You hear it all the time: people on the internet don’t read. Skimming is the name of the game. Browsing eyes dash over webpages, bouncing to and fro like a pinball machine. Mediocre or even bad web copy can’t be that big a deal.
The reality is, though, people DO read the words on a web page.
True, they read a little differently than the way they would a novel or a newspaper. But they do read.
And web copy does matter. Especially in the world of Ecommerce.
When a person is considering spending their hard-earned money online, they are taking a big leap of faith. All the external, physical factors that can affect an in-person purchase aren’t available. They can’t smell that perfume, try on those shoes or inspect the craftsmanship of that luxury watch.
This is where your copy comes in.
The Three C’s of E-commerce Copy
E-commerce web copy has the hefty responsibility of convincing your customers. Convincing them to trust that your product is what you say it is and that it is worthy of their investment.
You don’t have to be a Nobel-laureate to achieve this. In order for your Ecommerce copy to be effective, you need to make sure it is clean, clear, and compelling.
1. KEEP IT CLEAN
Above all else, your site’s copy needs to be clean!
We are talking the most basic of the basics here. Typos, incorrect punctuation, poor sentence structure, spelling mistakes–there is no room for grammar errors in the ultra-competitive e-commerce landscape. Web copy has to convince consumers to trust your product, and those seemingly small errors can do serious damage to your credibility.
Regular SEO “housekeeping” also needs to be an ongoing part of your business. The days of keyword stuffing are long gone. Yes, you need to incorporate your keywords, but your copy needs to flow and feel natural. Do not compromise comprehension for the sake of trying to trick the search engines; it doesn’t work anyway as the algorithms are highly advanced and constantly evolving.
You also need to do regular keyword clean-ups, testing and evaluating various terms’ effectiveness. Clear out whatever is under-performing, and do what you have to to figure out what does work.
(If this SEO stuff is all Greek to you, read up on some basics here and here, or contact the digital marketing professionals here at TheeHouston Agency.)
2. MAKE IT CLEAR
Usability and effective web copy go hand in hand. It won’t matter how compelling, creative or grammatically correct your writing is if no one reads it because your site is a mess.
When customers have to work too hard to find the information they want, they take their business elsewhere. It’s as simple as that.
Here’s a test. If you were shopping online, which would you be more likely to read:
There are many ways to make your Ecommerce copy more user-friendly. Large, undefined walls of text send scanning eyes elsewhere. Bold headings, short sentences and paragraphs, and strategically used bullet points help streamline and direct your customers’ focus. Don’t use 10 words when 5 will do; and avoid inaccessible jargon and overly-advanced vocabulary.
Ecommerce Copy Tips
- Avoid large, undefined walls of text
- Use bold headings and bullet points
- Stick to short sentences and paragraphs
- K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid)
We’re going to go out on a limb and guess you chose exhibit B.
Online shoppers want a streamlined, user-friendly experience. Make sure your copy looks the part by brushing up on usability basics.
Furthermore, make sure that essential information such as shipping rates, return policies, how to get in touch with customer service, etc. is written as clearly as possible (and is easy to find). There is no such thing as stating the obvious with e-commerce. If you are too vague about policies your customer won’t trust you and won’t buy.
3. COMPELLING SELLING
How to write truly compelling copy is a blog post in itself (several, really). Crafting your unique message in the right way for your particular audience involves a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and research.
So here we will simply go over some practical tips on how to present your message, rather than how to determine what your message needs to be.
Features Tell, Benefits Sell
That lovely rhyme says it all.
A product can have the most advanced, awesome features on the planet. But you have to give MEANING to all those cool components. Your copy needs to tell the customer in no uncertain terms not just WHAT they are buying, but WHY they should buy it. “What’s in it for me” should be the driving force behind every line of copy.
Yes, your products are awesome and yes, you want to get potential buyers excited about them.
But you don’t want to force that awesomeness down their throats.
Hard sell tactics and over-inflated, hyperbolic language won’t get you anywhere with today’s savvy shoppers. It annoys them at best, insults them at worst. And it eats away at your credibility. If you’ve taken the time to really tease out your product’s most appealing benefits, all you have to do is play it all cool and let those benefits speak for themselves
Be a Storyteller
Everyone loves a good story. And good stories can be extremely powerful. Weaving a story around a brand or product helps customers emotionally connect in a way little else can.
What kind of stories are hiding within your product? What inspired you to make it? Is there an interesting way you source your materials or innovative process behind your product’s manufacturing? Then share it! Or get your customer to imagine what their life will be like with your product in it. Bring your product to life for your customers, and don’t be afraid to be creative!
This is only the beginning…
Today’s internet landscape is vastly different from the static websites of yesteryear. You have to think of your e-commerce site as a living, evolving organism. The three C’s of Ecommerce copywriting are just a part of the digital marketing puzzle. From responsive web design to SEO to powerful graphics and compelling copy, multiple components all need to come together if you want your business to reach its full potential.
At TheeHouston Agency, we are committed to helping our customers find success online! For us, that means developing a well-optimized and highly-converting website on WordPress, and continuing that success with a variety of digital and inbound marketing tactics. Our Houston web design and internet marketing professionals are here to help you! Give us a call at 281-764-9070 or fill out our contact form.