Nothing’s more important than choosing the right words.
It’s not something anyone thinks about often — until it’s hurting them. Usually, people will notice it during an argument.
“I didn’t mean it that way,” “What I was trying to say…” and so on.
Want to know another place where the wrong words can hurt you? Your eCommerce business.
Now, you might know that you need to write for your eCommerce business. The thing is, you may not know how.
It’s tempting to think that the words you choose don’t matter much. After all, in eCommerce, the product matters most, right?
All that translates into a loss of sales.
That means that bad writing could be standing between you and the goals you’ve set for yourself.
That’s where this article comes in.
If you made it this far, you’re ready to know powerful eCommerce copywriting strategies to improve your writing and increase sales.
Let’s get to work making words work for you instead of against you.
Defining a brand is a crucial aspect of eCommerce, now more than ever. The eCommerce space is vast, and customers have options. The internet boasts as many as 24 million eCommerce sites, and more pop up every day.
With that kind of competition, how do you stand out? You need to define your brand. Your customers need to have something specific they can tie you to, so you can stand out.
Let’s use Apple as an example. Apple has spent upwards of 40 years building its brand. Now Apple has a reputation for being sleek, fashionable, and functional. People know what to expect from Apple’s products and them as a company. Their returning customers return for the brand’s specific “feel.”
You aren’t likely to become a household name quite as big as Apple, but you can still take a page from their book.
Learn how to build a powerful personal brand through copywriting here.
When defining a brand, you need to find your core values. Core values are single words you can expand on and communicate through your business.
Take luxury brands, for instance. One of their core values is right in the name — luxury. Some brands use philanthropy as a core value, donating profit or products with every sale. Other brands have connection as a core value — think cell phone or social media companies.
When choosing your core values, think of why you started your company. What are you trying to bring to your industry that no one else is?
You can use personality as another of your values. Let’s take a look at three ways you can tie your personality into your brand’s values.
Are you someone who chose your eCommerce niche with care and caution? Do you enjoy constant research? Do you pride yourself on being up-to-date on the latest research or case studies?
If this describes you, you’re The Expert. That’s a good thing because you can make your expertise part of your brand.
Incorporate your love of data into your brand and your copy. You’ll stand out in your audience’s minds as someone who they can trust to back up whatever they say with the facts.
Are you the type to make quick friends and keep up with them? Are you active on social media? Do you pride yourself on being up-to-date on current trends and slang?
If this describes you, you’re The Influencer. You can leverage your outgoing, trendy personality in your brand. Stay active on social platforms where your audience can find you with ease.
Incorporate current trends and slang into your copy. These trends will help you stand out in the minds of your audience because they can relate to you. You’ll seem approachable and trustworthy as someone who understands your audience's lives.
Are you a trailblazer? Do people often ask you for your advice or opinion? Do you pride yourself on experimentation and being a source of inside knowledge?
If this describes you, you’re The Leader. You can leverage this personality in a brand, too.
Be loud and proud about your innovations. Incorporate the ways similar businesses have failed to address something into your copy. This way, you can stand out in the minds of your audience as a problem-solver who can offer them unique solutions.
These are only a couple of examples to get you started, so don’t be afraid to get creative. You can build your brand around any values important to you.
The key here is to be genuine. If you’re shy, don’t build your brand around being outgoing. Not only will it be exhausting for you, but it also won’t pay off. You’ll come off as insincere, and that will turn customers off to your brand.
As long as you’re sincere about the values you hold, your people will find you. The most important thing is that they’ll remember you. You won’t be another nameless banana vendor. You’ll be the health-focused, fun, or eco-friendly banana vendor.
Finding your brand’s voice will make your customers feel like they know you. They’ll be able to relate to you because they hold similar values, which increases trust. As the sales mantra goes, trust boosts sales.
This tip has a few moving parts but one key lesson. You need to remember that if your customer gets confused, they'll always say “no.”
Think about it — when was the last time you handed your wallet over when you were unsure about what the offer was? Whether it’s a sketchy pop-up or an unclear coupon, confusion pushes people in the wrong direction. Instead of running to your site, they run away.
