How to write product descriptions that convert customers and charm Google
This blog was last updated on November 30, 2023.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of a well-written product description. And yet, in many cases, product descriptions are swept under the rug or treated as an afterthought.
It’s not uncommon for product descriptions to be overlooked as merchants focus their attention on other parts of their product pages, like photos and reviews. While those things are important, the product descriptions on your eCommerce website are the key to not only ranking well in search results, but in winning over your customers’ dollars.
It’s time to give product descriptions the attention they deserve. Below, we’ll cover the art and science of creating a strong product description, plus 10 expert techniques for writing product copy that converts.
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What is a product description?
Let’s start with the basics. A product description is a blurb that provides essential details about an item, along with the benefits of purchasing it.
The product description is typically located close to the product photo(s). For instance, online retailer and Wix merchant House Salad displays their item description just below the main image. In this example, the description touches on two unique qualities of House Salads’ Autumn Apple candle: its transportability and its scent (“scented like a fall apple pie baked fresh from the orchard”).
By clicking “Read more,” the consumer can also learn about the candle’s size, sustainable ingredients and burn time to inform their buying decision.
What does a good product description do?
A well-written product description is a powerful tool for conversions. It can persuade browsers to become buyers. It can also drive more eyes to your products by helping your product page to rank on search engines like Google; the product description provides a place to add more keyword-rich content about your product, which search engines can then scan to better understand the purpose of your page.
A well-written product description has the ability to:
Prioritize the unique selling points of your item
Resonate with your consumer's needs and desires
Offer solutions to problems your consumers may be experiencing
Answer questions such as who the product is for, how to use it, size, weight, etc.
Build trust in your brand and your eCommerce business
Tell a story that appeals to the emotions of your consumers
Invoke emotions that nudge consumers towards making a purchase
How to write product descriptions
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive into more advanced tips. Grab some coffee (or tea) and settle in to read our top 10 tips for high-converting product copy.
01. Understand your audience before you write the first word
No matter how brilliant of a writer you are, you can’t reach your audience if you don’t understand what they want. To get to the bottom of this, make it your mission to fully understand your target buyer before writing a single piece of copy.
Think: Is that wool blanket in your catalog for new mothers, kids or college freshmen? Is it usually purchased as a gift or as a much-needed necessity? The more you can get into the head of your customers, the stronger your product copy will be.
One of the first eCommerce strategies to implement is to clearly define your buyer personas. Uncover the demographics, motivations, daily habits and other key characteristics of your target buyer. It’s entirely possible for your item to attract multiple buyer types—but the more specific you can get, the easier time you’ll have with appealing to your buyers’ emotions.
As an example, Urban Outfitters rarely wavers from its target market: teenagers and young adults who value alternative fashion. Everything from their product assortment to photos fit this bill, and their product descriptions are no different.
“Glide your way through life,” notes one Urban Outfitters listing for roller skates, playfully luring the attention of carefree students. “Lace-up design features three sets of speed lacing hooks at the ankle, equipped with a toe stopper…for comfort, precision and control to show off your moves like a pro at the roller rink.”
In the last sentence, Urban Outfitters subtly speaks to their buyers’ inclination to attempt tricks and “show off” at rinks. (A highly relatable feeling if you take a minute to transport yourself back to your angsty teenage years.)
While other product details are included as bullet points below the description, the main blurb is reserved for emotive copy. It also weaves in a wide range of keywords that shoppers are likely to use when searching for roller skates (“lace-up,” “patterned,” “toe stopper” and “faux leather”).
02. Be specific about your product’s benefits and solutions
You may have heard the saying that “features tell, but benefits sell” or some variation of that. There’s plenty of wisdom in that statement.
The job of your product description is to help your buyers realize why they need your product in their lives. What do they gain from using it? Why do they need it now, not later? What problems does your product solve for them?
Consider the difference between these two descriptions for a dog mat:
“This machine-washable mat is made of high-quality cotton and polyester. The bottom is layered with silicone. Fits dogs that weigh between 40-90 lbs.”
“This durable and easy-to-clean dog mat will finally make your pup excited to sleep in his own bed. The cotton and polyester blend gives it a cozy feel while its unique non-slip design keeps your family and your pet safe and steady. The size is perfect for dogs between 40-90 lbs.”
Description A and B both speak to the same product features. However, Description B emphasizes their true value: your pup will be excited to sleep in his own bed (not yours), and the mat’s non-slip design will keep everyone safe from sliding on the floor.
Let’s look at another example for a weekly planner:
“This 2024 planner is made from recycled paper and comes with a durable cover, monthly and weekly views, and plenty of space for notes. Choose from three internal page color themes. Every purchase supports our planet.”
