Product Descriptions

A common mistake among copywriters (even professionals) is writing product descriptions that simply describe. This is wrong because the aim of product description is to sell your products not label the features. The best e-commerce product descriptions leave an impression at first glance and instantly communicates the benefit of the product instantly.

An excellent product description must answer the following questions

  • What is the product for?
  • How does it work?
  • Who is it for?
  • Why should users buy?
  • What is the unique selling point?

Your target audience can see but not touch the product so your product description must work hard to convince your audience to click the “Add to Cart” button after reading the text.

10 brilliant techniques for writing e-commerce product descriptions that converts

Read inspiring copy from other great brands

Before tackling a product description, gather as much information from similar brands known for writing successful copies to see what worked for them. Reading inspiring product descriptions will help you create an even better copy. There are websites, blogs, magazines and books that offer valuable info for writing great copies. Read a few; understand the product before writing the product description.

Don’t make the competition a priority

Its’ easy to see flashy copies that look attractive on your competitor’s website and ask “why don’t we have that on our site?” it’s easy to follow the lead of others and play safe but doing that only makes you generic and generic copies don’t win! Focus on the product you’re trying to sell, create a strategy that is concise, clear and obvious to your audience. Now you can check the competition to see what their strategy is and what you could offer to set your product apart.

Write for your target audience

The first thing to note when writing product description is to know that your product is not for everyone. If you write for the public in mind, it becomes unfocused and pathetic because it doesn’t address anyone in particular. Vegetarians aren’t clicking to see the menu of a steakhouse, healthy living enthusiast won’t be found on Dominoes browsing through beef filled pizzas. Your product description should be written for your ideal buyer. The greatest product descriptions address your buyer personally and feels like a conversation where you’ve answered all the questions they would ask.

What does your ideal buyer love or hate? Are they okay with informal words like crap or sucky? What questions are they seeking answers to? Incorporate the answers you come up with in your product description so it resonates better with your target audience. The goal of every copy is to convert and what better way to convince your audience than to use their own words.

A table of delicacies

What’s your brand’s voice?

The tone your copy takes should mirror your brand. Establish a guideline for products on your site with a clear voice backing your company that customers will come to identify as yours. The voice must communicate in a language visitors relate to. For a high-end furniture retailer, the language would evoke prestige, style and luxury. For a reputable clothing line, it would include creating a casual persona and using slang that is fitting. An example is Firebox peanuts that markets itself to young, successful people with disposable income to spare. The copy is bold, exciting and unusual and features classic reverse psychology as it advises you not to shove handfuls at once into your mouth because of the powerful chilli mix.

Turn a short product description into a captivating story

A proven way to write product description that converts is to write user stories. This is a description and explanation of the product. It answers what your target audience wants from the product and why they want it. It’s a simplified requirement description. In writing product description, user stories help to determine the user need and capture the main benefits of the product. A good user story must incorporate the following features

  • Each feature should be independent
  • They must provide value of the product to the user
  • they shouldn’t be stuffed with details but provide information that help the user to make estimates
  • users stories should be concise, not long

An imaginative product description writer knows how to do the research, assess and create a persuasive description for your product.

Optimize your copies for SEO

Consider your user personas and the type of keyword they are likely to use when searching for products in your niche. This ensures your product description aligns with what your customers need and improve your visibility on search engines. Look for terminology and phrases that are popular with your audience and use the following guides:

  • optimize images with filename, tag and image descriptions
  • avoid jargon that complicates decision making for your shoppers
  • use keywords or phrases in the body, headline or subheader of the product descriptions

While SEO shouldn’t be your main concern when writing product descriptions think about how it can help your digital marketing campaign.

Torso of a man

Create an image in the buyer’s mind

Once you know how to apply keywords for SEO, set the scene in the mind of your ideal customer. Let them know that they aren’t just buying a product but entering a lifestyle for a select few. This is what will keep them coming back for more. It is not those who have luxury that buy iPhones annually but those who want luxury, same as Virgin Airlines that sells the extravagant jet lifestyle or Hublot that with luxury in each timepiece. A celebrity like Floyd Mayweather who has worn a pair of boxers on Instagram will likely see most young men aspiring for the same lifestyle shop for the exact same pair.

