Creating Effective Product Descriptions

As some of you may have guessed, I am doing a small series on effectively running small online stores. Many people seem to believe that if you put your product online, it will sell itself. If you believe this is anywhere near true, search whatever you think you would sell, and see how many results pop up on google. I bet it’s easily over 100,000. It is important to optimize your products, and opening a small online store is not difficult, but it does take some time and energy.

I’ve covered product photos for online stores, so what about product descriptions? After all, everyone needs to read the specific about the product. Search engines can’t read images, so we need to provide good descriptions. This doesn’t just apply to online stores either, you could use this information for e-Bay auctions, craigslist listings, newspaper classifieds, and anything else you may need a good product description for.

The golden rule of product descriptions: Would this be a good product description if YOU were the shopper.

1. Be Specific

The first thing you need to do is provide a good, concise, meaningful title for your product. Think about: if you saw the title you provided, would you stop by to see the item? Would you be interested in spending your time to read more about the product?

Be very specific, if it is a product that depends on color, be specific on the color, not dark orange, but burnt orange, not yellow, but maybe goldenrod. If the color is specified with the product, specify it in your description. You should remember, if the buyer can’t easily figure out everything they wish to figure out, they will not be likely to purchase from you.

If you sell clothes, make sure to include the sizes, and maybe a size chart. With other items, height, width, depth are all good to include. If you sell electronics, you will want to include information about all the specs. Does it hold 256MB, or 2GB, what size is the product, etc. Just remember, you want to provide all specifics your customer may be looking for, and then a few they might not have even thought of.

2. Offer alternative uses

If your product could be used in more than one way, make sure you specify that information. I sell temporary tattoo’s on my web store; these are fun little upsells for people to add to their carts with their orders, but they could also make great gifts for parties, or great items to just have sitting around the room for a fun time. You want the buyer to see all the ways they could use this product; you want them to visualize themselves using these items. That’s the trick car dealers use, you want the buyer to “see them self” using the product.

3. Remember your target demographic

If you are targeting a specific group of people (I tend to target college kids) then you need to remember that in your description. A college kit may be more receptive to a “shot glass” instead of a “cordial glass”. You want to describe why your target cannot live without the product you are selling. “You won’t know how you ever lived without it” can be good, you want to build that feeling that the buyer really needs the product. This all said, DO NOT do a corny advertisement type thing in your product description. The line I mentioned earlier “you won’t know…” might be a little bit too corny. It is up to you, however, to figure out what your target demo. will respond to.

Your language should make sense to your target demo. as well. If you are selling electronics, you may need to provide more technical language which will be understood by those purchasing your items. Remember, though, you want to have language everyone can understand. It is a careful balance; you want the specifics, but also language describing the basic information. If someone is buying an mP3 player for a gift, they might not care that it holds 16GB of music, but they might care about other cool features, like a voice recorder, etc.