Shopify eCommerce 101: How To Write Product Descriptions That Convert

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No matter the size of your online store, product descriptions always play a key role on your ecommerce site.

We see this all too often when doing eCommerce audits for our clients.

They can be compared to a silent assassin. They go unnoticed in the dead of the night, but one wrong move and it spells game over for your product on your website, and search engines And let's be honest, you can’t expect your product images to do all the leg work for you. Product descriptions can make or break your online business as they ultimately help to grow your business by providing valuable search engine optimization information, as well as helping to convert those precious online sales.

Unsurprisingly, price is the most influential factor driving customers' purchases on your product pages, despite whatever you're selling online. You’d think that ratings and reviews would be the next most important factor, however, its actually product descriptions that result in more conversions and allow you to rank higher in organic search rankings.

Most eCommerce website owners are busy people - between handling employees, stock, pricing, business management, inventory, and finances there’s little room left for anything else.

We know that due to the above reasons, so many product descriptions are chucked together in a matter of minutes with no thought for how the content reads or the impact it may have. Keep this in mind - 87% of all consumers truly value detailed, accurate product descriptions, heavily influencing buying potential.

Let's dive into what you need to know to write product descriptions that convert, and how you can turn this process into a product description template so that it can easily be repeated at scale.

Know Your Target Audience 

All the words in the world will do nothing, if you’re targeting the wrong people. It’s essential that before you start writing your product descriptions, you have a good think about who you are selling to and what they want.

The best way to do this is by going to your customers. Take note of how your customers speak, what drives their desires and what pain points they may be describing. Focus carefully on how they discuss their needs. 

The key is to write product descriptions in a way that's tailored to each customer, including writing as though you are actually speaking to them.

The first step here is the creation of buying personas. A buying persona is basically an exact replica of your ideal customer, who is loyal to your brand and purchases your products. By tapping into this persona, you’re narrowing down your target audience - so, rather than preaching to the masses, you’re now directly targeting individual people. This humanisation of the marketing process is a core component of really nailing the product description. 

The elements of the buying persona you’ll need are: demographics such as gender and age, geographic location and income. Let’s say your eCommerce business is an online fashion store. You may end up with a persona that looks like this: 

  • Gender: female 
  • Age: 20 - 30 years of age 
  • Location: Australia 
  • Income: $50K - $100K 

Other information you may want to research could include the interests and lifestyle of your ideal customers too. If your business caters to other other businesses as well (ie: B2B), then you should also add industry and job title to your buying persona. 

Now that you know who your audience is, you can utilise targeted ads to improve store conversions. Keep in mind that your customer base will be forever evolving, especially as times and trends change. Ensure you continuously review your buying personas, and tweak them to align better with shopping behaviours. 

Crafting your perfect product description template

Here are a few guidelines on what you need to nail to write product descriptions that convert.

Be As Transparent As Possible 

This is a very simple tick box. Always write descriptions that match your product images. Try not to use generic terms too much either. Things like “great and excellent” are generally overused, boring and predictable. Use strong and very decisive language when writing the product description. Ensure that the copy reflects your brand, freshness and appeal. 

Make your product descriptions short and sweet

Don’t overthink it. Use conversational paragraph-long descriptions to engage your visitors and ideal customers as well as quick bullet points with need-to-know specs to concisely convey the most important information for online shoppers.

Get technical to win trust when needed

If you have a more technical product, don’t be afraid to dive into the technical details with your product description. Prove to your customer your brand’s expertise in the industry by providing all possible details they’d need to know before they ever even have to ask.

Don’t be afraid to shout success

Here’s how you take the product description formula above one step further. Does your product change lives? Or does it get better through using it? Is your product better because of years of testing? Is it hand-crafted? Does it get strong success stories through testimonials and product reviews?

Shout that out and be proud.

Know when to show and not tell

Text isn’t always the best way to describe a product. If you are finding it hard to convert what you want to say into something persuasive, then consider using images.

Images carry weight and are better remembered by customers. If possible, show off your product in a visual that explains exactly what the product does.

Know when to show, tell and describe

Other than graphics, videos can be an effective way to showcase how to use a product or why it is better than others. Many brands use videos, graphics and text to drive the point home.

Some online stores even use videos as their primary image for their product.

Showcase Your Product Fiercely 

Now this might sound like a simple step, but the truth is there is so much more to a product description than simply listing its features. If you want to sell, you need to convince your audience that they without a doubt NEED your product in their life. 

Take a look at the following product descriptions we have put together for a sample eCommerce store. 

“This king mattress is made from polyurethane foam. It can be a stand alone piece or you could add a base for additional height”

This luxurious king size mattress will give you the best nights sleep you’ve had in years. Filled with breathable polyurethane memory foam, it can be a stand alone piece or sit atop a fitted base. With a broad selection of firmnesses, we can guarantee that you’ll always experience that cosy ‘sinking in’ feeling as you curl up at night”

Both descriptions discuss the same product features. But, description B really plays on the customers wants and needs. Everyone wants to sleep on a comfortable, snuggly mattress with good back support. Everyone wants a good night's rest. By humanising the product description, you’re emphasising its true value. 

Don’t be afraid to be different

While a short paragraph description on a product page is a best practice, know when that isn’t what your audience wants. Every industry and online business is unique. Do you know your customer well enough to know they won’t read that product description? Are all of your customers scanners? Or are your customers the kind that like those deep diving descriptions?

Getting AI help

You may have a lot of product descriptions to get through and simply do not have the time.

Remember that there are tools to help you get the job done. Jasper makes writing product descriptions at scale, quickly and effectively. Jasper is an artificial intelligence program, designed to create your marketing copy in just a few easy steps. This can be a great asset up your sleeve, if you are time poor or need to scale content quickly. 

What next? 

Let's quickly recap:

  1. Learn your customers and pain points
  2. Know your audience
  3. Create a product description template to easily and quickly create lots of product descriptions.

We hope you've found this post on how to write killer product descriptions useful.

Stay tuned for the next post in this Shopify eCommerce 101 series.

If you'd like some further help, get in touch and get your free eCommerce growth audit where we literally give you so many actionable tips to improve conversions on your store immediately.

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