“Struggling to keep up with life’s demands? Our 2024 planner is designed to be more than just a calendar. Crafted sustainably from recycled materials, its durable cover withstands daily wear and tear. Offering both monthly and weekly views, it allows you to master the big picture and the day-to-day details. Choose from three internal page color themes to make planning a joy, not a chore. The ample note space lets you jot down thoughts or reminders, keeping everything important in one place. Each purchase also helps plant a tree, making your organizational efforts beneficial not just for you, but for the planet, too.”
Description A is short and sweet, but it doesn’t help the consumer visualize why they need the planner. It doesn’t outline a solution or foster an emotional connection to set it apart from the competition. Description B, on the other hand, jumps right in by pointing out a common problem its target audience may face. This creates an immediate connection with consumers looking for a better way to stay organized. Furthermore, description B speaks to buyers that value sustainability and wish to support businesses that share that value.
When defining your product’s benefits and solutions, it helps to ask questions like:
Why is the product important for your customer? With consideration to your personas, how does your product satisfy their needs, wants and/or worries? Take some time to reflect on the original problem that your product was intended to solve. In fact, talking about your product’s origin story could help you to connect with buyers and find common ground.
What problem is your product solving? Understand your audience’s pain points to illustrate how your product can solve them. What solutions are they seeking? Knowing these things will help guide the language and the tone of your product description. A short narrative or scenario can make the solution your product offers more relatable as it can help the reader visualize themselves using the product to solve their problem.
Where, how and when can your product be used? While your product may have a dozen different uses, it helps to pinpoint several of the most common ones. Paint a picture for your customers so that they, too, can visualize themselves using your product. What are they doing when they pick up your product? Where are they? Who are they with?
What product details does your buyer need to know about? Considering how “item not as described” is a common reason for a chargeback, it’s critical to note which product details need to be communicated right off the bat. Do your buyers need to be reminded of the fit of your product? Material? Weight? Are there special instructions for assembly? Comfee.—a fashion brand and Wix merchant—includes a sizing chart on every clothing item page and lists the size worn by the model. Your goal, like Comfee.’s, should be to dispel any doubts or minimize any unwelcome surprises surrounding your product. Returns, after all, are costly. Making a sale on a poorly described product could potentially do more harm than good.
If your catalog includes products from other brands, avoid copy-pasting text from the manufacturer. Instead, take the time to create original descriptions tailored to your specific audience so that search engines like Google don’t ignore or penalize your website for displaying duplicate copy. Google doesn’t take well to duplicate copy and may simply default to showing the manufacturer’s site instead when a relevant query is entered by a would-be customer.
03. Avoid generic superlatives
According to Think with Google, 85% of consumers say that product information (and pictures) are important when deciding which brand or retailer to buy from. As such, avoiding bland copy is a must.
As you try to write appealing item descriptions, be on guard against generic or fluffy language. Avoid using broad superlatives like “excellent,” “great” or even “high-quality.” None of these words are all that persuasive or interesting. They say nothing of the products’ specific features, qualities or uses. They certainly don’t make a lasting impression on the customer.
Instead, use strong and precise language that demonstrates why your product is so great. Use fresh, uncomplicated copy that’s also on-brand. For example, rather than describing your jewelry as “fashionable, top-quality earrings,” try saying something like “whimsical drop earrings made from solid gold.” This tells the consumer exactly what they’re getting and is far more distinct and appealing.
There is one exception to this rule: if you have proof to validate a claim that a product is something like “best-selling” or “brightest,” then it could be worth including in your description. If that’s the case, make sure to attribute the sources that validate these statements.
At the end of the day, brand trust is of utmost importance. Be careful not to overpromise and let personal biases dictate your writing.
04. Write descriptions that match your images
Your product descriptions should pair nicely with product images in order to paint a vivid mental picture for your customers. As a matter of fact, your images could serve as good inspiration.
For instance, say that you already have a few photos of a young woman wrapped up in the wool blanket that you’re selling. She’s sitting on a couch sipping a hot cup of coffee in what seems to be a sunny, window-lit room. Your product description could take this visualization further by mentioning how your blanket could be used at home to stay warm on a chilly, winter morning.
As another example, Apple relies on visualization to highlight the benefits of the Apple Watch Series 9, and to persuade buyers to upgrade from their previous models. They practically wax poetic about the updated smartwatch, revealing the product’s most desirable features with beautifully detailed and animated images of the watch.
The primary product description begins with the most notable feature of the redesigned watch—a brighter display screen with new loads of features. The copy reads:
“Smarter. Brighter. Mightier.”
“Our most powerful chip in Apple Watch ever. A magical new way to use your Apple Watch without touching the screen. A display that’s twice as bright. And now you can choose a watch case and band combination that’s carbon neutral.”
Apple leans heavily into their crisp, clear product images, marinating their product copy in the photography throughout the page. The copy depends on the imagery (and vice versa) to create a cohesive story.
