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By Brennan Heyde
Follow these step-by-step instructions to build ChatGPT prompts for ecommerce product copy.
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The use of ChatGPT as an AI product description generator might be greeted warily by content writers, as maintaining humanity in brand voice is one of the central tenets of great product copy. However, ask an ecommerce manager who needs to come up with product descriptions for 1200 SKUs by next week and you might get a very different response. For online businesses, descriptive written content is one of the primary tools for highlighting and selling products—so it makes sense that new AI technologies which are transforming technical writing will be adopted by online merchants.
The challenge for content marketers and business owners alike will be to harness these tools to boost efficiency, hone content strategy, and most importantly, sell products—while remaining totally aligned with brand identity and speaking to customers effectively. If you want to learn how to use ChatGPT for ecommerce product copy, the following guidelines will help you build example ChatGPT prompts which can be re-used again and again to generate great product content for every item you sell.
ChatGPT is a free A.I. language model created by OpenAI which businesses can use to generate product copy and other written site content. One way way to think about ChatGPT is as an assistant or tool to help you organize ideas, refine your brand messaging, and generate rough drafts which can be edited into final copy. A "ChatGPT prompt" is simply the instruction you give which results in text generation. Similar to how an accountant or mathematician might use a calculator, AI product description writers rely upon human questions, input, and editorial interpretation. Deployed thoughtfully, using AI in ecommerce can be a valuable time-saver and creativity-inspiring tool. (If you need assistance creating an account and accessing the AI for the first time, read the FAQ at the bottom of this blog.)
Now, let’s build a step-by-step prompt for ecommerce product copy which you can save and re-use for your products.
Generating new product copy is as easy as opening the ChatGPT interface and starting a new conversation. Right off the bat, tell ChatGPT the form of content you are looking for, how long it should be, and the proper name or type of product you are describing. As with all ChatGPT prompts, use simple, direct language, and don’t be afraid to speak conversationally or use common slang.
“Write a 20-word product description for the Acme Trail 5 Mountain Bike.”
Acme Trail 5: Rugged, agile mountain bike—perfect for off-road adventures. Conquer trails with confidence and style.
You can enter the simple prompt above into the ChatGPT interface (aka "conversation"), but without including any more details about the product, you can see we got a somewhat generic response. ChatGPT conversations are cumulative—as you continue to enter new commands, the AI will remember the other instructions you have given it previously in the same chat. In this way, we can continue to refine results by adding more detail. At the end of this exercise, we’ll combine all of our instructions into one simple master prompt.
Now, let’s add more specific descriptors to help the AI flesh out the copy and include important information about the product. We wrote about the elements of excellent product copy here—all of these best practices still apply when working with ChatGPT. It is always important to infuse product content with facts, benefits, and solutions for your customers. Watch how ChatGPT builds upon the information and formatting we supply to create a much more fleshed out product description.
“Include these details, stated in the form of benefits for the customer: green, alloy wheels, lightweight, perfect for new cyclists, good for challenging terrain. Add a bullet list of these features: durable frame, disc brakes, 16 gears, tire width: 2.25”, weight: 30 lbs.”
Discover the Acme Trail 5 Mountain Bike—your gateway to outdoor adventure! Enjoy the vibrant green color, lightweight design, and sturdy alloy wheels. Perfect for new cyclists, this bike confidently handles challenging terrain, empowering you to explore with ease.
Benefits:• Eye-catching green color to stand out on the trails
• Lightweight construction for effortless handling and transport
• Alloy wheels for enhanced durability and performance
• Ideal for new cyclists seeking a reliable and user-friendly bike
• Tackle challenging terrain with confidence and control
Features:• Durable frame built to withstand tough conditions
• Responsive disc brakes for safe and precise stopping
• 16 gears to adapt to varying inclines and terrains
• Tire width: 2.25" for improved grip and stability
• Weight: 30 lbs—optimized for easy maneuverability
Note how ChatGPT embellished upon the simple details we gave it. This description is starting to come together, but is still lacking a distinct personality or point of view. Now let's add more details about who is doing the talking.
ChatGPT is excellent at “acting” in any role you choose for it. To give the product copy more of a specific voice/personality, think about which hypothetical person is describing your product—it might be a role within your company or industry, or perhaps a famous subject expert. Who would have the most reliable, informative, and engaging information about this product? Who would a customer relate to and trust? Now tell ChatGPT to take on that role.
“Write the product description from the point of view of an experienced sporting goods manufacturer/cycling enthusiast/knowledgeable salesperson.” (Other “role” ideas: Designer, Startup, Fitness Coach, Tony Hawk, etc.)
Introducing the Acme Trail 5 Mountain Bike—your adventure companion! Lightweight and vibrant green, this bike is perfect for new cyclists eager to explore challenging terrain. Enjoy the confidence of a durable frame, responsive disc brakes, versatile 16-gear system, and stable 2.25" tires. Weighing just 30 lbs, the Trail 5 is easy to maneuver and ready for action!