Center your copy on the product benefits and result

Your product is only valuable if it solves a problem for your target audience. Some brands lose sight of the core features of their products after spending years creating and promoting certain products and focus their description on the features and specs of the product. An excellent product description highlights the benefits with the features and shares it in a way that emphasizes value for the user. Most people don’t care about the details, they just want to know how it can enrich their lives and it is the duty of the product description writer to describe the benefits in a compelling way.

Use emotional language

Research from the psychology of advertising posits that the emotional response of a customer to an ad has more effect on the decision to buy a product rather than the content of the ad. Contents go viral because of the emotional influence on consumers, which means your target audience is likely to buy from you based on the emotional response your copy educes in them. Words that help your reader feel more includes savour, aroma, decadent, destiny, luxuriate. A good product description writer knows how to balance the use of trigger words so it doesn’t lose its meaning.

Get to the point

The NNGroup carried out a study and found that most online readers only skim content at the start of a sentence or paragraph, not at the end. Hence, avoid empty sentences filled with unrelated words and always provide the important information first. Even a single text that doesn’t offer value to the user can be distracting.

Use short words, sentences and paragraphs to drive your point. You have a short space to tell a full story that motivates the user to take action so avoid jargon, wordiness or irrelevant language.

Use the USP to sell more

What sets your product apart from other brands? Did you spend years formulating a working formula because you want it to be exceptional? Is it handcrafted? Is your brand family owned? Call it out and use that as your unique selling point.

Tap into the buyer’s guilt

Online shopper about to make a purchase

All consumers have buyer’s guilt. Before a purchase, they already feel guilty for spending money that could have been put to better use especially when they are rewarding themselves. A smart product description writer knows how to reassure the buyer in a way that not only removes guilt, converts a sale but also leaves the customer with the pleasant feeling of happiness and satisfaction. Moz recommends the following tips to eradicate buyer’s guilt.

  • Ensure they know they’re getting the best bargain for a one-time offer
  • Compliment them with words like ‘deal’, ‘steal’, ‘snap’
  • Give the product an air of exclusivity
  • Describe the product as essential
  • Highlight various uses for the product so it serves more than one purpose
  • Avoid words like “expensive”, “costly”, “treat”.


People believe their choices are based on the rational review of options they’re presented with. In reality, emotions influence purchases and determine decisions. The last line of defence to convert sales from an undecided customer is your product description. The art of writing convincing product descriptions is not a skill everyone can master. The points we’ve discussed will help to guide you through the process based on the audience you’re trying to convert and the best way to optimize your product copies throughout your e-commerce site.

What can be so difficult about writing a product description anyway? Sure, writing a product description is easy, one that won’t sell, that is. Writing product copy that sells, on the other hand, is serious business and requires that you do your homework.

Often, people forget that a product description is a sales tool and not merely words your jumble together to outline the features of a product. If your product copy has been solely about telling potential buyers about the specification of the products, then there is still a lot you need to learn. Not to worry, you are off to a good start because this article presents 25 tips you can start using right away to churn out product copy that is certain to yield results.

Tip 1: Focus more on the benefits than the features

The minute you set out to write product copy, chances are you will pen down the features before anything else, and while the buyer needs that information, your aim should be to show them what they stand to gain by making the purchase. To be able to tell the audience how a product will benefit them, you need to know that audience. Find out what they need and how the product takes care of that need.

Tip 2: Answer who, what, where, when, why, and how

You need to find out who the product is for, what sets the products apart from the rest, where the product will be used, when it will be used, why anyone should use it, and how the product works. Ultimately, the nature of the product in question will determine how these questions are answered, but it is important that you try to provide all the best possible answers.

