When you run a product-based brand or are an independent retailer selling online, your website, or, a page on platforms like Trouva is the place customers will go to find out everything they could possibly need to know before making that all-important purchase from you. There’s so much to consider to make sure your website invites and engages your audience to explore further, including design, photography and the words you use. With this in mind, today I’m focusing on all things copy and sharing six essential tips for creating captivating e-commerce copy.
What is e-commerce copy?
Firstly, let’s start by recapping on exactly what e-commerce copy covers so you can ensure every single word makes an impression. It’s a common misconception that this refers solely to product descriptions, however, it’s so much more than that. In a nutshell, e-commerce copywriting is any wording on your website, so from product descriptions and promotional messaging to your about us or delivery pages, e-commerce copy is a valuable tool to not only sell but, to also inform your customer and help build brand identity.
1// Get to know your customer
Before you write anything, it’s time to get thinking and step into the shoes of your customer. Who is this person? Why might they choose to buy from you over your competitors? There’s a lot of noise online with new brands appearing all the time, so understanding exactly who your customer is and how your products will appeal to them can make all the difference when it comes to writing compelling copy.
2// Find your brand voice
As I mentioned, the world of e-commerce can be extremely noisy and so finding your voice online and ensuring it gets noticed can take a little time. Start by determining how you want your brand to sound and establishing the tone of voice you’d like to take; for example, do you want to be inspiring and friendly or current and honest? Write a list of words that really represent your brand and use this to begin informing how your brand voice will sound, right through from a pop-up message to your returns policy.
3// Create an inviting homepage
If you have your own website, your homepage is one of the most valuable spaces to capture the attention of your customers. Your homepage is essentially your shop window and so the key here is to make this space visually exciting and use your written copy to invite visitors to explore your shop further. From irresistible headlines to a clear call to action, make your words count. Remember, you only have a very small window of time (seconds to be precise) to engage your visitors before they decide whether or not your website is for them, so make your copy short and sweet to get potential customers moving easily around your website.
4// Showcase your brand values
As a brand, your values are there to form an affinity between you and your customers. Marketing expert Seth Godin said, ‘People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.’ In other words, the more you represent your values, the more consistent your communications will be, allowing your audience to relate, recognise and remember who you are – and this should always be reflected in your copy. If you truly understand your customer, they will share your values too, which will not only establish trust but also build a connection between your brand and products too.
5// Let your personality shine
Every brand is unique so make this known to your customers and attract their attention by making your copy a little bit different. The Alexa Chung website is a wonderful example of how to do this. The brand product copy clearly states what the product is, whilst adding an additional layer of personality that makes each description so much more engaging. For example, this white shirt product description, is to the point, brimming with character and in just a couple of creative sentences, it offers the reader inspiration as to how this product will fit into their lifestyle.
‘This isn’t to say your average white shirt need be ousted from your wardrobe with immediate effect, we’re just offering you an option for when you’re feeling a bit extra is all. This shirt is plenty smart enough to hold its own in a meeting room, it’s also appropriate for dimly-lit cocktail bar attire.’
6// Keep things consistent
Finally, and perhaps one of the most important things when it comes to e-commerce copywriting is keeping your copy consistent – and this is so much easier once you have thought through all of the above. Not only do you need to watch out for things like spelling and grammar, but your wording also needs to read and sound the same no matter where it’s placed around your site; so from your about page to your product descriptions, your tone and language should remain coherent at all times.