Now we want to let ChatGPT know who the intended audience is for this content. ChatGPT prompts for ecommerce should be oriented to the ideal customer for a specific business. Again, speak plainly when describing potential customers, and don’t worry about finding the perfect word—that’s the job of the AI. Help it with a quick sketch of the needs, emotions, or role of your buyers. In this case, let’s re-orient the copy for B2B buyers.
“Rewrite this product description for resellers who are very familiar with mountain bikes and are shopping for their retail stores.”
Enhance your store's mountain bike selection with the Acme Trail 5—a high-performance bike designed for new cyclists entering the off-road scene. The Trail 5's vibrant green color, lightweight build (30 lbs), and alloy wheels make it an attractive choice for customers seeking both style and functionality. Key features include:• Durable frame: Built to endure rugged trails and off-road conditions.
• Disc brakes: Delivering reliable stopping power for enhanced safety.
• 16-gear system: Providing versatility to tackle varying terrains with ease.
• Tire width: 2.25" for optimal grip and stability on challenging trails.
The Acme Trail 5 mountain bike balances quality and good looks—ideal for expanding your customer base and driving sales. Stock the Trail 5 and empower your customers to embark on their next adventure with confidence.
Note how the sales pitch is becoming more refined and more specific to the target purchaser. The copy is now specifically targeted to a reseller, and sounds more like a comprehensive sales pitch by a manufacturer.
As the prompt is really starting to take shape, we can add a “flavor” to the copy which aligns with the style, philosophy, and point of view of your brand. This can come in the form of example copy you’d like to emulate, plus any personality attributes which apply. Product copy is very effective when it demonstrates authority, confidence, positive encouragement, and humor—all of which you can explicitly add to your prompts. Watch how adding these style notes gives the copy a strong personality, while still executing all of the instructions we have given so far.
“Rewrite in the style of Nike.com. Tone is confident, encouraging, enthusiastic, authoritative, youthful, professional, technical, and slightly snarky. Still orient copy to a B2B buyer.”
Ready to revolutionize your store's mountain bike lineup? It's time to meet the Acme Trail 5 Mountain Bike—the ride that's here to shake things up and leave the ordinary in the rearview mirror.• Boldly Green, Boldly Seen: The Trail 5's unapologetically vibrant green color is a game-changer. Your customers want to stand out? We've got 'em covered.
• Light as Air, Tough as Nails: Weighing in at a mere 30 lbs, this bike is built to float over rugged terrain like it's no big deal. Easy handling, maximum thrill.
• Alloy Wheels for the Win: Durability meets performance with premium alloy wheels. Your customers bring the fire, we bring the fuel.
• Tech-Savvy Dominance: A rock-solid frame, pinpoint disc brakes, a slick 16-gear system, and 2.25" tires for stability—this bike packs a punch that'll wow even the pros.
• Catering to new riders? Perfect. The Trail 5 is the ultimate gateway to off-road adventure. User-friendly, yet decked out with specs that'll leave the competition eating dust. So, stock up, inspire your customers, and watch the sales roll in.
The Acme Trail 5—Ride Bold, Ride Free.
The copy now has a much more engaging feel, totally in tune with the style we suggested. The AI even added a clever slogan without being asked. However, you may find copy to be too over-the-top or perhaps not matching your brand exactly, so let's ask ChatGPT to tone it down a little.
Just as with traditional creative writing, the quality of ChatGPT responses improves through iteration and revision. Once ChatGPT generates product copy that is “mostly there,” you can give it very simple, conversational commands to improve results or steer them in another direction. Use simple commands, like “more…,” “less…,” “longer,” “shorter,” plus any adjectives that might apply. In this case, let’s reduce the amount of slogans/snark and retune this description to sound more technical for our B2B buyers.
More technical. Tone down the adjectives. Include a statistic about the most popular types of bikes. Include these keywords: “bike tire tread,” “aluminum bikes.”
Introducing the Acme Trail 5: Performance-Driven Mountain Bike
When selling to retail customers, you understand the importance of offering high-quality mountain bikes that meet the demands of today's riders. With mountain bikes being one of the most popular types of bikes—accounting for over 20% of total bike sales—it's essential to stock options that deliver both performance and value.
The Acme Trail 5 is a prime example of a performance-driven mountain bike, engineered with technical features that cater to new cyclists entering the off-road scene:• Durable Construction: The Trail 5 features an aluminum frame, combining strength and lightweight properties for optimal performance on challenging terrain. Aluminum bikes are known for their durability and responsiveness, making them a top choice for riders.
• Advanced Braking: Equipped with disc brakes, the Trail 5 provides riders with precise and reliable stopping power, ensuring safety and control on steep descents and variable trail conditions.
• Versatile Gearing: The 16-gear system allows riders to adapt to varying inclines and terrains with ease, enhancing the overall riding experience and enabling smooth transitions between gears.
• Optimized Traction: The bike tire tread on the Trail 5's 2.25" wide tires is designed for improved grip and stability on off-road trails, providing riders with confidence and security in various conditions.
• Lightweight Design: Weighing just 30 lbs, the Trail 5 is easy to maneuver, making it an ideal option for new cyclists seeking a user-friendly bike that doesn't compromise on technical features.
