Product descriptions are the final conversion point of your online store.
Imagine a salesman telling you why a round neck shirt is best for you and you begin to agree with his reasons. That’s how product descriptions work.
They talk your customer into buying what they’d otherwise abandon.
In this article, I show you 8 examples of product descriptions from J. Peterman catalog. This fashion catalog made $75 million at the peak of its sales.
What Makes J. Peterman’s Product Description Unique?
Unlike most stores that go directly to the features and benefits of the product, J. Peterman creatively uses advertising techniques to tell customers about their products and why they should buy them.
There is also something unusual about the descriptions. They are not titled “Descriptions” but “Story”.
Why You Need Unique Product Descriptions
Most ecommerce stores use the boring product descriptions from the manufacturers or copy from other stores. This is damaging to your business.
Your product description is the last point of conversion before the customer leaves. It determines whether or not the customer buys from you. A persuasive product description results in a higher conversion rate.
Copying product descriptions directly from the manufacturer or from other stores is not good for SEO. Google and other search engines don’t like plagiarism.
Your site will not rank high with plagiarized content. Especially now that Google is wiser.
Sometimes, online store owners just hire writers who have little or no knowledge of persuasion to write their product descriptions. This is a mistake. Don’t do that.
Get a copywriter or better, a specialized ecommerce copywriter to get it done. Copywriters are more knowledgeable in the science and art of persuasion.
The Product Description Examples
Why do you think industries pay millions of dollars to hire a celebrity for an advertisement?
Because a lot of people tend to believe the brand is right for them when their favorite icon uses it.
If Michael Jackson, for example, were to use a pair of shoes to dance in an advertisement, what do you think other dancers would think of that brand? The right shoes for brake dance. That’s the idea.
In this description, the idea of a celebrity or high personality was used to tell the customer about the product.
“Something for the paparazzi” … “something that will be luminous against the red carpet”.
Celebrities and people of high status are mostly the ones who care about paparazzi and red carpet.
The idea is to make the reader feel that this jacket is for celebrities; I should have it and feel like one.
To make people imagine what something they’ve never seen looks like, you’re better off comparing it with something similar to it which they know.
The material of the wallet is compared to the pocket of leather in the middle of a baseball. This is a way of communicating the high-quality of the wallet to the potential buyer.
Apple also did this when it compared the aluminum used as the back cover of its iPhone to the same aluminum used in aerospace industry.
Logically, your mind tells you that the aluminum cover must be durable … therefore, the iPhone is given maximum protection for long lasting use.
This example uses ego to describe the product. This is a powerful strategy in copywriting.
It says “If you are thin, this dress will positively make you look more thin” and “If you are not thin but more of the voluptuous persuasion…this dress will overwhelm”.
Every woman wants to look good and better than other women. She wants her appearance to be the topic of the day. The copy takes advantage of this to describe how perfectly the dress will look on her no matter her size.
The main feature of the dress is only given in 4 short lines. The features matter less to the woman who wants to wear it. All she cares about is looking good in the dress.
Not every product is meant for everyone. Your target audience may be young people of a certain age range, old men and women, or kids and their parents.
Products targeted at a specific audience are best marketed when a clear picture of the target audience is presented. An ad about pension will make more sense if an old man or woman is used.
This example begins with a statement that clearly tells the customer that the product is exclusively for women. It goes further to present the product as a “used regularly” product, making it clear that the product is a necessity.
All these came before the features of the leather blazer.
Problem and Solution
The problem and solution technique is an old and effective persuasion technique. You create a problem that needs attention and present your product as a solution to that problem.
Take a look at the description above. There is a problem of expensive sunglasses that do not filter harmful UV radiation as they ought to. The even bigger problem is that you don’t get to recognize them.
How do you solve this problem? That’s where the product comes in.
To convince the reader that these sunglasses are the right solution, the description further states that they were developed by American Optical to meet the exact specification of the U.S Airforce.
People tend to listen when you begin a story. And pay more attention when the story is interesting.
Good storytelling skills can be used to craft compelling product descriptions.
The example started with a story of how a discovery was made in a Paris antique shop. A clear description of the bottle was given. This will make the customer imagine having it in her hands.
Later on, the customer learns the exact ingredients used to manufacture the cologne. This is done just to prove that it’s high-quality.
A bit of ego is also used to describe the benefit of this cologne by saying that women love the way it smells on a man.
Okay, this example is very unique. It uses conversational style to spell out the benefits of the product.
It makes the potential buyer feel as if she found herself in the middle of a discussion. She listens to two people talk about how soft the collar of the Frog jacket is and how great it looks over the dress.
Any woman with an imaginative mind will already begin to picture how beautiful she’d look in the jacket especially when she wears it on the dress, not the uniform.
This example uses scarcity to make the customer conclude that this must definitely be a high-quality boot.
“Loake is one of those establishments that’s getting harder and harder to find”
In this case, the scarcity is not of the product but of the manufacturer. And this tends to instill trust in the mind of the reader because it has been around for over 130 years.
