6 Tips for Writing Effective Shopify Product Descriptions (With Examples)
Shopify is one of the largest ecommerce platforms, boasting over 4,000,000 sites. Many budding business owners join Shopify for its reliable speed, security, and built-in marketing tools which include social media integration.
To build sales, product descriptions are key — consider them the bread and butter of your marketing strategy. With the right descriptions, you can increase purchases, build your brand voice, and ultimately create a loyal customer base.
As a writer, I create descriptions for various businesses, including those in fashion, luxury, and executive coaching. Whether you’re looking to sell your writing services or a range of products, the tips I’m about to share will help you boost your business.
Why Are Product Descriptions So Important?
Consumers move through a set of stages before making a purchase. Known as the buyer decision process, the first stage involves recognising a need for a product, and then researching product options.
For example, let’s say you’re a student needing to read complex and lengthy research-based articles. But you’re struggling to find time. This problem creates a need for a product to help you, which leads you to explore options such as Wordtune Read.
Let’s look at the product description for Wordtune Read:
“Wordtune Read is an AI reader that summarizes long documents so you can understand more, faster.”
From this clear description, we know that this AI (artificial intelligence) reader summarizes long documents so that users can understand key points faster, solving our problem of not having enough time to read long articles.
When product descriptions are not clear enough or fail to explain how they can solve an issue, customers look elsewhere. Consumers must understand exactly what a product is and how it could work for them, which is why we need compelling product descriptions. To further prove my point, four in 10 shoppers abandon an online purchase due to poor product knowledge.
Now that you know the value of product descriptions, here are six tips that will help you write product descriptions that sell.
1. Focus on Your Ideal Customer
The biggest mistake clients make with products is trying to appeal to everyone. I understand the logic — the more people you attract, the more likely you are to make sales. But, this leads to oversaturating your business. You appeal to no one because you haven’t targeted any specific group.
When creating your product description, put yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes. Imagine that you’re speaking to them in-person. Think about:
- How they have found your business: What words did they type that led them to find your shop?
- Their level of expertise: Are they beginners or experts? For instance, if you’re selling a book on how to become a paid writer, what level of understanding do your customers have? Are they completely new to writing, or have they undergone a writing/journalism degree?
- What type of language would they use? While a twenty-one-year-old might appreciate certain colloquialisms, an industry expert may prefer a more professional, serious tone.
- What questions might they have? Think about questions your customer would expect your description to answer. For example, if you sell t-shirts, customers would want to know about the material, how the shirts are made, and if the shirts are true to US standard sizing.
- What problems could your product solve? How will your product benefit your target audience?
- Why do you stand out from the competition? Research your competitors and compare your products. What qualities or benefits do you have that they don’t? You may have more experience, expertise, or a quicker processing time. Consider mentioning these points in your description.
Your target audience is more likely to believe your product is suitable for them if they can relate to your description.
2. Tell a Story
Including stories in your product descriptions is another great way to encourage sales. This is because storytelling adds a human element to your brand and helps people envision themselves using your products. It also helps them to empathize with and understand your business’ journey, mission, and principles.
Some common storytelling ideas include:
- Your ingredients’ origin: Who made them, how were they sourced and tested? Do you buy locally, or from sustainable suppliers, for example?
- The inspiration behind your brand or product. What made you establish your business or design your product? What is the driving force behind your company?
- Sharing customer experiences that explain how they overcame problems using your product. Likewise, you can share your own experiences of obstacles you overcame when creating your product.
- Describing how an item will fit into your customer’s life. When and where can your customer use your item? For example, you could say that a dress could be worn with red lipstick in the evening, or that an online course can be completed after work at the customer’s own pace.
- Your product’s history. For instance, if you run a handwriting service that specialises in certain types of calligraphy, you could share information about the origins of your lettering.
- Discuss a social cause your business supports. Does your business support any charities, local communities, or outreach programs? If so, include information about this where appropriate.
Here is an example from Galen Leather of an engaging product description that uses storytelling. When advertising their writing box, Galen Leather draws upon history to explain the product’s benefits, noting that for centuries, writers have used “small,” “portable” writing boxes as both a “storage container” and a “writing surface.” They also state that their product is inspired specifically by Founding Father Thomas Jefferson’s portable writing desk. Now, current writers can experience the charms of using such a unique item.
