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If you want to survive in the online business in the long term, you have to describe the articles you offer properly. Compared to sales in a regular shop, there is no direct sales talk in e-commerce. Customers in online shops also have to do without other sensory perceptions such as scent or the feel of a package; some senses simply cannot be influenced. With the help of item descriptions, illustrations, product images or other audiovisual content, the visitor gains a better picture of your items. Article descriptions are generally decisive for the purchase in an online shop.

You should not only take the time to write well-structured and detailed online shop item descriptions for products that are particularly difficult or require explanation, but also for products that are supposedly easy to understand. Good online shop item descriptions and high-resolution images are a great decision-making aid for your visitors and high-quality content offers your customers real added value. At the same time, with the careful and thoughtful formulation of online shop item descriptions, you also ensure more extensive indexing with regard to Google.

How do I formulate an article description correctly?

Let's imagine we want to buy a new wardrobe, but we don't know exactly which model it will be in the end. The very first thing we do is set ourselves a price limit of 1000 euros in total and filter out products that fit into our budget. After we have filtered out the wardrobes that come into question for us, we next turn to the features that are ultimately decisive for our purchase.

These features are, subject to availability, for example colour and dimensions, storage space and its construction as well as possibly the warranty and services of the supplier or manufacturer. You will certainly find more features that would fit our example. But for now, we will content ourselves with the features mentioned and turn to the usual forms of presentation in common online shops.

You will often find these forms of presentation


  • sorted feature list
  • enumerations and flow text
  • short informative sentences
  • unsorted feature list


In the end, it is the product and personal preference that decides in which form of presentation you should formulate your article descriptions, but we generally advise against an unsorted list of article features, as this quickly creates confusion in the visitor's mind. Probably the most promising form of presentation consists of a combination of sorted lists of features and a detailed article long text. The content of the detailed article long text usually consists of the definition of a target group or a problem, as well as advantages and facts about the product, which counteract the defined problem or meet the target group accordingly.

Will my online shop visitors always be convinced to buy the wardrobe in my shop because of the better article description? Certainly not, because each person reacts individually and attaches importance to different factors. Visitors who are already familiar with your article will also pay more attention to factors such as price and shipping costs than visitors who are discovering your article for the first time. Customers who research the lowest price on the net are also very difficult to convince of a more expensive purchase price through other features. Fortunately, the web is not only made up of penny-pinchers but also of users who want to be inspired by article descriptions and be convinced by good service. It is precisely for this group of people that it is important to present yourself as an expert and specialist for your product group, because a customer will gladly pay a little more money for good service.

Avoid grammatical errors and spelling mistakes in your article descriptions. If you make a typing error, this is not so bad, but if typing errors are a common thread throughout the entire shop, it will look very unprofessional. Check your texts before publication and have them read by third parties to be sure of a certain quality level. Only publish the article description text in your online shop once these checks have been successfully completed. At this point, make a note of the average length of stay on your article page in Google Analytics so that you can read off a trend in a few days. Please note that meaningful statistics can only be generated once a certain amount of traffic has been reached, so give the statistics enough time.

Online shop item descriptions for material items

For material articles, i.e. products with which you can interact, article descriptions usually only deal with the range of functions and the characteristics in order to address the interest of the corresponding target group. Simple bicycles, for example, can be described as entry-level models, while racing bikes and specially equipped bikes tend to appeal to the target group of professional riders. Especially in the professional sector, potential customers attach great importance to exact specifications of features, here often only minimal differences are decisive for purchase.

Online shop item descriptions for intangible items and services

Intangible items, i.e. products and services that are not tangible, such as software or insurance, are often more difficult to sell: Software or insurances are often harder to sell than tangible items. The item description of services or software also differs greatly from the description texts of tangible items. Much more emphasis is placed on the so-called "story telling". Use your product texts to arouse curiosity about the use of software or convince your shop visitors by illustrating various use cases. Include the experiences of existing customers in your article description and tell a case from a customer's point of view.

Mandatory information in online shop item descriptions

Some article groups must contain certain obligatory information. If this information is not included, your online shop can be warned. This mandatory information can, for example, consist of labels such as those for energy efficiency or hazardous goods labels for flammable or irritable ingredients. In any case, legal advice is the smartest way to familiarise yourself with the current legal situation regarding your mandatory labelling.

Search engines are pleased with good online shop item descriptions

If you formulate well thought-out and detailed online shop item descriptions, you are also doing valuable work with regard to readability by search engines. If your content is good enough, this is often rewarded by Google and Co. with a better ranking and thus more traffic. However, avoid repeating key terms too often in your online shop article descriptions and always write for your visitors and not for the search engine. Always remember, outstanding content also generates more backlinks in the long term, as your text can be used for reference or as a source.

Further information

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