Why describing the product is the worst thing you can do when writing product descriptions

It’s really surprising how many e-tailers overlook product descriptions as a vital part of their sales copy.

Imagine this; you’ve commissioned a show-stopping new website, with the obligatory ‘shop now’ button cropping up left, right and centre. You’ve got in a copywriter to make sure your ‘about us’ page is compelling and just the right amount of quirky. You even hired a social media intern, to increase traffic to your site by posting engaging content right where your customers are hanging out online…

And all’s going according to plan; engaged consumers are visiting your site and lapping up your homepage copy and brand new blog, but alas, they are leaving your site with their baskets remaining empty.

I can’t be 100% sure, but my guess is that it has something to do with that meeting you had with the copywriter, when you said, ‘don’t worry about the product descriptions, we’ll take care of those in-house (I can whip them up on my lunch break, you were thinking), what’s so difficult, you just describe the product, right’?

Wrong actually. That’s the worst thing you can do.

Sorry to break it to you, but your customer doesn’t care that your hand-poured soy candle is infused with a raspberry and burnt sugar, but they do care that the dreamy raspberry and burnt sugar fragrance will transport them to a cosy log cabin in the Swiss Alpine foothills.

What I’m saying is that your product descriptions should be little pieces of sales copywriting genius and just knowing your products inside out, doesn’t qualify you for the task of writing them.

Here are some pearls of wisdom:

  1. They should identify and address the needs and expectations of your customers and gently persuade them that they cannot possibly go another moment without your product in their lives
  2. Tell your customer exactly how a particular feature is useful for them, and why they should make this purchase.
  3. Using more verbs to describe a scenario works better than adjectives
  4. Use sensory works and metaphors, which engage the ‘right brain’
  5. Make the customer imagine how their life would be if they bought the product
  6. Basically you need to be focusing entirely on the question ‘what’s in it for them’?

Check out this blog for further insight. And please, take head; if you really want to see sales conversation, just like you would’t let your hairdresser re-tile your roof, make sure you get a trained professional to write your product descriptions.

Let me know if you’ve come across some awfully bad, or good product descriptions:


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