Writing eCommerce copy can present unique challenges. The goal of an eCommerce website is to sell, sell, sell. So how might the eCommerce copywriting process differ from any other sales copy, if at all? Here are 12 steps to eCommerce copy that satisfies, shares, and sells.
1. Tie a story to the brand.
A story that accompanies a brand can be integrated into nearly every page on an eCommerce site. Imagine someone is starting an eco-friendly line of baby products. This can have an impact on written copy for much more than just the About Us page. Story elements can appear in social media ads, product descriptions where sustainable materials are described, and brand initiatives.
2. Sell more by improving what’s there.
Take an existing eCommerce site. Compare what is on the page versus what has been sold. This is a good practice to engage in before making some changes. Ecommerce writers know the value of revisions over time. With new or struggling brands, this is a safe and reliable way to gradually optimize every page and give sales a sizable boost by next year.
3. Be informative.
Consumers may scour the internet looking for the best version of an item they want to buy. But an excellent eCommerce website can give them everything they need to know, making that purchase decision a cinch. Product descriptions can become more comprehensive, product reviews can accompany the descriptions, and more company-focused content offerings can quickly acquaint new visitors with the brand.
4. Get more traffic with SEO.
If copy is optimized for search engines – using keywords customers are searching to find products and services – then that site has a better chance of appearing in a top spot. This is another key reason to revise the existing copy and freshen up keyword usage. Starting a blog and adding new products can help SEO as well. Search engines like pages that are updated consistently.
5. Define the demographic.
Who needs this product? This is an early determination for several reasons. It can impact keywords, ad placements, and even how a company approaches a visitor about their abandoned cart. Writing eCommerce copy demands a voice that the target audience can relate to and wants to interact with.
6. Ditch buzzwords for an explanation.
When bringing an audience member closer to buying a product, it makes sense to tell them that it’s premium quality. But what is premium quality to the consumer? Remove doubt and make better use of each piece of copy by explaining the advantages. Tell visitors how the material, construction, and benefits exceed a competitor’s offering.
7. Bring customers closer to the business.
Weaving the brand story into descriptions and other content is an important step. However, one can forge an even closer bond by letting the consumer peek behind the scenes and appreciate the process. Share inside info on a blog or in emails, or even produce video content that helps make the customer loyal to the brand.
8. Pull out all the stops with editing.
If someone reads a product description that includes typos, grammatical errors, and misspellings, they are not likely to believe the product is of good quality. Quality copy is the only option for quality products. Writing eCommerce copy means feeding the text through a triple-check editing process. This demonstrates a commitment to excellence on all fronts.
9. Use verbs.
Assume someone wants to buy a day planner. All of the specs have been shared: leather-bound, hand-stitched, acid-free paper, interior pockets, 12-month calendar. Now, what sort of words should a copywriter use to further entice a purchase? “Very attractive and stylish planner” or, “Solves scheduling woes”? The adjectives – attractive, stylish – do not present as much value as the verbs do – solve scheduling.
10. Bring forth the benefits.
In a similar vein, it is helpful to include benefits along with facts. Measurements and materials answer some questions, but the benefits are more likely to trigger an on-the-spot purchase. It’s even better when someone writing eCommerce copy can tie the two together. “Rubberized handle for a no-slip grip” immediately tells the reader that there are additional benefits to buying this tool. They are thinking of all the other times they used something similar and dropped it.
11. Spend time on genius headlines.
Some eCommerce copywriters spend more time on the headline than anything else. How in the world is a single line of copy more important than much of the copy that comes afterward? It’s simple, really. Many more people will read the headline than will read the copy. Given that the headline has more eyes on it, creating an exceptional headline increases the chance that someone will keep reading. In many cases, a copywriter will write several headlines, and test drive them all.
12. Hire a professional eCommerce copywriter.
The truth is people who run or manage eCommerce websites usually do not write the copy themselves. They also don’t keep an in-house writer on staff. They reach out to professionals who dedicate their entire careers to writing eCommerce copy.
How do they hire? There are a few options. Sometimes they can get a specific writer recommendation via networking. Many more end up on websites that serve as freelancer marketplaces.
Freelancer marketplaces have some advantages – a wide range of freelancers to choose from, reviews from past clients, and portfolios. Yet they also present a unique set of challenges.
It can be difficult to verify that a freelancer’s experience is genuine, and the selection process can take a lot of time out of the day. Furthermore, the client will have to manage the project, directing the freelancer where necessary and taking a leap of faith that it will be done on time correctly.
Agencies are a different story. They hire professional copywriters who might otherwise end up as freelancers. They fully assess them for experience and skill and match them up to the right projects. From there, they also manage the project, so flawless, sales-driving eCommerce copy is easier and faster than ever to enjoy.