E-commerce Onsite Marketing

Ecommerce Copywriting: 12 Tips to Boost Sales [+Examples]

Are you writing ecommerce copy that’s not getting enough conversions?

We’re all been there.

Writing copy for ecommerce is both art and science. But really it’s the knowledge of what makes copy appealing to shoppers that is most important.

I’m going to share 12 ecommerce copywriting tips taken from successful brands to help you hone your own copywriting. These tips worked for them, so there’s every chance they could work for you (the size of your business doesn’t matter).

In this post:

What is ecommerce copywriting?

Ecommerce copywriting involves writing promotional copy for online stores. It’s a fine balance between engaging customers, extolling the product benefits and ranking high on Google. Ecommerce copywriting examples include product descriptions, landing page copy, and sales promotions. Really though, it’s anything on your website.

Here’s one example: this product description from Allbirds demonstrates how the product’s benefits resolve a pain point, while also being engaging and concise.

Allbirds ecommerce copywriting
Source: Allbirds

Benefits of great copywriting for ecommerce

Customers are constantly bombarded by marketing messages, which can become annoying. That’s why they tend to engage with businesses whose ecommerce copywriting strikes a chord with them.

That’s the first benefit great copy brings to the table: grabbing customers’ attention.

And there are more:

  • Brand differentiation. Great ecommerce copywriting can make your brand look unique among others.
  • Good first impression. Copy can make a good first impression by evoking emotions, addressing concerns, connecting with the customer, etc.
  • Increased sales and conversions. Great copywriting for ecommerce demonstrates how the product is the solution to the customer’s problem. Words can address specific points and help the customer overcome any hesitancy about making the purchase.
  • Stronger customer relationships. Ecommerce writing is essential in creating a bond with customers, gaining and sustaining their trust, and establishing a long-term relationship.

Next, let’s learn how to use ecommerce copywriting tricks to create content that converts.

Ecommerce copywriting: 12 tips

We know that great ecommerce copywriting can help your content rank higher on Google, build customer relationships, and increase revenue. Follow these tips to make your ecommerce writing a driver of sales and conversions.

1. Study your audience

Before we can start writing any ecommerce copy we need to answer an important question: who are we writing the copy for?

Knowing target readers’ needs and goals is a step towards crafting copy that resonates with them. So, audience research should always be your first step.

Great ways to research audiences include:

  • Using your company’s market research and analyzing site traffic data
  • Conducting online surveys, polls, and interviews
  • Analyzing discussions on online boards like Quora and Reddit

Once you’ve done the research, you’ll have plenty of ideas to describe your product in your “customers’ language”.

To see if your research and assumptions are correct you can go one step further with some simple online sleuthing.

Say, your company is selling backpacks. If we peruse Reddit for chats about backpacks, we’ll find a whole bunch. These are potential customers talking about the very product you sell. Are your assumptions correct? In doing this research you’ll find useful phrases and words to use in the copy.

WP Standard is a good example of a brand that uses customer-inspired language. In this product description below, we see phrases like “everyday hustle” and “will stay with you for years”—that’s communicating with target customers in a way they’ll find familiar.

WP Standard copywriting
Source: WP Standard

So, go ahead and do your audience research before writing any ecommerce copy. Trust me: once you know who you’re writing for, writing will become much easier.

“Buy One, Get One Free!” Studying your competitors’ ecommerce copywriting is another good research idea. These 20 Sales Promotions Examples will show how other brands are marketing their sales on their websites.

2. Write engaging headlines

Think about the last time you landed on a website. What did you first see – was it a catchy headline? Headlines are vital for creating a positive and engaging first impression. A customer may choose to buy something based on the headline alone.

That’s why we need catchy and engaging headlines everywhere – in emails, homepages, product pages, ads, etc.

To create attractive headlines, you should do three things:

  • Be clear
  • Resonate with your target customers
  • Show some brand personality

Let’s start with clarity.

Ecommerce headlines need to get to the point so customers know that they’re in the right place. Being too “smart” here can backfire, as complicated headlines can obscure the meaning.

This headline from Warby Parker makes the value crystal clear.

Warby Parker headline copywriting
Source: Warby Parker

Next, resonating, by which we mean connecting with customers on a deeper level.

If you understand your target customers well, your headlines will be more likely to strike a chord with them. Studying your customers’ needs, goals, and issues is critical.

Let’s see an example.

Partake Foods conveys a specific benefit for customers with this headline about allergen-free ingredients.

