How to name your products when selling online — an introductory guide to product naming

Sara Drawwater
Seller Success School
26 February 2021
What information should you include in your product name when selling online? What can you do to increase the chances of your products being found and bought? Here are tips on what qualifies as important product name information to help potential customers make a buying decision.

A lot of thought has to go into product names for an online shop because shopping online is not an immersive multi sense experience. Customers cannot pick your product up for a closer look. They cannot experience it with their senses.

Product names will affect how easily customers can find what they are looking for when they search online. Successful online Sellers will fuel the purchasing decision by providing enough information about the product just from reading the product name.

So what information should you include in your product name when selling online? Where do you start with your marketing language? Are there any strategies you can use to increase the chances of your products being found and bought? What qualifies as important product name information to help potential customers make a buying decision? Here are our top tips to help you answer these burning questions.

4 simple product naming tips

1. Make your product names short, complete, clear and discoverable

Since your product name tends to be the first piece of information an online shopper will see, it needs to be complete, clear and discoverable.

  • Short - your product names should be as short as possible to avoid information overload
  • Complete - your product names must include all the information people may need to decide if your product is worth a closer look. It may be that the product name you use online will be different to the name you use offline.
  • Clear - your product names should explicitly and precisely express the important buying decision information needed for someone to buy your product online.
  • Discoverable - Your product names should use keywords that people are likely to use when searching for your products online

2. Understand your target audience

Name your products in a way that appeals to the type of person who fits your target audience. What type of person buys your product? What information is important to them?

  • Are they technically minded and buying a techy product? Speak the language of tech.
  • Are they a farmer looking for specific hybrid seeds? Include 'hybrid' in the title.
  • Are they young and trendy looking for a specific pair of shoes? Ensure your product title includes their common language. Do they call them shoes, trainers, sneakers, pumps or loafers?

Potential buyers need to get sufficient information from the product name to click into it. In some cases, sufficient information will be the brand and model. In other cases, you may need to provide more detail in the product name as described below.

3. Give additional information depending on your target audience

The best product name for one product could be very different from another. Factors that will come into this are who you are selling to, how strong the brand of the product is and whether your target audience is knowledgeable about your product or not. Consider the following factors:

  • If the product is a strong enough brand then the manufacturer name and model might be enough for your target audience.
      For example, “Huawei P40 Pr 5G”
  • But, your target audience may not know that your product is a solution for their problem. If so, you may have to describe your product in more detail and include information about what the product does in your title.
      For example, “Netgear EX2700 - Wireless Wall Plug Network Range Extender"
  • Some information is more important for certain products than others. Depending on your target audience and product, consider if any of the following factors need to be added to the product name - dimensions, compatibility, style or cut, fabric, suitable age, ingredients, packaging.

The key question is always, ‘What qualifies as important product name information to help potential customers make a buying decision?’

4. Consider the words your customers will search for

Many people will find a product by using search, either on a search engine like Google, or by searching the website your product is selling on.

To increase the chances of people finding your product, use words they will use when they search.

Here are two key things to remember:

  1. The words and terminology you use for your products may not be the words your potential customers use when they search. Make sure your product name includes straightforward words that shoppers would use. Let’s use an example product name of Tasty Beef Hotties. Let’s say these are sausages. Many people won’t know these are sausages, so when they search for the straightforward term, ‘sausages’ your Hottie sausages are unlikely to come up in the search results potentially resulting in a missed sale.
  2. Online shoppers will not put in long descriptions to find the product they want. They will search for short generic words and phrases that are important to them such as ‘afro hair’, ‘hair oil’, or ‘natural hair oil’. This is why it is important to name your product in such a way that you capture the most important key word options that could point to your product and result in a sale.

Our recommended product naming guidelines

Our product naming system follows the key elements that should be considered for inclusion in a product name. We input raw data in such a way that your product name is complete, clear and discoverable.

We’ve picked three product types, a phone, SUV and shoes. We'll use these examples throughout this guide.

1. Brand

People may recognise and search for brand names.

  • Brand - Apple, Audi and Nike

2. Model or product type

Name what the product actually is (phone, SUV or shoes) and include distinguishing product information that helps people narrow down and find specific products they may be looking for.

  • Product line, series or range: e.g. iPhone / Q8 / AirMax
  • Product model, edition or version: e.g. 11 / S Line Crossover / Vapormax

The product name would look like this:

  • Apple, iPhone 11
  • Audi, Q8 S Line Crossover SUV
  • Nike, Vapormax shoes

Other ways to describe a product to an online shopper

In many cases, the brand and model type will be sufficient for a product name. But there may be target audiences or product types where variations, common keywords and key attributes may need to be part of the product name.

