eCommerce websites are designed to sell – it’s their main goal, but, sadly in reality, we often see online retailers using the copy of the product manufacturer to describe to the potential customer its characteristics and value; often repeating inadequate copy on every service or product they sell on their website and failing to achieve a consistent tone that persuades the visitors. While it is widely accepted that quality written product descriptions can really transform the e-commerce conversion rates, few webmasters actually use this opportunity to significantly increase their search traffic using unique copy for each different product.
Quality eCommerce copy should convince the visitors of your website that they can count on your company to provide good products and that the products you offer are right for them. Your potential customers can’t see or touch the product they are considering to buy since it’s not physically there in front of them, so you have to anticipate and offer what they’ll need and expect. This is not easily done with words; yet, persuasion and building trust can still be achieved.
Since most web users (79%) just scan the pages instead of reading them line by line, eCommerce websites should mostly focus on using a combination of paragraphs and bullets in their formatting style to effectively communicate the key product details and benefits. Use a short paragraph to generally describe the product and list the quick facts in bullets so that the customer can easier gather the most important information. When explaining the usability and benefits of the product, establish your tone somewhere between informative and engaging and show your customers that your products and services will satisfy their needs. That’s what quality eCommerce copy does – sells more with distinctive and appealing copywriting. Good sales copies not only explain the important details about the offered service or product, but they also show how and why each detail matters to the customers. Keep your product descriptions positive and inspiring to attract the readers but don’t get too enthusiastic, and be straightforward with the informative facts about your products and company.
How to Establish Trust?
As we mentioned before, one of the main goals a quality copy should achieve is to establish trust between the company and its customers, because they usually won’t spend their money on something they aren’t certain they’ll receive. Quality eCommerce copywriting achieves this two ways: Providing flawless copy. You can’t expect your customers to invest time and money into your products if you can’t put the needed time and effort to provide a sales copy with perfect grammar and no spelling mistakes. This is maybe obvious, but it’s worth mentioning, having in mind how incompetent your company will look in front of the readers if you oversee the importance of a flawless copy.
Always stating the obvious. Studies show people won’t buy online if the shipping costs aren’t clear. In fact, if they are uncertain about shipping, payment and/or the returning process, they’ll most probably abandon the purchase and leave your website. Customers don’t want to pay for their order and then have to wander whether the shipping will be carried out in accordance to their expectations. Talk to your eCommerce copywriter to clearly explain every detail about these elements so your terms will always be understandable, even when they aren’t your selling points. State the obvious – don’t hide the actual shipping costs and payment conditions writing them with tiny font sizes or by using extra asterisks and footnotes. It’s not fair to your potential customers and it will deter them from your company when they notice you are hiding something that important for them.
Incorporate SEO in the structure of your website
Higher rankings are the name of the game – it all goes in the hands of those at the beginning when the search engines list the results their users are asking for. If you want to run with the best and outrank your competitors you must incorporate SEO in your website structure, targeting different keywords with each page. Find a copywriter that will do a quality research of your relevant competitive keywords and work together with him/her to craft unique content for each individual category, brand and product page. Don’t ever use the manufacturer’s copy.
For your affiliates, create different copy and product descriptions, or maybe change your own. This way you’ll all have unique content on your websites and you can all compete for different keyword combinations. Google is doing its best to convince us in its determination to stop duplicate content on the Internet and original work becomes more and more important, which also affects the eCommerce websites. Every page on your website should be unique and you should also make sure others aren’t stealing your original work. You can monitor your pages for duplicates using duplicate content checker PlagSpotter and if you detect your work has been plagiarized contact the websites, or alternatively Google, to remove the stolen content.
How to write simple and readable eCommerce copy?
When you write and proofread your copy keep in mind the readers it is intended for and make it easier for them to understand it. Don’t use fancy words to explain the product’s features but keep it simple and readable. To better understand the target audience, during the research browse through the users’ reviews and comments and read what they’ve written about the company, its products and service and their opinion on the competition and make the needed improvements. Here are few rules to follow:
Avoid long sentences. Since the copy should persuade the readers into buying your products you can’t use long sentences in the descriptions because they are much more difficult to digest. To make them shorter try break up the independent clauses into two separate sentences, avoid using wordy phrases and pointless modifiers, and don’t over stuff the copy with adverbs and adjectives.
Avoid cliché and jargon. Your eCommerce website should sell, and it won’t sell if there’s too much distracting and cheesy cliché and jargon the readers don’t understand which makes them uncertain whether to buy your company products. Leave out extraneous, flowery language and help your customers make the right decision.
Keep the writing simple. Your copy should not impress the readers with its vocabulary, but be simple and easy to understand. The large and complex words are either confusing or appear like you are trying too hard to sell.
Use active voice. Start the sentences with the noun that is doing the action and stay clear to better influence the visitors to make a purchase on your website.
The mistakes you can’t allow happen
When writing your ecommerce copy, make sure you avoid these mistakes that can diminish your website’s potential:
Having no copy on product pages. Using only images and no copy to describe your products and services and build trust between you and your customers you are missing out on a perfect, if not vital opportunity to lift your conversion rates and increase the search traffic towards your website.
Using inconsistent tone throughout the web pages. If different copywriters work on your homepage, FAQs and “About” page, and on your product descriptions, you must set certain tone of voice they all should follow, because otherwise it will lead to inconsistency in the web pages throughout your website.
Overstating in order to make the product more desirable. You can use words that increase the emotional response of the customers, but you can’t exaggerate when explaining the applications and benefits of your products and services. Even if you manage to make some money out of such misrepresentation, the negative customer reviews will cost you your website authenticity and trust, eradicating all the gains you may have had.
Get creative and ignore the convention. When considering the eCommerce websites, though it can be tempting to play with the design, wording, links and buttons, it is better to keep it to the accepted standards sticking to “contact us”, “add to basket” and factual, descriptive anchor text that links to the product pages. The effects of such experiments are rather negative or the creative touch doesn’t make some significant difference; then why risk it?
Not localizing the copy. People living in different cultures don’t have same expectations of how an eCommerce copy should be presented to them. British people, even though they are sharing similar language with the Americans, still feel the American advertising is too aggressive so they have to soften it for the British audience. Many retailers, sadly, are not aware how important localization is when writing their copy. You must adjust your tone and approach the customers according to what’s accepted in their culture and the established habits on the particular markets.
Incorporating the right eCommerce copywriting strategy can really boost your online retail business, particularly when most such websites ignore the recommendations of the search engines regarding duplicate content and use same content for groups of products, or the manufacturer’s copy that doesn’t match their tone of voice. Those who play it right can expect over 50% increase in their search traffic and over 30% higher conversion rates for most e-commerce websites. Find a tone that matches your company brand, keep your thoughts simple and readable, build trust with your copy and try convince the visitors into buying, explaining informatively what makes you and your products special.