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Top Tips to Write Compelling Product Descriptions

Chapter 2 by Amanda Gaid & Adeel Qayum

When you’re building out your ecommerce store, you’ll have quite a hefty to-do list.

On top of things like building out your store, taking product photos, and creating and executing a marketing plan, it’s easy for something like product descriptions to fall to the bottom of your list.

It’s also pretty easy to just breeze through product descriptions without spending too much time or effort on making them truly impactful.

While this might be tempting, don’t give in.

The truth is that product descriptions are really important.

Research from eMarketer shows that 82% of respondents said that product descriptions and specifications influence their buying decisions.
82% of people said that product descriptions influence their buying decisions.

Another study said that a whopping 98% of shoppers have decided not to buy an item online because of incomplete or inaccurate information in the product description.

See? Important.

In this chapter, we’ll discuss:

  • Tips on how to write a product description
  • Product description examples from other ecommerce stores that you can learn from
  • A simple product description template that you can use for your own store

Let’s go.

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How to write a product description

Here are five tips to follow during your product description writing process.

1. Understand your ideal customer

Who is your product for? Get to know things like:

  • Demographics: What’s their age, gender, education level, income, etc.?
  • Personality and beliefs: What are they interested in and passionate about? How does (or can) your brand resonate with these issues?
  • Lifestyle: What’s their life like? What types of activities do they engage in? What types of products do they buy? What types of media do they consume?

Until you start making some sales, it might be difficult to know exactly what these answers are.

When you’re first starting out, do some market research to make educated guesses. Then tweak as you go.

Consider the ME05 Earphones from Shopify store Master & Dynamic.

In this product description example, the company writes that they’re “inspired by the design of the world’s fastest aspherical lens – the legendary Leica Noctilux-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH.”

best shopify product description

To someone who isn’t into photography, this probably sounds like a bunch of gibberish. But to someone who is, they likely think these earphones are a masterpiece.

Master & Dynamic understands their audience’s interests and went straight for them as a part of their product description writing strategy.

2. Address the problem, need, or desire that the product solves

If your product has a unique selling point that none of your direct or indirect competitors have, you’re in a great starting position to get people’s attention and rack up sales.

But for most ecommerce entrepreneurs – especially dropshippers – you’ll likely have a fair amount of competition.

That’s why it’s critical that your product description speaks to a problem, need, or desire that your ideal customer has, and then swiftly shows how your product can help.

In this product description example, let’s break down some common considerations of men looking for upscale shoes, and how HELM’s Bradley Browns save the day:

  • Getting their money’s worth: “Designed and made to last in both style and quality alike.”
  • Looking good – with a side of ego boost: “A shoe that you’ll get stopped and asked about more than every once in a while.”
  • Versatility: “Enough class to wear with a suit… enough versatility to wear with denim.”
  • Simplicity: “Whether it’s a collared shirt or a t-shirt, Bradley is your go-to shoe.”

product description examples

HELM knows what men are looking for when they’re shopping for nice shoes – and they don’t waste any time showing that this is the shoe for the job.

3. Keep it scannable

One of the fastest ways to lose a potential customer is to throw a block of confusing text at them.

A key tip for how to write a product description that keeps your visitor’s attention is breaking information into short, digestible chunks. Bullet points, headings, and graphic icons are a great help for making this happen.

In this product description example, Shopify store Primal Pit Paste divides its product description into sections with headings.

Under these headings, you’ll find short product description snippets with bullet points and images so you can easily skim through and size up the product without wasting your own time.

best Shopify product descriptions

People are busy. Primal Pit Paste gets it.

4. Have a strong call-to-action

Calls-to-action (CTAs) guide your visitors along your intended sales funnel. They can take many forms, like asking them to make a purchase, sign up for your mailing list, share a post or product page, download content like a style guide or ebook, and more.

When it comes to a product page, your “Buy now” or “Add to cart” button is the predominant call-to-action.

But your product description can be a powerful way to add an extra push to your already actionable call-to-action.

