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E-commerce copywriting tips

We discovered this valuable article from Smashing Magazine regarding copy on shopping sites.

"Quality product descriptions can transform e-commerce conversion rates — it’s common to see increases of 30-100%. As well as converting more visitors, search traffic increases drastically when unique copy is written for each product. Most online retailers use manufacturers’ copy or rely solely on images to sell products. They then use inadequate copy elsewhere on their site and fail to achieve a consistent tone to persuade their audience. This creates a compelling opportunity for savvy retailers — by writing quality e-commerce copy you will create a unique competitive advantage."

Here's a few tips from the article:

1. E-commerce websites should usually opt for a combination of bullets and paragraph form. When 79% scan the page versus read word-for-word, bullets effectively communicate key product details and benefits.

2. Long sentences are usually difficult to digest and therefore inappropriate for persuading your audience.

3. You are going for simplicity, not trying to impress your readers with your vocabulary. Using large words will either sound like you’re trying too hard or lead to confusion.

4. Write in active voice. This means you should lead with the noun that is doing the action.

5. The first way to establish trust is the most obvious; that is, to have flawless copy.

6. Be clear when explaining payment, shipping and return processes — do not be afraid to state the obvious: A Forrester study showed that 20% of people have abandoned a purchase because shipping costs were unclear. Zappos are recommended.

7. Your copy needs to strike the right balance in tone between informative and engaging. To do this, good sales copy will explain details about the product and will explain why each detail matters to the customer.

8. Think about SEO:

To achieve the most from your e-commerce copy, SEO should be intertwined into the structure of your website with each page having target keywords.

Homepage: Widget Shop and Widgets
Category pages: Wooden Widgets and Metal Widgets
Brand pages: Peter’s Widgets and Sally’s Widgets
Product pages: Peter’s Blue XX1 Widget and Sally’s Red YY2 Widget

Here's a few common mistakes:

1. The most common mistake is to have no copy on product pages.

2. One person writes homepage copy and another person to write product descriptions.

3. With wording on buttons and links, it can be tempting to get creative but this is unlikely to be a good idea.

And Smashing summarises thus:

"Most e-commerce websites have no copy on product pages. Alternatively, they have manufacturers’ copy that doesn’t match their tone of voice and that Google considers duplicate content. That’s why the right e-commerce copywriting strategy makes a big difference — it’s possible to increase search traffic by over 50% and conversion rates by over 30% on most websites."



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