Ecommerce Optimization: 11 Steps to Boost Conversions with Copywriting

If you aren't happy with your conversion rates for your online store, then you've come in the right place.

This is where mastering the art of copywriting for ecommerce platforms comes into its own.

Once you've got to grips with the art of writing compelling copy, you're more likely to engage with consumers in a way that touches them- and therefore, pushes them further down the sales process.
Put simply, you could sell the best products, have a beautiful digital store, provide excellent customer service, but if you don't craft persuasive product copy, you aren't making the most of your ecommerce business.

So, with that in mind, we've broken down how to improve your copywriting. Sound good? Let's dive in!

1. Understand Who You’re Writing For

Knowing who you're writing copy for is crucial. Otherwise, you don't stand a chance of writing copy that's compelling.

This means creating a customer avatar so you can get to grips with your target demographic.

For your customer profile to be useful, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are your products slanted toward a specific age or gender?
  • What's your audience interested in?
  • Who do you customers aspire to be like?
  • What's your audience struggling with?
  • What/who do your audience admire?
You get the idea!

It doesn't matter what industry you're in when it comes to copywriting for ecommerce- you’re always writing for a specific group of people. Therefore, it's imperative you don't lose sight of this fact as you begin to draft your text.

It's down to you to decide who you are as a business, and who your customer base is- then embrace it. Every section of your e-commerce site should reflect your personality, write down to your 404 error pages. Never miss an opportunity to convey who your company is.

This means using vocabulary, sentence structure, grammar, etc. in a way that conveys your company’s tone of voice while resonating with your ideal audience. This is crucial for standing out amidst an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Trust us; this isn't as hard as it sounds! 

How Do You Get to Grips with Your Consumers?

Head over to places like Quora and Reddit. Not only do sites like this offer you a better idea of what your target audience aspire towards and what their pain points are, in addition to how they communicate with others. Perhaps try heading over to a subreddit related to the keyword you're trying to rank for.

 

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Different Kinds of Copywriting for E-Commerce

Now you understand who your target audience is, you can start to establish the tone of your brand. As you do this, ensure the style of your copy remains consistent across the entirety of your store.

This means considering how to reach out to your audience, every step of the way- no matter what kind of copy you're publishing.

Below we've listed a few examples of what you'll need to prepare:

Frequently Asked Questions

The primary purpose of your FAQs is to inform. Typically, your customer will expect a ‘no-frills' approach to your text- i.e., you need to get straight to the point.

This isn't the place for overly flowery language or ‘filler' copy. People want to access and consume your info, quickly- and when you don't allow them to do that, you'll annoy them (which is the last thing you want!)

Therefore, your informative copy should be straightforward, easily accessible and clearly explained.

This doesn't mean it needs to be bland.

Remember: You're still writing for your customer avatar, so your tone should reflect that.

Product Descriptions

Product descriptions are another kind of copywriting for ecommerce that will feature a lot on your store. Unsurprisingly, their main purpose is to market and promote your products.

Arguably, this copy is the most difficult to master.

Spoiler Alert: a ton of positive and flowery adjectives doesn't make for a well-written product description. This is an easy mistake to make. Any kind of web copy that relies on clichés will only weaken your brand.

To enhance your product descriptions, start highlighting the benefits of your products. It's not enough just to say you have a fabulous offer- you need to explain why your prospects need what you have to sell.

Tell your customers how it makes their life better. What will they achieve? What do your products help them overcome?

About Us

When it comes to figuring out the content for your ‘About Us' copy, contrary to the title, you don't want to make the mistake of thinking it's all about you.

Like any other kind of copywriting for e-commerce, this page should be geared towards your prospects.

Use this opportunity to cover the following ground:

  • Why should the visitor bother exploring the rest of your site?
  • What problems does your brand solve?
  • Highlight what your target demographic is interested in (what do they aspire to? what are they afraid of? what's important to them?) then relate how your mission helps them with any of these questions.

Obviously, your ‘About Us' page is an appropriate place to talk about your brand, but only how it best serves your audience- so bear that in mind as you craft your copy.

2. SEO Optimized Content

As you start copywriting for e-commerce, consider search engine optimization (SEO). This means getting to grips with basic keyword research and familiarizing yourself with on-page SEO techniques.

Keyword research enables you to pinpoint exactly what your customers are already searching for.

Once you have a comprehensive list of keywords, you can start optimizing your copy. All you have to do is incorporate these phrases throughout your text in a way that appears natural.

Remember: Don’t write for robots, write for people. As much as SEO is important, nothing should jeopardize the user experience on your site.  So, don't overly bog down your copy by packing keywords into places they don't fit.

3. Learn the Art of Storytelling

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Communicating a narrative is fantastic for hooking your audience. If visitors can relate to what you're saying, there's a better chance they'll read the entirety of your copy.

