Need vs Want: how to write a killer Amazon listing


When creating an Amazon listing it usually goes one of two ways. Either you pack it full of product specifications and end up with a wall of text, or you face the dreaded blank and can only write about two lines. Well, we’re here to help. At Brand Monkey, we’ve spent hours creating Amazon listings for a whole host of businesses, and we’ve got a few great tips to help you write some killer content. Let’s look at need vs want.

Where does your product sit on the need vs want scale?

Need vs Want

If you’re drawing a blank, a great place to start is by thinking about whether your product is something the customer needs or something they want. Is it a consumable or a desirable item?

For example, if a customer’s pet is chewing the furniture, they might need an anti-chew spray. If a customer is looking for a new television, most likely it’s because they want one rather than need one. Once you know the answer to that question, it will help you write your Amazon listing.

Time to get writing.

Writing for a product the customer needs

Ultimately, with a consumable item, you are solving a problem. If you don’t explicitly say in the first sections of the title, bullet points or product description what their issue is and how you can help them, they will simply move on to the next product. You only have approximately 3 seconds to get their attention.

Three seconds? How can I do that, we hear you ask? Panic not – here are some tips to help.

1. Solve their problem in the first bullet point or paragraph

‘Our easy to use anti-chew spray is designed to stop your pets chewing furniture, walls and any other unwanted areas around the home’.

Get straight to the point. Don’t put a list of ingredients or all about your brand as the first thing they read in your Amazon listing. Tell them exactly what your product is and how it will help them. The clearer you spell it out to the customer, the more likely they will be to continue reading.

How can your product solve their problem?

2. Ask them a question

‘Is your pet chewing your furniture? Got a dog that just won’t stop nibbling the skirting board? Looking for a simple, safe solution to protect your home?’

Another way we love to grab the customer’s attention is by asking them a question. You are simply asking them what’s already in their heads when they began their Amazon search. They’ll be able to see straight away that you understand what their issue is and are about to offer them the solution.

3. Use ALL the bullet points thoroughly

It’s always tempting to skip the bullet points or just put a few words in each, but the bullet points are the first thing the customer sees when they click on your product. You waste a prime opportunity to sell by not using them.

Make a list of the most important points about your product that would be of interest to the customer.

We know the first one needs to be used to state exactly what your product is and how it helps them, so what about the other 4? They need to be things that will be of interest to the customer. Think about the following and make yourself a list:

  • What benefits your product can bring
  • What advantages it has over other products
  • Are there any other uses for it
  • Do you have a sustainable message that’s important to you
  • Size, quantity, how long does it last or warranty information
  • A little on your brand or company background

Once you have a list, simply create four succinct bullet points. They don’t have to include everything – remember you can flesh out these points more in your product description further down the page. Just think about what points you want the customer to know straight away and what information is most useful to them.


Writing for a product the customer wants

Now the above tips also apply to writing about a product the customer wants. You still only have a few seconds to grab their attention, except this time you’re not solving a problem but showing them something they desire.

Writing a ream of numbers, codes or ingredients isn’t always going to be something the customer understands, even if it is interesting to you. Don’t over-complicate it. The first thing they see needs to be something simple that tells them exactly what they can get from your product.

For example, a customer may search for televisions – what would be most important to them? We would say the size, the quality ie. is it 4K or HD, and, aside from the cost, what other features it has that could benefit them. These are the things to get in the first bullet point and paragraph of your copy.

‘This 43 Inch TV is a great way to kick back and unwind, with razor-sharp 4K quality, built-in Freeview and smart features for endless hours of entertainment’.

The first sentence needs to sell it.

An Amazon listing with personality

Selling a product isn’t just about listing all the things it can do, it’s also about doing it with some personality. When you see an advert on the television or hear one on the radio, it’s never just a list of product specifications. Here are two simple ways you can give your Amazon listing some life.

1. Use adjectives

‘Our handy formula is scented with a subtle, fresh lemon fragrance.’

Using adjectives when creating Amazon listings might feel unnecessary or tricky to think of, but only using product specifications can make your descriptions end up feeling a bit clinical to read. Like it’s been written by a robot. You could easily say ‘lemon-scented anti-chew spray’ or ’43-inch 4K Smart TV with Freeview’ and be done with it, but that doesn’t sound nearly as interesting!

Adding in a few ‘fluffy’ adjectives will give your text a bit more personality. With words like ‘amazing’, ‘one of a kind’ and ‘succulent’ thrown in there (just think of the M&S adverts), it really does add a voice to the description and makes the product sound more exciting and desirable.

2. The rule of three

‘Our anti-chew spray is ideal for use around the home, suitable for applying on carpets and cushions and 100% safe for your beloved pets.’

Sticking to the rule of 3 when writing a list is something we were taught in English lessons back in the day. Allegedly, it makes your list of adjectives or examples more satisfying and memorable. Whether that’s true or not, it does roll off the tongue better and helps keep your list short and snappy. It’s also a great help when writing those bullet points as you can squeeze in three important things in one sentence.

Writing can come easy to some people and for others it can be difficult – and that’s OK! Creating Amazon listings gets easier over time. If you’re feeling really stuck and actually could do with a little help, get in touch with us. We offer consultations all about Amazon to give you some guidance, or can even write your listings for you, saving you the time and effort so you can focus on your business.

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