Great product descriptions are essential for selling on marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, however, they’re often overlooked or written in a hurry. If you sell across multiple marketplaces it’s tempting to use the exact same product descriptions on each platform, but each one has slightly different requirements.
We’ve put together some easy to follow tips for writing marketplace product descriptions, as well as an outline of the key differences between writing descriptions for eBay and Amazon.
Why is a good product description important?
Product descriptions are a good opportunity to improve your listing’s Search Engine Optimisation (SEO); including the right keywords will help your product appear higher in marketplace search results and search engines like Google.
However, most importantly your description should convince shoppers who are already interested in the product that they should buy it from you. It gives you a chance to tell buyers all the details, features and benefits of the product and why they need it.
What to include in your product descriptions
When you’re selling on a marketplace like eBay or Amazon, you’ll have to fill in certain product specifications when you create a listing, but it’s still important to include these within your description in case shoppers don’t see them. Your descriptions need to answer any questions a shopper might have about your item, as well as convince them that your product is the right one for them:
- Item specific details: Exact dimensions, manufacturer and model, colour etc.
- Features: Include all the different features and uses for the product, and explain why these are important, or make this particular product better or more useful than others.
- Condition: Be accurate when you describe the condition of the item to avoid any ‘item not as described’ issues.
- What’s included: If it’s a product that often comes with different parts and accessories you need to make it very clear which ones are included as part of your listing.
- Keywords: To make sure your listings do well in search results you need to optimise your titles and descriptions with keywords. Find out more about SEO for online sellers here.
How to write product descriptions
Listing all the features and details isn’t enough to sell your products, they need to well written and presented:
- Focus on who your customers are and what they are going to be looking for. Keep in mind what your customers want from the products you sell when you’re writing the descriptions.
- Keep it short and easy to read. You want to persuade them this is the right product without overwhelming shoppers. Stick to short paragraphs and bullet points to avoid big blocks of text.
- Once you have a list of all the features for the product explain how each one will benefit the customer; how does it improve their lives or what problems can it solve.
Writing product descriptions for Amazon
The basic principles for writing product descriptions are the same whichever ecommerce platform you’re selling on, however there are a few different requirements between marketplaces. As an Amazon seller you’ll only have to create your own product detail page if you’re selling a completely unique, new item, otherwise your listing will be associated with a product detail page already in Amazon’s catalogue.
If you have to create a product detail page then Amazon allows you five bullet points that appear at the top of the page, as well as 2000 characters for a product description that will be further down the page.
The bullet points should cover the most important features of the product in a straightforward, easy to read way. They need to include all the details you want a customer to know if they don’t read anything else on the product page. You should mention exactly what’s included, dimensions, materials, any major features and their benefits and any other important item specifics.
Within the product description you need to cover all the things you included in the bullet points and expand on them. You should include further details such as any care instructions, warranty information, limitations or anything else related to the product that might be of interest to potential buyers.
Product detail pages should not include details about the condition of the item you’re selling. The description on this page will be added to Amazon’s catalogue and used by anyone that sells this product in the future. When you list your particular item for sale you’ll be able to add in details about the items condition.
Find out more about creating a product detail page here.
Writing product descriptions for eBay
eBay has no character limit for product descriptions, but you should still avoid making them too long. If you have a return shipping policy for international orders that’s different than your policy for UK orders eBay recommends you include this in the description.
Earlier this year eBay also made some changes to how product descriptions appear to shoppers using mobile devices. If your product description is over 800 characters (including spaces) then eBay will display 250 characters of your product description and shoppers will have to click through to a complete description. If your product description is under 800 characters then the whole description will be displayed on mobile devices.
Summary: Writing product descriptions
- Include all the item specifications, details and anything a shopper might need to know.
- List the key features and how they will benefit the buyer.
- Keep descriptions simple; break them into short paragraphs and use bullet points.
- Amazon product detail pages require bullet points as well as a description, and shouldn’t mention the condition of the item you’re selling.
- eBay product descriptions don’t have a word limit but if it’s over 800 characters eBay will only show part of it to shoppers using mobile devices.