Tips for Selling Online: Writing Product Descriptions

We all know that when selling online the photograph is the single most important thing to get right. After all, as the old saying goes – a picture is worth a thousand words. But it’s worth taking a little time to consider your product description too – it needs to be concise, informative and appealing to your prospective customers. Here’s a few tips to help you write those all important words…

First you need to do a bit of research. Visit online handmade shopping sites such as Etsy and Folksy, looking at similar items and read other people’s product descriptions. Make a note of those you find particularly appealing and consider what you like about them.

While you’re online have a look at your shop’s analytics. Some sites, such as Etsy, do the hard work for you – just go into your shop stats and you’ll find a really useful page that tells you where your visitors have come from. It also tells you what search terms they used to find you. If you have your own website then consider installing Google Analytics which will do the same thing. Try pretending you’re a shopper and search on different words and combinations of words that you think are linked to your products. What can you find? Products like yours, or something completely different? Make a note of any suggested keywords that show up as you might find a search term you haven’t thought of before. Be sure to make a note of all the most relevant words as you’ll want to use them in your product description.



Now write your description. Don’t over-think the process – just get your words onto the page – you can tweak and fine-tune it afterwards. Remember that today’s shoppers are megabusy folk and so you need to capture their attention in the first couple of lines – otherwise they’ll get bored and click away from your shop. It’s a great idea to write as though you’re actually talking to your prospective customer. Ask and answer questions as if this was a real conversation. Use the word “you.” Consider the benefits your product offers. How will it make your customer feel good? Is there something especially unique and special about it?

Don’t fall into the trap of using generic phrases such as “xxx is excellent quality” – that’s not unique and doesn’t reflect your own voice. You could say “xxx is handcrafted from the highest quality vintage linens in my studio overlooking the sea.” (if it’s true of course). This will also help your customer form a picture of the making process in their mind – you will have begun to make a connection with each other. Please don’t think I’m suggesting you exaggerate or mislead your customer, it goes without saying that’s a definite no-no. But now is definitely the time to blow your own trumpet – he or she can’t actually see or handle the product for themselves, all they have to go on is a photo and your description. Let your style, passion and personality shine through your description.

If you really can’t bring yourself to show off, then why not consider quoting a previous customer who reviewed your product to tell the world how wonderful it is.



Don’t forget to include a comprehensive physical description of your product. Include physical measurements but also be sure to describe the length, weight or size in a way that most people can understand. Think about including at least one photo that shows the comparative size of an item by adding in a coin, ruler or other common item.

And finally – go back to your original description and edit it. Prune it, cut out any waffle, surplus words and repetitions. Check for spelling and grammar mistakes – they are unprofessional and give a bad impression – a little as though you’d left a knot showing in the middle of your stitching or dropped a stitch while knitting a garment.

You may want to include a lot of information such as return, payment or shipment policies to reduce the number of queries you receive, but put that at the end so the shopper will read it after you’ve had the chance to wow them with your product.

We really hope you’ve found our tips useful! If you’ve got any others please leave them in the comments below – we’d love to know.



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