How to describe your handcrafts to BOOST your sales – Features vs Benefits

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A question for you: how do you describe your crafts on etsy, eBay, at your craft stall, or on your product tags? Do you talk about (A) the size, the colour, the price, and the material used, or do you talk about about (B) how wonderful this necklace, bag, picture, etc. is going to be as a present for someone special, how this craft item will save you time, or make you look sophisticated etc. etc. etc. or do you talk about both (A) and (B)? In my shop I talk about both the features and the benefits for my product descriptions.

What is the difference between (A) & (B)? Well, in marketing speak (A) describes is the Features of an item, and (B) describes the Benefits of an item. The features of a given item (i.e. size, colours etc.) are purely pragmatic, cold hard facts about the item, whereas the features of an item (i.e. coolness, sexiness, cosiness, convenience etc.) describe to the consumer the ‘what’s in it for me-ness’ of an item. As busy humans we are all mainly interested in ‘what’s in it for me’ and ‘what’s in it for me’ decisions are typically based on emotions. This is important because emotions sell. Yes, we definitely take into account the size and price of an item, but that alone is not enough to convince us to buy the item, we need to get emotional too!

Here is a really good pic that shows the difference between Features and Benefits taken from the excellent Copywriting.com. Can you tell which column describes the features and which describes the Benefits?

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Why is all of this important for your own craft business?

It’s important because a large part of the consumer’s to-buy-or-not-to-buy decision making process is influenced by the features of an item. As a consumer I’m no different; when I’m in a lingerie shop looking at pale green silk camisole I don’t think to myself ‘Hmmm…I’ll buy this camisole because it’s a pale green silk camisole’ I’m actually thinking ‘Hmmm…I’ll buy this camisole because I’m hoping that I’ll look soooo damn hot in it that my husband will clean forget that I dented our car in a little parking accident…Mwah! Ha! Ha!’ So you see, the features and the benefits are two different ways of looking at the same item. Here are some other reasons based on Benefits that make us (me included!) decide to buy a given item:

  • it will save me time
  • it has perceived quality
  • it will make me look attractive, educated, wealthy, talented, generous, humorous, cool, bohemian, individual, etc.
  • it is easy, convenient, quick, versatile etc. to use
  • it will go with lots of different outfits
  • it will save/make me money
  • the item is handmade and rare/precious/limited edition
  • etc. etc. etc.

Now try it yourself

Without cheating get yourself a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle, one column for Features and the other for Benefits. Now how would you describe the Features, and the Benefits of the bag handles below?

OK, when you’ve finished (and not before!) click here to see how my description I focused on both the Features and the Benefits of the bag handles.

Well, I hope I made that clear enough. How about going through your own craft product descriptions and describing BOTH the Benefits and the Features? Your customers will appreciate it, and I hope your sales will increase too! :)

Comments

  1. says

    When promoting any item it’s important to give the benefits. Everyone is looking for ‘whats in it for me’. People these days are wanting to save time etc. so we need to make them aware of what benefit our items have…. be direct.

    If you have a website and you want visitors to buy… Make it quick, clear and easy for them to purchase…visitors don’t have the time to mess around (certainly not me) otherwise they’ll be off to find what they want somewhere else.

    Other things you need to consider is… does your site have too many graphics or too large graphics that your site loads slowwwly. Nothing more frustrating & it’s an easy way to lose customers.

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