7 Tips For Writing Stellar Product Descriptions

7 Tips for Writing Stellar Product Descriptions

When shopping online, the last thing that you want to see is a product description that tells you absolutely nothing about the item itself other than what you can plainly see in the picture.  I kid you not, I once saw a beautiful piece of pottery on Etsy that was super detailed with color and a mosaic-esque design with the description “round bowl”…  WHAT?!  Not so exciting.  So naturally, I was determined to make this the next blog topic in order to put a stop to this heinous trend (if nothing else but to save my own sanity).  So, my friends, here are 7 handy dandy tips & tricks to help you with your own product descriptions!

Tip #1:  A successful product description has 3 goals:

1. To catch the attention of the customer.

2. To describe the details of the product. (NOT just redundantly listing the qualities being shown in the pictures)

3. To convince the customer that they need the product/the product serves as a solution to their problem.


Pretty basic stuff, yes?  Well allow me to break it down to even simpler terms…

Tip #2:  Your description should be dissected into 3 parts

 1. What sets this product apart from other products that are similar? (What is your products appeal?)

2. What problem does it solve? (What are the benefits of your product?)

3. What reason is there to buy this product right now? (Is it a best seller? Designer favorite? Limited edition?)


Tip #3:  Give the “impression”

An awesome trick to use when spelling out the details of a product is to follow this formula:  By highlighting a feature plus a benefit, you can give your customer the general impression of quality without bluntly stating so.


 For an example as to how this can work with even the most random item, take a peek at this short and sweet description of a bathroom accessory from the Pottery Barn and you’ll see that formula in action.  Their description is as follows:


“Keep bath essentials organized with this stylish étagère, sized to align with the top of a standard tub.”

> 23″ wide x 9.5″ deep x 27″ high

> Iron base is supported by elegantly curved stretchers.

> Three removable enameled-iron trays feature raised lips to keep objects in place.

> Handles provide easy re-positioning.

> Finished in polished nickel.

> Catalog / Internet only.


If you look at their bullets, you’ll see where they talk about the “three removable enameled-iron trays featuring raised lips (feature) to keep objects in place (benefit)“…  SEE?!  It totally works, and you can apply it to anything!


Another reason this description works, is that it answers most of the key questions from earlier:

What problem does it solve?  It “keeps bath essentials organized” without having to sacrifice style and conveniently “aligns with the top of a standard tub”.

What is the product’s appeal? By calling it a “stylish étagère”, they gave it a nice European spin.  Because using french is MUCH classier than just calling it a “stylish shelf”, non?

What desire is there to buy this product now?  While this particular example doesn’t necessarily create a sense of urgency, it does give the impression of exclusivity by declaring it to be available by “catalog/internet only”.


Tip #4: Appeal to the senses

When selling online, you must always bear in mind that customers cannot physically hold your products.

This means that it’s your job to create vivid descriptions using sensory words that speak to your customer’s senses and imagination, allowing the potential buyer to envision themselves in a scenario where they are using your product to fulfill their need, whatever it may be.


Tip #5: Use “Social Proof” to your advantage

Most online shoppers will tell you that one of the biggest influences in their decision of purchasing a certain item, is whether or not a friend recommended it to them (or maybe they saw one of their thousands of closest Facebook friends mention something about it that one time).

Keeping that in mind, why not throw a customer review or testimonial into your description? If one of your products has been previously featured in a magazine or well-known online forum, consider adding a tagline such as “As seen in…“. Does one or two of your products sell considerably better than the others? Don’t be afraid to add “Customer Favorite” and showcase that it’s one of your more popular items.

All of these tactics can, and should, be used in order to increase credibility and consumer confidence.


Tip #6: Avoid using superlatives UNLESS you can back them up

Everyone will claim that their product is the “best” or the “easiest” or the “fastest” so, unless you can prove that your claim is true, it’s usually best to stay away from using words like that so you don’t take the chance of being perceived as insincere.

The last thing you want your customer to be thinking when reading about your stuff is “Yeah yeah, sure….“.


Tip #7: Make it “personal”

A great way to keep your customer’s interest is to incorporate some “personal” or “behind-the-scenes” info.

Whether it be about the product itself or the process of creating it, people love knowing a little extra about the items that they buy! (Bragging rights, ya know?) So ask yourself- What was the inspiration for creating the product?  Who physically makes it? What obstacles did you have to overcome?

