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!






2015 Conference: Business Highlights

April 18, 2015: Where will you be? The Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild will be in Indianapolis, welcoming 450 lucky attendees to our annual conference. And what, pray tell, happens during this conference? Oh, we are so glad you asked…we’ll be packing nearly 2 dozen speaker sessions covering topics ranging from business to product-making, an exhibitor hall, a product showcase and competition, HSCG merchandise, networking lunches, lots of snacks, a killer raffle, nightly events, and opportunities to take certification exams into 3 days (plus a half, if you come early for optional seminars). Woot! If you’re not tired just reading that sentence, please send some of your energy our way, thank you very much.

We have a slew of speakers lined up for the 2015 annual conference who will be addressing all aspects of your business. Keep reading for a sneak peek of speakers who are going to help you rocket your business to the next level.

Bella Luce and Lucky Break Consulting founder Lela Barker will help you dissect what makes a brand successful and how to apply it to your brand regardless of your cash flow in The Anatomy of a Compelling Brand.

Lela Barker

About.com’s David Fisher will explain why your mission statement guides your business and help you draft one in What’s Your Plan? Creating a Working Mission Statement For Any Size Business.

David Fisher

Lovin’ Soap Project’s co-founder and co-director Amanda Griffin will explain different ways your business can give back and inspire you to philanthropic action in Cause Marketing, Empowered Consumerism and Why Doing Good is Good for Business.

Amanda Griffin

Dave Purdue, trademark attorney at Purdue Law Offices, is back to help you separate copyright fact from myth and register your claims without stepping on any legal toes with Copyright: Protect What’s Yours – Respect What’s Theirs.

Dave Purdue

Rising Tide Capital’s Community Business Academy teacher and Nyah owner La Shonda Tyree will show seasoned makers how to boost their bottom lines and capitalize on their knowledge in Monetize What You Know: Start Teaching for a Profit.

La Shonda Tyree

Learn all about The Psychology of Color, from choosing colors that sell to coordinating colors across your entire brand from Mossy Creek Soap Studio CEO and founder Michelle Rhoades.

Michelle Rhoades

Soapmaker and multi-book author Marie Gale is back with a two-session class covering the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act and the requirements from all the agencies with authority over soap and cosmetic labeling in Product Labeling: Regulations as of 2015.

Marie Gale

Packaging expert Jack Leitman of The Leitman Group is ready to show you both how to get a custom look with US-based stock packaging and how to affordably source custom molded packaging in Custom Packaging: Componetics May Be The Answer!


Once you have a packaged, branded product, learn just what it takes to wholesale it in Prairie Soap Company and The Imperial Drifter owner Benjamin Aaron’s How to Wholesale: Selling Your Products to the Broader Marketplace.

Benjamin Aaron

From start up costs to leasing and employees, Bathhouse Soapery and multiple retail shop owner Charlene Simon is back covering all the bases with How to Open a Soap Shop: Everything You Need to be Retail Ready.

Charlene Simon

Social media marketer and web development thought leader Melissa Ward will teach you how to use your business’ culture, values, and individuality to market your business and stand out from the crowd in Naked Marketing: A Return to Intimacy in the Digital Age.

Melissa Ward

Quite the list of speakers, right? Check out the entire conference schedule here and register here.

If you’ve never attended an industry event, attending a conference feels like quite the investment, but this is one that we think will prove more than worth your while. Don’t forget, through the end of October, we offer early-early bird pricing for HSCG members. Sign up today and spread your conference payments over 6 months, interest-free through PayPal Credit.

185 days until Indy! What business classes do you wish you could take??

Soaping Superstars: Beauty in Haiti

It all started with Google.  No, really.

Marla Bosworth, CEO and Founder of Back Porch Soap Company, and Amanda Griffin, the brains behind Lovin’ Soap, both HSMG members and speakers at our 2013 conference, recently returned from a whirlwind trip to Haiti.

There, they taught two dozen women from OFEDA (Organisation des Femmes Devouees en Action), a group formed after the 2010 earthquake, the basics of soapmaking and making natural body care products.

Over a period of just six days, Marla and Amanda traveled to the site, spent two days sourcing local ingredients, and held two full days of workshops, including classes on how to make soap, sugar scrubs, and hair and body oils.

What brought them there?  Google.

Human rights photographer Paula Allen had been working with the 200-woman strong organization on a greeting card business, when they expressed a desire to make soap.  Not having any experience in the area, she turned to Google, where she found Marla, who turned to the soapmaking community for help and found Amanda ready and willing to take on an ambitious project.

Between Marla and Amanda’s thorough planning and their support team (a local driver, Paula, and translators Louis, Rodny and Angie), their first international project went off without a hitch, despite the lack of electricity, running water, and language differences.

The biggest surprise, report both women, is that they fell in love in Haiti and can’t wait until April, when they will return to teach more advanced business topics including production and distribution to help the group launch their new soap business.

Marla shares, “These women are amazingly powerful and underestimated by many. Some of them owned businesses prior to the earthquake of 2010. They have nothing now besides each other. They live in tent camps and have hard lives.  Some have been gang raped. Their stories are heart wrenching.  We feel strongly that we were brought here to help them improve the quality of their lives – both for them and for their children.

I’m asking our local soapmaking community to support these women by donating at our fundraising site at http://www.indiegogo.com/BeautyInHaiti through January 31, 2013. As little as $10 can make a difference!

In February, you can find more about our project at our new website: http://www.BeautyInHaiti.com

We couldn’t be more proud of these two amazing soapmakers.  Let’s make sure they can continue this project.  Here’s what you can do to help:

  • Spread the word (twitter, facebook, even good ole’ word of mouth!)