Stories do more than entertain; they move us- on an emotional level. This is amazing for gently pushing customers further down the sales process because you're building rapport with your audience in a way that isn't intrusive or pushy.

This is why an increasing number of major brands use stories in their customer testimonials. Take Tesco's food love stories as an example- people up and down the UK have gone nuts for this campaign!

For all the reasons above, it's imperative your product descriptions paint a clear image of how your product enhances your customer's lives (after they've made a purchase).

This is pretty simple to do.

  1. Highlight what your target demographic's struggling with.
  2. Explain how your product gets them where they want to be.

It's that easy.

Unlike brick and mortar stores, online sellers don't have the benefit of enabling visitors to see and hold their merchandise, physically.

This is where compelling copywriting for e-commerce is essential for sealing the deal; you need to use your words to help the customer envision what it's like to own the product.

You can successfully start weaving storytelling into your copy by answering the following questions:

  • Who made these products? If it was you, what inspired you to create these goods?
  • What motivated you to start selling these products?
  • Did you overcome any obstacles?
  • How was the product tested?

4. Craft a Magnetic Headline

Headlines are the most critical portion of your product copy. The stats speak for themselves: five times as many people read the headline of your content as they do the entirety of your text.

Then, those who bother reading past the headline tend to have an attention span of 8.25 seconds!

So, the critical thing to remember is to think very carefully about the format of your headlines. They can't be anything less than magnetic. Otherwise, you don't stand a chance of engaging with your audience.

This then begs the question; ‘what makes a good headline?'

Uniqueness

Your headline needs to be unique- it's the only way to make your content stand out.

This means providing a unique angle on your headline. So, as we've already said, it's critical you understand your audience because when you do, you'll be able to differentiate yourself via your copy.

Be Specific

Don't be vague. You need to let your audience know what you're talking about from the get-go.

This is one of the reasons figures in headlines do so well. In fact, headlines with numbers in them tend to generate 73% more social shares in comparison to headlines that don't contain data.

Use your headline to communicate with potential customers they’re in the right place. Fill them with confidence your business provides a handy solution to their problems- or at the very least, appeals to their interests.

Once you've explicitly called out your customers in your headline, they’re more likely to read the rest of your product copy. Then, providing the body of your text keeps their interest, you'll stand a higher chance of securing the sale!

Up the Urgency

Urgency is almost a surefire way of increasing online sales because it forces customers to make a choice. People hate missing out!

This is particularly effective if you're selling seasonal goods.

Communicate Useful Content

Jonah Berger went through 7,000 New York Times articles and found that informative content is way more likely to go viral.

People love to learn! The more info a customer has, the easier it is for them to make a purchase.

Top Tip: Try to utilize at least one of these techniques to enhance your headlines. Trust us, when you do, you're far more likely to attract the attention of your customers.

ecommerce optimization - Shopify tips

5. Focus on the Benefits Rather Than Features

As digital store owners, we tend to love the features of our products. However, this isn't what interests buyers- especially, if you're selling an everyday item where the specs are pretty dull.

The critical difference between product features and product benefits is that the benefit explains how your merchandise increases the customer's pleasure.

This is what piques the interest of consumers- so, hone in on that!

That doesn't mean to say you can't list the functions of your products- instead, you should always pair a function with a benefit, i.e., how does it make your customer feel? What will it help your consumer with? Etc.

Top Tip: Before you start furiously typing out your product descriptions, list all the features and benefits of your products. Then, focus on the benefits that either increase your customer's pleasure or solve your customer's issues.

Whether you're a novice or a professional copywriter, a planning process is terrific for helping create more effective copy.

6. Use Sensory Words

Sensory words are incredible for refining your copywriting for e-commerce techniques. They demand a higher level of brain processing power, so readers are far more likely to engage with what you have to say- how neat is that?!

Whereas, common adjectives don’t usually add meaning to your copy. Therefore, if you find yourself using a lot to flesh out your work- erase them.

The critical difference with sensory language is that it enables customers to experience your product as they scan through your copy. For example, descriptors like velvety, smooth, crisp, bright, etc. all help bring your products to life!

7. Back Things Up with Social Proof

If a customer's unsure whether to purchase a product, they often look for testimonials, reviews, and other social proof to help them decide.

Social proof is incredible for showing prospects your product is popular. Like we've just said, people hate missing out! So, use this to your advantage and showcase products your customers are raving about!

Handy Hack: If you have a customer testimony (and you have permission to publish it) ask them whether they're comfortable with having their headshot posted alongside their quote; this is amazing for boosting credibility and for giving your online company a personal touch.

8. Make Your Copy Easily Scannable

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Online shoppers tend to be busy people, and as we've already said, they suffer from limited attention spans. So, ensure all the copy on your ecommerce store is easily scannable.

