If you sell crafts or independent design online, you've entered into a competitive marketplace in which the price you can claim for your product is entirely based on the perceived factors of artistic and human value. Let us explain. If you're selling a lamp made from cardboard, some might argue that your material costs are low, so you cannot command much of a price. Unless your cardboard lamp has a great story, a unique design, or something else going for it. YOUR story as a Maker, the story of the object, and the manual or creative process behind it contribute to your chance of closing a deal. Other simpler and more factual elements also have to be communicated to instill buyer confidence and help make sales.

What are the elements of the perfect product description? When uploading your creations to any e-commerce or marketplace including on MakeTank, certain information has to be included. This article addresses how to write your product description - we'll be addressing photography and other elements soon.

Title and URL

The title of your product has to both grab the potential buyer and be clear and direct. Even the most famous designers can give a name to a collection or object, but they still have to specify if we're dealing with a pair of pants or a toilet cover here. Follow these simple tips:

  • Your product name should include its function. For example, if you make dog collars, calling it Fido is great, but the better title is 'Fido Dog collars'. This is necessary for people to understand what they want to click, but it's also extremely important for Mr. Google. Search engines read the product title as the most important thing on the page, just like we do. Let's not leave Google guessing.
  • If there's an adjective that makes all the difference to the product, put it here - it's catchy. Like 'Fido studded dog collars', or 'Fido 3D printed dog collars'. Both these examples provide further information that changes the perception of the product a whole lot.
  • When inserting multiple products, be consistent with order and syntax. For example, say you make rings of various shapes and materials. Be internally consistent by calling them Pinko silver ring and Pippo gold ring. Or Silver ring - Pinko and Gold rink - Pippo. But not a combination of the two orders. Why? Because if a buyer looks at your vendor profile to check out all your work, it'll look more professional.
  • If the marketplace you're using allows you to customize the URL of the product (MakeTank does), make sure the URL contains the key words that describe your product. Eliminate any extras like 'the' or 'and'. If you are inserting multiple language translations of your product, be sure to translate the URL too!

Basic product description

Remember in elementary school they taught you to express "who, what, when and how"? Sometimes, when dealing with our own creations, these basic facts seem so obvious to us that we forget to include them in our product description. The "what" is the most important here, but as you'll see, the other big questions also need to be answered.

In order to get down these important details, try to imagine seeing your product and trying to describe it for the first time. If you have a friend on hand, ask him or her to help you - chances are you will include a lot more information this way, because other people will ask you a whole lot more questions about your work than you ever will think of expressing on your own.

The following are things that should be in every product description for handmade items sold online. You should put them in the most logical order possible, starting with the things that readers really need to know (like what is it).

  • What? Repeat the obvious function expressed in the title. For our 'Fido Dog collars', start your description with "Fido is a dog collar."
  • What makes it unique? Next, tell us
    • size in mm.
    • colour
    • material
    • number of parts
    • other characteristics if relevant, like weight, voltage, etc.
  • For whom? Sometimes, the next logical question is "for whom is this product destined?". Perhaps your dog collar is only for small dogs.
  • How? How is the item made? MakeTank specializes in products made using innovative techniques, so if you're selling on this marketplace, be absolutely sure to specify if your item is laser cut or CNC - it makes a difference to our specialized public.
  • All inclusive? If your product listing is for a pendant and the chain is included, write this in a clear manner: "free silver chain included"
  • Some assembly required? If your product requires assembly, let us know, and specify if it is easy to assemble (people like that) and if you will be including instructions for assembly and use.
  • Where is it made? Made in Italy, Made in USA and similar statements add value to your product. Use it.

Bonus material

An expression found on the labels of commercial food products has always made me laugh: suggested serving. In some countries, a label with this text is law in order to not mislead consumers when not everything in the picture is present in the package. Think of applying the 'suggested serving' approach to your product. Like a cookbook that helps you prepare a vegetable you've never heard of, your product description can suggest ways to use your item that may make them buy more. Maybe you sell an artisan crafted candle holder, but knowing that people don't always burn candles, you could suggest that the item, when not in use, can also be used to hold rings or jewelry. Take a picture of this secondary use, and mention it in the text. What I call 'bonus material' in a product description is not necessary information but could make or break the sale.

  • Explain its worth: especially if your object is costly, you're going to have to justify that cost to the public. Maybe it takes 3 whole days to craft it over an open fire, is the result of years of study of fractals, is made with the rarest historic aztec popcorn, or is embedded with cruelty-free diamonds of the highest grade. Or it's all natural, or made by the disabled, or is the product of crowdfunding. Let the potential buyer know.
  • Put it in context: imagine the way that people might use your product. If it's jewelry, write a sentence about its style (perfect for urban outfits); if it's home decoration, suggest one or more scenarios (great in an industrial style loft, the lamp can also add character to a more classic décor).

Have you paid careful attention to everything in this post? Good! Now you have only to put it into practise! Head over to the backend of your online store and integrate extant product descriptions with this information, and be sure to include it from now on. We are sure that the perfect product description is an ace up your sleeve that will increase the likelihood of sales.

 

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