eCommerce Copywriting – 6 Principles You Need To Master

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In this article, we will help you increase your odds of converting more visitors into buying customers by using effective e-Commerce copywriting strategies and techniques by leveraging product details, social proof, and other selling methods to create the most persuasive product copy for almost any product.

Writing Product Descriptions That Matter

By writing persuasive product descriptions that resonate with their ideal customers, an eCommerce website can create a special connection between the product they are selling and the potential customers. How you write product descriptions is crucial for the success of your business!

Give your visitors the attention they need and know how to target them through their pain points. This is very useful for eCommerce copywriting, as it gets people to act instead of just looking around. Knowing what would make them buy the product you are selling is essential for a successful marketing campaign.

Another thing to keep in mind is if your buying process is long or complicated, this might be something that turns your potential customers away from doing business with you.

Keep in mind that an eCommerce store needs a very clearly defined route for the customers to take from the moment they arrive on your landing pages.

The benefits of a good copy for an eCommerce site

You can do so much with an effective marketing copy. For example, you can use it to develop the positioning of your product, define your brand, create affinity between the potential customer and the product itself, emphasize features or highlight its specifications.

This is exactly what e-Commerce copywriting does, it helps online retailers create a bond with their customers. This kind of marketing doesn’t just boost sales, it also helps develop strong customer relationships and can take them further than they’ve ever imagined.

Effective copywriting is what makes the difference between success and failure for an online business.

Perfection is just a lot of small things done well

Whether you’re selling online or running a brick-and-mortar business, these principles will work for you. They’ll help you drive more visitors into your marketing funnel and convert casual visits into sales.

Breaking down your copy into smaller pieces and working on them separately is going to be easier to manage, and will ultimately make a more convincing whole for your ideal buyer, whoever that may be.

Here are 6 Tips to Help You Improve Your eCommerce Copywriting

  1. Draw them in
  2. Highlight the benefits
  3. Show social proof
  4. Show product details
  5. Your brand personality
  6. Easy to understand CTAs

1. Draw them in

Marketing models, such as the AIDA model, have you grab the attention of the potential customers by drawing them in using a problem or issue your product helps in dealing with, so create a headline that captures the attention of your potential buyers.

According to some statistics, 80% of readers don’t look beyond the headline.

So when you’re thinking of the time it takes for you to write your copy versus writing your headline, you probably need to spend more time on the headline. You could be writing a brilliant marketing copy, but when the readers aren’t coming because of a weak headline, what’s the point?

Keep It Short And Simple

Let’s look at one of the most famous headlines ever created for an ad.

‘A diamond is forever’ is the brainchild of Frances Gerety. Working as a copywriter at N.W. Ayer Advertising Agency in 1947, he created this headline for the De Beers diamond mining company and their campaign which ran for more than sixty years and is one of the most effective marketing slogans ever. It’s simple, to the point, and tells the customer exactly what they want to hear. They’ll know that if they buy a diamond, it will be with them for life and will never fade away or lose its value over time.

Information is power

But how do you write a good headline that convinces your ideal buyer to focus on the copy as well? Here we can turn to one of the marketing greats, David Ogilvy, the man who made Dove the biggest soap company in the US and wrote one of the most iconic headlines for Rolls-Royce. ‘At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock’

When he was tasked with writing this ad for Rolls-Royce, he spent almost a month poring over the technical data of the car before coming up with this headline and the subsequent copy.

When you want people to take action, give them the information they need to do so, such as details on how much it costs and what’s included, where can they get it from, and when. Remember that if your headline snags their attention, but you don’t deliver any value in the copy, chances are they won’t come back for more.

2. Highlight The Solution

Remember, people want to solve problems and selling is simply selling a solution through your product. Work on selling benefits rather than product features – show how your product will provide them with that quick fix they require!

Another brilliant ad from 1977 by the DeBeers. This ad, with a simple black and white picture, tells the story of a whole life, in just 2 sentences.