Remember, you’re fighting for your customer’s attention. If they can’t understand what you’re selling or why it matters, they’ll go to someone they can understand.
You want your customers to think that buying from you is a no-brainer. Using complex language to sell them on that idea doesn’t make a lot of sense, right?
Instead of using complicated words, use simple ones. Hemingway can suggest replacements for words that are too complex.
Hemingway also shows you how difficult your writing is by grade level. As a general rule of thumb in eCommerce writing, you want to stick around a 3rd- to 5th-grade reading level.
An accessible reading level means people won’t waste energy decoding your words. That means all their mental focus can go towards planning to buy from you.
In most forms of eCommerce copy, you’ll want to stick below 300 words. This limit applies to social media, product pages, landing pages, emails, and the like.
If you’re using a blog on your site, you have some more flexibility. Blogs can run a little longer, but remember why the customer is reading them. Do they want or need to read a long post, or can you communicate your idea in fewer words?
An easy way to communicate an idea without using too many words is by using lots of “action” or “power” words. These are words you can use in place of adverbs to communicate the same idea.
For instance, instead of telling customers to “get a deal right now,” you could ask them to “sprint,” “swipe,” or “rush” to a deal. Using strong words has two benefits.
First, it helps you express your idea in a clear way. If you tell someone to “go quickly,” they might walk, jog, or run. You could even describe all three as “quick” in the right context. If you told someone to “sprint,” they would know to run as fast as possible.
Using power words creates a clear picture in your audience’s mind. They know what you mean, so no confusion.
Second, it helps you stay concise. On average, people see between 6,000 and 10,000 ads every single day. When you’re fighting for attention like that, you need to get to the point.
Power verbs stand out because they’re confident. The most important thing they do is keep your copy to the point, so people get the idea in an instant.
When you follow these tips, your customers know what to expect from you right away. They understand what you can do for them, and they don’t get turned off by a lengthy time commitment.
This understanding leads to confidence. Confidence leads to sales. Using clear language is a domino effect to conversion, so it’s crucial to an eCommerce business.
Here are effective strategies to easily improve clarity in your copy.
You may already be familiar with the PAS formula. PAS stands for “Pain-Agitate-Solution,” and it’s a standard guide for sales. PAS works great in eCommerce, too, with one catch. Don’t linger in the “Agitate” stage too long.
This is especially true in copy on your business’s actual site. By the time your customer lands on your site, they know they have a problem. Your job now is to provide them your solution.
Here’s an example of what not to do. I know of a bookkeeping business that works with small businesses and start-ups. Once you sign up for their monthly subscription, they send you a welcome video.
The welcome video is 15 minutes long, and you might think they use that time to run you through how the service works. You’d be wrong if you thought so. The intro video has about 5 minutes showing you how the service works.
The other 10 minutes talk about how you’ll get audited if you have bad bookkeeping, which can ruin your business. It’s 10 minutes stressing the very problem a small business owner was trying to solve with the service.
That’s the kind of copy that would leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth. It makes a customer say, “Well, that’s what I’m paying you for!”
That’s not what you want your customers to be saying to themselves at all. You want your customers to be breathing a sigh of relief. You want them to be happy to pay you because you’ve taken the worries off their plate.
How do you make them feel that way? Use positive language.
“Bananas that AREN’T picked by diseased monkeys.
You can be sure that people in the community pick our bananas, not diseased monkeys.”
“Real bananas by real people.
When we need bananas, we go to this community. We sell high-quality bananas, so why wouldn't we have high-quality people handling them?”
The first one feels a little out of place, right? Why would you bring up diseased monkeys? Do the other stands use them? Do you use them?
The second example uses positive language to focus on the same thing. A person picked this banana, not a monkey. It doesn’t put the focus on the rampant problem of diseased monkeys picking bananas.
Instead, it showcases the people who are picking the bananas. The second example assures the reader that those people are as real as the bananas.
