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The Anatomy of a Perfect Product Description

12 min

Want to increase your ecommerce sales? Then let’s talk about product descriptions.

While some websites marginalize them due to mobile traffic growth, a good product description can take you a long way. It can help you communicate your brand’s personality, move customers through a sales funnel, and even convert a casual browser.

But how do you write product descriptions that inspire and motivate people to buy from you? That’s exactly what we’ll cover today.

In this article, you’ll reveal the secret power of product descriptions and learn how to write them for eyebrow-raising engagement and skyrocket sales. We’ll also look at inspiring product description examples and highlight what makes them so compelling.

What is a product description?

Before we move on, it’s critical to understand the difference between product descriptions and product pages:

A product page refers to the whole page on a company website, showcasing an offer with the inventory a customer can buy. When someone asks you to imagine a product page, big chances are you’ll think of a landing page promoting a product or a service.

Image showing the Oreo product page.

In its turn, a product description is an element of your product page.

A product description is a marketing copy describing a product’s specifications and explaining why it’s worth purchasing.

Image showing the product description from the Oreo product page.

Why bother with product descriptions:

The purpose of a product description is to provide enough information about its features and benefits. Not only is it about describing a product, but it’s also about selling it.

Product descriptions need to compel a customer to buy. And they do the job well:

Boost sales

According to the fresh data, 45% of consumers consider a detailed product description a leading reason they trust a product online. More than that, forum discussions confirm that hiding descriptions from users may frustrate them and confuse those expecting to see and understand what they plan to buy.

Well-formatted and engaging descriptions still call the shots. When crafted right, they’ll hook even those users who don’t read but scan online.

Take Etsy as an example.

While they hide product descriptions to improve the pages’ overall look on mobile devices, they don’t give up descriptions completely but format them accordingly to invite users to learn more.

Image showing the Etsy product page with the product descriptions information hidden.

Check out this guide to learn how to sell on Etsy.

Improve customer service

By “customer service improvement,” we mean that stellar product descriptions serve as an integral part of customer service. They:

  • educate a customer;
  • offer supplemental information that a product picture can’t do alone;
  • answer possible customer inquiries, which can lower return rates;
  • can make a customer smile or laugh (if written accordingly), thus enhancing the brand-customer bond.

Benefit search engine optimization (SEO)

Like it or not, we still need the text content for search engines to “see” and rank our web pages for more people to find them. Product descriptions help here:

Include specific keywords and the related terms to the text describing your item, and you’ll improve its chances of ranking high on Google. More people will see (better visibility) and click it (more traffic), resulting in positive dynamics for your website.

And while you can focus on optimizing your product images for keywords, this content isn’t enough for the whole page to appear high in search results.

Leaving the manufacturer’s description or simply listing a product’s features stuffed with keywords isn’t an option, either: 

  • The former isn’t unique, other websites may copy-paste it too, and it signals Google algorithms about content duplication.
  • The latter has nothing to do with user experience, hurting your overall marketing results.

When you craft unique product descriptions with related keywords that look and sound natural in the text, they’ll benefit both SEO and conversion.

Let’s now shift focus to how you can write product descriptions that engage and sell.

The anatomy of product descriptions that convert

And now, to business:

To make your product descriptions work, they need to be scannable (remember that online users don’t read but skim), customer-centric (watch your tone, forget about too many tech specs), and sales-generating.

With that in mind, when writing product descriptions, make sure they include the following three elements:

1. High-quality visual content with captions

We know images are more about a product page’s, not description’s element. And yet, the captions you use to explain them serve a part of your marketing message: They engage users and persuade them to learn more. A few writing tricks here:

  • Write short, up-to-point captions; don’t waste space with superfluous words.
  • Use active language, encouraging visitors to learn more.
  • Post high-quality, custom images with descriptions; avoid stock pics or those not engaging visitors to try your offer.
Image showing a product page with captions explaining the USPs of the product/service.
Source: Firebox

M-m-m… Yummy!

Another trendy element to complement your product description is a video. By placing a short clip alongside a text, you kill two birds with one stone:

  1. Engage those unwilling to read. (72% of customers admit they prefer video to text when they want to learn about a product or a service.)
  2. Increase conversions. (84% of consumers admit brand videos convince them to buy a product or a service.)

