Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WEB & TECH / JAN. 01, 2015
version 2, draft 2

How to Write Captivating Product Descriptions for Your E-commerce Store

According to the Daily Mail, clothes store Diva Catwalk went into “meltdown” after the former Domestic Goddess Nigella Lawson appeared in one of the store’s figure hugging creations. Given that most of us aren’t in the enviable position of having celebrities endorsing our products, how can we turn more of our website visitors into customers?

The most successful stores understand the psychology of buyer behaviour so well that they have people, such as me, writing about their methods. Thankfully none of their methods are ‘rocket science’; you too can master the art of writing product descriptions to entice more of your browsers into buying from you. The key to transforming your product descriptions is to interweave features with benefits; here are a few tips to get you started.

Understand the difference between a feature and a benefit

For those of you not familiar with the differences between features and benefits, here are a couple of examples using a French to English dictionary by way of illustration:

Feature: The dictionary gives the pronunciation for every word within it.

Benefit: You no longer have to feel awkward or embarrassed about your poor pronunciation.

Feature: Included is contextual advice for each word.

Benefit: You know exactly when and how to use each word.

As you can see the benefit answers the question, “So what?” about a feature.

Use linking words to weave features with benefits

There are a number of words which can help you link features with benefits. Here are some of them, italicised in the sentences, and using the French dictionary example above.

The dictionary contains over 400,000 words, which means that you’ll have a meaning for virtually every word you’re likely to encounter.

With over 400,000 words, the dictionary helps you to have a meaning for every word you’re likely to encounter.

You could replace both these phrases with similar words: ensures that, allows you to, means that, and provides you with, so that etc. Other arrangements include:

Thanks to it’s over 400,000 words, you’ll have a meaning for every word you’re likely to encounter.

Contextual advice makes it easy to understand when and how to use the words.

Think of interesting angles to weave features with benefits

A good tip is to study the high-quality brochures of well-respected brands to see how they weave the features of their products with benefits. Here are a couple of suggestions for you:

What can you say about where your product comes from?

Example: My amazing tea comes from the Ijebu Village, at the top of the Ijebu Mountain where the high altitude results in tea with a distinctive and pleasurable flavour. The leaves need to be infused several times to gradually release their rich, sweet flavour.

What can you say about the qualities of your product?

Example: My amazing tea is rich, dark and full of body and flavour, making it ideal to drink at any time of the day.

What can you say about the history of your product?

Originally developed by an awning manufacturer, the fabric of my wonderful widget will resist the wind and repel even the lightest drizzle.

With what can you compare your product?

My wonderful product is made with the kind of precision you’d expect from a finely crafted Swiss watch.

What stories could you tell about your product? Have a go at weaving the features of your product with benefits, using interesting angles. Remember to focus on your reader – by letting them know what your product can do for them (the benefits). Good luck!


Image via Hukuk Sukagi

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