When you want to be able to turn your business into an eCommerce superpower, it pays to see how some of the biggest brands in the world go about selling their products. Users will make up their minds whether to continue reading within 5 seconds of landing on your page. So you need to use every trick in the book to ensure you capture as many people as you can in that short window of time.
To give you plenty of ideas, we’ll be taking a look at 10 of the best examples of product descriptions that actually sell, and telling you how they do it. That way you’ll have everything you need to create a description that reduces your bounce rate and transforms your turnover.
Dollar Shave Club: Using graphics to compliment great casual writing
If you want to know how to write a description that’s going to sell, you only have to take a look at Dollar Shave Club. They were entering a highly competitive market and knew that margins were tight. This meant that the way for them to stand out from the crowd was to approach things from a completely different angle in the hope of going viral.
Refreshing style that breaks the mold
Their brand is a refreshing dose of humor in a marketplace that’s been dominated by chiseled men shaving topless in front of the bathroom mirror for decades. Whilst companies like Gillette try and tie in sportsmen to multi-year contracts, Dollar Shave Club makes a joke out of the whole thing with TV ads that don’t make all that much sense. Where they do make a lot of sense, is their How It Works description.
Pictures that tell the reader everything before they’ve read the text
The ball and chain picture with the shackle open says it all really. Customers have long grown wise to online services that run a subscription model. So by instantly showing that their service is flexible and doesn’t have any lock-ins, Dollar Shave Club has already stood out from the rest of their competitors.
A clever call to action that comes across as casual
Take a look at the call to action at the bottom: ‘by now you’re probably convinced of the wisdom of joining the club.’ There’re 3 keywords in there:
- Probably: keeps it casual and in line with the rest of the branding
- Wisdom: reminds people who aren’t completely sold yet that they’re being offering something smarter than they’re currently using
- Club: makes the reader want to be a part of something that they’d like to tell their friends about
Manchester United: Talking about the heritage of a brand to differentiate it
They’re the owners of one of the best-selling sports jerseys in the world, so who better to take a look at than Manchester United? If you take a look at brands such as Essay Supply, Burger King, and Office Depot you can tell what they sell from their names alone. With Manchester United, their name precedes them to such an extent that people will know who they are, but not necessarily where they’ve come from.
Text that differentiates the new strip from past products
The challenge they faced in their description is persuading people to part with rather a lot of money for a t-shirt. With an audience that will likely already have several old strips, all of which look quite similar, they needed to provide something different in the text. The way they’ve done this is by talking about the heritage of the club. Local areas and old teams are mentioned, and it all helps to give the reader an idea of the history they’re buying into. The text is short, succinct, and to the point. The reason? It’s the image that will close the deal.
A simple layout that tells your eyes exactly where to go
It can be all too easy to get carried away with the graphics side of things when working on your descriptions. The text is important, but if it’s used to populate a confusing template then the chances are it’ll never be read. Manchester United has gone with a simple layout that everyone intuitively knows how to navigate, and they’ve done it for one very good reason.
By keeping the images as the focal point, they’re trying to get you to examine the new strip from different angles. The more time you spend looking at it, the more you start to see the heritage espoused in the written part of the description, reflected in the design of the shirt.
Tesco: Authentic writing that sells an entire brand
When you want to learn how to write creative descriptions, you need to understand how to do more than just tell people what you have for sale. Take Tesco for example. They’re one of the biggest supermarkets in the world, and yet one of their key pages focuses on where they’ve come from.
Heritage always sells, but you need to keep your text authentic
Readers love to buy into a brand, and that, in short, is why heritage sells. It’s all about telling people where you started, and what motivated you to do it. The market stall photos are a great example here as they show the reader a glimpse of the starting point of what today is a global brand. But what aren’t they doing?
Read what descriptions doesn’t say, as well as what it does
You’ll notice there are no references to competitors, or how Tesco’s humble beginnings make it better than one of their rivals. Whilst they clearly see it as a selling point, they’re not willing to go all-in and denounce their competitors. The reason for this is that it would make them appear insincere and too mercenary.
With thousands of different product lines to push the moment you walk in the door, they know that the real battle is getting the reader to avoid their competition. They’re not going to do that simply by saying they are better. They need to provide subtle social proof and show how the values the company was founded on have led them to where they are today. The conclusion the reader then draws is that Tesco is a brand that knows what it’s doing.
Nike: Aspirational language that evokes emotions
Take a look at this example from Nike, and then sit back and think about how it makes you feel. Uplifted, empowered, and energized are three words that come to mind.
“Nike has a track record of making their products come across as groundbreaking and spellbinding. You might think that there’s only so many ways you can sell a pair of trainers, but then you’d be wrong. They make you buy into their whole ethos so that you feel like it’s perfectly natural to have a dozen pairs of their trainers at any one time.” — says Andrew Thomas, Marketing Specialist at Resumes Centre.
Short and sweet tag lines that work in perfect harmony with uplifting imagery
The great thing about Nike’s approach is that they leave plenty of space for their images. Your brain processes pictures up to 60,000 times faster than words, so they’ve really focused on this area of the layout. By making you feel energized the moment you arrive on the page, they’ve made you invested in their journey straight away.
This then has the added benefit of allowing them to write a description that’s very light on text. It’s fun, vibrant, and very easy to digest. Just what you want as a consumer when you’re looking for a product that will make you happy by adding a touch of luxury to your life.
