How to Create a Need for Your Products

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Are you effectively creating a need for your products and/or services? A good rule of thumb is to always think who, what, when, where, how, why. So who would need your product, what would they use it for, when would they use it, where would they use it, how would they use it and why would they use it.

Below are two product copy examples that I will enhance, in order to create the need.



Home Product Copy Example

Take a look at this description from ModCloth (who writes product copy really well) for this 5′ x 6′ beach wall tapestry:

how to create a need for your productsPut your longing for the wash of waves at ease with this oceanic tapestry by Lisa Argyropoulos for DENY Designs. Crystalline water sparkles under a beautifully clouded sky, bringing beachy beauty – and the carefree feeling that comes along with it – to your decor!

Now this is great for capturing the feeling of the product and creating desire. But remember, people don’t just buy products because they like them, they buy because they need them, so you need to create a need. Therefore, I would simply add a closing line that helps the reader visualize how they would use the product, hence identifying a need.

Therefore, I would add this as the last line:

Perfect for apartment dwellers, creating a focal wall or even as a very serene headboard.

As you can see, I gave three potential uses for the item. Even if one of these isn’t your particular need, chances are it could spark one you do have. Buyers can get gun-shy after they buy clothing items they never wear, a decor item they just couldn’t make fit, etc. So you want to ease the purchase decision by giving them ideas in advance.

Jewelry Product Copy Example

Urban Outfitters is another online store that writes copy really well. Here is their description for a black choker:

Screen shot 2016-05-03 at 9.02.14 AMOur must-have styling tip this season is a wide banded choker necklace and this iteration is essential. Chic choker in a sultry gauzy chiffon complete with a lobster clasp closure + extender chain in an antique distressed finish.

So this is effective in that it quickly tells you this is a hot trend and stylishly describes the features. However, not everyone is fashion savvy.

Therefore I would add this line at the end:

This versatile choker looks great layered with other necklaces or on its own with everything from a little black dress to a t-shirt and jeans.

It is also only $22, so another approach would be to say:

An inexpensive way to instantly update your summer wardrobe with one of the hottest trends. 

As you can see, when you create both the desire and the need, you are more likely to get a sale.

Hire Me

Need help with your product descriptions? Learn about my Product Writing Service.


A quick shout out to one of my customers, Design by Gam, whose bracelets were featured last week on PeopleStyleWatch. I love Gam’s message to me – which will help all of you – of how I always told her that she needed at least one of her product shots on a white background in order to get chosen for editorial such as this, and it worked!

Trending This Week

  • May 3 – #TuesdayThoughts, #TeacherAppreciationDay
  • May 4 – #StarWarsDay, #WednesdayWisdom
  • May 5 – #ThursdayFeeling, #CincoDeMayo
  • May 6 – #NBAPlayoffs, #NationalBeverageDay
  • May 7 – #SaturdayKitchen, #NBAPlayoffs, #KentuckyDerby
  • May 8 – #SundayBrunch, #CoconutCreamPieDay, #MothersDay
  • May 9 – #MondayMotivation

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.


My Best Tips for Finding Ideas for New Products

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

If you find that you are running out of inspiration for new products, a good way to find it is to look at what is currently popular, hot and trending – not to jump on the bandwagon but instead turn it into a new opportunity. I’ll explain.



Give a Current Trend a New Twist

For example, monogram jewelry has been a hot seller for the last few years. Therefore, instead of doing the same disc-style, hand stamped monogram necklaces that everyone is doing, retailer Anthropologie (who is always a trend setter) came out with an oversized initial letter necklace – with the letter turned on its side – giving this popular look a new feel.

hot product trends 2


Borrow a Trend That Has Been Popular with Another Product

Sometimes you will see a popular trend in a product category that is completely different from yours, but is it something that would work for what you sell? I am sure you have seen quotes and cute sayings on everything from t-shirts to pillows to tote bags, so why not swimsuits, like this one from Bando. Again, it is another way to capitalize on a hot Instagram-worthy trend just in time for summer.

hot product trends


Exploit the Flaws in Top Selling Products

I have mentioned before how valuable it is to read reviews on Amazon. Nothing beats customer feedback, even if it is not your own customers. So go over to Amazon and check out their top-selling products in your product category. Then read the one and two-star reviews. Take note of what people said the product lacked and/or didn’t do or they just didn’t like. This opens up opportunities for you to add these elements into your own products.

