The Copywriting Dance: 4 Mistakes to Avoid

Not a dancer? No problem. We'll help you set your eCommerce copywriting apart by showing you the top 4 mistakes other online businesses are making.

ballerina dancer feet in studio illustrating ecommerce copywriting dance metaphor

1. Using Complicated Language
2. Focusing on Features Over Benefits
3. Inattention to Structure
4. Droning On Like a Robot

Congratulations! You’ve poured your whole soul into your product, even into your whole line of products. You have something truly outstanding.

You’re all set, right? Ready to get out there with it and change lives. 

Hang on, do you have your copy written?

Put the horse back in the stable for a second. 

In the world of eCommerce, marketing copy is just as critical as having a great product (if not more so!). But writing good copy is a delicate dance. 

It’s not good enough for your copywriting just to be there on the page. It needs to carry the right message, in the right style, to the right audience. 

How will you get out there and change people’s lives if those people don’t even know how their lives could be changed?

Yes, copywriting for eCommerce is a delicate dance. But the good news?

It’s learnable! 

Being aware of the common mistakes will help you avoid stepping on any proverbial dance floor toes. With the right moves in your repertoire, you’ll be moonwalking your way to success.

In this article, we’ll share with you the top 4 bottom-line-battering missteps eCommerce business owners are making in their copywriting, and how you can smoothly sidestep them to make your copy work just right for you.

Let’s jump in.

Defining eCommerce Copywriting

eCommerce copywriting refers to the gamut of marketing and promotional materials you create for your online business. These materials include offers, headlines, landing pages, email campaigns, product and category descriptions, to name a few. 

eCommerce copywriting has two main missions in life: 

  • Get your business in front of the right people
  • Convince those people why they should do business with you

This means your copy should be compelling, persuasive, and motivate people to take action. It should represent your brand voice well and be built on an understanding of online shopper psychology. 

eCommerce Copywriting: Why Should You Care? 

Why should you care so much about the strength of your eCommerce copy? 

In brick and mortar shops, a charismatic, friendly salesperson can be pivotal to the customer experience. Unfortunately, online shops don’t have that luxury (at least, maybe until our hologram technology really takes off). 

So, what’s left to greet your customers as they wander through your website doors? 

Your copywriting.

As your digital salesperson, your copy is your chance to differentiate yourself from the competition. Its job is to deliver that virtual customer experience. It anticipates customer objections and questions and appeals to their interests. 

Copy done right will yield results - you’ll see them in your click through rates, conversions, and sales.

You’ll see them in your bottom line.

So, how do you make sure you do it right? How should you go about hiring an eCommerce copywriter? 

What are so many business owners doing wrong?

Without further ado, let’s have a look at the 4 missteps many eCommerce business owners make - ones that are battering their bottom lines.

Misstep #1: Using Complicated Language

Sorry to disappoint all you aspiring Pulitzer prizewinners out there, but your marketing copy is not the place to showcase your most high-brow, sophisticated prose. Many businesses make the mistake of writing copy that is long, detailed, and overly complicated. To the contrary, successful copy reads at a middle-school level.

How do you know what level your copywriting is?

It’s time to get cozy with the Flesch Reading Ease Score. Generally speaking, your average sentence length and average number of syllables per word are the main factors.  It’s a scale of 0-100 with 100 corresponding to the easiest level. 

Table showing the Flesch Reading Ease score on a scale of 100 to 0

The higher your score, the easier your text is to read. 

Don’t worry, you won’t have to calculate the formula yourself! There are lots of online tools to help you evaluate your text.

So what’s the optimal reading score for your marketing copy? 

Websites whose text score 60+ tend to see the best eCommerce performance. 

Use simple, readable language. Keep your sentences short, take it easy on the syllables, and avoid more difficult words (save those for your standardized tests, folks!). 

Misstep #2: Focusing on Features Over Benefits

You’ve poured your soul into your products. Trust us, we know how tempting it is to want to regale your customers with all the details you’ve so lovingly toiled over. 

A lot of eCommerce businesses make the mistake of only describing product features in their copywriting. Unfortunately, the ins and outs of product details and features won’t convince your visitors to do business with you. The truth is that most customers aren’t really interested in what a product does.

What will hook them? 

How your product helps them. 

How does it resolve their pain points? What can they achieve with it? How does it make them more awesome? Simply put, what are your product’s benefits?

How might you lead with benefits in your copy? The Five-Minute Journal from Intelligent Change is a great example:

product copy example from the five minute journal highlighting product benefits

The copywriting here focuses on the results of buying the journal - leading specifically with the ways it will improve the user’s life. This journal is perfect for those who want to “become more mindful” and “improve relationships.”

