How to Write A Listing That Converts

It’s often said that a picture is worth a thousand words, right? And, if that’s true – why do we even need to worry about a listing description?

Well, the listing description  important because it serves as a way to fill in the blanks and answer any potential questions.  Otherwise, customers are going to fill in the blanks on their own.

If we let the customer fill in the blanks on their own, then we leave ourselves wide open for disappointed customers. The information that you put in the listing description should ideally help seal the deal and confirm that your product is exactly what they need.

Now, there is a lot of grumbling within the handmade community about customers not reading. The truth is that most customers do read. There are just a few bad apples here and there that make us want to pull our hair out. Those are the ones who convince us that NOBODY reads a dang thing.

So, write your descriptions under the assumption that customers are actually interested in what you have to say. They are actually interested in making an informed purchased and we want to do our best to help them do that. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that you need to write a novel. They probably aren’t interested in reading a dissertation about your product. Stick to the important highlights.

Ok, so what are some things that you want to be sure to include so that customers feel confident purchasing your products?

This first part may take a bit of brainstorming, but it’s really important – if you were trying to sell your product to the customer without a picture and could only describe it, what words would you use?  

Think about it this way – If you were standing in a grocery store without your phone to show someone a photo of your product, how would explain what you make?

What does it feel like? What does it look like? What are the textures?

You want to include this information in your descriptions so the customer can imagine the product right in front of them. This also helps the customer to picture your product already in their hands and start to fall in love with it.

The next thing you want to address is size. So, how big is it? The simplest way to do this is to list the actual dimensions. If you sell internationally, you may want to list in multiple formats so that more shoppers are able to interpret the measurements.

If you are able to place the item next to a ruler in pictures for reference, this can help customers who are more visual. You may also want to consider including a picture of the product in use next to another object. An example of this would be a necklace on a model so that the customer can see how far the chain hangs down rather than simply showing it sitting on a table.

Keep in mind that not all customers are able to go off the just the numbers listed.  If you are able to also give them a visual representation, it will be extremely helpful when it comes to their decision making.

Depending on the platform you are selling on, you may be limited to the number of pictures or characters you can use – that’s ok. Don’t stress. Just do what is reasonable. If you are someone that offers 20 color choices and 10 sizes, you aren’t going to be able to show all of them. In that case, you may want to show examples of your most popular color combinations or size options. Or, what you have questions about the most.

While we are talking about modeling products, helping customers understand if your product will fit them is extremely important. As we all know, a small does not mean the same thing in all brands. Sizing guides with measurements help to clear up any confusion as well as instructions on how customers can obtain their own measurements.

Your customers are also going to want to know what you use to make your products and WHY it matters.

Do you use a specific type of wood or stain which allows for a longer lasting product that can be passed down for generations?

Do you use a specific type of glitter that will be extra sparkly when they share pictures on social media?

Answer the question of what your product is made with and why it makes your product extra special. While you’re explaining the materials you use to make your items, you’re also telling the customer what makes your shop better than the rest.

Now, we’ve discussed in a previous episode that it’s important that your first photo show only what’s included in the purchase. This helps to eliminate confusion about what the customer is getting with their purchase.

If you have additional photos showing your product in use or referencing the size (which I do recommend), it’s also important to add a sentence or two explaining exactly what is included in the purchase. This can be a simple as stating “Purchase is for t-shirt only, additional props in photo are not included”. You just want to cover yourself just in case someone gets confused or has a case of wishful thinking that they are getting a whole bundle of goodies for the price of a t-shirt.

The last thing I want you to make sure you include is who is your product designed for. Who should use your product? This helps the shopper get ideas about who to purchase it for. They may be shopping for their mom, stumble across your shop via the search, think “this is really cool, but it’s not for my mom” and you have a blip about how your personalized necklace is a bestseller for high school graduation. Then, the shopper thinks, “oh, yeah – my niece is graduating next month, that’s perfect!” You just needed to trigger their memory. There are plenty of examples of big box stores that do this when you look at flyers where the different inserts say “gifts for mom”, “gifts for valentine’s day” – they are always trying to give you a push and an idea of who the different products will work for. We want to do the same thing in our listings to help convert browsers to buyers.

So, to wrap up, pictures are important, but we also want to make sure that the information provided in your listings provide all of the information that your customers need so that they can feel confident in making a purchase from your shop.  The information helps to fill in the gaps and answer any potential questions they may have.

I encourage you to take a quick look at your listings and make sure you are answering these questions for your customers, especially any listings that have lower conversion rates.

For additional help with writing your listings, check out the printable Product Listings Planner