How do you make your products stand out from the competition? The answer is with irresistible copywriting. In this post we’re going to share with you five e-commerce copywriting tips that will help your products shine.
The internet has made it possible for retail businesses large and small to sell their products to customers throughout the world. But with this immense opportunity, there’s also a huge catch in the form of ever-increasing competition, as these stats from The Centre for Retail Research starkly illustrate.
Back in the pre-digital eighties, your biggest rivals were those few stores which were physically close to yours, with perhaps a few mail order catalogues thrown in for good measure. But in 2016, you’re competing with businesses around the world. It’s impossible to know for sure how many e-commerce companies there are out there, but one estimate by RJ Metrics suggests there are more than 110,000 e-commerce websites generating substantial revenues globally.
Read on for our five essential tips to getting your e-commerce copywriting spot-on.
1. Do more with less
With so much to choose from when shopping online, consumers have even less time to read your product descriptions than ever before. The challenge for your product description writers is to make every word count and use only as many words as are necessary.
The Natural History Museum’s online shop is a good example of this. In just a few short sentences they present a compelling overview of the product which tells the customer exactly what it is and why they want it. For example:
“Dinosaur model collection –
- A mix of plant-eating giants and deadly predators make up this fantastic 8-model collection.
- All figures are scientifically-approved and painted in striking detail, making this bestseller a great start for any new collector.”
‘Nuff said. The museum’s copywriters understand that people don’t want to know everything about the thing they’re buying. They just want to know the important ‘need to know’ information before they make a decision.
To begin implementing this principle in your product description copywriting today, you should consider what are the most important pieces of information about each product, and what is extraneous information. When you’ve got that crystallised, you can set about making what’s left as enticing as possible.
2. Infuse your e-commerce copywriting with your unique style
Don’t be flat and dull. Your brand should be brimming with personality – a personality that is appropriate for the products you sell and the people you’re marketing to.
Take a look at Firebox. Their online copy is consistently charged with a personality which is quirky, inventive and ever so slightly cheeky, as in the following example for a glow-in-the-dark toilet seat attachment:
- When you have to glow in the night
- Motion activated toilet night light
- Fits any toilet
- Give your toilet a sprinkle of colour
- Wee like you’re Tron – with 9 colour options!
- Saves relationships, so worth spending a penny on”
If you already know what your brand’s personality is, you need to make sure that your product description copywriters write in exactly that way. This should be communicated to them clearly through a tone of voice and brand guidelines document. If you don’t already have, create one, or your website could become a mishmash of many different styles.
If your brand doesn’t currently have a solid personality, you need to give it one. Work out what kind of voice you want your brand to speak with, and how you want it to be perceived.
3. Drill-down to the benefits
Web users are selfish. They don’t care about the fact that your product has x, y or even z – they want to know what’s in it for them. And they want to know quickly.
When people are shopping online, they are trying to imagine what their life would be like if they owned your product. They want to know how it will improve their life and whether it will allow them to carry out a certain activity faster or with greater quality. They want to know if it will save them money in the long run, whether it’s going to help them to be more eco-friendly, or if people will think they’re really cool because they have it.
One of the best e-commerce copywriting tips we can give you is ALWAYS to write in terms of benefits. Rather than simply reeling off features, tell people exactly what your products will do for them.
4. Talk to your customers like human beings
Because – news flash – they are. Those who visit your website are not insatiable buying machines eager to consume your shiny things. Similarly, you’re not a soulless corporate selling machine, so make sure that you don’t sound like one.
This point links in with #2 above. In making sure your brand’s personality comes across in your e-commerce copywriting, you should also remember who you’re talking to. Just as you want to convey certain qualities, you should also tap into those within your customers’ personalities.
You need to do your research. Know who your core customers are and what’s important to them.
Are they spendthrifts always looking for a good deal? Are they in search of quality above all else? Is the way that the product was manufactured or the materials used important to them? Are they looking to make a commitment to a brand, or are they just looking for a one-time fling?
Once you’ve got a good handle on who your customers are, talk to them directly in a way which addresses their prime concerns, needs and desires.
5. Be surprising
Finally, the best way to use copywriting to make your products sing is not to do what everyone else is doing. Don’t be afraid to approach your e-commerce content from a different angle, and to be fiercely inventive with your campaigns, descriptions and communications. After all, it’s hard to stand out when you’re just like everyone else.
If you enjoyed our e-commerce copywriting tips and need a hand with your copywriting or brand strategy get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.