eCommerce Copywriting [Tips, Tools + Spreadsheet Download]

Why is eCommerce Copywriting Important?

Before we get into details about eCommerce copywriting, it would be useful to understand why copywriting is so important, especially when it comes to eCommerce.

Here is why you need good copy for your eCommerce business:

  1. Inform visitors about your products and services (delivery, referral program, live chat or customer support)
  2. Spark your visitors’ interest in your products and get them to place their order
  3. Communicate your brand’s value and philosophy
  4. Explain your products’ unique characteristics and highlight its best features

Good copy helps you connect with your visitors in a unique way and build long-term relationships.

As Shirley Polykoff puts it:

Shirley Polykoff

If you think about it, copy is the first impression that you make when a visitor lands on your website.

And, a solid first impression is mandatory.

Now consider this: 96% of first-time visitors are not ready to buy from you in the first place.

In addition, you have 0-8 seconds to make a visitor stick to your website. After 8 seconds your visitors will leave.

This means that you have to be extra careful with your copy because it is the element that can make the difference between a visitor who stays on your website and one who bounces right away.

Make no mistake about it, good copy can increase your CTR and help you optimize your store’s overall performance.

So, let’s see some useful tips that will take you and your business copy to the next level!

1. Define your Audience

Usually referred to as “Customer Avatar” or “Buyer Persona”, your audience can be divided into separate categories.

These categories represent different segments of your target audience and include useful characteristics about it.

At this point, you may be wondering: What are Customer Avatars?

Well, according to CXL:

“A research-based archetypal representative of your customer based on various attributes, attitudes and characteristics.”

Lego Persona
Defining your buyer personas is an essential part of the copywriting process and the first step towards writing good copy that will resonate with your audience.

In order to do so, you’ll need to have access to the following data:

  1. Demographic data
  2. Transactional data
  3. Behavioral data
  4. Psychographic data
  5. Experience data

Of course, when you are new in business and don’t have any orders you are not able to possess this kind of data.

In that case, you’ll need to make assumptions and market research.

This is how you will be able to design your buyer personas and thus getting to know your target audience.

Buyer persona design is the first and one of the most important steps when writing copy for an eCommerce – and any other type of – business.

Keep reading and you’ll find out how you can segment your copywriting needs based on your customer avatars’ needs.

2. Create Segments and Identify Copy Needs

After you’ve successfully defined what your target audience is and who your ideal customers are, you’ll need to categorize your store’s copy needs, based on the needs that your potential customers have.

What do I mean?

Each segment that you create should refer to either a pain-point that you’ll need to give a solution to or to a customer category that you’ll need to treat separately.

We have 2 main categories of segments:

  1. Product/ User Experience-related segments
  2. Customer-related segments

When it comes to product and user experience, some main segments are:

Cart Abandonment

Cart abandonment is a major pain point for most eCommerce businesses.

This is why you need to create high-quality copy that explains everything a visitor needs to know, in order to prevent them from abandoning their cart.

Cart Recovery with Facebook Messenger

By the way, a couple of weeks ago we published a Cart Recovery Checklist for Shopify store owners. Feel free to download your own copy here!

You can place this type of copy in all the critical steps of your conversion funnel and thus decrease the likelihood that a customer will abandon their cart before making a purchase.

Product Descriptions

When it comes to eCommerce, product descriptions are extremely important and have to be treated with extra care.

Either you hire a professional copywriter from a freelance website like Upwork, or you write product descriptions on your own, your product descriptions have to sell themselves.

This one is one of the most important segments when it comes to your copywriting needs and one that you’ll have to place at the top of your priorities list.

Average Order Value

A common problem that many of our clients deal with is how to find ways to increase their Average Order Value (AOV).

According to a research by HEAP, larger shopping carts have lower conversion rates.

HEAP Research on Average Order Value

This means that, in general, the higher the AOV, the lower the CTR you should expect.

Besides that, you should craft a compelling copy in order to encourage your new and returning customers to spend more on your products.

You might have to start a loyalty program or give customers a reason to spend more, but in all cases, copywriting plays a significant role in your AOV to be increased.

FAQs

Another critical segment for which you’ll need good copy is your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

As we’ve mentioned in a previous article, adding an FAQ section to your website can:

  • Relieve some of the burden on customer support by answering some of the most common questions your customers have
  • Speed up the selling process by removing hesitations your customers might have
  • Get better SEO ranking and improve your website navigation

It is in fact that answering to your customer questions on your FAQ section is a great way to provide visitors with useful information about your products and services.

Like in the previous segments, great copywriting is essential if you want to see actual results from your efforts.

Beyond that, you’d want to answer every possible question your buyer personas have –

This is why you should:

  • Make a list of the most common pain points or hesitations that your customers have
  • Visit websites and communities like Quora or Reddit and find the most popular questions within your niche
  • Or even conduct surveys to find out what bothers your current customers

Especially when it comes to Quora, finding relevant questions and giving throughout answers is a great way to generate traffic to your online store and build trust and authority for your brand.

This is how a typical Quora answer looks like:

Quora Questions

At this point, let’s take a look at the three main customer-related segments.

Social Media

I am not going to reinvent the wheel saying that you need high-quality copy for your social media outlets.

