The Ultimate Guide to eCommerce Copywriting and Increasing Your Conversions

Strong copy is the cornerstone of any online store's marketing strategy. In this post we share a comprehensive guide of eCommerce copywriting tips: how to write great copy, different ways to get your copy written, and how to choose the best copywriter for you.

person doing ecommerce copywriting at table

1. What is eCommerce copywriting?
2. How to write great eCommerce marketing copy
3. Additional ways to write copy for your online store
4. How to choose the best copywriter for you

The world of eCommerce is a wild and exciting frontier - dynamic, moving fast in every corner of the web, and brimming with opportunity.

It’s a place where you can find almost anything at the click of a button – even things your silliest friend couldn’t have dreamed up (see: bacon-scented mustache). 

The world of eCommerce copywriting, on the other hand, is not quite as sexy (or aromatic?). But it’s just as important! After all, great copy can make someone more likely to buy your product or service. 

And bad copy? Well, let’s just say it could cost you sales (and money).

So don’t think of writing eCommerce copy as drudgery - think about it as an opportunity to add value for your customer and boost your conversions. 

To get started on this journey, here’s everything you need to know about what eCommerce copywriting is, how to write great marketing copy for your store, and much more.

Ready to jump start this journey? Then read on.

What is eCommerce copywriting?

Copywriting is a form of marketing that focuses on the written word. This is the text that appears in advertisements, brochures, website content, and other written material designed to sell a product or service.

The copywriter's job is to compel the customer to buy the product or service, using words and phrases that elicit an emotional response in the audience.

eCommerce copywriting is the written content that appears in marketing materials associated with online businesses. It’s a major part of any content marketing strategy and requires a distinct skill essential for any eCommerce endeavor.

As one of the most important factors in increasing your sales, it’s a major way you can differentiate your company from competitors. When done well, it can drive conversions and create a better customer experience.

Pivotal to business growth, copywriting is simply a vital part of eCommerce.

So, how do you tap into this well of opportunity and get the conversions flowing?

Next, we’ll share some of the most important eCommerce copywriting tips to get you on the right track to compelling copy that converts.

How to write great eCommerce marketing copy

The Who

To write great marketing copy, the first order of business is to determine your target audience.

Without a specific type of customer in mind, your content will end up addressing everyone - and selling to no one.

Why?

Your descriptions will be overly generic and vague, lacking clarity as to who the product is intended for.

By knowing your target audience, you’ll be able to speak to them directly - and personally.

The How

In order to do this well, you'll need to dive a bit into psychology and start thinking about how people think—and why. 

Your goal is to understand both the conscious and unconscious motivations behind every decision people make—including buying products online.

Create personas for your products to better understand your target customer! Who will benefit the most from your product, and what kind of language resonates with them? 

Three examples of personas with age and demographics and behavioral identifiers
Personas created by myinternetscout.com

Are they young or old? Married or single? Bookish or outdoorsy? 

What challenges do they face, and what are their goals and aspirations? 

How can you make their lives easier and more fulfilling?

By answering these questions, you’ll better define the message you want to convey, the tone and style you want to employ, and even how you format your content.

These are all critical elements when it comes to writing eCommerce copy that converts on par with the best ads ever written (or better!).

The What

The next crucial part of your copy strategy? Your product descriptions must be more than descriptions. 

Yes, you absolutely need unique content that targets the right keywords to get your pages seen from a SEO perspective...

But here us out here: merely describing your items on your product pages and ticking the search engine boxes won’t work. 

Listing your product details to entice Google’s web-crawler is only one small part of your conversion process.

Your goal is to persuade the real people looking at your product pages that your products - and your business - are right for them. This means outlining not just features, but the benefits your visitors will experience.

What problems does your product solve for them? How will it enrich their lives? 

One more key philosophy when crafting your content is to harness one of the most powerful tools of the mind: the imagination.

Paint a vision for your customer of the product already in their possession, using striking sensory words. 

What will it feel like when they wear, use, or hold it? Will it bring back nostalgic childhood memories of certain tastes, textures, or smells?  

Check out how Ben & Jerry's draws you in with "crunchy cookies", "gooey caramel", and "flavor alchemy."

Sensory language product description example for Ben and Jerrys brand ice cream
Image source: Ben & Jerry's

 

Emotions and memories are inextricably linked to the senses; tapping into that emotional well will help you nudge your buyer along the customer journey.

For more tips on writing great copy and product descriptions in general, check out our article on writing stellar product descriptions.

Additional ways to write copy for your online store

The most important point to remember when it comes to content creation is that you have a few options. It's not necessary for you to write all your copy yourself - in fact, it is likely more cost-effective in the long run if you don't! 

The most obvious and most common choice is to hire manual copywriters to create your copy for you.

Working with a real human means you have control over your tone and brand voice, SEO keyword focus, and target group. Your content is context-rich and sounds natural.

…but oh man, does it take a long time. 

Not to mention the enormous budget that’s necessary! 

Text briefings, hiring a content team, edits and revisions…only to do it all again for each new season or product rollout?

There are certainly easier (and cheaper!) ways - including plenty of tools available that can help automate some of your copywriting efforts. This includes fully automated and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-assisted tools.