For example:

  • Section out your content using bold header tags
  • Use bullet points where you can
  • Incorporate plenty of white space
  • Ensure your font size is at least pt.14- this works wonders for improving readability.

9. Cut the Waffle

Phrases that don't add meaning to your copy like ‘world-class,' ‘front-running,' top-notch- have been used to death. So, now they’re just waffle.

Cut them out of your copy.

Everything in your text should serve a specific purpose. If it doesn't, continue to edit your work until each word's concrete.

This means you need to focus on specifics. For example, what makes your product world-class? What makes your goods top-notch? You get the idea!

The whole point of copywriting for ecommerce is to ensure you keep your readers engaged from beginning to end.  The more concise your work, the easier it is for customers to get through and digest your copy.

10. Lead with Personality

We briefly touched on this earlier, but it's incredibly important, so we've delved into this a little deeper.

Unfortunately, even professional copywriters occasionally forget to inject personality into their work.  When you fail to add character to your text, you'll struggle to convey the added value of your product- it's as simple as that.

The last thing you want is to come across as a flat, soulless organization or a huge glomerate company! So, when you're considering the tone of your copy, try asking yourself the following questions:

If your ecommerce store was a real-life salesperson- how would they sound?

Are there any specific stories they'd tell? Or, jokes they'd crack? Or specific vocabulary they'd use?- Does your audience use obscure words your ideal buyer understands and engages with?

Once you hone in on your brand's personality, it's a powerful tool for marketing products.

Top Tip: Never attempt to mimic another band. This won't work for you, because funnily enough, it's not ‘you' (this is especially true if you're building a personal brand). Remember that to be successful, the voice of your company needs to shine through the entirety of your web copy.

Handy Hack: People love puns! Use humor to generate customer loyalty. This is fantastic for communicating you understand who they are and what they want.

11. Take Time to Edit

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Give yourself plenty of time to edit your copy. There's no way you can write all the text for your store in one go.

You need a process.

It should roughly look like this:

  1. Planning
  2. Writing
  3. Proofreading and editing

Once you've written your web copy, take a day away from it. Then revisit your text. As you edit, read your copy allowed (this is a fantastic technique for helping you spot mistakes!)

Then, as you analyze your work, imagine how a customer's responding to what you're saying. Are they laughing? Are they asking questions? Are they bored? Are they nodding in agreement? You get the idea!

Use the answers to these questions to polish your text. Continue this process until your work's error-free and good to go!

A Checklist for Editing Product Descriptions

It's imperative your product pages answer any objections a customer might have, so make sure you've addressed any queries that may arise.

For example, costs might be an issue. So to counteract that, highlight the value of your goods.

Here are a few other things to consider:

  • Is your content focused on your customer? Get rid of words that focus on you as the seller, and use words that refer to the customer, i.e., ‘you.'
  • Have you included a benefit alongside each of the features of your product?
  • Have you erased any unnecessary words? Get rid of adverbs that don’t add meaning.
  • Run your copy through a spellchecker like Grammarly premium. This should pick up any grammar and spelling mistakes, in addition to accidental plagiarism. You want to ensure your text is entirely original- one, because it's good practice and two, because copied content is bad for SEO!

Be sure to refer back to this list as you continue refining your copy!

12. Test, Test, and Test Again

If you follow the above advice, you should start improving your conversion rates. However, as you begin seeing results, it can be easy to neglect your audience and become complacent.

To avoid this, make A/B testing a priority. You need to check different versions of your copy and see which gets the best results. For it to be a real test, only change one thing at a time (otherwise, you'll skew the results).

Keep an eye on Google Analytics and see which versions of your copy produce the highest conversion rates. This is the most methodical way of defining a tone of voice that resonates and engages with your consumers. Let the data drive your copy- it's the only way to achieve the best results.

Then, once you've established a winning combination, be sure to compile a style guide. This resource comes in handy as your ecommerce business grows, and increases the likelihood of your brand’s message remaining consistent across your website's copy.

ecommerce optimization - Google Marketing Platform

Were These Tips for Copywriting for Ecommerce Helpful?

By following all the above advice, you'll start producing higher-quality copy for ecommerce platforms. This should go a long way in boosting both your store's traffic, engagement, and sales- which ultimately, is what every digital store owner wants.

So, what are you waiting for? Get to work, and start making a few tweaks today!

If you enjoyed these tips for improving copywriting for ecommerce- we'd love to hear from you! Please drop us a message in the comments box below. Also, if you have any other advice on the subject, we'd love for you to share it- let's kickstart the conversation!

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Rosie Greaves

Rosie Greaves is a professional content strategist who specializes in all things digital marketing, B2B, and lifestyle. In addition to e-commerce platforms, you can find her published on Contena, Cake and Lace Blog, and Love You Tomorrow. Check out her website Blog with Rosie for more information.