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by Stephen Logan on 28th August 2009
Copy is far from being a one size fits all solution. Depending on what your website is promoting or who you’re targeting the tone and wording can differ hugely.
Ecommerce is understandably one of the most competitive markets online. With so many stores offering the same or similar products and services, you have to be sure that yours stands out from the crowd. Pricing and other additional incentives can swing the balance in your favour; however, to really close the deal, copy can be your greatest marketing weapon.
Here are a few tips on how you can get ahead of the rest and create some ecommerce copy that will get your site noticed:
1) Remember your audience – Whatever your business, you should have a target audience in mind. By focusing your copy to suit this specific demographic, you can better engage with current and potential customers. By communicating directly, you can show yourself to be a site that they can trust and feel comfortable using.
2) Be emotive – Flaccid copy isn’t going to encourage anybody to buy from you. Products need to be sold, so you need to be active in promoting them and their benefit to your visitors. Emotive copy is simply about using words that conjure a desire to purchase, something that resonates with people and will convince them that this is the product for them; after all, you don’t want them straying away.
3) Get key points in early – Whether you use bullet points prior to your main body copy, or an introductory paragraph to detail your products, you need to grab visitors attention immediately. People won’t read on if your copy is flabby and offers little or no usable information. Don’t g overboard, but the key to your sales pitch is at the beginning and end of each page.
4) Use appropriate detail – Customers, particularly online, like to know as much as possible about individual items before committing to purchase. By offering an extensive description (250 words maximum) of each product, as well as information about your services elsewhere, you can help ensure that visitors are armed with all the information they need. This in turn can encourage them to buy, whilst also having the additional benefit of improving SEO.
5) Break up copy with sub-headings – Don’t just dump hefty chunks of copy on a page. Just as the design and images can help to encourage visitors to investigate further, so too can sub-headings. They only need to be a few words long, nothing too extensive, but not only do they provide a natural break but they can also be used for inserting your page’s keywords and giving a brief overview of the information contained within the body copy.
6) Call to action – Finally, and some would suggest, most importantly, is the call to action. No product page should be without one. If you are going to clinch a sale online, this is your killer pitch, the bit that makes those who are still unsure proceed directly to the shopping basket, product in hand.
Writing copy for ecommerce may well pose some unique challenges; but they are undoubtedly ones that can be overcome. Essentially the bottom line in ecommerce is to sell. You first need to sell your business and then the products you sell. Convincing people not to stray once on your site is by no means easy, but you can certainly help your cause with some dynamic and engaging copy.