eCommerce Insiders

Site Copy: How to Go from Yawns to Conversions

You’ve paid untold amounts of money to your digital advertising and design teams.

You’ve brainstormed – maybe even solicited information from a focus group.

Yet, you find that your carefully-orchestrated ecommerce site just isn’t converting.

After some diagnostics, you’ve come to realize that specifically, it’s your site copy that’s not converting.

You can’t figure it out…until someone on your management team figures out that the answer is quite simple:

Your site copy bores people to tears!

(Well, making people break down and cry might be a bit of an over-statement, although not by much.)

What might be going is this: Instead of making potential customers burst into tears after reading your copy, your site’s copy might be making the reader’s eyes glaze over.

And actually, glazed eyes are worse than teary eyes because let’s face it:

At least teary eyes are a sign of passion. At least you’ve made the reader experience some sort of emotional response!

But indifference? That’s even worse than making your potential customers feel angry or sad.

So what are common issues that arises in yawn-inducing copy that fails to convert? And, more to the point, how can you and your team get on things and fix this tragedy, immediately?

Fortunately for you, the fix is simpler than you might imagine, especially if anyone on your team has ever made a friend in their lifetime (and who hasn’t?).

With this in mind, let’s take a look at how to turn those yawns into smiles or gasps of excitement over your products and services:

Show Off Your Brand’s Personality!

Here’s the bottom line:

Today’s eCommerce customers are far more apt to invest their money into brands that resonate with their beliefs and their lifestyles.

Gone are the days when keeping up with the Joneses matters. We no longer live in a society where the average consumer buys into a product or service because everyone else around them is doing the same.

Today’s consumers love living their personal truths. This means that they are more apt to look for brand voices that speak their language and facilitates their authentic lifestyle choices.

This also means that throwing up copy that simply announces that something is on sale (or is being promoted) isn’t going to cut it. And ditto for site copy that comes off disingenuous, too.

The problem often comes down to this:

Brands are afraid of displaying authenticity on their copy for fear of alienating their prospects.

But authenticity and relatability is exactly what your retail prospects are craving! They want to purchase your products (or services) if they feel that your offerings will further enhance the authenticity of their lives. So don’t be afraid to take a stand for your unique brand!

No, you won’t attract shoppers by volume (at first), but you’re sure to attract highly-targeted shoppers who will reward you with customer longevity, and new customer referrals.

(Seth Godin wrote a whole book on this principle – you should probably read it.)

Shore Up Those Product Descriptions

“This skirt comes in sizes 0-16, and it comes in two colors (brown and burgundy), and…”

Did you hear that?

That was the sound of your reader’s foreheads hitting their keyboard after immediately falling asleep.

Why is it that after all of the time, money, and energy that’s spent on bringing shoppers to the site, the product descriptions read like they’re designed to sabotage all the effort?

Online retail sites bring a lot of advantages to time-strapped shoppers, but here’s one disadvantage that sites bring to shoppers:

They don’t allow shoppers to touch the product, or look at it face-to-face.

This means that the site copy (especially the product description) has to do all of the heavy-lifting. This isn’t the area to cut corners!

The site shoppers needs to read the product descriptions and envision themselves wearing the skirt, using the kitchen tool, carrying their new mobile electronic device, etc.

Describing the specs of the product just won’t do!

Address Concerns and Buying Obstacles

Here’s something that an online retail site can offer shoppers that brick and mortar retail locations will never be able to offer:

Immediate customer testimonials.

It’s standard operating procedure for an online store to feature a tab for customer ratings and user testimonials.

Don’t ignore the gold-mine of information that is the testimonial section! Here is where you’re going to find all of the marketing research data your brand needs.

You’ll learn things like:

  • Whether or not your product is perceived as you’ve advertised it,
  • Whether the product or service resolves practical issues in the buyer’s lives,
  • The easy or the difficulty the shopper experienced in using your product or service,
  • Whether or not your product or service was perceived to offer great (or excellent) value for the money that was spent.

Your marketing team will also learn how to gear the site copy according to the feedback they’re receiving in the testimonial section.

For example, are your customers concerned about whether or not a nail polish dries quickly? You can commission copy that speaks of the uber-fast dry time your nail polish offers customers.

Or are your customers concerned about arthritis when they use a particular can opener? You need to address this concern in your product descriptions at the very least!

Often, retail purchase conversion can be turned around (or brought back from the figurative dead) by simply breathing new life into the site copy! Don’t be afraid of being a lively brand, or promoting your conservative brand in a way that’s fun and inviting.

Have you run across an ecommerce site with copy so great, it inspired you to revise your own? Let us know in the comments!

Terri is a content marketing storyteller and strategist. She teaches marketing and entrepreneurship through stories for marketers of all stripes. Her specialty is creating narrative and she writes essays and memoir in her spare time.

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