In a world where consumers have virtually unlimited choice regarding what clothes they buy and where they get them from, to have a successful online fashion retail business you need to ensure that everything you do is exceptional. Your clothes, exceptional. Your deals, exceptional. But you also need people to know how exceptional your offering is. That means utilising fashion copywriting which is irresistible.
Here we’d like to guide you through some of the fashion copywriting techniques that will help your brand to excel.
Preach to the choir
“Speak to your audience about what’s in their heart” – Jonathan Lister
Not everyone wants to buy your products. They don’t fit. They’re too expensive. They’re not the right style. But that’s fine; you weren’t going to sell them anything anyway.
Rather than trying to appeal to everyone, your fashion copywriting should speak directly to your core customers, using language, attitudes and perspectives that they’re familiar with. To do this you need to A) Know who your audience (your core demographic) is B) understand how to talk to them C) leverage this information in your copywriting.
If for example your main customers are teenage girls, then you should speak in a young, vibrant and fun voice that will resonate with them. Avoid the urge to throw lots of trendy ‘buzzwords’ or teen colloquialisms in there though as this will usually come across as insincere and forced. At the same time, avoid dull or over-elaborated language that will bore them.
Similarly, if you’re selling high-end suits for men, adopt a professional and dependable tone of voice that will resonate with that particular audience.
‘Sell the sizzle’
Marketing guru Elmer Wheeler once said that marketers should “sell the sizzle, not the steak”. This principle is highly relevant to fashion copywriting, as people are not necessarily buying your clothes, they’re buying the way that they think your clothes will make them feel about themselves.
Wheeler elaborated on his now famous soundbite more by explaining that, “What we mean by the “sizzle” is the biggest selling point in your proposition – the main reasons why your prospects will want to buy. The sizzling of the steak starts the sale more than the cow ever did, though the cow is, of course, very necessary!”
In the same way, having exceptional clothes to sell is very necessary, but when you’re selling them you need to emphasise the benefits that your product will bestow. Will it make them sexier? More confident? Appear more professional? Provide complete comfort? Last for a particularly long time?
Understand what it is about your products that ‘sizzles’, and make sure that your copywriters are getting this across to your customers.
Brand your fashion copywriting for success
“Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touch points.” – Jonah Sachs
To ensure that your business experiences continued success rather than small victories with one or two popular products, you need to have a strong and consistent brand.
Branding for success means determining what makes your fashion retail business different from the competition, and telling a positive story that will set it in the best possible light. Within this story should be your unique selling propositions, which highlight what is special about your brand, and provide compelling reasons for people to buy from you.
Once you’ve created a brand blueprint, you need to put in place a system of ensuring that this branding is present and consistent across all of your product descriptions and website copy. The most effective solution is to create brand tone of voice and style document that can be easily distributed to in-house fashion copywriters and copywriting agencies as needed.
Think mobile first
Not so long ago, if someone was looking to buy new clothes they’d make a special trip to the high street, or set aside a portion of time for browsing through a catalogue. Today, with most people owning a smartphone (and UK ownership levels predicted to reach 43 million by 2017), things are far more spontaneous. People are clothes shopping on their lunch hour, on the train, whilst waiting for a bus, or are suddenly taken by the idea of buying a new dress while sitting watching TV.
Even if they’re not actually shopping on their mobile, the way people process information is changing to reflect the emerging mobile paradigm. They consume information in short nuggets and in very short spaces of time, and they’re far less loyal to one particular source. Therefore, online businesses need to adapt their web content to be ‘mobile first’. This means:
- Keeping copy succinct
- Writing shorter sentences and paragraphs
- Using sub-headers and bullet points for reading ease
- Getting straight to the point and focusing on it throughout
Create power images
From novels and movies to television advertising and persuasive articles, imagery has the power to shape our minds and influence our behaviour. If you’ve ever read a good book that left a lasting impression, chances are it’s because the author created some compelling imagery to accompany the story. Could it be that the rolling green hills of Tolkien’s shire, the chaotic claustrophobia of Hunter S Thompson’s Las Vegas and the descriptions of your next product range all share something in common?
To leverage the power of imagery in your fashion copywriting you might try building pictures in your readers of minds of how they’ll look or feel or act when they’re wearing your clothes. For example, you might plant the image in their mind of boldly striding through a crowded club or public space, or of enjoying themselves and feeling free at the beach, or taking part in an action sport in complete comfort.
Work out what people want, how your clothes can fulfil this need, and then create an image which will link these two together.
Bait, hook, sell
As we mentioned earlier, people are increasingly promiscuous with their information sources and where they seek their solutions from. Though you may achieve a healthy loyal following who eagerly anticipate your product launches, many will have more of a casual flirtation with your brand. Your goal with this latter group should be to very quickly entice them, convince them and then close the sale.
Bait – Alongside attractive images of your clothing products, your product descriptions should also be highly desirable. Use the techniques above to make this so.
Hook – Once you’ve got their attention, you need to hook them on what you have to offer by selling the sizzle as discussed earlier. Emphasise the benefits of your products, and bring in your brand USPs for maximum effect, such as affordability, luxury stylings or even something more practical like fast delivery times.
Sell – You’ve convinced them, but you haven’t made a sale until they’ve checked out. Your aim should be to make this process as quick, intuitive and straightforward as possible. Provide a clear call to action such as “hit ‘buy now’ to purchase this item”. When they take this action this should lead them straight to the checkout page, and everything about this should also be kept as clear and simple as possible.
If you consistently employ these techniques in your fashion copywriting, you should begin to see some great results. If you need any advice on creating irresistible online fashion content, or have a copywriting project you need handled, get in touch with us.