This approach is an excellent way of simultaneously educating the consumer about your products, while also making them forget that they’re being “sold to”.


These suggestions and methods are only a few out of many in order to make your product descriptions “headline-worthy”, but they’re a good start!  Do any of these options stand out to you as being especially helpful? Are there any tips that you think should have been included here? Spread the wealth people- share your expertise in the comments!






HSCG Member Spotlight: Master Certification Recipients

HSCG Master Certified Soapmakers

Are you exited? Because WE’RE excited! I must say that I do love the fresh smell of ambition in the morning…

For those who may not know, one of the many Member Benefits of the HSCG is the opportunity to partake in the Certification Program.

 Long story short,  there are  3 levels of certification: Basic, Advanced, and Master.  Each available in either the CP/HP -or- the MP category, and each a bit more difficult/involved than the last (and no, you can’t just skip ahead & start at the Master level. You are required to start at the bottom, and pass you way up!)

The Master Certification level is the third and final level of Certification that an HSCG Member can achieve.

Comprised of 4 separate parts & allowed up to 2 years to complete it, this test is not for the faint of heart, people.  Just think of it as the SAT’s of HSCG soapmaking certification.  The Master level was implemented in 2012 to further evaluate the knowledge & experience of the soapmaker, along with their ability to research & investigate new areas, & expand the awareness of the handcrafted soapmaking community.  

If you were able to join us in Indianapolis, IN this past April for the annual conference, then you had the pleasure of helping us congratulate the very first 2 HSCG members ever to be awarded the HSCG Master Certification: Anne-Marie Faiola of Bramble Berry Inc., & Jackie Thompson of Gaily Rebecca Soaps!

HSCG President Feleciai Favroth presents Anne-Marie Faiola with her Master Certification award at the 2015 HSCG Conference.

“Completing the master certification has brought me the confidence in knowing that Bramble Berry and I can complete even the most daunting of soap challenges. We also gained much applicable knowledge in regards to lye production and transparent/melt and pour soap production.” ~ A.M. Faiola 

Having started making soap when she was 16 years old, it’s no surprise that this evolved entrepreneur was one of the first to complete this process.  However even with so much experience & success, when asked if she learned anything new that she might not have otherwise known before deciding to take the Master Certification, Anne-Marie gladly shed some light:

          “…There were many things! To name a few: the history of lye production, the chemistry of melt and pour and what the components do, how cream soap differs from something like bath whip, as well as the production methods for these items that could be applied to house made items at Bramble Berry.”

HSCG President Feleciai Favroth presents Jackie Thompson with her Master Certification award at the 2015 HSCG Conference.

Jackie Thompson, most well known for her adventures & experiments with liquid soapmaking,  was also kind enough to answer a few post-certification questions for us!  When asked about the process as a whole & whether or not she would recommend it to another soapmaker member, her answer was resoundingly positive:

“Of course I would recommend and have recommended other soapmakers complete the Master Certification! If nothing else the Master Certification creates a feeling of accomplishment as well as the understanding there is still so much more to learn.  It also gives the soapmaker a chance to understand the avenue of expertise they are especially equipped to focus in their soapmaking journey…beneficial for the soapmaker as well as the soapmaking community.”

(To read the entire Q&A with these lovely ladies, click here!)

So what are YOUR thoughts? Are YOU an HSCG Certified Member? What do you feel that you got out of the Certification process? We want to know! Drop us a line in the comments below to share your Certification story!

Proudly Announcing: Cut to the Trace

HSCG Introduces New Blog!»We’re back!«

 Bonjour everyone! I am happy to announce that the HSCG blog, now known as “Cut To The Trace”, is officially up and running (soapmakers, you can definitely appreciate our punny new name, right?) and I must say, we have missed you so!

 You may have noticed that we look a bit different than before – We got a fancy shmancy new makeover!  Don’t worry, all of our past posts are still available for your re-reading pleasure.  But more importantly, I am incredibly excited to finally be able to serve up some fantastic material for you on a regular basis again!

 While this post will be short & sweet, you can look forward to our next feature article later this week, so stay tuned & subscribe! You can receive our new posts right to your inbox!

What do you think of our new look?  What topics do you want to see covered first? Have you missed us too? Drop us a line in the comments below – We can’t wait to hear from you!

Sincerely happy to be back serving you,