Tip 3: Don’t be cliché

Almost every product description says the product is great and of the best possible quality. Using words like that gets old and it can bore your potential buyers. It is hard for a reader to see such copy and not wonder what makes you different from the rest who make the same claims. Instead of going for the words everyone else uses to describe their products, focus on proving to your customers why the product is “great” or “excellent”.

Tip 4: Be clear about your tone of voice

You have to decide how you want to sound to your audience in terms of how your brand is perceived. Do you want to come off as fun and exciting or serious and reliable? Whatever the tone of voice you choose to convey, be sure to make it consistent with your brand identity and throughout all your content. You don’t want to sound fun in one page and uninspiring in another. Don’t say you are friendly, show it.

Tip 5: Keep the format easy to scan

You have to format your copy having it at the back of your mind that your reader is in a hurry to head off somewhere else. Professional e-commerce copywriters know formatting is about as important as the copy itself because if the copy cannot be read, then it is pointless. It is important that you use buttons, paragraph breaks, bullet points, and photos correctly. Also, take mobile optimisation very seriously.

Tip 6: Use urgency to your advantage

Try to create a sense of urgency to make visitors buy now, rather than later. To achieve that, you have to present them with facts or information that make them convinced the line of action is in their best interest. You can create a sense of urgency by emphasising that there is only a limited number of items left in stock. You can also create limited-time offers and time sensitive reminders.

Tip 7: Take advantage of search data

With site search data, you can learn about the type of language and terms buyers use to search for products. If buyers are using specific terms to search for a product on your site, chances are they are using the same terms to search on the major search engines. It is up to you to incorporate that into your product descriptions and meta data.

Tip 8: Be honest

You definitely want to colour your product copy with as much pizzazz as possible, but it doesn’t make sense to go overboard and let falsities in the mix. Try your best not to exaggerate as those who are enticed to buy because of your heightened claims will return to haunt you if they end up disappointed. It is better to step down the hype and keep descriptions honest than end up with an angry customer.

Tip 9: Be a fortune teller

Becoming a fortune teller as you write your copy means you paint a picture of the buyer’s future with your product. Let your visitors have a peek into what their future looks like if they buy your product. Don’t simply talk about the feeling of excitement that comes with acquiring something new, show them what value they are to expect even after several months of using the product. This is an effective way of showcasing your product’s value.

Tip 10: Get rid of buyer’s guilt

Chances are every buyer who makes a stop at your site will suffer from buyer’s guilt. This is particularly so if what they’ll be buying happens to be a treat, whether it’s expensive jewellery or a fancy new gadget. You need to reassure them so they don’t feel too guilty about spending their money on the product. Be clear about the fact that you are offering them a bargain, congratulate them for finding such a great deal, and make the product sound essential and exclusive. Try to avoid words like “treat” or “expensive.”

Tip 11: Combine descriptions with bullet points

Not everyone consumes content the same way, so while you need those compelling descriptions, you also need to include bullet points. That way you can cater to those who want to know all there is, those who want a fleshed out description, and those who want a quick look through the bulleted points. You will be producing highly engaging product copy with a combination of a bulleted list of features and creative descriptions.

Tip 12: Run with the wind on your first draft

Your first draft is where you fit in all the benefits, features, and objections, arranging them properly so the buyer won’t have a hard time following. Feel free to include all the information you think is necessary and don’t think too hard about what you are writing. As long as you already have all the information you need and are in an enthusiastic and positive mood, write speedily. Forget about errors, you’ll take care of those when you are editing and fine-tuning what you have written.

Tip 13: Use words that appeal to the senses

When you use words like “buttery,” “velvety,” and so on, chances are the customer’s mouth would begin to water. Sensory or sticky words are superb because they paint such a vivid picture and can be used to make the product appeal to more than one sense at a time. Even in the world of fiction, we love writers who are able to make us “feel” whatever is happening in the story, as opposed to simply describing the events.

