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!






Ladies & Gents: The How-To Is Here!

Remember that time that we were bragging about putting together a fantastic collection of instructional videos and business-related toolkits for all of you lovely people??  If you’ve visited the HSCG website recently, you may have seen the new and magical How-To Library tab on our homepage!  Yes, it is finally here in all of it’s knowledgeable glory and we couldn’t be more excited!


The HSCG How-To Library is your go-to source for all types of information to help you improve your soap and cosmetic making expertise and your business skills.  Here’s some more good news: The content provided by the HSCG is free and clear of all sales pitches and slants toward a particular product or service (scout’s honor!).  You can expect the information to be clear, unbiased and peer-reviewed. You won’t get fed any personal opinions in the HSCG learning library (because we fully believe that you are more than capable of forming your own..)– you’ll get facts and useable how-to directions for making products and expanding your business.  Not too shabby, eh?

You’ll see multiple How-To categories that cover various topics having to do with making soap, cosmetics, and other products as well as some business-boosting categories like Marketing & Promotion, Business & Finance, and Legal & Compliance.  Not convinced of the awesomeness yet?  Check it out for yourself!

If you missed it in a previous eNews, register for free on our website and check out the ever-adorable Holly Port, owner of Lotion Bar Café, in what was our very first instructional video teaching us how to make super sassy bath fizzies.  Just click the pic below!  


**Have something in mind that YOU want to see in the How-To Library?  Pop an email about your brilliant idea to our Executive Director and let us know: executivedirector@soapguild.org** 

    Post by The Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild

Behind the Scenes: Constructing HSCG’s Library

If you follow us here on the blog (or Facebook or Twitter, you faithful stalker, you) or were lucky enough to join us in Tucson earlier this year for our 17th annual conference, then you may remember hearing about a project we’ve been working on for the soap and cosmetic-making community.

One super important part of the Guild’s mission is to foster the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry. To that end, we’ve been working on an online library to house all sorts of resources for members and the community at large. There you’ll find everything from instructional videos to the various toolkits we released earlier this year to helpful links and articles covering all aspects of your indie business.

Wondering what this content will look like? (Yes, we couldn’t wait, either.) While we are oh-so-impatiently waiting for this library to be built, we couldn’t resist sharing one of the first instructional videos, taught by bath don’t-call-it-a-bomb master Holly Port. In this video, filmed by Monster Productions, Holly, owner of Lotion Bar Café, teaches you how to make (what else?!) fail-proof bath fizzies.

And, if you really want a glimpse behind the scenes (and a newfound appreciation for what it takes to translate instructions to film), check out the blooper reel.


We can’t wait to bring you an entire library full of content like this. Members, keep an eye on your e-news to get the latest and greatest scoop.

Thank you, Holly, for sharing your expertise and your bloopers! What are *you* hoping to see in the HSCG Library?