The easy way, or the hard way – either way, you need to make sure that your product description does its job.
The easy way to create a product description is to rely on an existing and proven template design. The hard way is to do it from scratch. Which is best? There’s actually an answer to that question; read on to find out.
What Is a Product Description?
A product description informs a prospective buyer about the benefits and details of your product or service. Marketers want to create product descriptions that motivate the maximum number of people to convert.
Examples of Winning Product Descriptions
It’s always interesting to visit the world’s top brands and see what they are up to in terms of copywriting. Here are a few (abbreviated) product descriptions from companies that know what they are doing:
Nike Blazer Mid ’77 Vintage Basketball shoes
“Styled for the ’70s… Ready for the future… a timeless design that’s easy to wear… unbelievably crisp leather upper gets broken in beautifully… paired with bold retro branding and luscious suede accents… Color Shown: White/Sail/Black”
Nike uses sensuous language to discuss a running shoe, and adds some details (crisp leather upper) that make you feel like “yeah, that’s what I need.” The use of the word “sail” to describe a color also imparts a unique feel — definitely an emotion-based appeal meant for an image-conscious audience.
Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino® Blended Beverage
“A delectable blend of chocolate-pepperminty perfection in every cool sip—Frappuccino® Roast coffee, mocha sauce, peppermint-flavored syrup, milk and ice, topped with whipped cream and dark chocolate curls.”
This is a product for somebody looking to go all-out. The product name is extravagant. The number of yummy-sounding ingredients (one of them even trademarked, it’s so special) is meant to overwhelm that thirsty shopper in search of indulgence.
Weber Spirit II E-210 Gas Grill
“Open the door to the world of grilling with crazy good food and friends… powerful GS4 grilling system and convenient features such as iGrill 3… invite a couple of friends over, push the ignition and enjoy the special atmosphere…”
Somebody at Weber did their research. This product description mentions “friends” twice, indicating that the consumer’s greatest emotional need is to entertain. It also inserts a few technical phrases to provide a branded technical distinction in terms of features.
What do these disparate examples have in common? They all appeal to the emotional needs of the audience. Maybe you don’t actually need a Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino® Blended Beverage, but the product description makes you feel like you do.
What Makes the Best Product Description?
Creating the best product description for your brand depends on two basic ideas: appealing to the persona of the audience (see this article for more background) and using the format/language that the audience is most likely to read. But every product and brand can have a certain product description format that is best for them.
For instance, a company selling complex technology products will use a different format than a company selling shampoo. In the same way, these two sorts of formats will have different language styles, conversion goals, and layouts.
However, most product descriptions follow a general pattern. They usually begin with a tagline or product name, and then a few short sentences or bullets that provide more specifications. Leveraging a product description template can save the copywriter time and make sure that they include all the right information.
Product Description Template Examples
Clothing is one area where a product description template is a great idea. It’s one of the most popular online retail categories, so people buy a lot of clothing online, and they are accustomed to seeing specific information when shopping around.
Here are two online clothing product descriptions that fit (a pun!) a common structure. You’ll notice that both of these product descriptions start with a catchy blurb in the right style for the clientele.
Chico’s Modern Texture Pinstriped Pants (for professional women): “In a fabric that stays polished all day, these pinstriped pants give you a modern look that’s great for the office or out and about.”
HT Denim Black & White Plaid Ultra Hi-Rise Jeggings (for girls): “Skin tight jeggings? With deep pockets on the front?! Pinch us, we must be dreaming! These jeggings from HT Denim feel as good as they look.”
After the intro paragraph, and the emotional messages that they convey, these templates start discussing product data:
- Specifications about the fabric
- A description of how the item is meant to fit (“ultra hi-rise,” “slightly stretchy”)
- Basic care instructions
- Details about the construction of the item
- Manufacturing origin
This template probably took some work to perfect, but now, many clothing brands rely on it. The catch is to find the product overview template that’s right for your product, brand, and audience.
Product Descriptions FAQ
Why are product descriptions important?
Branding and images can only go so far. Even in a brick-and-mortar store, where two competing products might be side by side on the shelf, product descriptions can make the difference. If the description written on one box includes an attractive feature that the other does not, or is written in a way that is more understandable, the superior copy will win the day.
This is even truer for online sales. Every marketer can post a nice image, so the battle for the buy is decided by which product has better features – and it’s up to the copywriter to describe those features in the right way.
How do I write product descriptions that sell?
Writing the best possible product description is a matter of following some basic principles and then testing for optimization. In a nutshell, product descriptions must:
- Be adjusted according to buyer personas.
- Use the language that appeals to your audience while incorporating emotions and power words.
- List important features in a way that can be easily scanned, for example, with bullets.
- Include keywords according to research.
- Conform to the rules and format of the channel.
For more information, see our post about generating product descriptions.
How many words should a product description be?
Word count depends on the channel. For instance, Instagram provides only 125 caption characters until it truncates the rest, meaning that the viewer needs to click on “More” to continue (which is a barrier to conversion). A copywriter therefore needs to make really efficient use of that character count.
On the other hand, the product description on a website can extend for thousands of words, depending on the product. For instance, a highly complex product requires a lot of description. Even so, a good product description will make sure that the most important and attractive messages appear within the first 200 words.
How do I write product descriptions for Shopify?
Some Shopify sellers are tempted just to copy their existing product description from another platform, but this will kill their search engine ranking. Writing up a unique product description for Shopify is the smart move.
The fundamentals of good product descriptions apply to Shopify as well. Many Shopify stores are geared towards a very specific audience, so understanding their needs is extremely important. This will affect the style of writing, the value conveyed by the product description, and even the format. Plus, don’t forget to do your SEO homework.
Anyword Product Descriptions
So, what is the best product description template for you? Whether building one yourself, or filling in one from an existing guide, the answer will only come after writing, testing, revising, and retesting.
Anyword is here to help. We provide an array of product description templates, including those specifically designed for commerce platforms like Amazon and Shopify. Each template incorporates the rules and tips of each platform, such as character limits. Anyword even lets you choose the type of emotional and demographic appeal of your product descriptions, and grades them according to their conversion potential.
That’s already good news, but perhaps the best part of all is that you don’t need to do any actual writing or testing. By using a few lines of information that you provide, Anyword’s AI engine will construct product description copy for you around the template of your choice, and then test it to reveal which one has the maximum conversion rate. And that’s just the start of Anyword’s AI copywriting capabilities.
Discover how Anyword creates copy, optimizes conversions, and saves time. Check out our 7-day free trial and experience marketing magic, brought to you by Anyword.