In this segment, you have to include all the possible needs you have for your social media accounts.

Note that this could include special features that are part of your conversion funnel and need to be treated separately.

For example, if you have a Messenger Bot for your page on Facebook, you will need high-quality copy for your bot sequence.

Messenger Bot

As you already know, you will need high-quality copy for your social posts and social media profiles, to ensure that your messaging is consistent across channels.

Last but not least, make sure that your social media copy matches your website copy and that your potential customers will receive the same messages while browsing to your digital assets.  

New Customers

Customer acquisition is important.

Of course, it is not as important as customer retention but that’s another story!

In this segment, you have to identify all the copywriting needs that your business has and that has to do with acquiring new customers.

Copywriting needs for the acquisition stage might include advertising copy, website copy that prompts first-time visitors into a buying decision or even copy for referral programs you have running.

Keep in mind that you have to be consistent with your messaging across channels so that you maintain your brand’s identity.

As we can see in the above picture, you can use new customer discounts or other offers to “push” your customers in placing their first order.

Discount Purchase

Returning Customers

If acquiring new customers is important, retaining your existing customers is even more important.

This is why you need good copy both for your online store and all your other marketing and sales activities.

Good copy doesn’t stop on your website.

You have to ensure that every action you take has great copy that resonates with your buyer personas.

Inactive Customers

Last but certainly not least, we have a special category of customers who are characterized as Inactive customers.

These are customers who haven’t bought from you in a while.

In order to determine what the window of time for a customer to be considered as inactive will be, you have to take a look at data in order to discover trends and patterns.

Once you know what is the window of time for a customer to be inactive, you’ll be able to segment these customers and take certain actions to re-activate them.

Winback Example

As you might have guessed, in all of these actions, copy plays a key role.

3. Focus on Benefits Instead of Features

One of the most common mistakes among many online stores is that they focus on product features instead of product benefits.

Why do I say this?

Well, because most product descriptions focus on the product and its feature while they should focus on the benefit for the customer.

It’s the well-known: What’s in it for me?

When writing copy for your eCommerce business, you should always keep the reader in mind.

This means that you should write in a plain language that is easily understood by your buyer personas and even use the same phrases that they might be using.

For example, if you want to write copy for your aluminum kitchens, you should conduct a simple Google Search to see what users are looking for and, of course, what is the search volume for the exact words you want to use.

Search Query (Keywords Everywhere)

Using a tool like Keywords Everywhere you can find relevant search queries and use the ones that make sense to your copy.

Related Keywords (Keywords Everywhere)

Some additional free tools you can use to find the right words – or to rephrase the words that your buyer personas use to search for products like yours are:

All in all, you should always focus on your buyer personas and the benefits they will receive by using your products.

This way your copy will make a difference and help you get the results you are aiming for.

4. Use Verbs Instead of Adjectives

An extremely important factor for success when it comes to copywriting for eCommerce businesses is the right use of verbs and adjectives.

Adjectives may help you add an extra flavor to your copy, but verbs are the ones that will get your visitors to take action.

As you may have noticed, many product descriptions look like this:

Product Description

The problem here lies in the fact that there isn’t a clear benefit for the visitor.

On the other hand, using verbs helps your visitor imagine how it would be like if they were actually using your product.

In our example, we could use something like this:

“This collection of beautiful cookware will help you cook the best meals for your family and friends and make your place their No.1 destination for home parties.”

An analysis of college applications conducted by Harvard discovered that applications included verbs were more likely to be accepted than those that used adjectives instead.

With this analysis, Ms. Leopold (Managing Director of M.B.A. admissions and financial aid at HBS), found that using verbs can really make the difference when it comes to persuading someone takes a certain action.

This is why, when writing copy, you should focus on verbs and not on adjectives.

We all do it from time to time but using the right verbs within our copy can really make a difference to our copy.

5. Write the Perfect Headline

Let me take a wild guess.

When you are writing copy for your eCommerce business, you always start with the headline, right?

Keep in mind that a headline is one of the most important elements of a website page, landing page, online advertisement or Email campaign.

This is why you should always spend most of your time to craft the perfect headline and the rest of your time to write the rest of the copy.

Just to be uber clear here, I don’t mean that the rest of the copy is not important; I just want to highlight the importance of headlines when it comes to copywriting.

According to Copyblogger, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest of the copy.

And, as one of the greatest advertisers of all times said:

David Ogilvy Quote

Thus, you understand that when it comes to copywriting, writing a great headline is crucial for the rest of the copy to be more visible.

Give meaning to your copy by paying attention to your headlines.

Last Thoughts

As it is evident by now, writing copy for an eCommerce business is not easy.

There are many factors that you have to take into consideration when writing copy, whether it is for your product descriptions, your website pages, your FAQs, your Email campaigns or your online ads.

Keep in mind that you are the only one that should know how to communicate your business’s message to the right audience.

Follow these tips:

  1. Define your audience
  2. Create segments and Identify copy needs
  3. Focus on benefits instead of features
  4. Use verbs instead of adjectives
  5. Write perfect headlines

And always, but always, keep in mind that you are not writing for you, but for them –

Your customers.

Click here to download the spreadsheet that will help you organize your copywriting efforts:

Download Button (eCommerce Copywritting Organizer)

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