Tip 14: Drive sales using loss aversion and fear

When you use loss aversion and fear to your advantage, you are trying to convince customers by making them see what they would be losing by not buying from you. This is the technique that is deployed when e-commerce stores offer expiring promo codes and coupons.

Tip 15: Vary levels of detail according to product

If you sell different products, depending on the product you are preparing copy for, you will need to vary the amount of detail you include in every product description. You must take into consideration the complexity, price, points and type of product. A tie, for instance, would likely not need as much description as a mobile phone.

Tip 16: Keep your micro-copy effective

It can be tricky when trying to decide what to do with button copy and calls to action. It is finer details like these that often make businesses decide that they need a professional copywriter. The copywriter may stick to the regular micro-copy if they find it is better to do so, or they may offer something more unique if they believe it would work better.

Tip 17: Know what the limits of your CMS are

Your CMS or content management system would likely have a word count limit for product descriptions. Be sure to check what those limits are in order to avoid a situation where you might have expended loads of energy on product copy only to find out later that you wrote way too much copy. Be clear on the limits of any additional fields and other features the CMS might have.

Tip 18: Play on the customer’s imagination

Due to the limitations of e-commerce, buyers are not able to hold a product before they buy it. To make up of for that as much as possible, you have to appeal to the imagination of the potential buyer. Create scenarios and tell a story to completely immerse the customer.

Tip 19: Keep your writing active

There is hardly anything marketing-related where the passive voice wins over the active voice. It applies to product copy as well. When you write in an active voice, you are more persuasive and sound much clearer. Instead of saying “these sunglasses can be worn on a sunny day,” say “you can rock these sunglasses on a sunny day.”

Tip 20: Infuse a bit more persuasiveness as you edit

Editing is great for eliminating mistakes in our grammar and typos, but that is not the only reason it is useful. Remember, product descriptions are a sales tool, so every time you have to edit, edit it to be more persuasive, engaging, and readable. Ask yourself if the content is focused on the buyer or on the firm.

Tip 21: Use social proof to your advantage

Social proof can come in a number of forms like reviews, publicity, case studies, testimonials, and starred ratings, among others. What social proof does for you is it shows potential buyers that others have bought the same product in the past and are enjoying or enjoyed using it. You can use your reviews to create more compelling product copy, including the negative ones which you can turn around and use to directly address your customers’ concerns.

Tip 22: Make customers feel exclusive

The limitation of not being able to provide your customers with an impressive in-store experience doesn’t have to come in the way of your providing them a brilliant experience. You can achieve this by using your copy to make them feel like they are part of an exclusive group when they buy from you.

Tip 23: Include keywords

The fact that product descriptions are often under 100 words means you would not be able to put in as many keywords and keyword phrases as you would like, but that does not mean you should abandon them all together. Have at least one solid keyword in the product description, product image caption, or headline.

Tip 24: Don’t talk down your audience

Don’t insult the intelligence of your readers by assuming they won’t understand what you are trying to say about the product. You don’t want them feeling underestimated or patronised if you want them to buy from you.

Tip 25: Be careful about using slang

Using slang works to forge a strong connection with the customers and make them forget for a minute that you are trying to make them buy your product, but you must be careful not to overdo it.

Get your project completed with help from professional copywriters when you contact us or sign up for an account today here.


Product description, AB testing

When you’re ready to open an online shop, you first start by gathering all of the products that you want to sell. This includes categorising your entire inventory and organising your website in the same fashion that a brick and mortar shop would design the exterior and interior of their space. You’ll then begin to do research and write descriptions of products that are available for purchase. These product descriptions are the main determinant in how well your products sell. They essentially take the place of a human salesperson, since the descriptions boast the item’s best qualities, uses, benefits, and features in a way that should persuade the customer to buy the product.

Once you’ve completed all of your e-commerce descriptions, you may think that you’re done and ready to begin selling. Not quite. Once you write all of your product descriptions, you have to test them to see how effective they are with regard to drumming up business and sales.