Trending This Week

  • April 26 – #NationalKidsAndPetsDay, #NationalPretzelDay, #GoodTuesday
  • April 27 – #NationalBlueberryPieDay, #WednesdayWellness
  • April 28 – #ThursdayFeeling, #NationalSuperHeroDay
  • April 29 – #NationalAdoptaShelterPetDay, #NBAPlayoffs
  • April 30 – #SaturdaySocial, #NBAPlayoffs
  • May 1 – #NationalMotherGooseDay, #SundayMorning
  • May 2 – #MondayFunday

Quickly Improve Your Online Shop with my Quick Fix ($25) or for a more detailed analysis, my Online Shop Critique ($129).

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

Avoid These Product Copy Mistakes

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

One mistake that I see online shops making over and over again is really long, overly complicated product 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.

Find out more about my Product Writing Service for engaging, professionally written product descriptions that will entice customers to buy your products.

Trending This Week

  • April 19 – #NBAPlayoffs
  • April 20 – #WednesdayWisdom
  • April 21 – #ThursdayTreat
  • April 22 – #Coachella, #EarthDay
  • April 23 – #TalkLikeShakespeare
  • April 24 – #PetParentsDay
  • April 25 – #Mondayblogs

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

My Marketing Tips for the Week of April 12th – Shop Sections Edition

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

The individual sections of your online shop are very important for SEO. However, sometimes it helps to experiment with one or two in terms of customer buying behaviors, to see if it can convert more traffic into sales. Here are some ideas.



Shop Sections That Create Interest

People like to buy items based on what they think other people are buying, so try this little trick. Add a shop category that is entitled, “Back by Demand” and see how it does for you. Put popular items in here that do sell well for you, but now the perception is that they were so popular they sold out. This alone might make people more inclined to buy and buy right away.

Shop Sections Based on Price

Instead of a “Sale” shop category, why not really pull customers in by clearly specifying what the low price is. Therefore, categories such as, “Jewelry Under $25“, “100 Under $20“, and so forth. Another option is to use the word “Outlet” instead of “Sale” as this really gives the perception of a deep discount.

Shop Sections That Sell More Products at Once

Bauble Bar has a shop category called “Build a Layered Necklace“. This is really quite ingenious as it helps to up-sell more of their products at one time. First, they have you choose from a short necklace, then you choose a medium necklace and finally a long necklace – creating a very easy way to ensure that you get this popular look without fail. Plus, they give you a discount for buying all three. You can do something similar by creating a shop category of items that all work together and offer a discount for buying two or more items from this category.

Screen shot 2016-04-12 at 1.00.01 PM


Shop Sections Based on Events

I have mentioned this many times in my Marketing Ideas E-books that you can take advantage of popular buying seasons with your shop categories. Create temporary categories such as, “The Mother’s Day Shop”, “Festival Bags“, “Spring Refresh”, “Derby Day Style”, “Summer Scents”, etc.

Trending This Week

  • April 12 – #NationalGrilledCheese DayScreen shot 2016-04-12 at 1.27.07 PM
  • April 13 – #NationalScrabbleDay
  • April 14 – #ThursdayThoughts
  • April 15 – #Coachella, #WorldArtDay, #NationalTaxDay
  • April 16 – #satchat
  • April 17 – #SundayBrunch
  • April 18 – #MotivationMonday, #BostonMarathon

Big Events in May: Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Victoria Day (Canada), the Kentucky Derby, the French Open, Star Wars Day, college graduations and high school proms.

My Quick Fix is perfect for those of you on a tight budget. With my Quick Fix ($19), I will examine your online shop and identify 3 things you need to do/change/fix to drive more traffic and get more sales. If you would like a more extensive evaluation with detailed, step by step recommendations, then check out my Online Shop Critique ($129).

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

My Marketing Tips for Week of April 5th – Masters Edition

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Happy National Deep Dish Pizza Day! There really is a national day for everything, isn’t there? Here are some other marketing tips you may find helpful for your online shop.


Product Photos

Screen shot 2016-04-04 at 6.22.06 PMOne tip I always give in my Marketing Ebooks is that when shooting your products be sure to show their purpose. In other words, don’t just show a bowl, show a bowl full of something so that potential customers immediately get a purpose for the bowl. Don’t just show a bracelet, show the bracelet on a model or with other bracelets of yours (to upsell more) or with outfit ideas, and so forth. Customers are more likely to look at photos than read the copy, so use your photos to put these “reasons to buy” in their head.

