write products that aren't useful for anyone. Write products for a specific audience, and you'll capture their attention and interest. 

If you discover that something similar has already been done, this is an example of someone doing better marketing than you. Or, if you're just a fan of the product and want to share the love, try writing about something new.

2. Benefits equal value

Benefits are what people will gain from using your product. What is the value-added to the marketplace? What positive benefits do users experience as a result of using your product? The best way to get people excited about your new product is to focus on the benefits first and foremost. Then, focus on getting these benefits out into the wild, where they can benefit users and developers alike.

3. Be specific

There are three types of shoppers: those who like to get discounts, those who like to test the products they buy, and those who are strategic about their purchases. Strategic shoppers will often look for available offers at both the local store and other nearby stores. 

They may look for a certain product or service at one store but not at another because they want to pick up their purchase outside the store where it was bought. Strategic shoppers also look for sales bundles and big discounts offered together with other products or services. Be specific!

4. Find your superlatives

Superlatives are among the most popular terms people use to talk about a product or service. They conjure up images of genius and magic. The media loves them because they add drama to otherwise mundane ingredients. But, even if your product isn't exactly magic, using superlatives says something profound about how people perceive it. 

When you choose to use superlatives, be sure they're relevant to what your audience expects of you. For example, if you add more words to your product description, people won't get excited about it and leave comments wondering what you offer.

5. Tell a story

Stories are an incredibly powerful way to sell anything from a product or service to an idea or a campaign. Storytelling is an essential skill for marketers and business owners of all stripes. It helps communicate your message, connect with your audience and create customer loyalty. Storytelling can be challenging, however, so here are some tips to help you tell as good of a story as you can.

6. Add social proof

Social proof is a big part of marketing. We all want our businesses to have a solid foundation, so when something big happens, like an email from our favourite personal trainer or the launch of a new product, we are more inclined to believe it will be a success. But how do you convince people to trust you with their hard-earned cash? It's simple: provide them with examples of how other people have used the product you are trying to sell.

7. Write scannable product descriptions

Writing product descriptions that are too descriptive is like writing an angry blog post that someone else will inevitably skim over. You could be helping sales by giving people the information they can check out later, but you're also hurting your cause by demanding that they read every keyphrase. We think of words as like pieces of art. A well-written product description attracts customers, helps search engines find your product easily, and helps leaderboards and reviews roll in.

Scannable content includes:

  • Headlines
  • Brief paragraphs
  • Bulleted or numbered lists
  • A larger font size
  • Ample white space

8. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO in product descriptions can significantly improve search engine rankings for your site by appearing above higher-level related searches and thus attracting more targeted traffic. However, it's important not to over-optimize your product descriptions or think that more keywords will result. In fact, by under-expressing key features and functions that make up a product or service, you risk sounding generic and thus losing potential customers who more specialized searches could target.


Your product descriptions should help potential customers decide whether or not they want to buy your product. Sell your products by describing them in the most compelling way possible. Of course, this is easier said than done. To make your customers read better, you need to keep their attention by getting them passionate about what you have to say about their product. Similarly, it would help if you made sure you're not selling them something they'll lose interest in after they've read the first line of text. 

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