Common Mistakes in E-Commerce Copywriting

Managing an e-commerce site is more than just making sure your shopping cart functions properly and all product photographs are easy to see. To get the most out of your site, you need to make sure the content supports your objectives and makes it easy for consumers to buy your products.  The copy on your e-commerce site needs to accomplish two goals: establish trust and convince visitors that your product is right for them.  In order to accomplish these goals, you’ll want to avoid these common e-commerce copywriting mistakes:

  1. No copy on product pages.  Writing content on each of your product pages helps you express what your product does and build trust with consumers. Before people buy, they want to know that the product you’re offering meets their needs and content is a great way to communicate this.
  2. Inconsistent tone.  Everything from the homepage copy to the product descriptions needs to follow the same writing style and tone of voice.
  3. Exaggeration.  Never exaggerate your product’s capabilities in order to make it seem more desirable.  Always use logical arguments when explaining the benefits of your product.  Your credibility and reputation are at stake if you exaggerate the benefits of your products, and you’ll be left with many unhappy customers.
  4. Conventions are ignored.  It can be tempting to get creative with the wording on buttons and links, but it’s best to stick with what works.  Use the conventional “add to basket” and factual, descriptive anchor text to link to product pages.  Although creative wording might not have a negative effect, it most likely won’t improve your conversions.
  5. Forget to localize.  Some translations just don’t work as intended, so make sure that your copy is culturally sensitive.  In addition, some cultures are more aggressive with their advertising, while others are less aggressive.  The best way around this is to write copy that is compatible with all cultures.

At the end of the day, your copy could make or break your e-commerce efforts.  You should always make sure that your copy is flawless and gives your audience all the information they need in order to make a purchase.  With this, you’ll establish trust and be seen as a credible vendor on the Internet.

How do you gain trust on your e-commerce site?  Let us know in the comments section below!

About Caroline Bogart

Caroline Bogart is a Senior Copywriter / Online PR Strategist at Fathom, and has been working as a copywriter with the company since 2009. She is a graduate of Miami University and John Carroll University, with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and a Master’s degree in communications management. Previously, Caroline was a marketing communications specialist at an industrial engineering and manufacturing company. Her marketing and copywriting background in the manufacturing industry enables her to craft conversion-friendly technical and non-technical content for her clients. When not helping manufacturing companies like Akron Brass Company, Diebold and others achieve success; Caroline gets her creative juices flowing by baking and crafting.

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  • John Scheiderer says:

    I really like the point of exaggeration and your credibility being at stake, it’s too easy to get lost in puffery without explaining a single feature of the item you’re trying to sell. Your audience doesnt’ want to hear how wonderful you think your product is. Just think about what benefits something can truly provide, and let your audience know what that is.

  • Ozio Media says:

    A great way to gain trust on your e-commerce site is to provide “real” customer testimonials. Seek out customers and ask them for a testimonial. Why did they like the product? How did it benefit them? Include their full name, state and a picture to make the testimonial relatable. Also, if a comment left by a happy customer really stands out to you, ask them for their permission to use it in your content. Consumers are more likely to buy from a merchant they trust and can relate to in some way.

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