It immediately puts a price on it, without showing any numbers. They are telling the men what they need to buy to propose, and at the same time telling the women what they need for a proper engagement and a loving relationship.

Writing product descriptions that tell a story

Love is one of the most passionate emotions in the world and it’s universal, so the DeBeers set out to make people associate love with diamonds. By convincing the world that an engagement ring has to have diamonds, they guaranteed themselves more sales by tying the two together.

In this ad the story is implied, or rather, it is left to the prospect’s mind to weave together a potential future with the person they love. It causes the impression of creating a memory, something that you can’t buy with money.

So when you are writing your own product descriptions, try to incorporate your product into your buyer’s life, help them experience it, and imagine themselves using it.

A compelling copy will drive sales for you

Whatever you are trying to sell, if you market it properly, then there is no doubt that you will succeed in making the sale.

The copy Ogilvy wrote was based on just the 13 facts about the car itself, such as ‘By moving a switch on the steering column, you can adjust the shock-absorbers to suit road conditions. Nothing more, nothing less.

As he tells it: “In my Rolls-Royce advertisements I gave nothing but facts. No adjectives, no ‘gracious living.”

But when the facts about what you want people to buy are the best product descriptions you can ask for, why write about anything else. When writing copy, your sole purpose should be to make it convince customers to make a purchase.

“Factual advertising like this outsells flatulent puffery. The more you tell, the more you sell. Notice the very long headline–and 719 words of copy, all facts.” – David Ogilvy

Not all products come with a technical manual ready to be made into a bullet list for your next copy, but the principal focus here is what is important. An effective product description is about the product.

Benefits And Features

Adding benefits about the product to their lives is another useful strategy for e-commerce copywriting. When you are able to achieve this, you have a higher chance of increasing sales by providing your visitors with information that speaks directly to their problems and needs.

Understanding the customer’s perspective is important when it comes to e-commerce copywriting. Knowing what would make them want your product is something that will definitely come in handy.

Many things play a role when talking about eCommerce copywriting but what matters most is how well it connects with your ideal customer through what they need, or at least, what they think they need.

You want your product description to be on their level, so you can explain things that are useful for them in a sense of what they’ve been looking for.

3. Show Social Proof

Social proof is very powerful – this means showing off your product’s popularity or success (through public endorsements or ratings) within its niche market to justify the claim of trustworthiness and dependability for your potential customers. It becomes more effective if they can see how many others have bought before them.

A friendly recommendation

People tend to trust their friends more than advertising, so you can give your product quick social proof by showing what other people have to say about it.

Harry’s, a men’s grooming company, puts their customer reviews on their product page so that you can see their customer’s experience and make a judgment call.

Satisfaction guaranteed

Show how satisfied other people are with your products and keep track of their positive feedback. The greatest proof of a great product is someone who already has it and is happy with it. Use them to your advantage!

If we go back to Harry’s example, they create even more trustworthiness by showing the places where their products have been featured, such as GQ, Esquire Magazine, and Men’s Health. They include this right on the home page. It leaves you with a greater sense of trustworthiness about the company and its product.

A positive social proof helps improve conversion rates drastically because it reassures potential customers their purchase decision is not stupid by saying ‘If everyone else is doing it, so am I.’

4. Show product details

Now that the visible problem is there, it is time to answer questions about your product. Your potential customer may be wondering about its features, size or weight, color, and even how the product works.

Do not make them Google for this information; include everything in your product description!

A great example of a company that builds its product pages well is Lush, a UK-based cosmetics manufacturer.

Make it easy to find

Ensure that all these details are displayed on your product page so they can be easily found. In case you have a product video, ensure that it is available on your website as well – this will help you to seal the deal with a customer who is unsure about making the purchase.

Lush even throws in a feel-good fact, about how their product helps combat plastic waste.

List out the specifications

Include technical specifications, and if possible, compare them to those of your competitors. Keep in mind that they need accurate information so they can buy with confidence and avoid returns.

Lush lists all the ingredients in their products, but even more, each ingredient has its own page, detailing what it does, how it does it, and where it comes from.

