Both product descriptions and product reviews are genres about product information. They both give detailed information about products. But, they are fundamentally different.
Here are the differences between product descriptions and product reviews.
A product description is copy that describes benefits of a product to potential customers. The goal of descriptions is to equip potential customers with information that compels them to buy. Product descriptions are persuasive. They inform you what the product does, the problems it solves and how it’s better than competitors.
On the other hand, a product review is content generated by buyers who already have an experience with a product. Reviews are essentially accounts of customer’s experiences and they are not meant to persuade potential customers into buying. However, positive reviews can seduce potential buyers into buying.
Product descriptions are structured. A product description should at least tell and show what a product does and what it does not do. For instance, a product description for a piece of clothing should have information on material, color, length, and fit. It can also include washing instructions.
If a product description doesn’t break down all essential information about a product, customers may be confused.
A product review, on the other hand, is informal and doesn’t follow any structure. Reviews are a subjective account of a customers’ experiences. A reviewer is under no obligation to include all essential information about the product they’re reviewing.
Product descriptions are written by professional experts, manufacturers or product managers. Product descriptions target potential customers, are SEO optimized and original. Writers also ensure descriptions are accurate, well written and are grammatically sound.
Product reviews, on the other hand, are not SEO optimized. However, they do still boost SEO ranking. A lot of phrases used in reviews are also used by customers when searching for products, which drives traffic to the reviewed product.
Also, reviewers are not professional writers, so reviews may be poorly written and sometimes inaccurate.
A product description is typically written in a quick-scan format. Shoppers love fast facts. Web-description writers ensure their copy is easy to read. Descriptions start with a brief introduction followed by bullet points and bold headers. The goal is to create an eye-catching, compelling and easy to read copy.
Descriptions also close with a CTA (Call to Action), meant to invite the reader to make a purchase. Product reviews, on the other hand, don’t follow any format. Some review can be short, precise and easy to read while others can be an indecipherable block of text. Descriptions also don’t close with a call to action.
Product descriptions are targeted on the ideal customer. When writing a product description, you first visualize the person whom you’ve developed your product for. You then craft content relevant to that customer. You address their challenges and inform them how your product helps solve those problems.
Product reviews, however, merely express customers experience upon using the product, and are not targeted at anyone. But, they do help customers in making purchasing decisions.
They give customers a glimpse into a product experience.