In your copy, you’re aiming to be like the second instance. Showcase the unique way you’re solving the problem, and be clear about how it’s a good thing. Sell them on the solution, not the problem.
When you use positive language, customers will walk away with a better perception of you. Great perception of your brand builds a good relationship and increases sales.
Learn about conversational copywriting in this article.
Storytelling is a powerful sales driver. A good story is irresistible, which makes it a key asset for eCommerce copywriting.
Great eCommerce copywriting uses stories with powerful hooks. These grab the reader and lead them down a funnel.
Then, onto the compelling body of the story. The body keeps the reader engaged and interested (and may have sold them already).
Finally, the conclusion. This is the finishing blow. The end of your story should drive your customers to convert. By the time they get here, they should feel empowered to decide to buy.
There are two main ways to tell a story in eCommerce copywriting, and each serves a different role. First, you can tell your story. Second, you can tell your customer’s story.
When you tell your story, you’re giving people a chance to feel they know you. You’re telling the story of your company through the lens of your customer. The point of telling your story is to help your customer relate to you.
You might have experienced the same problem they have and created the company to solve it. It could be a passion project. You might feel driven by a desire to effect change in the world, and you see your company as your way to do that.
Whatever it is, remember that anything you write “About Us” is never about you. Like all your other copy, it’s about your customer. Telling your story should let your customer walk away feeling empowered. They need to relate to your story.
Telling your story builds trust and rapport. Your customers see you as a real person they can trust. As you’ve already heard, trust will make your conversions skyrocket.
The other way to tell a story is to tell your customer’s story. Visual copy is perfect for telling your customer’s story. That’s because it shows that you understand how your customer is feeling.
There’s a whole wealth of storytelling frameworks to tell your customer’s story. Which one you want to use will depend on the kind of copy you’re writing. Whether you use a framework, template, or write your own, keep some core principles in mind.
First, your customer needs to identify with the story. If it’s too vague or has specifics your ideal customer can’t relate to, you’ll need to edit. The idea here is that when your customer relates to the story, they’ll relate to the resolution. Your offer will be the way to solve their problem.
Second, don’t get carried away. Some people love the idea of crafting a story so much that they end up writing a novel. Your audience doesn’t want or need a novel to sell them on your product. They only need the overview.
Third and finally, you’re not the hero in your customer’s story. The customer is their own hero, and you’re the Yoda to their Luke Skywalker or the Sam to their Frodo. You get the gist. You’re the guide. You’re here to show them a solution, they solve their problem by converting.
Bottom line, a well-told story boosts sales. Googling “does storytelling boost sales” has over three million results. You only have to look through a few, and you’ll find case studies, scientific studies, and anecdotes.
They all say the same thing: stories skyrocket conversion.
Here's a complete storytelling guide to help you write better copy.
By now, you have a good sense of how powerful the right words can be for your business. Most eCommerce businesses don’t choose the right words, and it shows. Audiences notice when they read that copy, for one thing. The most important thing is that it shows in their sales (or lack thereof).
The right words can build trust. They show your audience that you’re a real person who wants to solve their problem. When prospects see that, their reservations about buying decrease. They aren’t worried you’re going to take advantage of them.
Good copy can also increase rapport. The right words will make your ideal customer feel at home. They’ll see you and your existing customers as “my kind of people.” That means they’ll see no reason to go somewhere else.
Words boost confidence. Your customers don’t only feel understood when you improve your writing. With the right words, they understand, too. Your audience feels they have a good idea of what’s going on and why it matters.
The right words can even be a magnet. They’ll attract the right people to you by setting you apart. Your ads or email sequences can keep you top of mind, so prospects come to you anytime they need something.
In short, the right words increase conversions. They help you connect with your ideal customer on every level. Good copy is nothing but finding the right words. For your business to thrive, you need good copy.
Any eCommerce seller realizes that eCommerce has a lot of moving parts. At this point, it should be clear that writing needs to be one of those moving parts.
With these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to realizing your business and personal goals. Why? Well, with the right words, you’ll have a successful eCommerce business on your hands. All that’s left is a “Congratulations” and a round of applause.
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