05. Use storytelling to capture attention
A good product description communicates essential information about an item without being overly salesy. The goal is to make your customers forget that they’re being sold to, while persuading them to take action. This isn’t an easy task, we know. Luckily there’s a great tool you can use to achieve this: storytelling.
As with any great story, your product description should have a character, setting, theme, conflict and plot. In this case, the character would be your target buyer. The setting would reflect the ideal time and place for your product. The conflict and plot would refer to the problem that your item addresses and its benefits, respectively.
Taking this approach will help you to generate descriptions that are more active and engaging. For example, consider this description for a hand soap:
“Our organic soap is soft on the hands and smells like a garden.”
What if you converted it into a mini-story?
“Our organic Bergamot Rose Hand Soap is a welcome addition to any bathroom. Treat yourself, your family or a guest to the subtle scent of roses complimented with undertones of distinctive spicy-floral bergamot. Our handmade, small-batch soap is safe for people with sensitive skin— plus, your house will smell like a garden.”
In the same vein, candle company (and Wix eCommerce user) Coal and Canary utilizes colorful, flowy descriptions and creative product names to hook readers. A product page for “The Cider Made Me Do It,” a seasonal candle scent, reads:
“Inspired by drinking too many sips of cider on a cold night and having your good intentions turn into bad decisions...This candle features notes of McIntosh, Red Delicious and Fuji apple.”
While the story is delivered differently than in the previous example, you still get a sense of whom the description is written for: a young, scent-driven consumer with a slightly naughty or mischievous side. And if you’ve hidden your wild side, it may just entice you to buy the product to encourage a bit more spice in your life.
06. Showcase your brand’s personality
As part of your online branding strategy, make sure that your product descriptions capture your brand’s unique voice.
Take Wix eCommerce merchant Handlebend as an example. Handlebend doesn’t hesitate to use playful language—or to even break conventional editing rules—in order to express itself.
Between clever product names and creative descriptions, Handlebend stays true to its brand personality and to its target audience. Whether you’re an in-home night-cap connoisseur or a high-class restaurant looking for a rustic, one-of-a-kind flare, Handlebend’s casual and somewhat non-conventional brand personality is sure to hit the spot.
In this example, Handlebend delivers a clear picture of where you might use their Hideaway mug with a tone and style that fits the brand’s personality and charm perfectly.
“It’s smaller in volume but delivers just as big an impression. Our Hideaway takes less room on the shelf, and yields the dialed-back volume of a net-8 oz cocktail. We’ve geared the design to be more compatible with a restaurant or establishment’s current cocktail program. Slip in for quaint dining, or an inconspicuous cocktail at the nearest speakeasy.or just snag a set for the house and stay in for the night cap. Hide away and enjoy the low-key time with a friend.”
Handlebend also does a fantastic job in blending bits of its story throughout the product copy, so you really get a sense for who they are, what they value and why they came to be (even if you don’t read their “Story” page).
At the same time, it’s important to prioritize clarity above creativity. Make sure your consumers can easily understand your copywriting. Avoid diluting your message with Shakespearean language.
07. Establish trust with social proof
Question: What do customer reviews, product ratings and user-generated content (UGC) have in common?
Answer: they’re all vehicles for social proof that you can use to strengthen your product pages and build trust. And, trust is important in eCommerce. Consider weaving social proof into your product descriptions in these ways:
Include product reviews: According to BrightLocal, 46% of consumers feel that product reviews online are as trustworthy as personal recommendations from friends or family members. When explaining what people love about your product, include a testimonial. Write about how Steve, 43, from Arkansas, said your sneaker’s arch support helped cure his back pain.
Sing your praises: Reference any write-ups, awards and top ratings that your product has earned. This boosts credibility and perception of quality, which can help drive sales.
Add a quote from a user: Let proud owners of your product vouch for its efficacy and uniqueness themselves, which will come across as relatable and trustworthy to browsing shoppers.
Wix makes it easy to integrate customer reviews and UGC into your site, as seen on the Alaskan King Bed Company website below. Wix offers built-in tools for collecting user videos and images, plus has integrations with today’s top-rated review apps.
You can proudly display a visual link to customer reviews at the top of your product descriptions for easy access. Alaskan King Bed Company takes social proof to the next level with an auto-ticker of notable customer testimonials further down the product page.
“This comforter is amazing!”
“Fluffy like a cloud and comfortable. Exactly what we were looking for!”
“Soft, cozy and warm (but not too warm). Very happy with it!”
08. Make your product descriptions easy for shoppers to scan
As much as we’d like to believe that buyers read every single line of copy we write, the reality is that most are skimming it. With the rise of mobile commerce, or mCommerce, it’s especially important to provide content in an easily digestible format.
Think: Bullet points. Proper headings. Bolding and italicizing (albeit these should be used sparingly). Quick, easy-to-read statements.