Drunk Online Shopping

Have you heard about “Sip and Click? A new report from Lyst (an e-commerce site) shows a huge spike in women’s online shopping habits late on Friday evenings resulting in 48 percent more orders Saturday at 2 a.m. when compared to Monday night sales. It seems that after 1 a.m., the dollar value of the order goes up 40 percent compared to that same time on a Monday night. The feeling is this spike is due to women going online after having a few drinks and, as such, have more “relaxed” shopping habits. Now, I am not saying to take advantage of these women, but it is good to know that late into Friday evenings a lot of women (not all drunk) are online shopping so you may want to tailor your social media postings for these times.

Social Media Demographics

Who are you trying to reach on social media? According to a new report from Social Media Today, if you want to reach the 18 to 24 age group, SnapChat should be your number one social site as it completely dominates this segment. 25 to 34-year olds rank Instagram as #1, ages 35 to 44 favor Pinterest, for 45 to 54 it is LinkedIN, and for 55+ it is Facebook.

Sales Conversion Rates

While time spent on mobile continues to exceed time spent on desktop (67% vs 21%) according to the Social Media Today report above, a new report from Monetate shows that sales conversion of people shopping online via desktop is 3 times what it is on mobile. In the last quarter of 2015, online shopping from a desktop had a conversion rate of 4.43% while online shopping from a mobile phone had a sales conversion rate of just 1.53%. So do not eliminate all of your desktop advertising just yet.

Trending This Week

  • April 5 – #NationalDeepDishPizzaDay, #TuesdayTreatScreen shot 2016-04-04 at 7.26.38 PM
  • April 6 – #WednesdayWant
  • April 7 – #MastersWeek
  • April 8 – #NationalBeerDay
  • April 9 – #Caturday, #SaturdaySwag
  • April 10 – #NationalSiblingsDay
  • April 11 – #NationalPetDay

BONUS TIP: Be sure to update your email signature with any monthly promotions or Mother’s Day offers if you haven’t already.

New Service!

My Quick Fix is perfect for those of you on a tight budget. With my Quick Fix ($19), I will examine your online shop and identify 3 things you need to do/change/fix to drive more traffic and get more sales. If you would like a more extensive evaluation with detailed, step by step recommendations, then check out my Online Shop Critique ($129).

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

My Marketing Tips for the Week of March 29th – Opening Day Edition

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Can you believe March wraps up this week? But the good news is that there are so many great buying opportunities coming up for your e-commerce store. Here are this week’s tips.


Your Shop’s Blog

If your e-commerce site has a blog, do not simply make the blog a category heading. Instead, bring your blog articles to the forefront with a hyperlinked graphic right on your shop’s home page. Both Nordstrom (their blog is called The Thread, below) and West Elm promote their blog posts on their home page to increase traffic and keep customers on the site longer.

nordstrom blog

Social Media Followers

When was the last time you went through your social media followers lists and followed back? There could be some potential customers in there so do not ignore them. If you follow back, it allows you to interact with them by liking and commenting on their posts when they come up in your feed.

Shop Banners

Spring is definitely here so it is time to change your shop, Facebook and Twitter banners to promote popular upcoming sales opportunities such as Mother’s day, prom, grad gifts, gardening, outdoor and Spring products, as Uncommon Goods has done below.

uncommon goods banner

Instagram Tip

Not sure how to maximize the trending hashtags I give below to drive traffic to your shop? #Breakfast is a very popular hashtag on Instagram, and the shop Indigo uses it to showcase their housewares collection.

Screen shot 2016-03-29 at 12.01.53 PM

Trending This Week

  • March 29 – #NationalMomandPopBusinessOwnersDay, #NationalLemonChiffonCakeDay
  • March 30 – #WednesdayInspiration
  • March 31 – #NationalPromDay
  • April 1 – #AprilFoolsDay
  • April 2 – #FinalFour, #NationalPeanutButterandJellyDay
  • April 3 – #NationalFindaRainbowDay, #OpeningDay (baseball)
  • April 4  – #MondayMadness

My Services

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

My Marketing Tips for the Week of March 22nd – Etsy Shop Edition

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

I have been working with Etsy sellers for a few years now, from some of the top sellers to shops just starting out. I even have my own shop there. So if you are one of the 1.6 million people now selling on this popular marketplace, here are a few tips that might help you out.


