3 E-Commerce Copywriting Mistakes to Avoid

200013_EcommerceWeekly.com-Copywriting-MistakesIn today’s online marketplace, copy can take a backseat to the other elements of an e-commerce site: page design, graphics, photography, links. But copy is a crucial part of your store, and creating effective, readable content for your site is simple if you avoid these three common mistakes.

Mistake #1: Zeroing in on product features, not their benefits. Talk is cheap – and that includes written descriptions of your products too. Don’t just say your handmade bracelet is sterling .925 silver – explain that this type of silver’s superior durability and luster makes it a “stylish, sparkly piece to brighten your wardrobe.” Remember, features describe a product, but not necessarily about what’s in it for the buyer. Craft your copy so any features you describe support a firm reason why the shopper needs this product in her life.

Mistake #2: Too many words, not enough meaning. Don’t be sucked in by buzzwords that don’t enrich your site or make your products stand out. Shoppers don’t care if your jewelry is “world-class;” they want to know if it suits their style and budget. Similarly, don’t fall into the common pattern of believing more words are better words. Online shoppers have short attention spans; if you lose them with flowery language and five more words than are needed to describe a product, it only takes one click for them to exit your store and possibly not return. For example, “This gorgeous, stylish, fashionable silver bracelet looks great with dresses, blouses and blazers” could be tightened to “An elegant, heirloom-quality piece that goes with everything.”

Mistake #3: Not using copy to connect with customers. The purchasing process is an emotional one; you need to connect with shoppers to convince them that they truly need your silver jewelry, vintage hats or sports memorabilia. Infuse your copy with your personality; imagine you’re talking with a prospective buyer face-to-face. How would you convince her that your products are desirable and unique? Why should she buy from you instead of from a big-box store? Remember these tips on your About page, during your checkout process as well as in your product descriptions.

The Bottom Line
Now you know the mistakes to avoid … but your copywriting work isn’t over yet. Your first draft should never be your last draft – review and edit your content to make sure you’ve taken these tips to heart. Look over your draft with an impartial eye, or ask a trusted friend or colleague to help. Have you pared down verbiage to make your content concise? Have you focused on benefits over features? Does the copy parlay the product to its best advantage, and make it justify the price you’ve set? Have you checked, double-checked and triple-checked for spelling and grammatical errors?

As an e-commerce site owner, you have the opportunity to connect with your buyers on a personal level, and that connection can result in more sales. If sales aren’t what you’d like them to be, take a fresh look at your copy and identify areas of your website where more concise and attention-grabbing writing could make a difference.