product descriptions free checklist

Product descriptions are, in my opinion, an eCommerce site’s secret sales weapon. Sorta, like James Bond. 😉



They hold the key to keep visitors on your site for longer

They share how a product can make life simpler, easier, better, happier, healthier for your customer 

They lay out the reasons why a customer absolutely must-have the product

Most importantly… They turn a browser into a customer. 

If you want to supercharge your sales and have customers reaching for their wallet like you {and I!} reach for that bar of chocolate, you’ll want to read further as I describe 14 {yes, fourteen!!} ways that your product descriptions may be turning people away! Yikes!!

Go through the list and then, review your site to see if you’re making any of these 14 critical mistakes with your descriptions.

Here’s a handy PDF download that you can print out and go through, as you check your site.

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Before we move further… a note.

Product descriptions aren’t just for physical product businesses. If you offer a service or digital products, like printables or eBooks, they’re for you too!!

After all, you are describing your offerings to your site visitors and prospects, right?

So, whether you own a cloth diaper boutique or a yoga studio or offer coaching and consulting, you must have product descriptions that literally sell themselves.



Let’s dig in.

14 Ways Your Product Descriptions are Making You Lose Business


1. They Talk to… Everyone

Your product descriptions are generic and don’t engage with or address your delight-to-serve customer persona.
A drool-worthy product description is one that makes a prospect go “Hey, that’s me!! THIS is what I need!”
Case in point: Lovinah Naturals.

When I read the description below, I was like, “Omigosh.. I need this NOW!!”

lovinah naturals

2. I’m Too Long

Long product descriptions are seriously snooze-inducing. Only if your products have a gazillion bajillion features and benefits do you want a looong product description.

Even then, am sure crisp editing and tight copy will help you convey all that you need in half the number of words 😉

3. I’m Too Short

The other extreme for product descriptions are the ones that are seriously too short.

I mean, as someone who’s barely 5 ft., I know good things come in small packages 😉 but when it comes to product descriptions, you need to have just the right length to inform, engage and most importantly, inspire to buy! 

4. Benefits…Ummmm!!!


A whip-out-the-wallet product description is one that MUST talk about benefits.

How will your product or service “benefit” your delight-to-serve customer??

Will it make them happier? Healthier?

Will it help them earn more? Save more? Free up more time?

My easy-peasy way to do this is to take a sheet of paper, write down features on one side and then, against each feature write down how that feature helps a customer.

>Case in Point: Mayi Carles 

Mayi’s descriptions may be longer than usual but that’s only because they’re SO packed with awesomeness.

I love how she highlights the results her planners get people.


5. Welcome to Typo Town


What happens when you don’t proofread your product descriptions?? “Included” can become “Excluded” “Fee” can become “Free” {gasp!} …and more.

Really, proofread your product descriptions to make sure everything is spelt right and there are no grammatical errors.

I’m not the grammar police by any standards but really, make sure there are commas, full stops and the basics in place.

6. What’s Your Personality? No, I Don’t Mean Your Myers Briggs Type!!

Your brand has a personality.

It can be fun, casual, laidback.

It can be cool, and edgy.

It can be cute and child-friendly.

You get the point, righ?

Infuse that personality into your product descriptions. Let your “tone and voice” reflect your brand’s uniqueness.

Case in Point:Uncommon Goods

Omigosh.. I absolutely love everything about Uncommon Goods. Their product descriptions nail it completely. The story, the details, about the maker. Love!!


7. Formatting…. Yawn!!

Do your product descriptions read like a long essay, minus the paragraphs?

Formatting is KEY when it comes to content on the web and with product descriptions you want to make sure that you’re high lighting the key points properly.


  • Bullets


Bolded text

Underlined text

Break up long paragraphs into shorter, easier-to scan and absorb ones.

Don’t forget to download a handy PDF checklist for all 14 of these so you can review it each time you pop up one of those product descriptions.


8. Copy-Pasting Doesn’t Cut It

Copying isn’t cool, ever. Even when you’re simply taking the description from your distributor for your retail site.


Because Google will think of it as duplicate text, the description wouldn’t have your brand voice, it will lack originality and yep, turn your prospects away.

9. Jargon Speak

Do your prospects understand jargon?

Or will they like things to be spelt out as simply as possible?

If your product descriptions are so complex, I need a dictionary to understand them {and I love dictionaries, for the record!}, you’ve just lost me as a customer.

It is easy to translate jargon into regular speak. So, unless your customers get the jargon, I suggest you translate it.

Case in Point: Buddha Doodles

Molly creates some of the most inspiring doodles ever and her prints are truly works of art. But she doesn’t use confusing language when talking about the inks or paper that she uses. It’s simple enough for anyone to understand that everything is top quality.


10. You Leave Out Important Details

Does your product ship with or without batteries?

Can it be used outdoors or only indoors? 

Is it BPA-free, especially if it’s going to be put into a child’s mouth? 

What are the shipping, return and refund policies? 

Yes, your product descriptions must include essential, must-know details. That is why point #1 was so important. You need to get into your delight-to-serve customer’s head. 

11. SEO? What SEO??

If you’re online, you must be searchable and for that to happen, your product descriptions must have the right keywords and be optimized beautifully for Google and other search engines to find.

Best part, it IS possible to optimize a description and keep it hugely engaging. 

12. Images that Don’t Tell a Story

“An image is worth a thousand words.”

I have no idea who said this originally, but I totally agree.

And when it comes to product descriptions, I’d say, an image is what takes a non-buyer over to being a buyer.

Wouldn’t you want that?

Do your product images showcase your product or service even in the best possible way?

Does it make it easy for a prospect to understand what they’ll be getting and why they need it?

Case in Point: Self Coaching Cards

This is a unique spin. Instead of just images, she has a nice slideshare presentation adding an interactive touch.

self coaching cards

Also, see Uncommon Goods that I mentioned above. Love the photos!

13. What Else Should You Buy??

THIS is something that every eCommerce site owner must have in place but sadly, doesn’t.

Help your site to sell more with ease by recommending similar products or suggesting what other people have bought along with this particular product.

Case in Point: Amazon

I spend way too much time on Amazon and often end up buying things because they’re similar to the things I’m already buying. Yes, I may have a problem 😉


14. And… Now, Where are Those Reviews??

Finally, and most importantly, do your product descriptions have a reviews feature, like starred ratings that Amazon has??

Why do you need them? 

Because it increases the trust factor and helps a browser turn into a buyer when they read what others just like them have experienced already!

Want to make writing product descriptions simpler still?

product descriptions checklist

Download your FREE checklist to help you create descriptions that not only bring buyers flocking to your site but also, have them falling over themselves to buy what you sell!

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