What has the power to turn a casual browser into a customer, and a decided potential customer into a non-customer? The answer is: copywriting. People rely on the texts they read on your ecommerce business website to determine if your business is capable of satisfying their needs and if they can trust your products and services.
Most potential customers do not reach your website with the firm decision to make a purchase. They may have clicked an ad out of curiosity, they may be browsing and gathering information about a product, or they may have seen that one of their friends liked your social media page.
Either way, before they start reading your copy, potential customers are in a state of limbo – neither positively nor negatively impressed by your company and its products. It is up to you to create a positive image in their mind. But many businesses achieve the opposite, and we know exactly why it happens.
Therefore, we decided to compile a list of the most common ecommerce copywriting mistakes:
- Your Copy Is Full of Meaningless Buzzwords
“World-class”, “top quality”, or ”industry standard” – all these words fill up product descriptions and About Us pages and fail to tell anything to the reader. How is your product world class? Does everyone in the world have it? And, even if it were, your prospect wants a product that solves their particular needs.
Forget about the buzzwords and tell your prospect what the product can do for them and how their life will be better, and they will have more spare time and energy to focus on their hobbies once they start using your product. That’s what a customer wants to know – what’s in it for them, not for the rest of the world.
- You Do Not Address the Customer Personally
If anyone read your copy, without seeing your website, would they guess what market segment you are addressing? Are you talking to overwhelmed new mums? To busy professionals who want to squeeze some extra time to exercise and have a healthier lifestyle? Or to young college graduates who worry about how they will dress for their first job interview?
If a casual reader cannot identify the particular group of people you are addressing, guess what? Your potential customers won’t identify themselves in what you are telling them. They will not build a connection. They will read a bit, check their phone, and move on to the next website, because they simply cannot see your business as a good fit for their needs.
- You Use Big Words and Think They Will Impress Customers
Packing your copy with neologisms and other super-specialised words won’t make your business sound smart and ultra professional. It will simply tell people that they are not smart enough to fit your customer profile. They won’t understand a word of your academic explanations and they will leave your website.
Here’s the deal: you are not competing for the Nobel Prize, but for the average person in your community who may or may not spend their money on your website. Failing to talk to them in terms they will understand means that you do not respect them enough. Also, it means that you yourself are unable to grasp the concept, since you can’t state it in everyday words.
- You Gush about Features and Forget about the Benefits
“This superb V6 engine, supercharged, has an amazing output of 350 HP!” This sounds a bit ridiculous, but so do product descriptions which go to painful lengths to enumerate each tech feature and forget to tell people what the product will exactly do for them. People do not care about product features, because they don’t buy the product to dismantle it and be in awe of its components and manufacturing technology.
They want a product they can use to solve a problem or satisfy a need. They couldn’t care less about the suction power of a vacuum cleaner – they would rather know that they can clean the entire room in a few minutes with little effort, and even reach those pesky corners where dust usually settles.
- Saving the Best for Last
Sometimes it’s good to save the best for last, but this does not apply to ecommerce copywriting. Online, people don’t read – they browse. They look at the title and the first paragraph of a text and they decide whether they want to spend more time reading the rest of it. If they do not find the key reasons to keep reading in this first paragraph, they will move on.
So find your number one product benefit and make sure you spell it loud and clear at the very beginning of your copy. Don’t keep it for later – your surprise will be lost, just like the potential sale.