How Do You Write Product Descriptions for Your E-commerce Website?


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One of the main tasks of e-commerce website owners is to create product descriptions. While that may seem like an easy decision, you might be surprised at how much work goes into ensuring they help, not hurt, your sales.

The good news is creating compelling product descriptions for your e-commerce website shouldn’t take too much time or money. It’s mostly a matter of getting into the right mindset.

Key takeaways:

  • Product descriptions are mainly about selling, and consumers place a lot of importance on product descriptions in their buying decisions
  • Bad product descriptions result in 20% lost sales
  • Product descriptions must be customer-centric and scannable
  • Images, reviews, and product details are crucial for sales-generating product descriptions

What Are Product Descriptions?

Contrary to what most people think, product descriptions in your e-commerce website aren’t only about describing products. They’re about selling products and should compel the reader to buy the product by qualifying why it’s the best thing for them. Product descriptions also help you rank well in search engines through relevant search terms and keywords.

You can think of product descriptions as the sales assistant you typically encounter in a brick-and-mortar store. A sales assistant welcomes you to the store, asks about your needs, and explains why you should buy a particular product to meet those needs.

Since an e-commerce product description must do all these things with much less interaction, you must create one that anticipates potential buyers’ needs and addresses their pain points.

If you manage to do that, you can draw in the customer and increase your sales. Meanwhile, you’ll drive them away if you mess up the job.

What Is a Bad Product Description?

Before delving into what you need to do, here are some things to avoid:

  • Having no product description
  • Copying the description from the manufacturer or another seller
  • Giving too many technical details
  • Sticking to just images, no content
  • Focusing more on the brand than the customer
  • Using small or hard-to-read fonts
  • Creating content with spelling errors and grammatical mistakes

What Is a Good Product Description?

A good product description contains information but focuses on persuading the reader to buy it right now. The content and images should highlight those product features that directly benefit the reader.

The text is best if short but persuasive to address the buyer’s issues directly. It is helpful to provide some technical details — just enough to explain how the products work.

What Should Be Included in E-Commerce Product Descriptions?

Getting started is the most difficult part of doing anything new. Here are the key elements to include in your product descriptions:

  • Headline: This is the hook to reel your customer in; make it descriptive and persuasive by connecting with them on a psychological or emotional level, such as Comfy Pup Bundle
  • Overview: A short paragraph that starts with an action word and explains why you should buy the product, such as “Put your dog’s stomach and mind at ease with the Comfy Pup Bundle” and how the product works
  • Benefits: A bulleted list of features and product details ― no more than five
  • Motivation: Any content that spurs them to buy, such as urgency ― like limited stocks ― rave reviews, or social proof; include a call-to-action (CTA) like Buy Now

If you sell on Amazonthird-party tools to create effective product descriptions are available. These tools help you rank well on the platform. But if you’re an independent seller, you can use tools from some of the best e-commerce website builders to get your product descriptions right. BigCommerce, for instance, offers features to create a more satisfying and personalized customer experience.

Why Are Product Descriptions Important?

People read product descriptions. They might not read all of it, but what they see helps them decide whether to buy or bounce. According to a survey by Salsify, 88% of consumers say product descriptions play an important role in their buying decisions.

The survey also emphasizes the importance of providing product information, including images and reviews. Approximately 66% want to see at least three images, 87% check reviews, and 94% won’t buy if they can’t find product information. Another more conservative report reveals that 20% of lost sales are directly attributable to insufficient product information.

Given its importance and how little it takes to improve product descriptions, investing in it for your e-commerce store makes sense.

How Do You Write Product Descriptions That Make Customers Buy?

The next step is writing product descriptions so customers make purchases. You don’t need to be a professional copywriter or marketer. Here are some tips to get to a customer-centric mindset, which is the key.

Speak directly to your customer

Don’t try to sell to everyone, as that disrupts your focus, and your product descriptions come off as generic. Instead, create content as if you’re that sales assistant speaking to a customer in person. Make it direct and personal.

Developing content that speaks to the customer directly is easier than you might think. If you have spent time in e-commerce, you probably have a good idea of your ideal customer. Use that to figure out how to create content. Put yourself in their shoes and think about your pain points. Now try to imagine what you want to see in the product description to address those pain points.

For example, two of the biggest pain points of homeowners are cleaning and disinfecting. If you can clean and disinfect simultaneously, you solve two problems simultaneously. It smells good, too.

Watch your tone

If you know your buyer persona for each product, figure out the tone and voice to best speak to them. A homeowner would appreciate straightforward talk about the benefits of a cleaning product. But a younger audience might appreciate a bit more pizzazz in the description.

The way you speak often has a significant impact on the reception of what you say. If you and the buyer were in the same room, you could use the exact words but change their meaning by changing the tone. Since you deal strictly with written text in product descriptions, you must use words in the emotional context that your buyers understand and appreciate.

In many cases, you can trigger a response using humor ― provided it fits your brand message ― which is always memorable. You can also use nostalgia to associate the product with a positive recollection.

If a product description can make your audience smile or laugh, you’re halfway to a sale.

Think minimalist with tech specs

Technical specifications are necessary, but they’re not the hero of the product description. They should only be in a supporting role. Use only tech specs necessary to push the product’s benefits and keep the language simple.

Even when creating a product description for a technical product, such as a laptop, you must mention the tech specs related to the machine’s performance to benefit the buyer. You can have a separate tab or section to list all the tech specs but keep it out of the product description.

Sell an experience

When you book an island getaway, you’re not buying a ticket or a hotel room stay. You’re purchasing the experience of being in that place. Keep that in mind when you create a product description that sells. Ideally, your readers will imagine how the product provides a unique experience.

Make it scannable

Research in 2000 suggests that the average human has an attention span of 12 seconds, down to 8.25 seconds in 2015.

Given these statistics, keep your product descriptions scannable and efficient. Make your point right out of the gate in the headline and follow it up with great images or videos and a short but informative description.

What Should You Do Next?

Use the tips and examples above to write or rewrite your product descriptions. Conduct split tests to find the best combination for generating the most sales. You may be surprised at the impact they have on your bottom line.

If you need more help with your e-commerce business, check out our articles on increasing e-commerce conversion rates and e-commerce marketing.

Frequently Asked Questions About E-Commerce Product Descriptions

How do you write a product description for e-commerce?

Some things that work best include adding all relevant information, writing for your audience, making it scannable, and using relevant keywords.

What should be included in a product description?

This written copy must provide essential information about a product or service being sold online. Usually, it includes details such as features, benefits, specifications, and usage instructions.

What should you consider before writing a product description?

It needs to be easy to read. You could write two sentences describing the product with several bullet points. This lets customers rapidly receive the information so they can purchase immediately.

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