The Acme Trail 5 is a competitively priced mountain bike that balances technical specifications with accessibility for new riders. By adding the Trail 5 to your store's lineup, you'll be offering a bike that meets the growing demand for high-performance mountain bikes in the market.
When the AI product description generator gets copy close to what you are looking for, it’s time to leave the app and put the finishing touches on by hand. ChatGPT can produce excellent rough drafts, but most copy will still require a human touch.
You may have found ChatGPT’s responses so far too “robotic” sounding to the ear. This can be a hard quality to pinpoint, but if copy sounds too generic, or over-explained, it needs a rewrite. Perhaps there are additional product details you’d like to insert, or maybe some of ChatGPT’s copy feels excessive. Be on the lookout for duplicate phrases, over-use of adjectives you have supplied, and sentences that feel overly long. Also be on the lookout for embellishments you didn’t provide. You may have noticed above that ChatGPT identified our hypothetical product as "competitively priced," even though we never supplied information about the price. These details will need to be corrected by a human editor.
There is currently no native command within ChatGPT for exporting text. Copy text from the ChatGPT interface and paste into a word processing app (Word, Pages, etc.), select “Clear Format” to remove formatting artifacts and convert to plain text, and then make any adjustments needed.
Each command that we have discussed above can be entered individually within the same ChatGPT conversation one-by-one, or you can compile all of your requests together as a template which you can quickly modify for new requests in the future. The following is an all-purpose prompt template which incorporates all of our commands so far—simply swap out the information in italics to reuse this prompt for a new product.
Example prompt (full):
“Write a 20-word product description for the “Acme Trail 5 Mountain Bike” which includes: green, alloy wheels, lightweight, perfect for new cyclists, good for challenging terrain. Add a bullet list of these features: durable frame, disc brakes, 16 gears, tire width 2.25”, weight 30 lbs. Your role is an experienced bike manufacturer. Tone is confident, encouraging and funny. Style is similar to Nike.com. Audience is resellers who are very familiar with mountain bikes and are shopping for their retail stores. Engaging but not too funny. Include technical details and a statistic about the most popular types of bikes, and keywords: “bike tire tread” “aluminum bikes.”
Once you create your baseline prompt, you can then also give ChatGPT lists of other products you would like copy for in the same style and it will create them all at once. Just paste the new items right into the current ChatGPT conversation.
“Using the same prompt, write individual product descriptions for the following items:”
Then paste in a list of product names separated by commas or line breaks. Some editing may be required, but this technique is especially useful if you are working with a large inventory of products which share some attributes. In our example, perhaps you have 10 similar mountain bikes which vary by color or accessories. You can supply the AI with a list of any number of products, indicating unique details about each product, and it will create individual copy for each item. For more advanced bulk copy generation, the separate ChatGPT API can be configured to draw information from a spreadsheet or text document.
How do I access ChatGPT?
Does ChatGPT give incorrect information?
It’s important to remember that ChatGPT is not an encyclopedia or a sentient researcher. It is simply sifting through written content that it trained on through September 2021. Sometimes, it amalgamates or even makes up facts in order to create answers to prompts. For this reason it is important to always check for the validity of any factual claims or stats it provides. You can ask ChatGPT to cite sources when appropriate.
Can you use ChatGPT for generating keywords?
Yes. Simply paste a keyword or rough draft of copy into ChatGPT and ask it for additional keyword suggestions. Beware that these answers are not backed up by up-to-date keyword research, and tend to be generic. Use them as starting points for your own keyword research.
Does copy I generate with ChatGPT belong to me?
Yes, you can use ChatGPT responses as you wish, commercially or non-commercially—with one important caveat. ChatGPT does not possess any intellectual property itself, but if any material it provides was copied directly from copyrighted material, or content that was already infringing on copyright, you may be in violation of copyright law if you use it. That’s why it’s always a best practice to check copy with a plagiarism detector prior to publishing.
Prompting and revising seems time-consuming, would it just be quicker to write copy myself?
Sometimes! Think of ChatGPT as one more tool in your arsenal. Developing a specific prompt for one product description may be not be necessary for a small copy order, but the tool can can come in very handy for larger or repetitive content needs. Also, all ChatGPT conversations are stored in your account and remain active. Once you have refined a prompt for one product, you can return to the same conversation later and simply supply rough details for other products, and the AI will continue generating responses in the same style.
AI is still in its early phases, and currently requires a lot of human oversight in order to produce its best work. Online businesses can look at ChatGPT as a new tool which helps organize ideas and produce rough draft copy faster and more efficiently, freeing up time, resources, and brain power for other tasks. That’s how to use ChatGPT as a product description generator thoughtfully—a new technology which can be used to enhance the productivity and effectiveness of ecommerce copywriting.
Elisa Williams is a journalist and communications strategist who combines storytelling with solid research and analysis. A contributing author to the Miva Blog, Elisa has written for a wide array of consumer, business and technology publications, including Newsweek, Real Simple, Computer Life and Inc. Her marketing and content development work includes supporting technology companies that specialize in ecommerce, financial services and big data.
Chris is a Content Marketing Specialist at Miva.