Commercial concrete sealant brand and Wix merchant EAGLE takes advantage of bullet points, headings, bold letters and color to make its product descriptions easy to scan. With links to each product’s “Safety Data Sheet,” “Technical Data Sheet” and other regulatory details, EAGLE makes it easy for buyers to find the information that they care about the most.
In another illustration, the Paw Paw Everlast Label Company employs a more subtle strategy to highlight key product information. Through capitalization and bold typeface, important measurements are listed clearly and prominently above the main product copy. Within the product description, bold lettering is sparingly applied to draw the reader’s focus to details of particular importance.
Both examples offer scannability, requiring little more than a cursory glance for effective comprehension and digestion of the most pertinent information.
09. Let AI do the heavy lifting for you
If you have a large catalog of inventory, or you’re bogged down with the commitments of business ownership, taking the time to write product descriptions can feel like a burden. There’s a solution, however. The recent boom of artificial intelligence (AI) has made running a business easier than ever. And that includes writing product descriptions.
Wix’s AI text creator lets you generate website pages, FAQs, newsletters and even product descriptions with just a few simple prompts. Whether you sell five items in your online store or 500, the text generator simplifies the process, saving countless hours you’d normally have to spend writing each description manually.
Evolve Clothing, an innovative menswear boutique based in Somerville, New Jersey, has used the text generator to create dozens of descriptions for items in their online store. Owner RanD Pitts tells us, “My business runs through Wix. With the AI addition, it's made uploading our products so much simpler because I'm not a content creator. I'm trying to run a business. When you're putting these descriptions in, when you're uploading products, the AI makes it so much easier.”
As for the technicality of the tool itself? “I mean, when I saw the feature…two seconds, and I had it mastered,” RanD says.
Another example: Z Jewelers turned a dream of owning a jewelry brand into a thriving business. Owner Zamar describes AI-generated product descriptions as a “game changer” for her business, telling Wix, “Before, I would put the most generic descriptions like ‘gold,’ ‘ring,’ ‘buy it now.’ But with AI, it's helped me come up with more detailed descriptions of every product.”
And those detailed descriptions translate to customers being more interested and ready to buy.
“AI has helped me push a better description to really captivate the customer's interest,” Zamar notes, “and I noticed that after using AI, I've had an increase in sales as well.”
10. Measure your performance and optimize based on KPIs
As you’re flexing your creative muscles, make sure that you’re writing descriptions with specific goals in mind. Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and a system for measuring the impact of your copywriting.
For example, there are several KPIs you can use to track how well your product descriptions might be performing, including:
Average order size (AOV)
Average per item sales value
Product page conversion rate
Customer return rate
Search engine rankings
While various factors affect these KPIs, A/B testing your descriptions can help you to see what product benefits, values and overall messaging resonate with your buyers. Tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console additionally help you to track on-page and search behaviors: time on page, bounce rate, search terms, etc.
If you’re not sure where to start, start by analyzing your most visited pages first. How many visitors are currently converting into customers? How long are they staying on the page? What are return rates and customer feedback like? As a Wix user, you can check your Wix Stores report from your website dashboard to note things like which products customers are adding to their cart but ultimately not buying.
Quantify the type of improvement you’d like to see in the conversions and behaviors. Then, create a plan for testing new copy.
Creating a great buying experience from start to finish
Your product description is prime real estate for expressing the undeniable benefits of your item (no matter what type of business you’re running). Fight the temptation to rush through them, or to set them aside for a later time. Give your descriptions the attention they deserve in order to yield the results that your business deserves.
Are you ready to get started? Check out our beginner's guide on how to make a website and get your online store off of the ground today.
How to write product descriptions FAQ
How can you write interesting product descriptions?
The following steps can help make sure that your product descriptions are more interesting for customers.
Highlight key features
Use clear and concise language
Use bullet points for readability
Include product dimensions and specifications
Emphasize unique selling points
Address the benefits for customers
Use persuasive language
Provide usage examples
Add testimonials or social proof
Create a sense of urgency (limited stock, time-limited offers)
Incorporate SEO keywords
Include a call-to-action
Proofread for accuracy and grammar
What should a basic product description include?
Product description “must-haves” can vary based on the product and use case. Here are the elements commonly found in a basic product description:
Warranty or return policy
Customer reviews or testimonials: if available, include positive customer feedback to build trust
How long should a product description be?
There’s no hard rule for how long a product description should be. Aim to spotlight the product’s best features, benefits and selling points in a way that resonates with your target audience. Note that the more complex your products are, the more lengthy their descriptions will likely be. For example, the product description for a coffee mug will likely be less complicated than the description for a portable generator.
Allison Lee Editor, Wix eCommerce
Allison is the editor for the Wix eCommerce blog, with several years of experience reporting on eCommerce news, strategies, and founder stories.