Convincing people to buy your product isn’t easy. Selling food has an added pressure that everything is perishable, so timeliness of sale is even more important! Online shopping for clothing, electronics, and books has become very normalized, but buying food online is still working its way into the mainstream.

When you’re selling food online, your product descriptions and product photos are the most persuasive tools you have to get customers to buy. A product description should elegantly explain the product and it’s characteristics without being too long and wordy. A longer description will often deter a reader from reading the full copy.

Below are some other tips to help you write the best product descriptions that sell:

Focus on your buyer

Before writing your product descriptions, you have to think about who you are writing to. Determining your target audience can impact the tone and wording used in your product description. For example, if your target audience is households with kids, you can add health benefits or lunch ideas! Additionally, always use terms that your target audience would use. For example, using buzz words that would attract a health-focused individual. Generic descriptions don’t sell - so make sure you are writing to your buyer, not to all buyers.

Add the benefits!

For any good sales pitch, you have to add the benefits of your product. With many products, listing benefits is a simple task. For example, if you are selling electronic device, you can explain how your version has this new feature. When you’re selling food, your benefits look a bit different.

Here are some ideas for benefits you can add to your description:

  • Livestock living conditions
  • Reduced carbon output
  • Allergy-friendly (nuts, dairy, etc.)
  • Organic/natural/pesticide-free
  • Family-owned

Include ingredients

This is an essential aspect of food labelling. According to the FDA, food manufacturers are required to list all of the ingredients in the order of predominance. As this is a requirement, consider writing a short and sweet product description first (using these tips), and include the ingredients at the end in a bulleted list.

Suggest combinations or recipes

Many online stores add suggestions to their products. One of the best uses of this method is online clothing shopping. Often stores will suggest other pieces of clothing below the product description that make an outfit including their other articles. This convinces the buyer of versatility and can let them discover more products.  

If you think about a food product as a piece of clothing to an outfit, the “outfit” in this context is a recipe. To complete the recipe, the buyer will need these other ingredients. Find seasonal or trendy recipes or food combinations, and suggest other available products in the description. For example, if the product is mushrooms, link a recipe to a beef stroganoff dish and list the other ingredients they could buy from you.

If you only sell one type of product, still add recipes or different uses for the product. Often buyers just won’t know how to cook with your product!

Tell a story (where relevant)

One thing we preach at Local Line is that food is personal! A selling relationship between a farmer/food producer and their customers is personal and ongoing. The whole local food movement is based on increasing food transparency. As a farmer, it is important to use this to your advantage by having a strong story to back up your products.

A great place to tell mini stories is in your product descriptions. Do you have a certain product that started it all? Perhaps a new product that took years to develop and perfect? Maybe even just a product that you love the most and are very proud of? By telling these stories, you are letting your customer base know why you do what you do and this can help influence their purchases.