Getting started, B2B eCommerce, eCommerce, Marketing

How to write product descriptions that sell your products for you

BY Neeta Nelson 24 Jun, "17

What makes a product description so successful and what can you learn when writing new descriptions for your products? Let’s break down the key elements and find out how to write a product description that sells.

Beware the Jabberwock, my son! 
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!

Have you heard of the Jabberwocky? 

A children’s poem composed of made up words and nonsensical sentences. Yet, used by parents and teachers around the world to teach children to read. What makes it so successful and what can you learn from it when writing new descriptions for products? Let’s break down the elements of this quirky poem and find out how to write a product description that sells.

Define the problem you are solving

The Jabberwocky poem tries to solve the problem of getting children to read. To do that, it does away with actual words and uses imaginative ones instead. This keeps the child engaged while practicing the concept of reading. What problem does your product solve?

Your product descriptions are a way of marketing the solutions to the problems that you are solving for your customers. As management consultant Peter Drucker has said, “ The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

Customers appreciate it when companies demonstrate an intimate understanding of their needs. For example, let’s take a look at Clif Bar's Builder’s energy bar.Product Description: Clif Builder's Energy Bar

This is a great example of a product description that solves a very clear problem: Aiding muscle repair and growth by including very specific ingredients in the energy bar. It includes a very detailed breakdown of it composition. This product description very clearly addresses the problem of helping to repair and build muscle. If the description had just read, “Protein bar comprising of 20g of complete protein” the problem being solved would be lost. In the same way, your product should always address the problem you are solving for your customers.

Of course, if you have lots of different products that solve different problems like Clif does, it's important and useful for you to have your product descriptions for each product saved along with all of the other product details, for easy reference and updating. 

Invest in an inventory management system such as TradeGecko that lets you create and save your product descriptions in bulk to save you time and effort.

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Sell the story

The Jabberwocky is the story of a beast slain by an adventurous hero. The words might be nonsensical, but the plotline isn't. That is what makes the poem so compelling.

In the same way, your product descriptions should tell the story of your brand. What makes a good brand?

This excellent definition of a brand by Seth Godin reads, "A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another."

What is the story of your brand that will compel customers to choose your offering over your competitors?

One brand that sells its story magnificently is the all-American footwear retailer, Minnetonka. The hugely popular brand has a long, rich history and is well known for high quality, handcrafted goods. It is also a brand that believes in social entrepreneurship and their product reflect its brand perfectly. Take this great product description for their women’s Me to We Moc moccasin;Product Description: Me to We Moc moccasin

What an endearing product description! Instead of boring you with the type of leather or the style of embellishments on the moccasins, the description paints a picture of an art form, preserved through generations. Additionally, the story has a happy ending, it empowers the lives of the women who make the shoes. The product description encapsulates the brand voice and story perfectly. When writing your next product description, sell the story rather than just provide details or facts then you are sure to see greater appreciation and loyalty from your customer base.

One additional thing to keep in mind when creating your product descriptions is to make sure that the story is consistent between all of your eCommerce channels. Many retailers sell across multiple channels and it can be challenging to ensure brand consistency. Use an inventory management solution that allows you to manage your descriptions as well as other product details across multiple sales channels.

Avoid clichés

If there is one thing to be said about the Jabberwocky, it is totally original, and your product descriptions should be too.

Many business owners fall into the trap of using cliché phrases such as, “excellent quality product”, or “expertly crafted goods”. Although the best thing would be to avoid phrases like that completely, if you are going to use them, always substantiate your claims. What makes the quality of your product excellent? Was it tested for durability? Who were the experts that crafted these goods? Are they world renowned? Using cliché phrases only clumps your products with the rest of the poorly described products in the market.

Instead, focusing on the specific strengths of your products gives it credibility and makes it stand out. One company that does this well is celebrated wedding shoe designer and long time user of TradeGecko, Rachel Simpson Shoes.Product Description: Rachel Simpson Ophelia Shoes

As seen from this example of a product description of their Ophelia shoes, each style of shoe has a customized description focusing on the strengths of that particular product. Instead of stopping at “hugs your foot beautifully” the description goes on to elaborate how that support will benefit you when you need to stand for long periods of time on your special day. Instead of relying on the overly used “well-crafted design” line they’ve opted for the more unique “ made out of the most beautiful ivory and intricate petal shapes in mixed metallics.” Avoiding clichés is easy if you focus on the unique qualities of your product.

So the next time you considering how to describe a new product or updating your ecommerce product descriptions , remember;

  1. Define the problem you are solving
  2. Sell the story
  3. Avoid clichés

And lastly just like Lewis Carroll did when he wrote the Jabberwocky, have fun!

Save time and effort with TradeGecko!

Create and save your product descriptions in bulk by investing in an inventory management system.

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