Consider this product description example from Love Hair. It checks off the boxes of a strong product description, using descriptive words like “detox” and “revitalizing.”

As the last sentence, it includes a question – “Are you ready to reset your strands?”

product description call to action

By directly addressing the reader, Love Hair’s call-to-action becomes even more actionable. It’s a simple yes or no question: will you reset, or will you stay weighed down?

This small detail can go a long way in helping visitors make a purchase decision.

5. Test and tweak until you hit gold

If you manage to make perfect, cash-cow descriptions on your first shot, we’ll personally send you a trophy.

But the reality is that everything about the ecommerce process is just that – a process. The name of the game is trial and error until you get to know your customers and find what fits best with their purchasing habits.

So what I’m trying to say is: don’t stress out too much if you’re not feeling immediately inspired.

Editing your imported product descriptions

If you’re using Oberlo to find products, the app gives you access to thousands of suppliers for almost every kind of product imaginable.

When you add a product to your Import List (in literally one click), Oberlo will conveniently import the supplier’s product descriptions so that they’re ready for you to edit.

Note: It also imports other key info like product images, which we’ll discuss in Chapter 3.

You can also directly import a supplier’s product descriptions if you’re using Oberlo to search for products on AliExpress. Just download the AliExpress Product Importer extension for your Chrome browser.

AliExpress Product Importer extension

This extension makes it a breeze to import products directly from AliExpress into your Shopify store.

To learn more about this life-saving extension, visit the Oberlo Help Center or check out this tutorial video.

While importing product descriptions is a helpful foundation, your job’s not done.

These product descriptions contain key information that you’ll need to include. But as they stand, these product descriptions can be dull, convoluted, and confusing.

It’s critical that you revamp them and make them your own – writing product descriptions that are in line with your branding, personality, and business goals is crucial.

Take a look at the description for this “I Love You” projection necklace after it’s freshly imported into Oberlo.

supplier product descriptions are bad

There’s a lot of redundant and unnecessary information like “Style: Trendy” and “Item Type: Necklaces.”

And some pretty entertaining gems like “Gender: lovers.”

Here’s an example of how you can filter out the important details to craft your own product description:

Sometimes, saying “I love you” just isn’t enough. Say it 100 ways with this unique and stunning pendant necklace.

When you shine a light through the heart of the pendant, your lover will see a breathtaking projection that says “I love you” in 100 different languages. Pair it with our Infinity earrings for a Valentine’s Day she’ll never forget.

To help you implement these tips on your own store, let’s go over a quick-and-dirty product description template.

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A three-step product description template for your store

As you write your own descriptions, follow this basic product description template. For each of the three steps, you can write just one sentence or a few.

Don’t be afraid to get creative, but don’t get carried away – if it’s too long or uninteresting, it’ll actually work against you.

Here’s the product description template:

  1. Show how the product complements your customer. What traits, problems, needs, or desires do your customer have that makes them a good fit for the product?
  2. Tie one or more product features to its benefit. In addition to explaining what the unique and awesome features are, tell your visitor the direct benefit they’ll get from it.
  3. Give them a simple recommendation or call-to-action. Suggest how they can use the product on its own or in addition to other products. Bonus if the other products are also in your store – a smooth cross-selling move.

And here’s the product description template in action:

Say you’re selling women’s push-up leggings and your brand has a fun, humorous tone. Your product description writing could go something like:

[1] You’ve been working hard to build those glorious glutes. The world deserves to see them. [2] These leggings use premium thick, breathable, and super soft fabric to hug your curves and accentuate all the right places. [3] With this kind of fabulous comfort and function, you can wear them all day… and we wouldn’t judge you for it.

And there you have it.

Now that you know how to write a product description that piques your audience’s interest and entices them to buy your product, let’s talk about how to do the same using your product photos.

next: Chapter 3

How to Create Product Images that Convert

The need for strong product images makes sense – they’re all store owners have to make the leap of faith that your pr...