 The Importance of Testing Descriptions

The whole point behind this kind of test (usually called a split test or an A/B test) is to see what works and what doesn’t for your online store. Split testing can be done to check the effectiveness of different things on your website. From simple aspects like the colour of the shopping cart button or product photographs to more complex things like the overall structure of your store or the search bar – split testing can help you see what elements of your site impact your customers and their behaviour. By performing a split test you’ll be able to see if the setup of your site makes customers click where you want, linger on certain pages longer than others, buy specific products, and more.

Regarding product descriptions, a split test will tell you which version of an e-commerce description draws more attention and produces more purchases. You’ll be able to word one product description in various ways and see which version appeals to your customers better. Sometimes your tone and overall word choice can be the difference between making a sale or losing out on business. If you’d rather start small, you can choose to split test only the e-commerce descriptions for your top selling products. The results for this may be able to show you the general parts of each description that lead to a successful sale (such as keywords or descriptions). You can then take those generalities and use them to create similarly effective descriptions for the rest of your stock.

Successful split testing may show you a large percentage of improvement but most of the time you’ll only see a slight difference if any at all; after all your original product description may have been brilliant to start with.

 How to Test Ecommerce Descriptions

Nowadays, a lot of ecommerce software has split testing tools that will launch two versions of your site with the various product descriptions. It will show these different versions to random customers and you’ll be able to see the results of both versions, which should tell you which variation impacted your customers more. There are a number of split testing apps available to purchase and use on your online store.

 What to do After Testing

Once you’ve completed all of your product description tests you’ll want to study the results. By doing this you’ll be able to see which changes worked and which didn’t. You can then go through all of your descriptions, in turn, tweaking them in ways that will create more positive results. Once you’ve successfully edited all of your product descriptions, you’re finally ready to start selling.

This process of writing, testing, and tweaking is never completely finished, though. You’ll benefit from constant testing and tweaking as time goes on since your customer base will always be changing and (hopefully) expanding.

A professional web design company that’s worth its salt, like InfintechDesigns will tell you well written content is one of the key elements when it comes to designing a great website. Not just well written content, but content that’s packaged to deliver clear and relevant information to its audience.

Well written content should be engaging, accurate and unique. But if your content is all of that and poorly edited, it will cause the website to lack an air of professionalism and expertise, and that’s a big turn off for visitors.

To help you create, polish and share nigh perfect written content, the following tools are available to assist you;


While this tool can’t be used to create content, it’s extremely useful for editing a finished job. It’s an online proofreading tool which helps you write articles free of errors and create quality content both readers and search engines will appreciate.

My favourite part about using Grammarly is the review given at the end of every week which shows if the user’s writing skills are improving or depreciating. Stats such as number of words written, mastery of grammar, vocabulary, in comparison to other Grammarly users are all provided to let you know what areas of your writing need improvement.

Pages and Numbers

This Apple’s version of a Productivity Suite works on all iOS systems and is useful in creating and editing documents with advanced editing tools. The features of the editing tools include; adding comments, tracking changes, and highlights. All projects done with this tool are saved on the iCloud and are accessible via any iOS device.


Ginger is a software that’s very much like Grammarly. It’s an online tool that proofreads your work for grammar and spelling, all with the aim of helping you write error free content for either websites or blogs. Its other features include, translation of text to over 50 different languages, an extensive dictionary, grammar checker and sentence rephrase to help you write the same sentence multiple ways. All very useful features that’ll make a content writer’s job easier. But to have access to other features such as text reader, and personal trainer, a small fee is required.


This very useful tool lets you sign documents digitally. It’s secure, reliable, easy to use, and most important, it allows you to stay mobile. It’s not just signing documents, you can also fill forms, and create a signature to be used by someone else on your behalf.

