You decided this your year to start selling on Etsy, you set up shop, you have a great product and you have been working hard on your photos, but there is still one more thing you need to conquer before your sales start consistently rolling in.
You must write a killer product description.
As with many things, a great product description is a mix of art and science.
The science part comes from making sure you cover all of the bases of a great description.
I can’t believe I am typing this, but: you must make it obvious exactly what you are selling. Hopefully the photos have done a good enough job of illustrating this, but if not, then the description must.
The photos sometime can confuse the buyer, for example if you are selling handmade candles, and your listing is for one candle, but your photo shows three (for styling purposes), you must be sure to make clear in your listing that you are only selling one unit.
In another case, if you are selling a vintage dress, and you style it with a belt for the photos, be clear in the description that the belt was used for styling purposes and does not come with the dress.
Keep the language as simple as possible in the description. Etsy has a ton of international shoppers, and you want them to buy from you! Keep the wording simple, so everyone can understand or easily translate it.
Once you have made it crystal clear what exactly you are selling, you need to cover all the other bases.
Description Basics (AKA What Your Customer Needs to Know
Color. Your photos should do most of the work with this one, but you still need to describe what color your product is. Computer screens vary, as do eyeballs. Be as descriptive as you like, use wording like salmon pink, ocean blue or neon green. Be as poetic as you’d like to be (if that fits your branding.)
Size and measurements. It is a must to include as many measurements as possible in your listings. I often write my measurements in inches and in centimeters. I have a ton of international buyers and I like to make it as easy as possible for them to buy from my shop. Yes, they can simply convert inches to centimeters, but why make them take that extra step and possibly get distracted away from my listing? Adding both measurements takes me mere seconds.
Sometimes measurements aren’t enough, try adding more descriptive wording to help the buyer visualize the size of the piece. If you are selling earrings for example use wording like: chin length or grazes the shoulder, to better describe the size.
If you are using a model to showcase your items, include all relevant model measurements in your listing. Height and waist are super important for clothing, it helps customers to compare the model measurements versus theirs to be able to estimate how the piece would fit.
Scent. Some products main features are their scent ie. candles, soaps and perfumes. Once again, try to be as descriptive as possible. Instead of just saying: lavender smell, add some flair to the description with wording like: fresh lavender scent that will soothe and relax.
The Simple Formula for a Killer Product Description
Use this formula every time you write a product description, it will cover everything the customer needs to know as well as giving you a little room to add some personal flair to the listing.
Introduce them item.
Write two sentences, one reiterating the product title and a second one that adds a bit more detail.
Use this prompt to help you write your second sentence: “My/This [ITEM NAME] is [adjective 1], [adjective 2], and [adjective 3].”
My/This ______________ is ___________, ___________, and __________.
List the facts.
This is best when done in bullet point style, this is because it makes it easier to digest the information.
- Color and scent
- Size and measurements
Add an extra sentence of two letting the customer know about your lighting fast shipping, your generous return or exchange policy or add a link to your great item reviews.
Add a link to your shop!
Did you know that you can paste Etsy links on your listings and they will work as hyperlinks to various parts of your store? Use this to your benefit and add a link to your shop. Often customers may stumble upon a listing that is in the realm of what they want, but not quite right, link to your shop so they can see your other listings.
A few extra tips
Work to find your voice.
Customers love buying from shops with personality, it helps them connect with your brand, so infuse yours into your listing descriptions as much as you can. Know, however, that this takes time to develop. When I first started writing item descriptions for my shop I struggled a lot to sound natural. Every time I typed something up I felt like I could hear nails scratching down a chalkboard, that’s how painful and awkward the writing process was for me.
You may not be starting on such bad footing though, and have skills to bring to your description writing game, and that is great! But if you don’t, just know that after your 50th description, you will have the writing thing on lock.
Use I statements
Your Etsy shop is not a corporation (yet), and your customers don’t want it to be. When I started my shop I was self conscious of people knowing that I was just a lonely person out in the world manning this little shop up all by myself. I hid behind statements like ‘we’ pretending that there was more than one person involved in my Etsy operation.
I only understood how wrong I was for doing that when I realized that the Etsy shops I loved were the ones which I could clearly tell who was the person behind the scenes. Usually the shop owner was the model or had a photos of themselves in their shop’s About section. This is when I decided to drop my corporate speak and use my normal voice.
Here are some great descriptions to inspire you and get your brain juices free flowing:
5 Killer Handmade Item Descriptions
- Artisan Bath & Body’s Sea Salt & Charcoal Soap description gives you plenty of details on the benefits of it’s ingredients.
- Frostbeard’s Old Books Soy Candle has a description with plenty of line breaks and a short and fun tone.
- Vantler Leather’s Personalized Monogram Keychain’s description makes it clear that the item is a great gift and they even use emojis.
- Fierce Magentas’s Esmeralda Bright Green Lipstick is a hard item to describe due to it’s intense color. The description does a good job of cautioning the buyer of possible variation in shade.
- Miniature Rhino’s Mini Arrow Embroidery Kit’s description starts with a question and details the item perfectly.
5 Great Vintage Descriptions
- Pinewood Good’s Vintage Pendleton Jacket’s description gives plenty of information regarding the fit and sizing of the jacket. Good line breaks and precise measurements give the buyer plenty of information to make a good buying decision.
- TO1991’s Pleated Mini Skirt has a very youthful description tailored perfectly to it’s target market.
- NoirOhio’s 70s Bellbottom’s description points out the detailing of the jeans that make them special and has plenty of information plus social media links.
- 19LA’s keeps its Blue Vintage Tee description minimal to match it’s shop aesthetic while still providing all the measurements and specifics the buyer needs to make an informed purchase.
- Dear Golden’s vintage dresses descriptions’ feel like a breath of fresh air. They are perfectly spaced out, with all the specifics mentioned and a touch of whimsy with tiny stars serving as bullet points.
4 Descriptions for Digital Products
- Planner Envy’s 2016 Printable Planner Pages’s description is so detailed and dense, this is usually advised against but it is the perfect description for the type of person who would love a product for organization.
- Crossbow Printable’s Fun Love Coupon Book is such a fun idea, the photos bring you into the listing, but the details the listing provides makes you want to buy them immediately.
- Lila and Lola’s Rabbit Print has a minimal description which matches the shop’s look. It has in all caps the most vital information regarding the download.
- Little Graphic’s Printable Kid’s Reward Chart has an extremely detailed description giving the buyer tons of ideas on how to use their printable chart.