Selling In Style: Conversion-Focused Ecommerce Copywriting

Infuse your copy with these best practices to drive more conversions and share the story of your brand.

By Tom Wintaugh | December 14, 2023 | 3 minute read
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Compelling copy can be the deciding factor that converts casual browsers into loyal customers. While the term “brand voice” can encompass all sorts of visual and written content, ecommerce copywriting is the most direct way to express the quality of your offerings...and the personality of your brand. Mastering the craft of great copywriting is an excellent way to drive conversions, but if copy is not aligned with your customers’ expectations, sensibilities, and time, you are probably leaving a lot of transactions on the table. Here are five essential tips that can elevate your on-site copy and drive more sales.

1. Put yourself in your buyer’s shoes.

When you are describing products, offers, or your brand story, effective ecommerce copywriting is more oriented to the point of view of the buyer than the seller. At every opportunity, empathetically speak to the specific issues and needs your customers face. Written content which addresses your audience’s pain points and aspirations creates a narrative that feels personalized…and persuasive.

Pro Tip: Don’t just guess what your buyers prefer. Leverage buyer personas, market research, and analytics tools to uncover insights into your audience’s behavior, preferences, and demographics. This practical data should guide the more creative aspects of your copy’s tone, style, and content.

2. Your headline is your elevator pitch.

The headline is the gateway to your content. This first impression can either grab attention immediately, repel potential customers, or worst of all—fail to register at all. Crafting compelling headlines is perhaps more important than the content they are attached to, as they set the tone and can even end the transaction immediately if they are not well-calibrated.

Pro Tip: Headlines should be short, use action words, ask intriguing questions, or create a sense of urgency. Better yet, include all four. Use these techniques to summarize the product in a few words that land without any additional explanation needed.

3. Frame everything in the form of a customer benefit.

Online shoppers are bombarded with product content throughout the day, usually attached to endless lists of product features. To stand out, shift the focus from what your product does to how it can solve a problem or enhance the user’s life. Focusing on benefits rather than attributes is a classic and very effective copywriting technique.

Pro Tip: For each product feature you wish to share in site copy, ask yourself “Why is this important?” Answering this will help you uncover the underlying benefit and value for the customer. Then, re-orient your copy to prioritize describing those benefits.

15 Conversion Optimization Techniques for Selling More Online

4. Keep it short and sweet.

B2B buyers typically spend less than 90 seconds browsing an ecommerce website, with retail shoppers only sticking around for an average of 45 seconds. Every moment counts, so brevity and clarity are essential for good ecommerce copywriting. Avoid jargon, overly complex sentences, and unnecessary flowery adjectives. Concise copy ensures that your message respects your customers’ time and attention span (just like a fast-loading website), by getting to the point immediately.

Pro Tip: Write a rough draft quickly, and then edit ruthlessly to eliminate fluff and enhance readability. Great editing is great writing!

5. Be a storyteller, not a salesperson.

Stories have a unique ability to engage the reader—when used in ecommerce copy, storytelling helps buyers understand the position of your business in the industry, the market context of the product, and what kind of lifestyle the product fits into. Incorporating storytelling elements into your copy can create an emotional connection between customers and products, before they ever make a purchase.

Pro Tip: Let customers tell the story of your brand and products through customer testimonials and case studies. These real-life applications, in the natural voice of your customer, make it easier for new shoppers to imagine themselves using the product. Use automated surveys, social media posts, check-in calls, and case study interviews to give your customers "the mic.”

Bonus: Can AI tools write good ecommerce copy?

New AI text generation tools like ChatGPT and Bard are increasingly being used for online content. While AI is not yet able to replace the human copywriter, it can be purposed for ideation, creating rough drafts, and driving more efficiency in the content creation process. These tools are still developing, but we’ve prepared a thorough guide to using ChatGPT for product descriptions and other content.

Ecommerce copywriting 

Great ecommerce copywriting is a blend of valuable, relevant information in a form that is engaging, true to your brand, and always focused on closing a sale. By understanding your audience, crafting irresistible headlines, emphasizing customer benefits, and telling a good story, you’ll be able to create copy that not only captures conversions, but also builds a real bond with your customers.

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About The Author

Katy Ellquist

Katy Ellquist, Miva’s Digital Marketing Strategist, is an accomplished writer, marketer, and social media analyst who has created sophisticated content campaigns for a broad range of professional clients. She brings to Miva a complex understanding of ecommerce trends and techniques, building upon extensive digital agency experience and a prior role as direct liaison to Miva’s top accounts. Katy is a regular contributor to the Miva blog, covering essential ecommerce topics like design & development strategy, site optimization, and omnichannel selling, with the goal of increasing the actionable knowledgebase of the entire Miva community.

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Author's Bio

Tom Wintaugh

Tom is a Content Marketing Specialist at Miva.

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