For example, some platforms have tools that allow users to quickly create product descriptions using keywords from their products' titles or images.

These types of features can save time by allowing users (or even bots) to generate unique content based on a set of parameters supplied by the end user (usually the vendor). 

Other fully automated tools can generate content for you based on keywords - they’re fast, and compared to manual writers, they’re certainly cheap.

Then there’s the “Goldilocks” option. A little bit of manual copywriting with some (not too much, not too little) AI built into the process.

This AI-assisted methodology uses product data and natural language generation to create content in a highly customized way. Your content is based on your preferred brand voice, structure, and keywords.

These preferences are all wrapped in a foundational text concept created by professional copywriters (yes, real humans!). 

spectrum showing degrees of copywriting automation from manual to fully automated

To find out more about this flavor of automated copywriting, read all about automated product descriptions here.

All in all, there is a gamut of options available to you if you’re not keen to write your copy yourself - from fully manual to fully automated to the in-between.

How to choose the best copywriter for you

First you need to decide if you’re taking the old fashioned route or the technology route. What is your budget? What is your time frame? How’s your patience for review cycles?

Going Manual

Like any other professionals in the industry, copywriters have their own set of skills and expertise. But what sets them apart from others is an in-depth understanding of how people respond to words.

They know how to write content for websites, ads, emails and other marketing material that will be effective in selling products or services.

If you have the resources and choose to go with manual copywriting, look for a copywriter who offers a few things:

  • Experience in your industry:
    It’s not enough for them to be an expert at writing; it’s helpful to have insider knowledge about what works in your niche.
  • Experience working with companies similar to yours:
    In other words, don’t hire someone who specializes in luxury travel if you sell t-shirts and socks. A good fit will be someone who is familiar with the ins-and-outs of your business and can offer specific recommendations on content strategy that is likely to resonate well with your audience.
  • Understanding of the products or services you sell:
    Whether they were passionate customers first or have done extensive research on how people buy things online (or both), consider hiring people who are familiar with the types of things you sell so that they can write about them from personal experience rather than just imagination. 

Keep in mind, though, that manual copywriting takes time. The creative process isn’t something that happens overnight - it requires thoughtfulness, consideration, and reworking until everything feels right (so don't expect immediate miracles!).

It’s helpful to find someone whose schedule aligns well with yours regarding when you need content written. Otherwise, this might mean having several editors check over each piece before publication - this will add more cost into a process that was already expensive enough!

robotic hand on left reaching to touch human hand on right

Going AI

Should you use AI content generators? 

The answer is…it depends.

Fully automated content has its advantages. If you don’t need high quality content, but rather the cheapest and fastest results, fully AI generators could be right for you. 

But when it comes to writing copy that converts, full AI is not your best friend.

Why? Here’s a little secret as to how they work.

Fully AI generators can only scrape content from the web in general, and use this learning to create language-based solutions. They don’t understand context or intent - they simply copy what has already been written on the web. 

As a result, you have very little control over what comes out. You may end up with content that’s not original - or even feels robotic, random, and awkward. 

It tends to lack that pizazz it needs to be engaging or compelling because there’s no emotional appeal - the hallmark of great copywriting! 

The nail in the coffin? Creativity is lacking since output is based on rulesets rather than imagination.

The result is that any attempt at engagement or persuasion will either fall flat or come across as unnatural (and therefore less effective). This means you’ll be unable to craft a true brand voice or personalize your content to focus on specific buyer groups.

It’s not an approach that will get you conversions.

So, these platforms aren't perfect—they're still very much works in progress. Depending on what kind of quality you require, they could prove useful.

They’d save you time and money on labor costs associated with manual copywriters or professional writers who specialize in this area (which, as mentioned, is what most eCommerce businesses do).

But if you need high quality content? Creative and natural sounding with exactly the cultural context, brand voice, structure and keywords you desire? Content that converts?

AI-assisted content generation could be for you. 

You can reduce your time-to-market and save money by cutting your dependence on manual copywriters - while still enjoying that human touch in your content.

Since the natural language generation technology uses a mix of the text concept and your product data, it’s a plug-and-play situation - anytime you roll out new products, or product features change, you can automatically regenerate your content with the new data immediately.

If you’re looking to expand globally, there’s even more good news: since a fraction of your content is written manually, only this part needs to be manually translated into your new language. The text generator takes care of the rest.

Check out this list of 7 things you should know before hiring an eCommerce copywriter for more tips on choosing the right copywriter for you.

Conclusion

So, there you have it! The ultimate guide to eCommerce copywriting and conversion optimization. 

Now you understand what eCommerce copywriting is, how to write great copy yourself, and how you can leverage additional resources (people and tools!) to write your copy for you.

You have a sense of what factors to consider when choosing how you’ll get your copy written - manual, fully AI generated, or AI-assisted - for content that meets your needs.

If you want unique, natural content that is also SEO-optimized and adaptable to new products, the AI-assisted path with providers like Xanevo will get you there. You’ll get your content that converts with much faster timelines - and at far less cost.

Now you’re armed and ready! Go forth and show those online shoppers what they've been missing!

Stacy Yee content marketing specialist

Stacy Yee

Content Marketing Specialist

Stacy designs, conceptualizes and creates marketing content to increase Xanevo's digital presence and impact.

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