How To Create Product Descriptions For An Ecommerce Site By Telling Stories

product descriptionseCommerce is very different from physical selling and many people are starting to figure this out, yet still lack the understanding that it means they need different tactics in order to sell. One of the areas they forget to work with is product descriptions. They believe that, just like in a physical store, a product will sell itself. However, an online product cannot be touched, turned around, opened up, inspected or even smelled. Hence, not providing a product description means that you could just miss out on a lot of customers.

What Is a Product Description?

A product description is an opportunity to create a fantastic impression of a specific product. This description is what helps people get excited. It allows them to stop simply browsing and move into actually making a purchase. In the world of marketing, it is known that the product description is the second most important part of selling an item, after the picture. As such, a product description is a tool to create much better conversion rates.

As an eCommerce site owner, you have the responsibility to yourself and your profits, and to your customers and their loyalty, to actually explain to them what you are selling. This should not be done by simply copying and pasting a description you got from the manufacturer. Not only is this boring, it will actually work against your SEO efforts as well. Your product description should be treated as content. It needs to be interesting yet informative, meaning it contains all the information that your customers need, as well as that it really compels them to add the item they have been reading about to their cart.

Tips to Create Product Descriptions that Sell

Always start by putting your journalist cap on.

Journalists utilize the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How method for getting across the facts of their stories, and following this process is the first step in crafting a compelling product description.

This means you start by identifying who the product is for. Then, explain what the product actually is. Follow this by where it can be used and when. Move on to indicating why this product is better than any other out there and finish by explaining exactly how it works.

The Formula for a Good Product Description

Now that you know what needs to go into your product description, you need to work out how you will present this information. The text needs to flow for those who read it, but it also has to encourage those who simply glanced over it to actually start reading it. This can be a daunting task, since not all of us were born to be writers. However, it actually involves following quite a simple formula as shown the BigCommerce blog.

“[Paragraph(s) of Prose] + [Bulleted List of Specs or Features] = [Engaging Product Description]”

What matters next, therefore, is what you put in your paragraphs of prose, and what you put in your list of specifications. A number of tips are available for this, and following these will mean that you are writing an engaging piece of text that will turn site visitors into paying customers.

The first thing to do is start with a story. You can always create a story that is engaging in relation to a product. Keep it short (around 100 to 200 words), but tantalizing. If you are selling an item of clothing, for instance, tell a story about how that garment helped someone stand out from the crowd. If you are selling an item of food, write about the family recipe behind that particular item. Make sure that this story speaks to those who you believe to be the target customer. For instance, if you want to sell an mp3 player to teenagers, write your story about a current pop artist and not about Beethoven. Do make sure your text is free from jargon and that it relies far more on verbs than on adjectives. Tell people what they want to hear about this piece of text, without creating a so called “yeah, yeah moment”. The moments happen when you tell your audience that you product is of excellent quality, for instance. Your audience knows fine well that you wouldn’t tell them if your item was of bad quality, thus creating a yeah, yeah moment.

When you get to creating your bullet list, make sure it contains both features and benefits. Use this list to provide real facts about your item. In other words, don’t writer “better screen”, but write “62% more pixels” for example. The bullet points should tell your customer all the really important things, but make sure you don’t make the list too long either. Again, it is about knowing what your customers want and giving them exactly that, rather than giving them information they don’t really care about anyway.

This does sound like a lot of work, but nobody ever said that owning a store was going to be easy. The reality of life is that the only way to earn a living is by working hard, and this is true whether you work in an office, a physical store or own your own eCommerce website. Doing this right will increase your conversion rates, decrease the number of abandoned carts, lower your rates of returns, decrease the amount of customer calls and complaints you receive, and help towards your SEO efforts.

One last thing to remember is that you write properly.

Don’t forget all of the writing rules you learned back in school. Avoid using all caps (it looks like shouting), use proper punctuation and run the finished product through grammar and spell-check in a program like Microsoft Word before publishing it.

Getting all of this right is not impossible. It takes a little bit of time, but it is time very well spent. It is time that will turn itself into money at the end of the day, and that is the goal you are working towards. Be original, be fun and you will make sales.

If you could use some help creating powerful product descriptions for your site – we would love to help!

Mike Pereira is the founder of CTC Ventures LLC, the parent company of, as well as a whole host of other businesses. Mike is a regular contributor to blogs such as and to name a few. Mike is best known for his affiliate marketing prowess and has an extensive Internet marketing and e-commerce background dating back to 1996. Follow Mike at Google+

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