Such an impressive result of video descriptions isn’t that hard to explain: They help people better understand a product in a quick and digestible way. A user sees it from different angles, checks how it works, and gets an idea of how it can help solve a problem.

Video content is a powerful way to demonstrate your product and motivate users to buy it, so no surprise that 94% of people choose to watch an explainer video before purchase. Consider including a few words about the video in your product description, encouraging readers to check it.

Image showing a product page with different content formats, including a video.
Source: Net-a-porter
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2. Proper formatting

Content shock and short attention span change how people read online, so they won’t spend time on your descriptions if they are hard to read. Readability matters, so format your content accordingly: Make it scannable and digestible.

Walls of text, spelling and grammar mistakes, gobbledygook, specifying features with no benefits — all of this hurts engagement and prevents potential customers from buying. 

A few sentences that grab attention and several bullet points specifying the features allow visitors to get the information quickly and understand if they found what they were looking for. 

Image showing a well-formatted product description on the Firebox website.
Source: Firebox

Think of your product description as if it’s a landing page:

  • Entice a visitor with appealing headlines.
  • Include negative space; think of a scannable design.
  • Use short words, sentences, and paragraphs.
  • Add bullet points.
  • Increase font size for a more comfortable read.
  • Look at your finished description and check if you’d find it easily readable, or would you skip it because it looks uninviting?

Keep on reading for more writing tricks in the product description.

3. Social proof

The power of social proof for sales is hard to overestimate: case studies, testimonials, social media feedback, star ratings, customer reviews, and icons with data and numbers build trust, demonstrating to a user why it’s worth buying your product.

But there’s a catch again:

All they are elements of a product page: Big ecommerce brands like Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and others place them as separate blocks, unrelated to the product description itself:

Image showing a product page with highlighted social proof elements.
Source: Ebay

What can you do to get the most out of this element?

Include social proof to a description by mentioning a product’s rewards, quoting happy customers, displaying UGC (user-generated content), or writing about some related statistics in the text content. Like Lush does:

Image showing a product description using social proof from Lush.
Source: Lush

Not only do they actively use UGC on social media, tagging happy customers and building their brand loyalty, but they also put users’ photos with product descriptions on their relevant pages. Plus, some tiny details in their texts serve as social proof, hinting at their popularity.

What are those details?

How to write product descriptions that engage users? What writing tricks to consider for influencing consumer perception and making them want to purchase from you?

How to write a product description: 11 steps

The writing strategies help create winning product descriptions that stand out from the crowd, make users remember your brand, and make them buy more.

  1. Say no to manufacturer descriptions. We already mentioned the duplication issue in this post: While there may be nothing wrong with the text itself, the problem will appear when 1,000+ e-commerce websites place it to represent the product. Yours may not appear in search results because of the duplicate content filter.

Unique product descriptions, or at least those modified with proper paraphrasing and synonymization, are what you need to capture traffic and rank high.

  1. Address pain points. Use your customers’ specific problems, goals, or desires to generate an emotional reaction and motivate them to buy. For a better visibility, include pain points in places a skimmer is more likely to read first: headers, the first sentence, or bullet points.
A product description example focusing on customers' pain points and how the product helps to overcome them.
Source: Everlane
  1. Describe the features in detail and accurately. You want your customers to be fully confident that your product’s the answer to their needs.
  2. Focus on the benefits and experiences that come with the product. No matter how much you love your product’s every spec, customers don’t usually care. You don’t sell a product but experience. How does it make customers happier, more productive, or healthier?

They want to know what’s in all those features for them: How it will address their pain points and help them solve a problem. When writing a product description, highlight the benefit of each feature.

  1. Write in short words, sentences, and paragraphs. Master the art of telling about your product in a few words: Remember that a product description should be easy to read and reduce confusion among customers.
  • Try not to sound too mouthy.
  • Avoid tech terms and professional jargon your customer may misunderstand.
  • Speak the language of your customers so anyone can understand you.
  • Hone your product description: remove extra words, spell check it, and format it for better readability (use bold, make the font bigger, add bullet points, etc.).
  1. Be persuasive. Avoid “yeah, yeah” phrases in your product descriptions. They are those generic, wishy-washy statements poor copywriters use when stuck for words or when they don’t know what else to add: “Excellent product quality” and “leader of the market” are just a few examples. When consumers read such phrases, they think, “Yeah, of course. Everyone says it.”

