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How to write product description that sells for e-commerce?

Life-changing examples inside 😺

Reading time: 6 mins.

Do you think ChatGPT made running your e-commerce 100x easier?

No, it actually ruined it.

Let me explain.

People HATE being sold to. Probably you do too. This feeling makes us run away from the store as fast as we can; it makes websites boring and makes us feel disrespected.

And yet, every now and then, you come across a really great store with a really great sales assistant, with whom you have a really fun conversation, and you end up walking out of that store with much more than you ever expected.

Here's why: You came into the store, were greeted with a smile, and started a light and easy small talk about the cute dog that just passed by the storefront. This warmed you up to the sales assistant. Then she asked something about you, you shared that you're interviewing for a new job you really want on Tuesday. She listened, identified what kind of job you’re aiming for, asked your personal style preferences, and voila, you have a whole new wardrobe for a job you don’t even have yet.

This worked because you had a highly personalized experience, and it also worked because very few are actually making an effort. Trust me on this - it’s actually pretty easy to be very good at something when the majority of people are ok with being average.

Coming back to e-commerce: Blind use of ChatGPT or boring copy will not take you anywhere and will not bring you closer to the results you deserve.

Promise me you'll say goodbye to:

  • Product descriptions that just describe what is already visible in the picture: “White coffee mug with blue dots, also works great if you prefer tea.”

  • Generic product descriptions from ChatGPT which introduce a new way to elevate something in your life and look the same whether you sell mugs, buckets, or machetes.

  • Not having product descriptions at all.

Instead, you should view your product description as the ideal in-store customer experience. You identify his problem, then you sell him a solution. You get very excited about selling the solution because you actually understand how it will solve the customer's problem, how it will change his day, his life, and in turn, the customer gets excited as well.

What would be a better description for the coffee mug then?

The perfect day starts with the perfect cup of coffee. You choose high-quality coffee for your home, so why shouldn’t your morning ritual look as good as it tastes? This mug is favored by our coffee and tea-loving drink connoisseurs for a number of reasons: it’s lightweight, dishwasher-safe, and the perfect size for a big cup of warmth. It also has a perfectly shaped handle, ensuring you will never burn your fingers from touching a hot cup ever again.

Not to mention the design: a timeless, stylish aesthetic that looks oh-so-good as a kitchen decoration and will leave your guests asking where you got these luxurious beauties from.

There are a thousand different ways to approach this, and it obviously depends on your branding, products, market, target audience, and so on. Personally, I like this warm, conversational approach with a slight touch of humor. It works for many people.

You’ll notice that I used these sales techniques here:

  • Related to the customer (the perfect day);

  • Painted a picture that raises positive emotions (perfect day, morning ritual, cup of warmth);

  • Explained why he needs a new cup (invests in coffee, should also invest in a mug);

  • Added social proof (favored by others);

  • Mentioned all the practical benefits in a way that makes them interesting to read (lightweight, dishwasher-safe, size);

  • Explained why it’s better than competitors' products (will never burn fingers);

  • Explained how the customer will become better by owning this cup (good taste, friends impressed).

I understand this is hard to do, it gets very boring if you have many products, and of course, it’s not the only success factor. But it’s the part of the website that actually does the job of selling and is so often overlooked. You are already investing so much in your business; you might as well make sure every single step is optimized for success.

Explore this crazy example of copy that works very well and gets women obsessed (again, not for everyone): the Charlotte Tilbury website. OMG :) Life-changing lipstick subscription, anyone?

Does it mean I am against ChatGPT? No way - I use it every 20 minutes. But you should learn to use it the right way to avoid generic answers or to make your work faster but not to completely do the work for you. Provide it with as much specific information about your products, use it to better understand your customer’s pain points, use it as a source of ideas... Just learn how to do it. I’ve learned some good prompt techniques from this newsletter.

To sum it up: 

  • People don’t need any more mugs, but they will be happy to buy one if you tell them why they should.

  • Product descriptions are very important, don’t abandon them.

Actionable tip of the week: Review your copy. Think about what style works for your customers. Think about who is the customer of your product and what does he value (might be different for your different products). Find good examples and copy them, or innovate to find your own unique style.

Coming up in next Monday’s newsletter: a guest email by SEO expert explaining how to rank better and get organic traffic from Google. I’m super curious to read it too, since understanding how SEO works and constantly refreshing your knowledge on the topic is so, so important.

If you don’t want to miss it, make sure to move this email to “Primary”/mark it as important (we all know how easy it is to miss good emails).

Here’s how I can help:

P.S.: Share this email with a friend who has a website and could use some new ideas on how to up his game. 🚀