3 Simple E-Commerce Copywriting Techniques You Can Implement Right Now That Won’t Cost You A Cent

ecommerce copywriting tips

Do you sell stuff?

Offer a service?

Can people buy stuff from your website?

If so, this article is for you.

If you offer a valuable product or service, then you need to ensure your website copy is written in a way that persuades your prospect to exchange their hard earned cash.

It’s not always easy to do especially when you’re trying to stand out from a myriad of competitors. We all like to think our own products and services are superior to what else is offered in the marketplace but convincing potential customers your stuff is awesome can be very challenging.

3 Simple E-Commerce Copywriting Techniques To Help You Get More Buyers

The good news is that there are 3 simple e-commerce copywriting techniques you can use right now to convince people to buy your stuff that won’t cost you a cent.

Let’s explore these in detail.

1. Fill your body copy with benefits, not just product features.

Ahh I’m sure you’ve heard this one before. The good ol’ What’s In it For Me (WIIFM) principle. Yes I know I’m not the first to write about this and nor will I be the last. But it needs repeating because there’s a lot of e-commerce sites that simply doesn’t highlight the benefits to the customer. A lot of web copy is geared towards the company and the customer often gets left out.

Which Means That?

A well-respected copyrwriter taught me a great technique to overcome this. Free-write about your product or service and continually ask yourself one simple question. Grab a pen and paper and write down all the benefits your product and service has to offer. It’s natural to also write about the features and by all means do that in this exercise. But then you need to delve deeper and repeatedly ask this one question, “Which means that?”

For example, if you sell leather boots, one of its product features could be they are genuine Italian leather. That’s great but what exactly is the benefit to the consumer? Ask yourself “which means that,” and keep asking this until you have a long list of benefits. So in this case, one of the benefits of owning a pair of genuine Italian leather boots could be because of the exceptional quality… which means that they are durable and will last a very long time…which means that you may only need to invest in a pair of boots once… which means you save money in the long term and so on.

See where I’m going with this?

You may not always write these benefits in your web copy the way you say them but the point of this exercise is to get you thinking about the real benefits you’re offering your customer.

Following on from this example, another feature could be that the inside of the boots are a butter soft lambskin leather for superior comfort and the sole is internally hand stitched for excellent traction. Note the benefits here are superior comfort and excellent traction.

2. Social proof.

Ever read the book called Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Dr. Robert Cialdini? (This is an affiliate link). Well if you haven’t, I encourage you to do so. Dr. Cialdini has spent his entire career researching what makes people tick. The book explains the psychology of why people say yes through six universal principles. One of those principles is a concept called social proof.

If you want a six year old to do something let him discover another six year old doing it. What peer groups are doing is what matters. Dr Cialdini quotes Cavett Roberts advice to sales trainees, “Since 95% of people are imitators and only 5% initiators, people are persuaded more by the actions of others than by any proof we can offer.”

This principle asserts that the manner in how we determine what is correct to find out what other people think as being correct. Dr Cialdini states, “Whether the question is what to do with an empty popcorn box in a movie theater, how fast to drive on a certain stretch of highway, or how to eat the chicken at a dinner party, the actions of those around us will be important guides in defining the answer.”

Humans are sheep. We like to be led and many buying decisions are based on what others think.

So How Can We Apply Social Proof To Our E-Commerce Websites?

Use testimonials and plenty of them. Testimonials are the ultimate social proof. Ask your customers for testimonials and use them wherever you can. That’s why word of mouth is still so important. People value other people’s opinions and testimonials can be your best sales tool.

A good place to influence people is to put testimonials at your email signup page. For example, on their web form, Unique Fitness Group includes two testimonials from customers that are meant to positively influence website visitors who are not sure whether to sign up.

Social Media Is A Form Of Social Proof

Think Traffic author Corbett Barr says marketers have used social proof as a fundamental principle for years. According to Corbett, blogs have used it by displaying the number of RSS subscribers. Then, when new visitors stop by, they think, “Hey, this site looks pretty popular. 2,000 people already subscribe. It must be worth following, so I’ll do the same.”

Social proof can help you grow faster by turning more people into repeat visitors and ultimately buyers.

3. Insert a Call to Action

The third technique for developing an e-commerce website is to have a definite call to action.

Be Very Clear About Your Offer and Tell People What To Do To Get It

So you’ve attracted their attention and after reading about all the wonderful benefits they’ll receive, you’ve convinced them that they need to buy your product or service. They’re ready to act. They’re in the buying mode. Don’t let this opportunity slip by.

Remember, humans like to be led. If you don’t tell people what to do next, even if it seems blatantly obvious to you, they’re are most likely to do nothing.

An effective call to action can increase your conversions dramatically. The words and positioning you use can make a difference to the bottom line too. Take your customers through the process and let them feel what it would be like to own your product.

Seriously this works.

World-class advertising copywriter Joe Sugarman once interviewed a very successful TV salesman because he wanted to know how he was out-performing all of the other salespeople in his industry. The salesman said he only talked to the customers who he knew would buy. He knew he could close 50% of the people who were coming in to the store and playing with the television dials. He also knew that only 10% of the people who didn’t touch any of the dials would be interested.

Here’s an example of how copywriter Rachel Rofe incorporated this into a piece of sales copy she wrote for Kunaki:

“As soon as you place your order, I’ll have Kunaki immediately send you a white box full of DVDs. They’ll be at your front door within a week. When you open up the box, you’ll find that each DVD will be in a navy blue case. Each case is labeled by who created those videos (Robert, Jason, or the guest speakers). I organized the DVDs to make them as easy-to-go-through as possible so you can dig in and start earning with them right away.”

You’re allowing the customer to experience the product before they even buy.

Sassy Tips for E-Commerce Websites:

  • Write about benefits the customer will receive from your product or service and not just its features
  • Incorporate social proof such as testimonials, product reviews and social media
  • Use a clear and definite call to action. Take the customer on a journey

Do you have other copy tips you can share? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below.

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  1. Fantastic article Shae! I love the examples and the fact I can click on a website to see how it is done in real time. Thank you! I will be re-writing my web copy based on these principles right now! You have just saved me hours of research by condensing this info in one blog.

    • Thankyou Wendy. I’m glad you found the article useful. Saving you and others time is always my priority.

  2. Great article, really useful tips that I can implement now with ease. Thanks for making this simple Shae 🙂

  3. Hi Shae,
    I finally Got my e book on line, http://www.betouchedbylife.com ready for download, and no one has.

    Most of my traffic comes from Facebook plus a small number of e zines that take my articles. Altogether I get about 70 hits a month to my site. Further to that I have 2 small free e books that have been downloaded quite a few times, so I know there are people out there,

    I’m now clear I need help to persuade people to download. I also don’t want to endlessly change copy as I think that sends a wrong message. Help!

    Warm regards,

    • Hi Paul

      First of all, a big congrats for publishing your e-book. That’s a huge step.

      Now you need people to download!

      I took a quick look at your website and it’s not evident on your website that you are offering an ebook. There’s no call to actions and no ‘reason why’ when I enter your site.

      When I did click on the ebook and went to its landing page, there’s no explanation about what the book is about and who it is for.

      In terms of getting more reach, do you cover all channels of social media and are you blogging? I highly recommend you start blogging and you can write posts related to your book.

      I do suggest some improvements to your navigation and from a usability point of view, I would avoid using centered text.

      Good luck!


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