1. Variations

These are small but highly important differences between the same product such as colour or size. They are optional product choices that a customer can choose from.

  • Variations e.g. 64GB Black / 3L V12 / Size 9 Black

This product name would look like this:

  • Apple, iPhone 11, 64GB Black
  • Audi, Q8 S Line Crossover, 3L V12
  • Nike, Vapormax shoes, Size 9, Black has a dedicated space below the product name and product description to house variations. The situations when a Seller may want to include variations in the product name are when:

  • The variation is a make or break buying decision. For example when the Buyer needs 10 meter cable rather than a 5 meter cable to do a specific job.
  • A Micro Seller does not hold a full range of stock and wants people to quickly establish what they have for sale, such as available sizes and colours.

2. Common keywords

It may be important to express what the product is in words that we all know and understand.

  • Smartphone / Hatchback / Trainers

3. Key attributes

These are additional but important pieces of information about a product that are non changeable and defines the product's use case. Such information may sometimes be needed to guide customers towards buying a product.

  • Second Hand, Unlocked / Diesel / Second Hand

The fact is people will get frustrated and quickly move on if they cannot easily find the information they need. Lack of information can result in a lost sale.

Let’s demonstrate with two examples of fictional brands.

Ranch Farm Steaks" The Buyer may recognise the quality of Ranch Farm products. They assume these are steaks. But what meat are they?

Ranch Farm Beef Hotties" The Buyer now knows the meat is beef, but what is a Hottie?

Ranch Farm Large Spicy Beef Sausages" The Buyer now gets enough information to click through and potentially buy this product.
✔️ They like Ranch Farm products
✔️ They like beef
✔️ They like spicy food
✔️ They like sausages

Let’s use another example and say that Curly Girl is the fictional brand name of a hair care brand.

"Natural Hair Oil" There is very limited information supplied to the Buyer. What type of hair is it for? What brand is it?

"Curly Girl Natural Afro Hair Oil" The Buyer now knows the brand is Curly Girl and it is for afro hair.

"Curly Girl Restorative Natural Afro Hair Oil" The Buyer now also knows the hair oil is restorative.
✔️ They like the Curly Girl brand
✔️ They see it is 'restorative' so understand it is for dry or damaged hair
✔️ They want a natural product
✔️ They need hair oil for afro hair

6 other important product naming standards

  1. NO CAPITALS, just Title Case. We recommend you Capitalise The First Letter Of Each Word
  2. Do not include time sensitive promotional messages such as, ‘sale’ or ‘free delivery’
  3. Do not include subjective messages like ‘best seller’ or ‘quality guaranteed’
  4. Do not use an ampersand (&) unless it is part of a logo. Simply spell the word out with a lowercase ‘and’.
  5. Present numbers in numeral format for example, the number ‘2’, not two.
  6. Spell out measure words such as Ounce, Meters and Kilograms

The future of product naming on

We have designed our platform so there is a place for everything. There is a place to input the data for brand, model or product type, variations and key attributes.

We have designed the platform in this way so that in the near future we can name products programmatically based on standardised rules.

For example, we may decide that it is important to include brand names in a product name because it helps potential customers and benefits Search Engine Optimisation. With the raw data in the right places, we can automatically pull the brand name into the product name without having to do a mass manual update.

We are launching a user login imminently. All our Sellers have to do is think about the key information needed for the brand, model or product type, variations and key attributes and input it in the right places. There are tips to guide you once logged in and our editorial team will be on hand to support our Sellers.

In time we will develop sector and product specific guides to help our Sellers even more. For example, the key attributes for a car (such as fuel and engine size) will be very different to the key attributes of skincare (such as skin type and ingredients).

Supporting our Sellers in this way will help everyone to present their product information in a way that is attractive and useful to Buyers.

The most successful Sellers on will be those that respond to the needs of online shoppers. It's not about being the most established with the biggest budget. It's about giving online shoppers the products they want, to the standards they expect while providing all the virtual signposts to your online shop.

  • The products people want solve a real problem. They are available at the right price, at the right time to the right target audience. They come with great wrap around customer service.
  • The virtual signposts to increase eyes on your online shop include effective product names, useful product descriptions, clear variations, detailed key attributes, inspiring product images and social media activity that points to your online shop.

The result is raving reviews (coming soon to and referrals from a loyal fan base.


This is a lot of content for something as small as your product name! However, since it sets the tone for whether a sale is made or lost, it warrants this level of detail. With the help of this guide and some practice, you’ll be on your way to effective product names for your products to fly off your virtual shelves.

When submitting your product information to please bear these guidelines in mind. Provide all the relevant information through the tools we give you. By working together we we can cultivate a thriving ecommerce culture in Zambia.