Etsy Shop Tip #1

Etsy has just changed their shop format, now allowing 15 shop sections instead of 10. This is a good update because the more shop sections you can have, the more specific you can get with their titles and hopefully get more targeted search results. Google reads your individual shop section pages the same way it reads a home page with the shop section title taking the same relevance as a title tag on a home page. For example, if you have a shop section entitled, “Gold Initial Necklaces” and then you have 30 listings in that section that have the words “gold initial necklace” in the title (or synonyms such as “letter” “monogram” etc.), then your shop section page now has a very good chance of coming up first in Google results when someone searches on the phrase “gold initial necklaces” because it is repeated on one page so many times.

Etsy Shop Tip #2

If you go to the bottom of the Etsy home page, under “Discover and Shop”, you will see a heading entitled, “Tastemakers“. These are the Etsy pages for various publications, blogs and the like. I recommend following all the Etsy pages shown here because they may possibly take notice of your shop (they get a notification that you are following them) with the hope that they may add one of your products to their curated lists. You also want to be known by the people managing these Etsy pages because from time to time, certain “tastemakers” are asked to write a post for the Etsy blog highlighting their favorites and these “tastemakers” tend to also share these posts with their blog readers.

Etsy Shop Tip #3

Are you following Etsy on all of their social media pages – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest? Make a habit of regularly commenting on their posts (always something nice). It is a good way to get your shop name in front of their social media managers who pick the Etsy products that they profile daily on these pages.

Trending This Week

Below is what will be popular on social media this week as well as some other popular hash tags you may want to try:

  • March 22 – #TuesdayTrivia, #TravelTuesday
  • March 23 – #NationalPuppyDay, #WomanCrushWednesday
  • March 24 – #Sweet16, #ThursdayThoughts
  • March 25 – Good Friday, #BatmanvSuperman, #Sweet16
  • March 26 – #EliteEight, #SaturdaySwag
  • March 27 – Easter Sunday, #EasterEgg, #EliteEight
  • March 28 – #NationalBlackForestCake Day, #DWTS, #MotivationMonday

Want more Etsy tips and advice? Get my Etsy Shop Critique!






© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

My Marketing Tips for the Week of March 15th – Social Media Edition

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

I thought I would focus on social media this week, so here are some things to know that will help your online business.

marketing tips march 15

Social Media “Buy” Buttons

If you sell online using Shopify or Big Commerce, are you using the “buy” button option when posting to Twitter and Pinterest? It’s an effective way to drive more sales because there is less click through to purchase, plus for now, the social media platforms are not taking a cut of sales. There are some limitations, however. The buy options are only available for US shops (for now), and buyable pins are only available on Apple devices.

Twitter Marketing 

If you are on Twitter and want to stay up to date on what will be trending as well as want ideas on how to maximize your exposure there, follow Twitter’s marketing feed @TwitterAds for daily ideas.

Facebook Marketing 

Your Business Story is a a free tool from Facebook that allows you to create a short video celebrating what your business brings to the world. You can then post the video to your Facebook page, as well as boost the post to get seen by new Facebook followers.

Instagram Marketing

Still trying to figure out Instagram? Why not take a FREE course from Instagram themselves and sign up for their Brand Building on Instagram webinar on March 17th.

Trending This Week

Below is what will be hot on social media this week:

  • March 16 – #WednesdayWant
  • March 17 – St Patricks Day, #MarchMadness
  • March 18 – #FridayReads, #MarchMadness, #Allegiant
  • March 19 – #EarthHour, #NationalLetsLaughDay, #MarchMadness
  • March 20 – #NationalProposalDay, #MarchMadness, First Day of Spring
  • March 21 – #NationalFragranceDay
  • March 22 – #TuesdayTip

Be sure to follow all of my blog posts on Pinterest. Feel free to like and repin to your boards!

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

My Marketing Tips for the Week of March 8th – March Madness Edition

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Don’t forget to set your clocks forward this weekend. You know, if I sold clocks I would actually use a photo of one of them to remind people on social media. Here is what else your e-commerce business needs to know this week.


