[eShop Series] Five questions to ask yourself – Pt.2 Problem solving

This is part two/five of my eShop marketing guide, perfect for e-commerce newbies and online shop owners with no marketing experience.  We’re looking at ways you can increase your shop’s conversion rate, which will mean more sales for you!

Here’s yesterday’s post on ‘audience’ if you missed it.  I will be posting the rest of the questions over the next four days Edit: I’ll be posting these during the week instead now, thanks. Please subscribe to ensure you don’t miss out on any advice.

Let’s begin!

Day two – ask yourself ‘am I helping people solve problems?’

Look at your shop’s copy.  Do you list specifications or do you tell your audience how your product will solve their problems?  In reality, you should be doing both.

After identifying your target audience, use your product description and website copy to solve their problems.

Remember yesterday when we hypothesised about owning a pet store?  We created a ‘Paris Hilton’ persona and thought about how we’d sell to her.

So, with ‘Paris’ in mind, start thinking about potential problems she could be having as a dog owner, and how your products will solve her issues.

Where should I start?Solve your audiences' problems.

Start with your product.  Think about what it actually does.

What’s great about it compared to the alternative? Imagine situations where your audience would need to use your product. What would they be using it for?

Don’t worry if you’re unsure, read the example below and it’ll give you some ideas.

Solving people’s problems – a practical example:

Think about those dog poo bag holders we sell in our hypothetical eStore.  Why would our Paris Hilton wannabe audience need to buy those?  To pick up dog poo, is the obvious answer.

So, let’s dig deeper.  Think about the alternative to your product.  Instead, Paris could recycle her used carrier bags to pick up dog poo.

Would your Paris Hilton wannabe enjoy walking down the road with holey plastic carrier bags from her local shop?  Probably not.  It’s hardly glamorous.

At last, something to start with.  So let’s look at working it into our description.

We’ll change it from:

‘Pink bone-shaped canister comes with refill (25 bags)’

To something that will solve Paris’ problem:

“Sick of carrying plastic, hole-ridden bags to pick up your dog’s poo?  This cute pink canister holds 25 bags and clips to your lead so you and your pooch can go for walks in style.  You’ll never forget your dog poo bags again, so no more embarrassment when he’s caught short in the middle of the street!  Only £2.99”

Can you see the difference?  She’s not just buying a poo bag canister, she’s buying a solution to a problem too. We’ve solved another problem in there too!  Using the handy clip attached to the canister Paris will never forget her poo bags again!

Bonus point: Did you pick up on the language I used? I purposely targeted the description to our Paris-wannabe audience (“walk in style”, “cute”.)

Still unsure?  Take a look at this second example:

It’s for a hypothetical website that is selling a top of the range computer:

Audience: Designer.
Problem: Does it take you days to load up Photoshop and design huge images?
Your solution: Upgrade to render your images quicker than before – save time and never wait for loading programs again.

Audience: Hardcore gamers.
Problem: Is your slow processor holding back your gaming experience?
Your solution: Encounter your games exactly as intended – with exceptional horsepower.  Upgrade today.

Can you see the difference?  We know our audience, we know their problems and our products can solve them.

A quick practical exercise:

Have a go yourself, write descriptions targeted at casual computer users who don’t venture past Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer on a daily basis.  What problems might they encounter?  Why would an upgrade to a faster machine solve those problems.  Think about up-selling too – could you convince them to buy an upgrade of Office from you at the same time?


  • Imagine situations where your ‘persona’ would need to buy your product
  • Think how your product would help in those situations
  • What problems would your product solve in your persona’s life?
  • Work these into your store’s copy.

Image credits:  [Dog jigsaw]