The customer won’t feel too reluctant to buy this boot manufactured by an establishment that’s now getting harder to find and has been around for that long.
How to Write Good Product Descriptions That Sell
Writing a good product description doesn’t have to be a hassle. I’ll show you the 3 simple steps I use to write product descriptions for myself and my clients.
These are not the usual methods that you see all over the net. They are practicable ideas that even a beginner can apply to write excellent product descriptions.
Step 1: Learn the Guidelines
It’s a no-brainer that you have to learn the guidelines on writing product descriptions before you can craft a good one that sells even more.
Here are some guidelines to get you started.
Know Your Customer
Who is your ideal customer?
Once you’re able to determine who your ideal customer is, you’d be able to know how to speak to her and convince her. This would help you to determine what will make her buy or abandon your product.
For example, if you sell watches for elderly people, your customers are mainly old men and women who need big and easy to read watches.
This category of people is more concerned about the readability of a watch rather than its design. Your description should stress the readability over design.
But if you sell designer watches, your customers are majorly young men and women who love fashion. They care more about design and quality than readability.
In this case, your description should stress design over quality. That’s how it works.
Except you’re selling machines to engineers, don’t prioritize features over benefits.
Consumers are more interested in the benefits they’d derive from your product over its features.
A mother who wakes up early in the morning and dresses up her kids for school, before preparing for work, doesn’t care if the blender consumes just 5, 10, or 20 Watts of power. What she does care about is that it blends fast, smooth, and saves her time and stress.
Telling her that it consumes 10 Watts is spelling out the feature of the blender. But telling her how much time it saves her is letting her know the benefit of the blender.
Make Your Copy Scannable
Sometimes, you may need to highlight several benefits of your products. Instead of making it clumsy and difficult to read, consider putting your points in bullets.
This makes it easy to read and customers will be able to quickly scan the important points.
You can make your product description scannable by varying the font size of the heading/subheading and description details. And highlighting the major points with bullets.
Using different colors also helps to attract customers to key points – as seen on innocent drinks in the image above.
Your attention will be drawn to 2 things in the copy written in the image above even while doing a quick scan; the heading and the points in green.
Make Your Customers Imagine the Product in Their Hands
There is another way of making your customers imagine holding your product in their hands apart from using large, clear, and high-quality pictures.
Look at the example given in 6 above, the bottle is described in such a way that you begin to imagine that it is right in front of you. That’s the power of copywriting.
Optimize Your Product Description for Search engines
Write for your customers first, and then optimize it for search engines. Don’t be obsessed with SEO. Write like your customer. Use the same words your customers use in search tabs to look for your product.
Use the keywords in your headings and as alt tags of your images. Try to avoid keyword stuffing that makes your descriptions make no sense to your customers.
What you want to do is to first write your copy, and then make some substitutions to insert your keywords. Strike a balance between writing for customers and writing for search engines.
Using the same words customers use is not only good for SEO, it also helps to increase conversion rate. It makes the customer feel that you know what they want.
Use Descriptive & Power Words
Descriptive words are words that show action. They are verbs. They help you to clearly present benefits to your customers. Replace adjectives with verbs.
Also, use power words in your description. Power words are words that hold more sway than others. Power words vary depending on your niche. They are words that trigger the desire of customers. Words like durable, best, cheap, reliable, and so on.
Prove Your Claims
If you claim that your product is the best, you should provide a proof.
Tecno mobile made a claim that the sensitive area of the camera of its Camon C9 is wider than that on iPhone and Samsung. It provided specific figures to back its claim.
Don’t just make claims without proofs. If a customer says it’s the best, it’d make more sense if you quote the customer. It makes it more believable.
Step 2: Get a Template
Now that you know the guidelines, you still might not be able to craft something appealing to your customers. What you need to do next is to get a template.
Look around at established stores in your niche and see how their product description looks. Get the one you find most persuasive and copy the format.
Wait … I’m not telling you to copy the descriptions word for word. No, that would make you a copycat and you won’t get better. What I’m saying is that you analyze it and move on to the next step.
Step 3: Write Your Copy
Let’s look at a product description from Souq.
If I sell mobile phones and I find the description on Souq most persuasive, this is what I’d do.
Let’s analyze the product description of Samsung Galaxy J5 from the image above. This is the format as seen on the page.
- Physical Features
- Key Features
- Important Feature 1 with details
- Important Feature 2 with details
- Important Feature 3 with details
- Important Feature 4 with details
Now I’ll move on to write my own product description using this template as a guideline. You see, I didn’t copy the text. I only used the format.
You don’t have to use the format exactly the way it is. Use your creativity to write a successful copy.
Writing unique product descriptions doesn’t have to be a hard work.
Model the product descriptions of J.Peterman to increase conversion rate. Get a template and use the guidelines to write product descriptions that sell.
But if this process feels tedious and you don’t have much time, or you just want to focus on marketing and other things, get a copywriter to do a great job for you.
Don’t be a copy and paste master. This is your business. Take it seriously.