3. Use Sensory Words
Sensory words play on the five senses of sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste, and can evoke positive feelings and experiences. Using them in your product description can help connect these positive thoughts to what you’re selling. These words can also help people visualize themselves using your product.
For example, the coffee company Verve uses sensory words to describe their light roast coffee, Wolicha Wacha, which features hints of peach, rose, and white tea. Notice that they describe drinking the coffee as “reminiscent of biting into a fresh peach.” This instantly makes me think of a peach’s image, taste, and scent, evoking three of the five senses.
Some products — such as food items and fashion pieces — are easier to connect to sensory words. This is because we have clear memories and experiences of tastes and materials. Think of adjectives like “crunchy,” “smooth,” or “spicy” for food, and “soft,” “sleek,” or “fluffy” for fashion.
If you’re marketing a digital product that users don’t physically interact with, you may be wondering how to evoke the senses. Fortunately, there is a way to do this by drawing upon your digital product’s visuals and aesthetics. You can also evoke the feeling you want your product to create with a sensory description.
For example, if you run a copywriting service, you can draw upon the free time your client will have while you take care of their content: “Why not spend more time relaxing this summer listening to the sound of blue waves brushing against golden sand as I take full care of your content strategy with my premium copywriting service?”
4. Focus on the Product’s Benefits
To write product descriptions for Shopify that lead to sales, you must explain the benefits of your product and how they relate to your target audience.
As an example, look at how Dell explains the benefits of their laptop cover.
The description tells us that “smooth-gliding double zippers” make it easy to insert a laptop. We also learn that the “Nylex interior lining” protects a laptop from damages such as “spills, bumps and scratches.”
If Dell had just written “smooth-gliding double zippers with Nylex interior lining,” we would not understand how these benefits relate to us and our use of the product.
5. Optimize Your Product Descriptions
You can write the most incredible product description, but if it is not optimized for SEO (search engine optimization), your core audience may not read it.
To help your product appear on search engines such as Google and Bing, consider keywords. What words would people type or ask Alexa in order to find your product?
For example, imagine you are selling an ebook on digital marketing to help businesses promote their content online.
Someone needing help in this area might search “digital marketing strategies” or “digital marketing tips.” They may also search for advice on a specific type of digital marketing such as “email marketing examples.”
These are keywords which you might want to embed within your product description.
You should also add keywords to your visual content. Including keywords in your image and video descriptions can help people find your product, particularly through Google’s image and video search.
6. Make It Scannable
You have an enticing product description filled with sensory words and benefits that relate to your customers. Now, the final step to creating your Shopify description copy is to ensure it’s easily digestible and scannable.
People don’t want to read through large pieces of text to get the information they need.
Before publishing your product description, ask yourself:
- Could I use bullet points to highlight key points?
- Have I included unnecessary fluff or adjectives that don’t describe the product’s benefits?
- Could any of my sentences be clearer or more concise?
I find the “Spices” features particularly useful. These can help you to create explanations if you’re stuck on how to link a product feature to a customer benefit.
For example, let’s say I create homemade soy candles. I want to highlight that it’s beneficial that my candles are made using soy, but I’m not sure how to explain this. The Spices “Explain” feature can come up with a suggestion.
In this case, it told me that “Soy wax is a renewable resource, so it is a more sustainable option than traditional waxes like paraffin. It also burns cleaner and longer, making it a great choice for candles.”
When it comes to selling, product descriptions are your most valuable asset. Visualize your ideal customer and their concerns, describe how your product can benefit them through sensory words and storytelling, and ensure you optimize your copy for SEO.
Remember to check that your words are easily scannable with tools such as Wordtune. By following the steps outlined above, you’ll write product descriptions for Shopify that will encourage sales, boost brand awareness, and build trust in your company.
This article was co-written with Wordtune. Wordtune didn’t write the whole piece. Instead, it contributed ideas, suggested rephrasing alternatives, maintained consistency in tone, and of course - made the process much more fun for the writer.