Online Product Descriptions – Features and Benefits

Successful sales people and copy writers will tell you that you must separate your products’ features from your products’ benefits. Why? Because presenting features alone don’t sell your product. It is benefits that sell your product.

• A television has a 60 inch screen – that is a feature.

• A television with a 60 inch screen will become the centerpiece of your family home theater while providing hours of quality entertainment – that is a benefit. The benefit is what sells your product.

It is the product’s benefits and the way you present them that will make or break your product descriptions. A benefit is a result of a feature. Most people writing online content do not know the difference. Because so many product description writers do not know the difference, most product descriptions do nothing more than present a laundry list of information. I call this a “data dump description,” a colleague on mine calls this a “product obituary.” Most of your competition will have data dump descriptions and product obituaries with information that is little or no interest to the customer.

Every feature your product possesses has at least one benefit, and often more than one. Your potential customer gets benefits from your products’ features.


Before you can determine a product’s benefits, you must complete a list of it’s features.

Features do not seem too hard to come up with. But how do you turn features into benefits? The main reason a potential customer reads a product description is to find out what is in it for him or her. The best way to appeal to that interest is to present benefits that will help the customer get what he or she is really looking for. Features do not solve real or perceived problems, only benefits solve these problems and give the customer what he or she wants. Every feature must be presented as a benefit. To turn features into benefits apply the “What’s in it for me?” technique. Whenever you present a feature, step into the customer’s shoes and ask – “What’s in it for me?” You ask this from the customer’s perspective because it is the question that every customer has in the back of his or her mind. You need to push the process and keep on repeating the question for each feature and benefit. You keep asking “what’s in it for me?” until you cannot ask it anymore.