To avoid such a reaction, be as persuasive and specific as possible.

Consider your word choice:

  • Use active voice; avoid redundant adverbs.
  • Try power words to push customers in the right direction: Appeal to emotions, indicate exclusivity (“new,” “exclusive,” “unique”), build trust, etc.
  • Address FOMO: Words like “hurry,” “soon,” and “limited” are super effective in influencing buying decisions.
  • Consider sensory language to captivate customers and add personality to your product descriptions.
Example of a persuasive product description.
Source: Beardbrand
  1. Answer questions and doubts. When shopping for specific products, customers face many questions and objections, like “Is it worth the money,” “Is there free shipping,” “Will it solve my particular problem,” etc. Figure them out and address as many objections as possible in product descriptions. 

Avoid generic answers. Use specific features, cases, and benefits that fit your customers’ problems. Delivery time, product weight, washing instructions — all can be objections you’ll need to cover.

For more complex answers, you can add a FAQ section to your product description.

  1. Use storytelling (and some fantasy). You know the power of storytelling, don’t you? So why not use a product description to tell a story to your customers? It may be about why they need your product, about its benefits, or just an entertaining mini-story to engage and lower rational barriers.

Stories appeal to emotions and help your product stand out from the crowd of dry and feature-based descriptions. Just make sure the story you want to tell users matches your brand’s identity and the product itself.

An example of a product description that uses storytelling to engage their audience.
Source: Drunkmall

Appeal to a customer’s imagination: Let them “see” what it would be like to have your product. Start a story with the word “imagine” and finish by explaining how a reader will feel when using your product; make them forget that you’re trying to sell something.

  1. Optimize for SEO. For your product description to appear in search results, add relevant keywords to it. The trick here is to avoid keyword stuffing, make it look and sound natural to the context, and consider LSI phrases (synonyms) besides exact-match keywords.
  1. Add a one-sentence pitch if possible. Think of it as a subhead complementing your product’s name to provide a customer with a quick and up-to-point description. It works like a hook to encourage further investigation.
Product description with a highlighted pitch and humorous copy.
Source: Dollarshaveclub

P.S. We know Dollar Shave Club as the master of using humor in product descriptions and promotions. They’ve made it an integral part of their brand identity, and it’s indeed a powerful tool to influence purchase decisions. If humor applies to your brand, feel free to use it in product descriptions.


Do your best to feel the edge: Humor is tricky to balance, and too much or too little of it can do more harm than good.

  1. Consider your brand’s tone of voice. As a brand, you’ve already defined your voice, haven’t you? Preferred words, tone, and values you want to communicate to the audience — all that matter when writing product descriptions: They work for your brand recognition and message consistency, so critical for consumers to decide in favor of your particular item.


So now you have it, the unscrambled anatomy of product descriptions. With these tips in mind, you’ll craft brilliant texts that motivate consumers to buy.

Only three rules to follow:

  1. Show: add descriptive captions to custom photos of your product; write mini-stories in intro paragraphs; address pain points for users to see how your product can help solve their problems.
  2. Simplify: consider proper formatting for better readability; write short words and sentences; add one-sentence pitches (subheads); organize product features and benefits in bullet lists; make your description scannable (white space, bold font, etc.).
  3. Build trust: add social proof; be persuasive and specific; answer questions and objections; use your brand’s tone of voice; write unique descriptions, don’t copy-paste those from a manufacturer to avoid duplication issues.

Think of writing product descriptions as craftsmanship in its own right. Don’t be afraid to experiment with words, length, formats, and styles — and remember to test your different product descriptions to see which ones work to boost your online sales.

Lesley Vos
Lesley Vos
Lesley Vos is a professional copywriter and guest contributor from Chicago. Specializing in data research, web text writing, and content promotion, she is in love with words, non-fiction literature, and jazz. Visit her Twitter @LesleyVos to say hi and see more works.