7 Ecommerce Copywriting Mistakes Leaving You Dead in the Water

4 Min Read Writing great copy is the cornerstone to successful sales, whether it’s through online or more traditional avenues. Compelling ecommerce copy can be the difference between an online store that’s thriving and one that’s languishing stagnant in the internet ether.

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Last Updated: February 2023

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Writing great copy is the cornerstone to successful sales, whether it’s through online or more traditional avenues. Compelling ecommerce copy can be the difference between an online store that’s thriving and one that’s languishing stagnant in the internet ether.

What is Ecommerce Copywriting?

Most of the written content on an ecommerce site could be classified as ecommerce copy. It encompasses everything from product descriptions, to landing pages, to headlines and CTAs, to home page and about page copy that communicates your brand story.

However, it’s not to be confused with content writing. Though equally as valuable, content writing is not designed to sell, at least not directly. Copywriting is written for the sole purpose of driving the reader to take action and make a sale.

Benefits to Well-Crafted Ecommerce Writing

If writing isn’t your forte, sometimes hiring an ecommerce copywriter can be one of the best investments you can make into your business. Better copywriting can lead to:

  • Better SEO- because optimizing your copy for SEO helps boost your ecommerce site in search engines.
  • Better sales- because compelling, well-written, informative ecommerce copy increases conversions and sales.
  • Better branding- because great branding and messaging isn’t just a logo and your web design, but well-crafted copywriting, too.
  • Better connection- because it’s tough to connect with customers on a human level when you aren’t face-to-face. Great copy bridges the gap and builds a connection with your audience that’s necessary to convert them into customers and clients.

Ecommerce Copywriting Mistakes to Avoid

There are plenty of mistakes you can make when crafting compelling copy, but below are a few of the most glaring ones that could be impacting your ability to grow your ecommerce business.

Mistake 1: Writing in Jargon

Unless you already know your audience understands and speaks geek (just kidding, kind of), it’s better to write simply, clearly, and concisely. Many copywriters recommend writing at a middle grade level of reading comprehension, so that your messaging is easy for almost everyone to understand.

Think of using simple language as a way to help remove stumbling blocks for a reader. If they don’t understand a word or the way you’ve written something, you could lose them altogether. Always write them in mind, and follow the K.I.S.S. method––keep it simple, silly.

Mistake 2: Not Knowing Your Audience

You absolutely must know who you’re writing to when crafting compelling sales copy. One way to do that is to gather data on your target audience, and use that data to create a persona of your ideal customer. Once you know specifically who you are writing to, it becomes so much easier to write copy that resonates with them.

You can even sprinkle in a bit of jargon, if you know your audience will connect with it. Or perhaps your audience resonates with humor, or puns, or obscure words or phrases only they would know. You should know them too, and use them to connect and build a rapport with them. Failing to learn who your ideal buyers are can seriously hinder your ability to write effective ecommerce copy for your website.

Mistake 3: Neglecting Storytelling

Storytelling is an art and writers who master it, master connecting with their audience. Beyond establishing a connection, narrative writing impacts the reader emotionally, and can prompt them to take action. In fact, storytelling in marketing is often dubbed storyselling.

Copywriters who are gifted at weaving narratives around your products and services will help you sell more of those products and services. Most people won’t remember what you do, or what you have to offer… but they will remember a great story that draws them into learning more about what you do and what you offer.

Mistake 4: Using HoHum Headlines

Don’t use clickbait, that’s skeevy. However, don’t be boring either. One simple, yet compelling way to craft headlines that draw readers in to follow some of the headline tips Neil Patel offers:

  • Try using numbers in your headlines. Debra Jason calls them brain candy. Notice the number in the headline of this article you’re reading!
  • Nab attention by making your headline encapsulate the four U’s––unique, ultra-specific, urgent, and useful.
  • Make sure your reason why is good. Why do you want people to read your content? For tips? Tricks? Secrets? Strategies? Give them the why!
  • Remember the K.I.S.S. method. It applies to headlines too!

Mistake 5: Forgetting a Clear and Compelling CTA

The whole point in writing ecommerce copy for your website is to guide your reader into performing an action. The caveat is you have to tell them what that action is, or it can get lost in translation. However, not every CTA has to be a “buy now” button.

Some CTA’s might move the reader into taking another desired action, like following your brand on social media, or joining your email list. Both of these types of CTA’s can ultimately lead them into a sale, by engaging them more deeply with your brand.

However, only offer the reader one CTA on a webpage. Giving them too many options means they are much less likely to do what you really want them to do. Make your CTA’s clear, compelling, and specific.

Mistake 6: Using Chunky Text Blocks

Writing ecommerce copy that isn’t scannable and easy to read is like ringing the visitor death knell. No reader will stick around and read a huge chunk of text or even multiple chunky text blocks. It’s confusing, it requires more concentration, and aesthetically, it looks terrible.

When writing ecommerce copy, think of ways you can write copy that still conveys the messaging you need it to convey, but does it in a way that’s scannable and not a visual eye-sore. You can do this by using smaller paragraphs, shorter sentences, bullets, headings, and subheadings. You can also break up copy using relevant images.

Mistake 7: Sticking to “Just the Facts, Ma’am”

In the same way that storytelling sells, so does adding personality into your ecommerce copywriting. Sure, you can just stick to listing your product or service’s features and benefits, but it probably won’t sell as much as it could if you inject a bit of personality into your copy.

Personality helps humanize your brand and makes your copy fun to read. If a reader has to slog through a boring list of features with no hints of who you are behind the curtain, so to speak, they’ll move on.

So, Does Your Ecommerce Copywriting Get an A+?

If it does, great! You’re well on your way to building a thriving ecommerce business. However, if you’ve read through these copywriting tips and suspect your own copywriting is lacking, it may be time to enlist help and do a revamp, while keeping these suggestions in mind.

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