You’ve opened up the doors to your Shopify store or e-commerce website and your audience is eager and willing to shop, but your conversions are still rock bottom. What went wrong? If you’ve already done your market research and are confident the product you’re offering is in demand, the problem could lie in your product descriptions. 

According to the 2019 Consumer Research Report from Salsify, 69% of consumers said they abandon a product if there isn’t enough information or details about what they want to buy. Instead of trying to entice the remaining 31% to stay on your page and read the products, focus on writing dynamic product descriptions. Here’s how to get started.

1. Focus on Your Dream Client

It’s tempting to sell to everyone, but if they aren’t your dream client, your efforts will fall flat. Pull out your research, look through your analytics, and poll your past customers to find out what they’re like. Ask yourself:

  • Why do my customers buy my products?
  • How old are they?
  • Are they married or single?
  • Do they have children?
  • What kind of personality traits do they have (adventurous, hardworking, problem-solvers, spontaneous spenders)
  • When are they most motivated to buy (during a sale, a holiday weekend, after sending out email touch points?)

The more you can identify who your dream clients are, the more directly you can speak to them.

Think about search engines when writing product descriptions

2. Know the Difference Between Features and Benefits

Even seasoned marketers and pro e-commerce sellers mix up the differences between features and benefits. However, knowing the difference can make a big difference to your audience.

The features of a product are important to note, but won’t necessarily entice your buyer to sell with that information alone. Features may depict what a product is made out of, how big it is, and how to clean it. Benefits highlight why that feature is so important to customers and makes their lives better.  Check out these two examples to get an idea of just features vs. features and benefits

  • These vacuum-insulated, air-tight water bottles are 16 oz.
  • These vacuum-insulated, air-tight water bottles are 16 oz. to keep your water fresh and cold for up to 36-hours for long hikes or overnight camping trips

3. Solve The Customer’s Problem

Shoppers love to buy products that solve their problems. Even a stunning necklace can solve a problem with the right approach to writing a product description. Are your customers typically buying gifts for others? Create copy that says,

“This handcrafted necklace made from recycled glass in Morocco makes the perfect gift for a wanderlust traveler who wants for nothing or has it all.”

Give your customer the chance to be a hero by offering a product that directly solves their problem, whether big or small. Then add the CTA, or the Call to Action, to purchase your product or service so they can sell that solution.

4. Use Your Customer’s Own Language

Crafting compelling product descriptions can feel daunting at times, but doesn’t need to be. Instead of reinventing the wheel, get into the minds of your customers, and use their own language. Read the reviews of your own products, as well as your competitors, slip into forums on Reddit that might be talking about a similar product and get a feel for how they’re talking about the item.

  • Identify the issues with the product, and what customers wish was better, and then highlight that concern and solution in your copy
  • Pay attention to whether your customers use a light, dreamy tone or serious
  • Focus on how customers are explaining the product to others and see what sparks a reaction

5. Go Easy on the Superlatives

Your product may actually be the most enhanced, most beautiful, and the best designed item in its class across the entire Internet, but is a bore to read. Superlatives make readers feel you’re being disingenuous and won’t add any value to the copy. Skip the superlatives altogether or use sparingly to focus on infusing clear descriptors and powerful words. 

Try converting the first copy example into something more specific, powerful, and compelling:

These vacuum-insulated, air-tight water bottles are seriously the best and outlast all of their competitors!


These vacuum-insulated, air-tight water bottles are proven to be long-lasting so your water stays fresh and your hiking trip worry-free.

6. Think About the Search Engines

You don’t need to be an SEO expert to write great product descriptions that convert, but you should consider what search engines want. Optimize your descriptions with keywords that are relevant to your product and audience, like:

  • Women’s vintage two-piece swimsuit
  • Men’s quick wik pull-over sweatshirt

To really up your ecommerce SEO strategy, try out a free trial at Keysearch or SEMRush to see what’s ranking. Or simply studying product descriptions of like-minded products can also tell you which keywords to focus on.

7. See What Your Competition is Up To

We’ve talked about your competition a few times in this post, and for good reason. Your competitors are nearly as important as your dream customer. Study what your competition is doing and look for ways to improve your own descriptions. More keywords, better descriptions, and even better product photos can go a long way in standing out from your competition. Of course, copying descriptions directly from your competitors is not only unethical, but search engines will also penalize your site for duplicate content. 

Study your competition to see how they're writing product descriptions

8. Develop a Mini-Story

Do your product descriptions tell a story? Create a compelling mini-story that positions the customer as the hero and the product as the answer to the solution. The Story Brand framework can help guide your product descriptions and sales copy, however, remember that product description should still be relatively short. If they ramble too much or don’t get to the point, you might lose your customers. Instead, get to the point in a compelling, captivating way that takes the consumer on a mini-journey. 

9. Offer Social Proof

When it comes to online shopping, customers are often in a rush to be second. They don’t necessarily want to buy a product if no one else has reviewed it or is talking about it. Add testimonials to your product descriptions or use a plugin that showcases recent reviews. Shopify’s product reviews app is a good place to start.

10. Make It Easy to Read and Purchase

The audience needs to quickly scan your product descriptions with headings, bullet points, and graphics as available. No matter how great your copy is, if it’s too hard to read, customers will look elsewhere to buy. As a general rule of thumb, create short, succinct paragraphs that are 2 to 4 sentences long and add easy buttons and links to purchase with a clear CTAs to buy now.

There are a lot of actionable takeaways here that may feel overwhelming to implement all at once. But there’s no need to overcomplicate the process. Pick and choose your favorites to get started and focus on keeping your copy helpful, actionable, and easy for your customer to make a purchasing decision.

Want to know more? Please reach out and we can discuss further details about any of the options above or see what other ideas we can come up with. During this time of uncertainty, I want nothing more than to use my resources to help businesses be able to pivot and become more virtual. Email me here: