The importance of e-commerce or retail copywriting cannot be overstated. According to recent estimates, only 3% of people who visit e-commerce websites end up making a purchase, which is a worryingly low stat. But don’t worry, there are some practical things you can do. For example, one established way to get this figure up is to employ a company that specialises in retail copywriting services.
Let’s discuss the 12 key secrets of e-commerce copywriting that will boost your conversion rates.
Effective copywriting always leads to increased sales. Sometimes, the best way for companies to re-strategise in a certain area is to come up with a better standard of copywriting piece of trying other drastic measures.
Copywriting is able to drive profitability, increase ROI (Return on Investment), and help you achieve all your business goals by persuading your target audience that your products will solve their problems.
The quality of the copy is crucial for successful retail copywriting. However, it’s also important to know how to arrange it strategically on the page. An e-commerce copywriter will note how a typical retail page is laid out and plot out bullet lists, headings, and subheadings accordingly. It’s important to make good use of white space as well to enhance the overall appeal of the copy.
Good retail copywriters not only highlight all the features of the product; they also associate them with the ease they bring to the customer. For example, when highlighting deep pockets on a garment, the copywriter will put this in context for the reader – and make it relatable by selling the product’s particular benefits. In this case, it could be letting people know that the pockets will help ensure that they’ll never lose their car keys or wallet. So, they’re much less likely to dismiss the feature as it offers a solution to a common problem.
This one’s very important to consider because writing great copy is about connecting with the greatest number of people. If retail copywriting is written in a considerably high-level language that is only understandable to adults and over, it would be omitting a major group – teenagers. Copywriting that has a Flesch Kincaid reading score of 60 and above is likely to perform the best for e-commerce.
Stale copywriting does not allow the reader to connect on an emotional level. A way to make your copy more appealing is to use the active voice; everything has to be in the moment. Active words are likely to stimulate action. E-commerce copywriters also tend to use powerful words that make products leap off of the page.
E-commerce copywriting isn’t limited to just product pages. Instead, retail copywriters also prepare attractive ‘About Us’ pages as well as concise mission statements that spell out the brand’s business strategy. Basically, the more the shoppers can learn about the brand, the better.
Moreover, more pages mean more space for SEO, thus improving the brand’s visibility in Google’s search results. All of the copywriting content on an e-commerce website should employ the services of a retail copywriting agency.
This might seem insignificant in copywriting but it affects the reader’s decision on a subconscious level. A reader might not even acknowledge these words but they do play a major role in enhancing the performance of e-commerce copywriting.
For example, a retail copywriter could say, ‘The silky, smooth texture of the XYZ cream.’ This string of words is enough to appeal to the readers’ sense of touch. They can imagine how it would feel on their skin through these textural words.
A great headline for sales copy is one that makes shoppers stop in their tracks. As well as being relevant to the product being presented, it should also be unique and useful. The reader should look forward to learning something new that will help them make their decision. For example, ‘Are You Still Having Bad Hair Days?’ certainly makes for an interesting starter for some copy on hair gel.
A single target audience might share a lot of similarities, but the same cannot be assumed of the way they approach online shopping. An average audience is made up of three kinds of people: information gatherers, impulse buyers and integrity affirmers. Information gatherers will evaluate a product and its price in comparison to another and collect the necessary information. Impulse buyers will just read the benefits of the product or service and take advantage without delay. Lastly, integrity affirmers will want to find out the reputation of the brand before considering doing business with them. Standout retail copywriting caters to all of these.
Urgency is a very common sales technique that has been in use for ages – because it works. Merely letting the client know that the product won’t be around for long and it’s their only chance to buy it often does the trick.
You might have come across this phrase on a lot of retail pages: But don’t take our word for it, just ask our happy customers!’ People prefer to read reviews of the products they’re interested in or watch their unboxing or demo videos. This sort of feedback makes them more likely to trust the brand.
Sometimes, a lengthy description can get in the way. While it’s important not to undersell a product, the opposite also stands. Make sure not to overwhelm the reader with too much detail. Just cover the essential points and let the images and testimonials do the talking.
These 12 tips will make your e-commerce copywriting shine. Writing copy like this is all about selling the key virtues of a product or service and connecting with your customers on an emotional level. Do that and you’ll be well on your way to making that next sale!
What is the most important thing that will ensure your online retail business is a success? As well as great products and loyal customers, one of the key aspects is copywriting. Great retail copywriting can help your online retail brand to succeed.
Without strong copy, you won’t be able to sell your products successfully, nor will you be able to attract customers. Effective copywriting is important as it not only advertises your brand and makes it stand out from the competitors, but it also helps your customers understand fully what your brand and your goods or services are about.
If you are finding it difficult to write effective copy for your retail business, or if you are just looking for inspiration to freshen up your copy, read our tips below. Our e-commerce copywriting tips will help you make your products sell even more effectively.
Here’s why it’s important to use a great retail copywriting service for your online business.
Unfortunately, there is no set copywriting formula that ensures success; however, there are several copywriting tips for online retail success to keep in mind which many retail brands have used to good effect in the past.
A good product story has a mix of everything – a strong emotional message, a short story about company success, and some clever wordplay.
Content with overly flowery or poetic copy, unclear descriptions, excessive terminology and too many adjectives are some of the mistakes copywriters make with e-commerce retail copywriting. The following points should also be kept in mind:
It is important that you speak your customers’ language, and do it in a way that makes people understand you are a real person. You are a brand, and you should not forget that the main function of your business is to sell products. Make sure that the terms and phrases you use are suitable, common and easy to understand, otherwise people will not be impressed.
Copywriting niche-specific content is a good strategy for both SEO and gaining traffic. Writing about an extensive range of niche-specific topics will be good for your retail traffic.
Long-tail keywords that link to your product-led keywords are very good for web traffic. Giving answers to specific customer questions about your products can help in educating and engaging with them.
You can also write blogs around important topics that are related to your niche. For instance, if you sell custom scarves, you can create content around customisable gift ideas, how to style up a boring outfit, different scarf materials, the best scarves for men, Mother’s Day gift ideas, and so on.
Where and how you present your brand is important. Your words and language impacts people, and the image they have about you. Therefore it is important that you choose the right way to talk to your customers.
Your copy positioning should depend on audience research and market research. You want to present a known and important image to your customers, making sure you do not isolate any single customer group. Focus groups, user testing and getting feedback on product pages and blogs is an efficient technique to get real-time advice from your real audience.
Talking to your customers is not hard, but it is important that you think from a customer perspective, too. Any e-commerce copy must be clear, engaging and bring in sales. If you need help with your e-commerce content, please get in touch with us today. Good luck!
Over the past couple of years, the retail sector has switched on to the benefits of content marketing.
Retail brands have realised that they are perfectly placed to take advantage of content marketing, with most retailers having a steady stream of tangible products around which interesting content can be created. Great content builds customer engagement, brand loyalty, social sharing and search engine ranking, so it's no wonder that marketers are now spending, on average, 28% of their budget on content marketing.
So how are retailers winning at the content marketing game? What tactics are they employing to make their brand stand out in the crowded world of content? Here are 7 ways retailers can win at content marketing.
1. Create 'how to' videos
Almost any product can have a 'how to' video created around it, but this is especially true if your product fits a specific niche. Beauty brands have cottoned on to this in a big way, with videos around applying make up, creating hair styles and applying fake tan. And while the videos can feature specific products, it's also a great idea to make videos around the wider subject matter too, ensuring you're creating content which is actually useful and valuable for potential customers. Give away something interesting for free and then nudge towards a sale.
Example: Boots beauty videos
2. Creatively answer FAQs
Most retail brands have FAQs on their website, and for many they're a necessary piece of content, both for customer relations and for search rankings. So why not make them as interesting and as engaging as possible? FAQs can frequently throw up great ideas for creative content, from simple video answers to providing a virtual assistant to provide live human answers.
Example: ASOS video FAQs
3. Use photo-heavy content
If you sell a product, you should be using photos. It's not expensive to get striking, beautiful imagery for your products, so make sure you fill your website, blog and social profiles with great photos. Make your blog posts and website visually striking to grab attention, and post on Pinterest and Instagram as well as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Just remember to use photos tastefully. They should be aspirational, lifestyle magazine-style pics and not gawdy adverts!
4. Become a media outlet
Creating content hubs around subjects that you can 'own' as a brand brings two major benefits. Not only can you start to build authority on those subjects through posting expert content, but you'll also attract a load of traffic by increasing your search rankings. Become your own mini media outlet of blog posts, photos and video content, as well as pulling in user-generated content from social feeds.
Example: Whole Foods Healthy Eating
5. Have an opinion and stay in the know
If you're an expert in your field, don't be afraid to show it. Create content around the subject which will get people talking and have a view and a positive opinion on things. Don't be scared to reference world events and involve yourself in issues and debates around your products. It will make your brand seem human and in touch with what's happening in the wider world, helping to engage your audience.
Example: The Dove Self-Esteem Project
6. Open forums to connect people to expertise
Use content hubs on your website as open forums for people to find information and expertise that they may need and which is related to your product areas. Use live chat, industry contributors, research statistics and user-generated content to create a thriving community for expert knowledge on your website. Consider letting users leave their own tips and advice on your website to create a wealth of unique content.
Example: American Express Open Forum
7. Carry out research to generate PR stories
An excellent way of sourcing PR-worth and shareable content is to carry out insightful research on your subject area. Survey your customers, contacts and industry experts to discover compelling facts and statistics that will get consumer press, trade journalists and your social audience excited. At the very minimum you will have crated interesting content to use on your website, blog and social profiles, and in the best case scenario you will generate excellent PR and word of mouth, building your brand's authority in your industry.
Example: Dunelm 'dirty houses' survey
So there are our 7 ways to win at retail content marketing. The key thing with any content strategy is to ensure you're adding value to your audience, provoking a response or engaging them with something they can't readily get from elsewhere. Consider who your audience is and what type of content would help or entertain them and then start planning a simple content strategy, using the tips above as inspiration.
You don't have to be a marketing guru to realise that creating and curating content is now vital to growing any brand.
Companies with interesting things to say have always been more likely to engage consumers, but with the recent changes to Google's algorithm, the decreasing role of link-building and the ubiquitous influence of social media and smartphones, content marketing in retail should be at the top of every brand's priority list in 2014.
Content is king once more
The Content Marketing Institute has stated that marketers are now spending, on average, 28% of their budget on content marketing. Take a look at our post on content marketing trends in 2014 for more on the strategies that are developing. Whichever sector your company sits in, you should be considering your content.
Perfect for retail
Retail brands are perfectly placed to take advantage of the benefits of great content marketing. With a constant stream of new products, companies can utilise imagery, video and social channels to effectively engage their target audience. And retail brands are increasingly concentrating their budget and resources in this way.
A recent study showed that 4 in 10 retail brands are now using Vine, Twitter's short-form video service, as a way of demonstrating products and creating interesting content for their fans and potential customers to share. So with the retail sector placing ever-increasing emphasis on content marketing, we thought we'd take a look at five great examples that have really worked for retail brands, large and small.
1) Forever 21 – Blogger Crushes
In the past three years, the 'fast fashion' brand, Forever 21, has exploded. With sales of over $3.5 billion dollars, a strong foothold in Europe and Asia to complement their huge market share in the US, and almost nine million Facebook fans, it's squeezing the likes of Gap and American Apparel. So how have they achieved this success? Sure, their affordable but on-trend lines and heavy investment have been the foundations, but they are also extremely savvy in their use of social and mobile, recognising that their target market of 18 to 24 year olds are never off their phones and constantly engage with social media.
Their 'Blogger Crushes' campaign on Pinterest is a perfect example. Reaching out to the fanatically followed fashion blogger community, they have encouraged bloggers to 'pin' photos of themselves wearing the latest Forever 21 lines to their own Pinterest accounts, before Forever 21 curates this content on their own company Pinterest profile. The result is a constant stream of amazing product photos, reaching its audience via a medium that's perfect for mobile and short attention spans, whilst being endorsed by hugely influential fashion voices. Simple but very smart.
2) Keen – a product story
It's not just big brands like Forever 21 that are cleverly utilising content marketing though. Keen is a company that makes durable shoes, with a 'bungee'-style harness for your feet, ideal for trudging city streets or even hiking. The Keen website beautifully conveys the traditions of its product's craftsmanship through clear and interactive product descriptions. The copy and imagery is informative, easy-to-read and engaging.
This is followed through on social, where Keen interacts constantly with its loyal base, encouraging customers to submit their own guest blog posts about recent travel adventures they've had with their Keens. They also ask Instagram users to tag their photos with the Keen handle so they can be featured on the Keen account. The Keen blog is a masterclass good content, with travel inspiration, behind-the-scenes info and stories about the interesting things their employees have been up to. All in all it's a great way to tell the story of a potentially pretty dull product. They've brought it to life and engaged their audience through brilliant content.
3) ASOS – Unboxing on Vine
Not unlike Forever 21, ASOS are masters of content and how to seed it via social channels. Their attention to detail in terms of their customer's journey is often integral to them creating fantastic, clever content, and their 'Unboxing' campaign on Vine was no exception.
This entailed encouraging their customers to create a Vine video of them opening (or unboxing) their new delivery, and then tagging the Vine with #ASOSUnbox, allowing ASOS to showcase the videos on their own account. By taking the potentially unglamorous act of opening an ASOS box and making it into an exciting showcase of their products, they introduced a little bit of magic to online shopping as well as reinforcing their 'cutting edge' credentials.
4) Tesco – TescoLiving
The phenomenal success of platforms like Pinterest and Buzzstream have led to major brands reconsidering the look and feel and format of their content. The result is websites like TescoLiving, cleverly tapping into a template which allows them to feature photos, videos and user generated content from social.
Largely aimed at mums, TescoLiving provides high quality advice and 'how to' content in a large, image-driven design. The stories are concise and perfect for the time-poor and those reading on their mobile. Buzzstream-style quizzes and snappy 'how-to' YouTube videos help to make this an engaging portal for anyone in need of life advice.
5) DFS – Our Stories
In my house at least, DFS have always been a bit of a joke. The cheesy ads and constant sales have left them open to ridicule. But this is an interesting example of how a previously maligned brand can attempt something genuinely interesting. Recognising the need for search-engine friendly content and a little brand personality, DFS have created an 'Our Stories' section of their website.
Taking the reader behind the scenes to meet the furniture makers, it's a great way of showing off the craftsmanship and quality involved in the manufacturing process of that sofa you're considering buying. The content may sound a little dry but it's created with a lightness of touch which is rather endearing.
So there are five excellent examples of content marketing that have really worked for retail brands. It seems that the big brands in the sector are starting to get their act together when it comes to content, but small, agile businesses are often the ones that can create momentum and growth through simple but well-planned content marketing. Contact us at Ad-Rank to see how we can help you with your content strategy and creation.