Google Drive

Due to their strategic thinking, Google has managed to permeate so many aspects of our daily lives. To take that permeation a step further, Google offers Google Drive, an app that makes it possible to remotely access all files saved in your Drive account. Almost every type of file can be saved on Google Drive, from various media formats, to various document formats, and more. It’s also possible to customize your permission settings to allow others access files from your account. Because of this app’s auto save feature to cloud storage, you don’t have to worry about losing important data.


An alternative to Grammarly and Ginger, this exemplary tool checks your written work for; grammar, style, punctuation, contextual spelling, and most interesting of all, plagiarism.

This tool’s ability to search a body of work for plagiarism really sets it apart from its contemporaries. But it is not cheap to use. Nevertheless, if it meets your needs then it’s worth the price.

I didn’t mention Microsoft Office because I’m sure you already know what that is. If there are other tools you think should definitely be on this list, please share in the comment section.



writing product descriptions, ecommerce

While writing product descriptions may seem like a relatively straightforward task there are a lot of factors that copywriters take into consideration when creating content. There may be some compulsory content to include. like product uses, specific features, and necessary warnings that should be made known, but the way you present these facts, figures, and benefits can make all of the difference. A properly created ecommerce description can increase your store’s sales and draw attention to your site. As you write the descriptions of products in your online store take the following into consideration and you will notice an increase in visits and sales.

Choosing the Right Tone

Your ecommerce descriptions should have a certain tone that runs as a threat through all of them. This main tone should be your brand voice. Your brand voice dictates the way your company comes across to people and should speak directly to the customers you want to attract.

If your company is more youth-oriented and has a younger client base, your brand voice should portray that with edgy and youthful language instead of a more sophisticated or haughty tone. Once you decide on your brand’s voice you should stick to it when writing your product descriptions.

Be Persuasive

Besides incorporating your brand’s voice throughout the descriptions you should also aim to be persuasive. The whole point of product descriptions is to entice customers to buy the item in question. You’ll want to list the benefits of the product in a way that tells the customer that they need to have that product in order to have a better or easier life. Write with the customer at the forefront of your mind, not the product.

Don’t Copy Your Copy

Each description should also be original. Some ecommerce descriptions are lifted right out of a manufacturer’s catalogue or manual. That won;t get you the results you are looking for. Taking the facts from a catalogue or manual is fine; you want the details to be right, but you should always take those facts and present them in your own words when writing descriptions of products.

Think Carefully About Structure

You’ll also want your ecommerce descriptions to be structured properly. Properly structuring a product description mainly has to do with creating organised writing. You don’t want to jump from idea to idea in a haphazard way; your descriptions should progress logically, as any type of writing should. Develop a framework structure for your product descriptions. This will make it easier to structure your pages and adapt the design. You could even use different fields in your CMS so that you can easily shift the template around when A/B Split testing.

Error Free is a Must

Each product description should also be grammatically correct – without typos or factual inaccuracies. Leaving errors in your descriptions tells your customers that you are careless and will reflect poorly on your brand. It’s really amazing how many companies have ‘there’ instead of ‘their’ in their headings, ‘its’ instead of ‘it’s’ and all the other common grammar errors. Simply proofreading each description can help you catch these errors and avoid problems. If you aren’t a grammar pedant then get someone else to proof the content.

Back Up Your Claims

Your ecommerce descriptions, while meant to be persuasive and enticing, should also be accurate. If the products you’re selling are good there is no need to exaggerate; you can let the products’ features and benefits speak for themselves. If you do boast about a product too much you risk disappointing buyers when they get a product that the description oversold. Uopu can also turn people off pretty quickly with outrageous claims. Keep a balanced perspective. If your product is the best in the market then back the claim up with hard facts, video evidence, a whitepaper, or other industry appropriate resources.

The Language You Choose

The words you choose to use in your descriptions can also make a difference to your online store’s success. The best product descriptions use simple language that the average customer can understand. You should always try to steer clear of industry slang or technical terms; these can confuse customers and turn them away from buying the item. If you have to use these terms, at least explain what they mean so the customer can have a better grasp on what the description is telling them. There is an amazing list of words that sell here.