You should try to describe everything about the product itself – no matter how small it might seem, as it provides your customers with the value they need.

Show, don’t tell

Visually appealing products can prove to be a greater sell. Customers tend to relate to images better than words, so ensure that high-quality product images are included within your copy.

Just as we eat with our eyes first, we will probably give our first impression of a product based on its picture, so make sure to show them at their best.

Again, Lush has you covered. With each of their products, they include a lovely photo right above their product descriptions.

5. Shape your brand personality

Every day many new products are being launched on the market. It is a challenge to try and stand out from the crowd. There are so many options, but you want your potential customer to choose your product. To do so, you need to describe it in a creative way that resonates with them.

Looking at Harry’s again for a good example. They started out as a small business, but through consistent marketing, they’ve reached a valuation of 1.7 billion USD.

Consistency is key

How you write your eCommerce copy will help shape how people relate to your brand. Ensure that your writing is consistent with the brand image you wish to portray.

You can also use this as an opportunity to create a more personal relationship with the customer by including some casual conversation within product descriptions.

Find your style

Each online store owner has their style, but being relevant and being creative will help them stand out from the crowd(and help with your results on various search engines).

Harry’s has built a brand personality around being honest, offering quality, and giving back, as per their online store.

This shines through in all of their product descriptions, which come across as straightforward without any nonsense. Easy to read bullet points and benefits that their product solves.

Add humor to your copy

Humor can be a great way of making your online store more appealing. You do not have to use the same tone throughout the entire website, but including some casual conversation in product descriptions can connect with customers better.

The small joke at the same time is highlighting their product’s visual appeal.

Using humor also makes you appear transparent and your customer might feel more relaxed reading the copy which translates to them being more open to making a purchase.

Connect with your ideal buyer

Listen to your customer, learn his language and write as if you were writing a letter to him. Your message should be short, concise, and easy to understand. It should establish a connection between the product and customer from start till end.

By following the above rules and using them in a creative way that fits your brand, you can turn visitors into paying customers. Focus on customer needs and what sets you apart from the competition.

6. Easy to understand CTAs

It is also important to keep the CTA clear and simple. Your customer should be able to understand immediately what you want him to do to convert.

Harry’s lists their products with the features in bullets which makes it easier to read and access what is important. They also keep the CTA clear, simple, and easy to understand.

Make it easy to find

Make sure that the CTA (call-to-action) is consistent with your sales page, and also make them stand out enough so they do not get missed by potential customers.  They should be placed in a position that is easy to find and read.

Guide them through the buying process

Each step of your product journey, from your landing pages to your product pages, should be mapped out so that your customers can effortlessly navigate their way and reach their destination (from finding it, adding it to their cart, and making a purchase).

If you want to be visited again, they must go through a smooth buying process.

For a limited time only

Use your product descriptions to develop a sense of urgency to get people to buy from you right away. This is why e-commerce copywriting usually includes time-related words like ‘limited’ or ‘now’.

Create a sense of urgency with social media, email, and PPC for your target audience. Make sure that you are reminding your customers of the product or offer they are about to miss out on. Offer special discounts for a limited time, or emphasize that the stock will be gone soon.

For instance: “Last Chance! Offer Ends In 24 Hours!” is better than “Brand New Product From The Successful Creator Of …”

People want what will benefit them in the long run, but when it’s already gone they’ll wish they had acted faster, so always keep in mind that what you’re promoting might go fast, and make sure to let this be known in your headline.

Add further value by including an offer for warranties or guarantees. These are great ways of adding that extra assurance for your customer which will increase conversions further down the line.

In Conclusion

Copywriting is a skill like any other. It takes time, care, and work to develop, but the best time to get started was yesterday and the next best day is today. These tips we’ve outlined in this article today touch on maybe the most basic points of copywriting, but just like we first learn to crawl and then walk, understanding and implementing the basics well will always deliver results.

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Andres Metspalu
Andres Metspalu
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