Walmart: Using the history of a brand to connect it with the reader’s emotions
The great thing about this Walmart page is that it’s an example of how long-form copy can do just as good a job as short form copy when it’s done the right way. There’s no discernible call to action, and yet it makes you want to shop there. So, how have they done it?
Timeline allows them to create a subtle infographic
Sometimes infographics can overload the reader with information and come across as too sales-oriented. This is an accusation you certainly can’t level at the designers of this Walmart page.
The timeline is subtle and sits elegantly in the background, it’s deployed in such a way that it makes you want to read on until you get to the bottom. It does a great job of giving you little snippets of information that make you feel like you really know the brand and what it stands for.
Not a sales tag line in sight because it’s all about heritage
As descriptions go, this is a history of the brand unlike any other. It’s highly readable, enjoyable, and most importantly of all, it’s interesting. It’s taking a global household name, and telling you things that you probably didn’t know about it. This means that you’ll tell your friends, and you’ll establish an emotional connection with the brand.
It’s not about trying to make you buy something right that instant. It’s about positioning the Walmart brand in your mind so that when you need to shop, you go to Walmart.
The BigMac: A simple clean description of an iconic product that also introduces half a dozen others
If you take a look at this BigMac description, you’ll see that it’s short and to the point. Everyone already knows what a BigMac is, so they concentrate on using it for two key things:
- Adding value by showcasing the nutritional information in a variety of simple and easy to digest ways
- Promoting new products like their Mac Jr and XL sizes with bacon
“The BigMac is already a household name, and you probably think that it doesn’t need a product description. Never one to miss out on a chance to launch a new product, McDonald`s use it to catch traffic and then redirect them to their latest offerings.” — says James Daily, Head of the Content Department at Flash Essay.
It’s a clever approach that enables them to grab millions of search results, and then redirect those users to other products that will be searched far less often. The key takeaway point here is that you should always look for ways to recommend at least one of your other products. It allows you to keep people on your site, and come across as helpful and customer service orientated at the same time.
Primark and Primarni: How to use humor to make a budget brand desirable
‘Primarni’ is the Armani-inspired nickname for this budget clothes store, and it’s one that they’re now proud of. The really clever thing about it is that it used to be used in the pejorative, but they’ve used their descriptions to co-opt it so that they can make budget desirable.
Memorable tag lines that evoke emotions
Every brand needs to make you feel a certain way. Primark has used their unique nickname to make you feel like you’re in on the joke and that you can shop there with no regrets. Every image works in harmony with the short and sweet text, and it all comes together to make you want to go there and see what you can get for your money. It’s a really simple formula they’re using, and they’ve executed it with just the right balance of humor and style.
Udemy: Aspirational tag lines combined with clean graphics and images
No list of common product description mistakes will include this offering by the team at Udemy. The language is uplifting and empowering, and the graphics are simple, clean, and crisp. With so many different statistics and features to get across to the reader, just how have they made the description so simple to read?
Segmented design guides you through the various aspects of the offering
The key statistics are laid out in one banner, the features are each given an icon, and there’s an eye-catching image that paints a picture of you buying their service. It all knits together to create a description that makes you want to sign up and build your own online course.
Powerful tag lines that evoke emotions you can then connect to the brand
Words like: impact, expand, reach, global, and opportunities all make you feel like you can do it. This is a really important emotion to evoke if you’re going to get people to commit to building their own online course. Use this example by Udemy when you want to get people to buy in for the long haul, and you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.
Amazon Echo: A tried and test formula
Online tools such as onlinewritersrating.com and Design Bold will help you achieve plenty of balance in your descriptions, but you still need to keep it simple. This example from Amazon is perfect, not least of all because they stick to the same layout as all of the other sellers on their platform. Just the mere act of doing that makes it so much easier to extract the information you need from the description.
5 bullet points that tell you all of the tech basics you need to know
Amazon’s descriptions have some of the best features you’ll find anywhere, and they’ve been subjected to exhaustive split-run testing. The bullet points are a great way of getting across all of the key information in an easy to digest way, and they do it without being overly sales-orientated. This is great when you’re pushing products into an already highly crowded marketplace as people already know they need a product of this type.
Simple lookup tables that allow you to compare your tech without swapping between descriptions
The other thing we love is the lookup tables that allow you to see the specifics of what you’re getting for your money. They make it so much easier to compare different models, and they do it by centralizing all of the information you need to make a purchasing decision.
iPhone XR: A classic example of how less is more
When it comes to descriptions that convert, look no further than those of the world’s most valuable company. There’s the perfect blend of compelling tag lines and inspiring imagery, but what really sets the XR apart from previous models?
An inspirational style that makes you want to upgrade
There’s a subtle change that the tagline undergoes when you change it from “Brilliant in every way,” to “Brilliant. In every way.” It makes you feel like you need the XR even though you have an iPhone that’s in perfect working order. Combined with the crisp imagery that’s Apple’s hallmark, you instantly want to upgrade because what you’re looking at is the future.
Hopefully, now you’ve seen all of the fundamental ingredients that go into a high converting product description. You need to put your brand in the spotlight, give information in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the reader, and you need to do it all whilst evoking emotions that make the reader want to buy.
Now that you’ve had plenty of time to digest everything you’ve read, how will you put it into practice? Get in touch with us on Facebook, and any of our other social platforms, and let us know how what you’ve learned today has transformed the way you do business. We love hearing how our readers use our hints and tips to get ahead!