When you write product descriptions you can choose the success you have. As the od adage goes “fail to plan and you are planning to fail”. Understand your customer and brand, and work out the best way to communicate across the screen.

Writing product descriptions is an essential activity in e-commerce. At Daily Posts we have many product description projects on the go at any one time. From clients wanting 30 promotional items written about in an engaging way, to Fortune 500 companies requiring 25000 descriptions per month, to clients with duplicate copy product description issues needing to refresh their sites, the process is very similar.

steps with different product options and descriptionsEffective e-commerce descriptions can turn window shoppers into buyers, which will help your store become and remain successful. Bad descriptions can turn likely buyers into website bounces. When you begin to write descriptions of products in your online store there are certain things that you should do in order to drive the best possible results.

Map Out the Product Uses

Sometimes when people are browsing online stores they might not know a lot about what they’re looking to purchase. In order to help these customers understand more about the products they’re looking at it’s important to list and explain the uses for each product. Since the person can’t physically examine the product they’re viewing, you have to use words, pictures, images and videos to communicate with them.

You should frequently explain the benefits of using the product. Buyers want to make sure that they’re spending their hard-earned money on a product that will make their lives easier or better in some way. Your e-commerce descriptions have to make it very clear what they’ll be getting when they decide to buy =the product from your store.

As you detail the uses and benefits of the products, make sure you use simple language that every target customer will understand. Try to steer clear of industry or technical terms. If you have to use those terms be sure to explain them so the customers understand what you’re talking about. Ensure that your e-commerce descriptions are accurate and that claims aren’t over-inflated. Your success is not just about the sale these days, it is dependent on the online reviews you get too.

Link Product Features and Benefits

Most product descriptions will have a list of specific information regarding the product in question. Things like the dimensions of the product (how big it is, how much it weighs) should be mentioned along with available colours, materials it’s made of, and other specifics that describes the basics of the product. If there are other options as well as the standard product be sure to list them so the customer understands that they have choices while shopping. Do so in a way that is clear and precise, and avoid overwhelming the reader.

You may want to focus on one important feature if you’re describing a simple product. By choosing to focus on that one point you can show the potential buyers why the item is unique and how they will benefit.

Think About Motivations: Pleasure Seeking and Pain Avoidance

When sitting down to write about a product it is a good idea to think about the motivation of the audience. Who are they and why might they want the product? A simple mental heuristic to use is to consider the pain they are looking to eliminate from their life or the pleasure they are seeking. All product sales boil down to pain avoidance or pleasure seeking motivations.

Consider for a moment a parent buying school clothes for their primary school children. They will want to ensure that the clothes tick the boxes (i.e.. it is the correct attire for the particular school), but they will probably want to get the process done as quickly as possible. Their motivation is to avoid their kids running out of school clothes, and for them to look good, but their immediate motivation is probably to tick the job off their list so that it isn’t hanging there any more. Now think about buying a new watch. The mental process and motivation is probably very different. Sure it could be a list ticking exercise if buying a gift, but the buyer will likely be far more emotionally invested in the decision. They will be pleasure-seeking rather than pain avoiding. By thinking about products in this way you can key into the motivations of your audience and develop descriptions that appeal to them.

Don’t Leave Questions Unanswered

Perhaps the biggest mistake when writing about products online, alongside not proofreading, is not answering the obvious questions. If someone is looking for ink cartridges for their Parker fountain pen and come across a description for Lamy cartridges they may assume that the cartridges only work in Lamy pens. You need to be explicit. The sentence “These cartridges work in any international standard cartridge fountain pen.” could be the difference between lots of sales and only those to Lamy customers.

In a nutshell writing products descriptions takes following a format and expressing yourself in a positive, relatable way. It takes understanding the motivation of the people you want to buy the products, and giving them the information they need to make a buying decision. It takes relating benefits to the features, and answering questions. If you can do these things well you will end up with good descriptions for your products.