The 5 most frequent mistakes in ecommerce copies

by Víctor Lobo

When we talk about digital, the role of the copywriter is one of the most highly demanded. The reason is apparent: as online shopping becomes an even-more prominent force, nearly any product or service can get sold over the Internet, and for that, one needs to write in a specific way. On the one hand, you have to think about the search engines, algorithms, and robots; on the other, you must consider the audience that would consume your product. It isn’t an easy task.

Next, we explain the 5 most frequent errors that come up when writing copies for an ecommerce site.

1.- Too much focus on a product’s characteristics

It’s natural that, as owners or creators of the product that we are going to sell, we are fascinated by it. That implies that we put a lot of focus on the characteristics that make the product unique or differentiated from the competition. For example, we would focus on the yellow colorway that has cost us so much to create, and that doesn’t look like any other yellow in the market. While it can be a creation of much merit, it isn’t what your customers are looking for.

Buyers are not interested in the features but the benefits. Therefore, every time we make a list of specifications, we must combine it with the benefits that each one brings to our target consumer, for example, a feeling of luxury, relaxation, etc.

A benefit explains how the product increases pleasure or removes pain. And this is precisely what is of most interest to your customers.

Before you start creating product pages on your e-commerce platform, you have to describe a complete list of features and benefits. Consider the benefits that increase pleasure and the benefits that eliminate problems, pain, and discomfort. Planning what you are going to write helps make your copies more persuasive and lets you get them done faster.


2.- Fill spaces with meaningless phrases

Expressions such as "market leader" or "innovator" get used so frequently that they have lost much of their impact. Now, they are just filler words that take up space without providing any meaning.

When you sit down to write copy, ask yourself: what does this mean? If you instantly can’t find a specific answer, keep reformulating the text until it says something concrete and meaningful.

Flashy expressions without any real meaning wear on the reader. In contrast, facts and figures increase credibility. To ensure that your readers benefit from this concrete information, include data whenever possible and use numbers because numbers will help focus readers when otherwise distracted.


3.- Saturation of adjectives

Adjectives help us explain the appearance of our products, what they are for (their characteristics) and how they make our buyers feel (benefits). Adjectives are useful in moderation, but an overdose causes headaches and makes it harder for someone to read your descriptions. Let's use an example to see how this works:  

"This romantic and relaxed collection of beautiful kitchen utensils has a unique and completely classic look, with a perfect result for your kitchen."

The abuse of adjectives causes the reader to have to slow down, as well as make them fatigued. Instead, you can say:

"This romantic collection of kitchen utensils fits most cooking styles."

Here are some tips for using adjectives better in your copies:  
     - Use only an adjective before a noun.
     - Don’t use adjectives to say the obvious.
     - Choose sensory or emotional words. They make your reader feel something. Words like “nice,” “good,” or “effective” are pretty bland. Instead, opt for charming, dazzling, or fascinating.

An excess of adjectives can make copy confusing, but with the correct adjectives, you can successfully persuade your target audience.



4.- Lack of personality

Many e-commerce sites sound like what they are: big, soulless corporations. They don’t connect; they don’t participate, they only sell the value of the products they offer. They merely provide bread, butter, beer, and toothpaste.

But nobody likes to talk to a faceless corporation. Nobody wants to call a soulless call center. So, why create copies that sound like a boring corporation?

To connect with readers, you need a personality. Think of your tone of voice: if your website were a real salesman talking to a customer, how would you like it to sound? What stories would you tell? What jokes would you make? What words would you choose?

Before defining your tone of voice, consider the people you write for. Visualize a buyer and think about how you would talk to him in real life. Don’t look like a big corporation. Be human. Because that's how you catch potential buyers.


5.- Editing time    

Unless you are more than a human, you should spend a lot of time creating your copies. It’s not an “on-the-go” task; instead, it requires planning, creation, and editing. It isn’t as important to be a good writer as it is to spend time editing. Making all the changes to your e-commerce copy to make sure it’s useful means you need to spend time thinking and even more time editing.

Most e-commerce platforms treat their users as numbers that decorate a report. There is an enormous opportunity for e-commerce platforms to be human, have a personality to connect with your audience, and in turn make them even more loyal. Take advantage of it.

If you want to keep up with the latest trends in e-commerce and copywriting, you can learn from the best experts at The Inbounder Global Conference 2018, the must-attend digital marketing event in Europe. It’s happening on April 25th and 26th at the Palacio Municipal de Congresos in Madrid.

Until April 15th, there is a 50% discount on tickets.

Víctor Lobo
Digital Strategy
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