How to Write Product Descriptions that Sell
Viktoriya from ViktoriousWords has some tips on how to write effective descriptions to help sell your products on Etsy.
You work hard on your craft. You pour your time, your heart, and all your energy into creating something to be proud of... but you’re not selling. Why? Nine times out of ten lackluster copy is to blame.
Sure, you know that your product is amazing, but customers browsing through thousands of potential choices might need a little bit of convincing, and that’s what product descriptions are for! To sell, your descriptions must grab your customers’ attention, intrigue them, and inspire them to click “add to cart”. I’m here to share 5 tips that will help you write descriptions like a pro!
1. Know your target audience
Before you begin writing, you need to know who your target audience is. If you’re trying to sell something, you need someone to sell it to! Begin by identifying some broad categories that people potentially interested in your product might belong to – age, gender, relevant interest, income bracket, profession, etc. – and do a little brainstorming and research to find out general trends associated with those demographics. You don’t have to fall down the Google rabbit hole to access that information – sometimes just a bit of good old common sense will do the trick.
Let’s say you’re selling a new minivan. Who would need one of those? Probably someone with a family. Since it’s a new car, it will be sold at full price and the buyer must have a stable income to afford the payments. Knowing all this, you can make an educated guess that your target audience is financially stable parents of all genders in their early 30s to mid-40s. Having identified your target audience, you can step into their shoes and empathize with their needs and desires as consumers.
2. Give them what they want
Think of your copy as a conversation with your target audience. People come to your shop with a question, need, or desire, and you’re there to help. You’re there to tell them how your product will solve a problem, satisfy a want, or maybe even change their life. Think about what is important to your target audience. Let’s say the hypothetical van that you’re selling is roomy, safe, fuel efficient, comes in a million different colors and is equipped with a state of the art stereo system. While the color and stereo features are cool, it wouldn’t be wise to lead with them when selling to parents. Parents will likely be concerned about safety, fuel-efficiency, longevity, and stable performance. Those characteristics are exactly what you should focus on.
Apply the same logic to your merchandise. Before you sit down to write, think about the items you’re selling and what makes them appealing to your customers. What would someone who bought your products say? Are you using rare and exclusive materials or techniques? Will your product make your customers feel good? How? Will it make their life easier, happier, more fun, more beautiful? Why would YOU buy the product? Write copy that shows how your product will positively affect the lives of your customers.
The most important part is to demonstrate genuine empathy and understanding of your target audience's wants, needs, and dreams. Consumers are smart – they can tell the difference between a cold hard salesman and business owner who genuinely cares. Show them you care, and they will be happy to support you again and again.
3. Keep ‘em short and sweet.
Some sellers believe that the more information they cram into a description, the better, and they couldn’t be more wrong. Shopping is supposed to be fun, light, exciting. Reading a long block of text is the exact opposite – it’s work. The minute shopping becomes like work, customers make like Olympic athletes and run like the wind. Respect the fact that your customers don’t have the time or desire to do a lot of reading, and keep your descriptions short and to the point. Your sales pitch should be no more than a few sentences. Just make sure those sentences pack a punch. Avoid filler words and phrases – they muddle your message. Say what you need to say, but no more. This way, your customers will cling to every word and proceed to checkout with your product in tow, inspired and excited about their purchase.
If you have extra information – care instructions, details on materials or a special manufacturing process, info on custom orders, etc. – feel free to include it into your description, but only after the sales copy. That way it’s there for your customers, but only if they choose to read on. Make sure to put the most important supplementary info closer to the top of the page.
4. Include a call to action.
Once you’ve done all that hard work of painting a picture with just a few short sentences, close, that, sale! Don’t leave your customer hanging! Sometimes just a nudge in the right direction is the difference between a quick view and a sale. But don’t tell them to BUY, BUY, BUY! That’s just tacky. No one wants to be pressured into a purchase. Instead, offer and entice! Let’s revisit the van. Instead of writing “buy my van!”, say something like “comfort and peace of mind are just one click away!” The first approach is in your face and nagging, while the second one presents a simple path to a better life.
5. Read it out loud
To be effective, your copy must have conversational flow. To check for any stumbles or awkward moments, it’s helpful to read your writing out loud. The test is simple: if it rolls off the tongue, then it’s a pleasure to read! If it’s a pleasure to read, your customers will love reading it and, at the end of the day, it’s all about giving them the best you have to offer!
Now, it’s time to try these tips yourself!
About the author:
Viktoriya is web content, SEO copywriting and creative marketing expert. You can find out more about her services by visiting her Etsy shop: ViktoriousWords.