Avoid These Product Copy Mistakes

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

One product copy mistake that I see online shops making over and over again is really long, overly complicated descriptions. The standard format that most online shops adhere to (and that Google likes) is an opening paragraph that is descriptive, enticing and creates a need followed by bullet points highlighting the main features (the exception being Etsy, who doesn’t support bullet points).

You do not need 10 paragraphs to describe a $40 necklace. Now, I don’t mind a bit of a back story about the motivation behind the product, but don’t go on and on trying too hard to get the sale or use overly descriptive, flowery language that makes the reader roll their eyes.


Here is a good example of product copy that gets right to the point:

‘I Love Mom’ Pearl Pendant Necklace

An elegant freshwater pearl illuminates a delicate, handcrafted pendant necklace designed to celebrate the special bond between you and your mother. Surprise her with this meaningful, wear-with-everything style to make this Mother’s Day one to remember.Screen shot 2016-04-19 at 8.45.16 PM

  • 18″ length.
  • Lobster clasp closure.
  • Pearl size: 8 mm.
  • Sterling silver/freshwater pearl.
  • Handcrafted in the USA.
  • Item ships in a gift box.

This is a perfect description for a $40 necklace. I don’t need to know the history of the freshwater pearl or how the pearl was cultivated or how this necklace is going to make me feel when I give it to my mother. Sometimes it is better to K-I-S-S.

I also really detest how most shops write their listing titles on Etsy (Amazon is guilty of this as well) with these endless strings of keywords that don’t even make sense. Simply state what the product is with a few descriptive keywords as in the example above, otherwise you are just confusing the customer. Remember, you are trying to establish a brand and you want to protect it with a professional, clear descriptive product title, not a mishmash of keywords.

Do you need effective product descriptions written that will get people to buy? Email me at attentiongetting@gmail.com for a FREE, no obligation quote on your writing project.

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© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

Author: Gail Oliver, Online Small Business Consultant

I'm Gail Oliver, an online marketing consultant. Welcome to my blog, chosen one of the Top 10 Small Business Blogs to Follow in 2014 by American Express Open Forum. If you need help with your e-commerce business, be sure to see MY SERVICES, above.

2 thoughts on “Avoid These Product Copy Mistakes”

  1. Hi, Great simple and clear advice on writing good product copy! I have an Etsy shop and didn’t know that they don’t support bullet points. ?? Could you please elaborate on that? Thanks!

    1. Most online retailers use an e-commerce template that supports adding bullet points. You will see that when you write a description in Etsy’s format that they do not have an option to add bullet points the way you do on Amazon for example. You can add them manually using a text symbol, but it is not read the same way by Google.

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