How To Write Successful Product Descriptions (part 1/3)

Perhaps you’ve seen it. A new small restaurant or store spends weeks renovating, stocking their wares, installing equipment, celebrating it’s opening and then, sadly, simply shutting down after 3 months of struggle. The common theme among such failures is that they thought that, by doing no more than opening their doors, people would simply flock in and give them money. Why does this happen? More often than not it’s because the proprietors did not invest time in advertising or, if they did advertise, they did so ineffectively.

If your business is selling things online, don’t make the same mistake. It’s not enough to simply post photos and minimal or canned descriptions to garner traffic and sales. You have to advertise effectively. And the most commonly overlooked key to effectiveness is writing fresh, compelling product descriptions. You can’t just hang up your “open” sign and wait for people to pour in. You have to draw them in. Attend to the following tips, sit back and watch your online business grow.

Know Your Audience and Inhabit Them
Don’t make the mistake of thinking “one size fits all” when it comes to your product descriptions. By their nature, descriptions are not generic. If you try to reach everyone, you’ll essentially reach no one effectively. You’re going to have an entirely different kind of customer traffic if you’re selling women’s lingerie than if you’re selling hearing aids. So spend some time thinking about exactly who your most likely customers will be.

Think about age range, gender, social or economic class, recreational and entertainment preferences, and the types of personalities of the people who will want to know about your products. Imagine them as living, breathing customers and think of how you’d try to sell to them if they were standing right in front of you in the flesh. Do a mind flip and pretend you are one of them. What would catch your eye and ear? What kinds of questions would you ask if you were shopping for your product?

While a lot of this is imagination work based on your experiences with different kinds of people, spend a little time on research and analysis. You know you can find information on literally any topic under the Internet sun, so perform some web searches on your customer-base demographics. If you’re trying to sell shoes to high school and college kids, find out how those generations think as a whole, what attracts them in terms of language, in terms of style, in terms of lifestyle. Then tailor your descriptions to them.