In the ever-evolving landscape of e-commerce, where competition is fierce and attention spans are fleeting, one thing remains constant: the power of words, branding and emotion. Whether you’re selling cutting-edge tech gadgets or handcrafted artisanal goods, your success hinges on your ability to craft content that entices your audience through compelling product descriptions, engaging headlines, and persuasive calls to action.
So, how do you stop a scrolling thumb… and then encourage them to purchase?
In this blog post, we’ll explore how using words effectively can be your secret weapon in the world of e-commerce, with insightful advice, real-world examples, and tips and tricks that can boost your own e-commerce journey.
Before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), take a moment to get inside the heads of your target audience. Understand their pain points, desires, and motivations. A study by eMarketer found that 84% of e-commerce customers say the content on a brand’s website plays a significant role in their purchasing decisions. Your copy should resonate with your audience on a personal level. It should show them that they are the real MVPs, and that their purchase won’t only change your life, it will change theirs!
Real-World Example: Take a look at Airbnb. They don’t just list properties; they offer experiences. Their copy focuses on the adventure, the uniqueness of the stay, and the memories you’ll create. By knowing their audience (adventurous travellers), Airbnb crafts compelling copy that speaks directly to them. It entices, excites and ignites curiosity… and we’re already dreaming about booking our next stay.
Your headlines are your first impression, and as the saying goes, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” According to a study by the Nielsen Norman Group, visitors often leave web pages within 10-20 seconds, so your headline needs to grab their attention immediately. You need to utilise this time to make an instant impact. But, how?
Real-World Example: Amazon’s product listings are a masterclass in headline writing. They’re clear, concise, and packed with keywords. For instance, “Apple AirPods Pro” tells you exactly what you’re getting, and “Pro” suggests high-quality performance. This is the most concrete example of how simple is powerful. Sometimes simplicity is the best way to gain a sale.
Humans are hardwired to respond to stories. A study by OneSpot revealed that storytelling can increase user engagement on a website by up to 300%. Instead of listing product features, weave them into a narrative that shows how your product can solve your customers’ problems or enhance their lives. It’s imperative to begin focusing on the benefits and impact of your product or service, rather than the features alone.
Real-World Example: TOMS shoes is known for its “One for One” campaign. Their copy isn’t just about selling shoes; it’s about telling the story of how each purchase helps a person in need. This emotional connection compels customers to purchase and conveys a feeling of support and connection through storytelling. Additionally, TOMS promotes that they are ‘in business to improve lives’, helping to build a sense of community where customers are included in their campaign to improve the world. Talk about power!
Sure, your product may have a laundry list of impressive features, but customers want to know how those features will benefit them. A study by CXL Institute found that highlighting benefits instead of features can increase conversion rates by up to 68%. How does the product make your customer feel? How will it improve their life? Does the size of your product allow for a comfier option? Does the thickness of your product allow for a warmer ride?
Real-World Example: Apple’s product descriptions emphasise benefits like speed, convenience, and creativity. For instance, they don’t just talk about the A14 Bionic chip; they explain how it makes your apps launch faster and your photos look better. Apple sells the product to you based on how it will improve your life, make you money, increase your business… and then backs it up with a helluva good product to match.
Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a potent psychological trigger. Use it wisely by incorporating urgency into your copy. Phrases like “Limited Time Offer,” “Last Chance,” or “Only X Left in Stock” can motivate hesitant shoppers to take action. It’s a great little call-to-action to tell people exactly what they need to do, and why, in very few words.
Real-World Example: Fashion retailer ASOS is a pro at this. They often use phrases like “Sale Ends Tonight” or “Hurry, Limited Stock” to create a sense of urgency, prompting customers to make quick decisions. They also utilise text messaging to their internal database so that the message can instantly be delivered to their audience. Genius!
Don’t be fooled, every word on your website is going to influence your audience. Even the SSL certificate! According to BrightLocal, 87% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase decision. Leverage social proof through customer reviews, ratings, and testimonials in your product descriptions. Additionally, trust signals like SSL certificates, secure payment icons, and a well-designed website can boost your credibility.
Real-Life Example: Take a look at Amazon again. They prominently display star ratings, reviews, and even show you how many people have purchased the product. This builds trust and confidence in the purchase. Some, businesses even utilise pop-ups that show that a person has just purchased a product from a certain place/town.
Don’t just settle for the first draft of your copy. A/B testing, where you create two versions of your product descriptions or website copy and compare their performance, is crucial for optimisation. According to WordStream, A/B testing can increase conversion rates by 49%. It’s a simple and effective tool that utilises real data to make an impact on conversion and sales.
Real-World Example: Booking.com is a pioneer in A/B testing. They constantly tweak their copy, design, and layout to find what resonates best with their audience. This continuous testing has contributed to their remarkable growth. They go for an idea, and then they change it if they need to. Flexible, innovative and adaptable!
Insider Intelligence predicts m- commerce sales to hit $534.18 billion in 2024. Which is an insane amount of money given that the products/services are purchased via a mobile device. That’s why it is absolutely imperative that you ensure your copy is optimised for mobile devices. Keep it concise, use bullet points, and make sure the essential information is visible without excessive scrolling.
Real-world Example: Google has changed the game when it comes to mcommerce, introducing Google Pay and alternative payment methods that improve the mobile user’s experience. They streamline the shopping, business and browsing experience with concise copy and user-friendly navigation, ensuring a seamless mobile shopping experience.
So where to from here?
The facts don’t lie, the biggest global businesses are utilising copy and words to transform technology and the e-commerce experience… making billions.
And, while we may be bias, copywriting is definitely the unsung hero of e-commerce success. From understanding your audience to crafting compelling headlines, weaving stories, and building trust, every word you choose has the potential to drive conversions and boost your bottom line.
Remember, e-commerce is a dynamic arena, so continuously test, tweak, and optimise your copy to stay ahead of the competition. As you implement these strategies, you’ll find that the right words can turn casual browsers into loyal customers, and that’s a win every e-commerce business can appreciate. Happy writing!
Tell us about your own e-commerce and m-commerce campaign! We’d love to hear more.