Misstep #3: Inattention to Structure

Imagine you’re giving a presentation of your results (fantastic ones, at that!) at work. You’ve got the whole department excited to hear about the wonderful work you’ve done and how it’s helping the company.

You hop on stage, and open with a table full of numbers. 

…accompanied by a 10 minute long, astonishingly detailed chronological explanation of securing a space to conduct your study. 

Well, the results were somewhere in there, too.   

Shoot, your coworkers are getting up and leaving. 

Well, that was to be expected. You had great results information in your presentation, but it was lost in an overwhelming wave of other statements about the study location. 

Without context, proper framing, and clear structure, you lost your audience (or perhaps, never had them).

To draw customers in and keep them on your page, your copy must be similarly intentional. First, find a good balance in your length.

Too little information can render your copy useless - “thin” content won’t rank well in search engines and is one of the reasons customers fail to make purchases. 

On the other hand, an impossible Wall of Text will turn your website into a fortress - impenetrable to would-be customers. Humans’ attention span is now shorter than that of a goldfish, so your copy needs to be correspondingly efficient - keep your copy under 300 words.

Is your copy a bit fortress-y, causing customers to bounce? Concise, bulleted lists along with short paragraphs could be just what the doctor ordered. 

Bullet points are easy to scan, helping your customers quickly learn why your product is right for them. Short paragraphs provide additional detail for those who like to dig a little deeper, without being overwhelming.

We’re not in Middle Earth, Frodo - there is no “one structure to rule them all”, but here’s an example product page structure to get you started:

  1. Magnetic headline: Your product title is your hook. 
  2. Problem setup and benefits-rich paragraph: Address a pain point and describe how your solution helps.
  3. Essential benefits list: Spotlight your key benefits with an easy-to-read bulleted list
  4. Finishing-touch motivation: Eliminate any remaining purchase doubts with social proof or reviews, and polish things off with a solid call-to-action. 

Misstep #4: Droning On Like a Robot

Hey, robots are great - they build cars, explore the deep sea, they even perform surgery!

But one place customers really don’t need to be reminded of their wonderful technological capability is on your website. 

If your eCommerce copywriting is monotonous and overly factual, it will sound robotic. And robots (at least for now!) don’t make great salespeople (er, salesrobots?). You want your customers to stay engaged in your online shop, not get R2D2’ed to sleep.

This is where it helps to consider your brand voice and ideal buyer. 

Imagine your copy having a conversation with your consumer. What would it sound like? 

Do you want your tone to be trendy or conservative? Solemn or playful? Charming or funny?

What sort of language would you use? What sort of language do your consumers identify with?

Instead of just stating dry facts, use your copywriting to appeal to positive emotions and build anticipation in your consumers. Using positive language and expressions linked with emotions like joy and anticipation will boost your copy quality - and your conversions. 

Likewise, negativity in your eCommerce copywriting can also tank your conversion rates. Avoid words and phrases associated with negative emotions like disgust, for example.

You’ll retain your customers better by focusing on the positive aspects of your product or service, rather than all the ways they’re suffering without it. 

A little bit of warmth and personality goes a long way. But don’t go overboard - be careful not to just stuff your copy with emotional phrases.

And if you want the best of both worlds - leveraging the wonderful robotic realm without any of the “robotic realm footprint” - check out Xanevo! We generate thousands of texts that are indistinguishable from human written text - in a multitude of variations, at the push of a button. 


There you have it, 4 copywriting missteps that could be battering your bottom line. Your eCommerce copy, as the front line “salesperson” of your online shop, is a pretty important member of your team! It’s charged with drawing your visitors in, keeping them engaged, and convincing them why they should buy.

Navigating the do’s and don’ts of eCommerce copywriting can be a dance - knowing how to step *and* how not to step.

Keep your copy simple and easy to read and be benefits-forward. Design a scannable structure that also satisfies the “deeper detail” folks. Lastly, write for people with a pulse - make sure your copywriting doesn’t remind your customers of their new household Roomba and has some energizing life in it. 

But learning and executing the copywriting dance doesn’t have to be a ballroom nightmare - Xanevo is here to help. With our automated service no one will know is automated, the days of making compromises on your copy can be over faster than you can say “tango.”

Book a free 30-minute consultation with Xanevo today to find out if automated eCommerce copywriting is right for you.

Stacy Yee content marketing specialist

Timo Tzschetzsch

Founding Partner - Co-Founder Jinni AI

Timo used to be a co-founder at Xanevo and is now leading his own AI company portfolio.

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