Best Online Product Experience

Recently, the 18th Annual Mystery Shopping Study released its list of the top online stores for product experience. Some of the stores that scored the best included Cole Haan, ABT, B&H Photo Video, and Golfsmith. I checked out these sites and couldn’t help but notice that it probably had a lot to do with their product photos. Each site shows anywhere from 4 to 8 up-close, detailed photos of the items at every possible angle. It almost gives the experience of actually physically seeing the item. Therefore, don’t scrimp on details when shooting your items. Show the top, sides, bottom and insides so customers get a true buying experience.

Submit Your Business

Every week, Business News Daily has a feature called, Small Business Snapshot. To submit your business, simply email a photo that really showcases what you do to Brittney at If they choose your photo, they will reach out to learn more about your business for the weekly profile.

Facebook Ads

Did you know that when you run ads on Facebook, you can have the ad appear in people’s desktop news feed and/or their mobile news feed. Just to give you feedback on my own experience with Facebook ads, I got 4 times the traffic from Facebook mobile than I did from Facebook desktop, so you may want to forgo desktop (depending on who your target market is, baby boomers still prefer desktop) and focus all of your ad dollars on mobile. Google also offers the same option.

Trending This Week

Below is what will be hot on social media this week:

  • March 9 – Solar Eclipse #TravelTuesday
  • March 10 – #WednesdayWanderlust
  • March 11 – #ThursdayThoughts
  • March 12 –#FridayFeeling
  • March 13 – #MarchMadness #NationalJewelDay
  • March 14 – #NationalPiDay #NationalPotatoChipDay #DaylightSavings
  • March 15 – #MotivationMonday

More Links to Click

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

My Marketing Tips for the Week of March 1st – Zootopia Edition

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Happy first day of March! Here is my marketing to do list for the week for your online shop.



Upcoming PR Opportunities

You should be sending out publicity pitches to blogs and other online media this week for Easter and Passover editorial (décor, entertaining), Earth Day editorial (if you have eco-friendly products) and Mother’s Day gift guides. Remember, don’t submit products that are too cheap for the Mother’s Day gift guides as the average amount people spend is $162. For print editorial, magazines are working on their July issues so products pertaining to summer fashion, decorating, travel, outdoor living, and so forth, plus any patriotic theme products for Fourth of July articles (just so you know, I cover how and what to pitch to the media in much more detail in my ebooks).

Hot Trends

The color tangerine was so hot at the Oscars that I covered it yesterday at, so expect the color to be a big trend this spring and summer. If you are in the baby and kids market, the movie Zootopia is coming out this week and it will make bunnies and foxes the hot animals in kids wear and décor. In home decor, tropical themes are big, including palm trees, pineapples and monkeys.

Free Trial

I’m offering free advertising trials on my shopping blog, as I am still in the launch phase. If you are interested, contact me. Preference is being given to my current customers as well as shops that have superior photography and range of products.

New App To Determine Etsy Tags & Photos

If you are an Etsy shop, one of my customers has developed a new app that runs automated tests to determine your optimal tags and photos (in terms of customers’ response). They are working with a limited number of sellers for free during their beta stage. To sign up, visit

Followers on Social Media

Do you regularly go through your followers’ list on all of your social media sites and follow back? You should, otherwise they might stop following you and you need followers to share your content. Plus, if they are a potential customer it looks like you care. Now, don’t follow back anyone who is an objectionable site, but I personally follow back anyone who follows me so be sure to follow me using the icons at the top of the page (unless you’re a porn site, sorry).

Trending This Week

Just so you understand why I post these trending days each week, it is because they are always an opportunity to get seen by a larger audience. For example, one time I tweeted out how much I liked the cover of Martha Stewart’s latest magazine and she retweeted my tweet. Another time I complimented a product from Pottery Barn and they not only shared the post but started following me. So, for National Cereal Day, it can’t hurt to post/tweet your favorite cereal, tag the brand and see what happens. People love to share compliments!

  • March 1 – #NationalPeanutButterLoversDay, #NationalPigDay
  • March 2 – #NationalReadAcrossAmerica, Paris Fashion Week
  • March 3 – #ThursdayFunday
  • March 4 – Movie Zootopia opens
  • March 5 – #satchat
  • March 6 – #NationalOreoCookieDay
  • March 7 – #NationalCerealDay
  • March 8 – #NationalPancakeDay
  • March 9 – Total Solar Eclipse

If you appreciate the advice I give on my blog, please pin the graphic below to Pinterest or post to Instagram. Thanks!Attention Getting Ad 2

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

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