Are Your Product Descriptions Losing You Sales?

woman in tanktopWith summer approaching, Susie has been browsing e-commerce stores for new running gear. She found two stores that sell the tank tops she likes. How did she choose which one to purchase from? Each store took a different approach to the way they presented their product information. They both displayed a picture and description of the product.

The first product page was typical of many e-commerce sites - it showed a picture of the product and listed its features. (We've removed product image to avoid identifying the retailer.) There is nothing here that is descriptive. Nothing that made this tank top stand out to Susie, nothing that said 'buy ecommerce product description poorme.' The text is functional, but bland. You get the feeling that they've copied the product specifications directly from the manufacturers.

Copying manufacturer's specifications can cause another set of problems. When Google sees the same information on different pages and sites, it thinks it as duplicate content, and this can have an impact on a site's rankings. However Google looks at a lot of factors when it ranks a page, including engagement on the site. So user-friendly pages are really important

The second store that Susie visited had similar product information, but added something very important to the description - a benefit. It outlined the UV protection factor. Why is it important to describe benefits to online shoppers? Because they can't touch the product, can't feel it for themselves, and can't read any labels which might describe the benefits. It's your job to describe the benefits they can't see or touch.

Both of the tank tops are similarly priced, but Susie didn't have much useful informationabout the product from the first store. There was more on the second store, but it could have been better.


If only Susie has seen this product description:

ecommerce product description good

This product page lists features AND benefits - in fact, they've done a really good job by incorporating benefits into the list of features and limiting the amount of text to read. Some examples are:


Criss-cross open back (feature) keeps your neck unrestricted (benefit)

Hidden pocket in the shelf bra (feature) keeps your key or cash close by (benefit)


Without seeing or touching this product, you can build a picture of what it is, what it looks like and what it can do. It is very well targeted at its audience; Runners have to put their keys and cash somewhere. Overall, it is a very good description.

If you're not in a market where the benefits are so obvious, you have a to be a bit more creative with your copy and set the sort of tone that will entice people and interest them. You might have to work a bit harder to find the benefits but they are there. Sometimes the pictures do assist with the selling, but if you're in a competitive market, the description may be the thing that clinches the sale.

In summary, if you are an e-comerce retailer, the key points you should be working into your product descriptions are:

  • Think beyond super short product descriptions
  • Write good descriptive text to compensate for the fact that people can't touch the product
  • Use tone and feel to differentiate your product from your competitor
  • Find the benefits that will sell your product

Like to know more about writing benefits into product decriptions? Click over to our blog

The more compelling the description and the more you can describe value-added benefits the more you will sell.