Partake Foods benefits
Source: Partake Foods

Getting allergen-free products is the reason why customers buy Partake Foods’ products. This headline (and the text below) let them know they’re in the right place.

Now, imagine that the headline was generic, e.g. “Try our tasty products.” To visitors, Partake Foods would look like any other company selling cookies.

That’s the difference great ecommerce copywriting can make.

And the last headline tip: add some brand personality.

Through ecommerce copywriting, you can express the uniqueness of your brand and make it more memorable.

Take TOMS as an example.

With copy like the example below, the brand quickly establishes itself as caring, friendly and warm.

TOMS brand personality
Source: TOMS

With any brand personality, it’s essential to keep the style and tone consistent across all ecommerce copy (product descriptions, product pages, home pages, etc).

In one marketing campaign, TOMS gave away 296,000+ shoes for children in need. See more examples of brands demonstrating their values: Ethical Marketing Examples.

3. Find the right tone of voice

In ecommerce copywriting, tone of voice communicates brand personality.

The tone can be playful, elegant, casual, formal, etc. But whatever you choose, it needs to represent your brand in an authentic way. It’s important because 86% of customers think authenticity matters when choosing brands.

That’s why businesses develop unique tones of voice to communicate with customers.

Let’s see some examples.

This product description uses a playful and humorous tone. And it’s brilliant, as the comparison of bamboo toilet paper and a unicorn’s mane will definitely get attention.

Who Gives a Crap Toilet Paper personality
Source: Who Gives a Crap Toilet Paper

Here’s another example:

Uber has cultivated a strong brand personality that emphasizes audience empowerment and professionalism. The homepage copy below showcases the encouraging, considerate, and straightforward tone that helps shape Uber’s image.

Uber brand personality
Source: Uber

So, what tone of voice is right for your business?

Find out using these steps:

  • Study your target customers. In particular, their demographics (age, location, income, etc.) and psychographics (interests, personality, lifestyle, etc.) will help understand what communication style they might prefer.
  • Align tone with your product. Product and price will impact your tone; for example, a luxury car manufacturer would have a very different tone to a manufacturer of toilet paper.
  • Imagine your business is a person. How would you envision that person would speak to others?

Taking these steps will get you closer to defining the right tone of voice for your brand.

Highway Robery uses popups to collect emails from visitors.

This strategy can convert up to 4% of store visitors.

Read more:
Email Popup ExamplesBest Practices for Popups
How to Design Website Popups
Or create an email popup [free, no experience needed].
Highway Robery

4. Tell your story

Storytelling is a great technique for connecting with your customers.

Take Madsen Cycles. Here’s my summary of the brand’s story:

The Madsen family visited relatives in Denmark and they were impressed by the country’s bike culture. They devised a plan to bring some of that culture back to America – and ultimately designed a unique type of family-friendly bike.

An overseas trip, an invention, a fierce entrepreneurial spirit – the story has it all. And Madsen Cycles proudly shares it with customers.

Madsen cycles brand story
Image source: Madsen Cycles

You can also inject some storytelling into product descriptions.

The idea here is straightforward –

Tell a story about how the product will change customers’ lives.

Brands do it in different ways. Chubbies, for example, promotes a pair of casual shorts with a little story that appeals to customers’ imagination.

Chubbies copywriting
Source: Chubbies

These stories build rapport with customers. They evoke positive emotions and that’s always helpful when you want to connect with a customer. What’s your brand story? Think about some interesting ways you can share it and weave that throughout your copy.

Want to learn more about storytelling? Get started with this Guide to Storytelling in Ecommerce. It’s packed with tips and examples.

5. Focus on positive impacts

Positive language can get people excited and convince them to engage. 

This technique is simple: describe how your brand will benefit customers – but don’t push it too far and start sounding all “salesy.” It’s a fine balance but you’ll know it when you see it. The easiest way to nail this technique? Use the classic “focus on benefits, not features” ecommerce copywriting trick.

This product description from Thesus is a good example. It’s bursting with positivity, and we don’t feel like the brand is forcing us into a sale.

Thesus product description
Source: Thesus

To write more positively:

  • Start with an action verb. E.g. try “Slip them on-and-off easily with an inside zip” instead of “An inside zip makes it easy to slip on-and-off.”
  • Answer the “So What?” question. Write “This bundle will get you on the way to better skin” instead of “Buy the bundle.”
  • Write in the second person. Pull your customers into your content by using “you,” “yours,” “yourself,” and “yourselves.” 

And the bottom line –

Customers want to focus on the positive impacts of your product, not dwell on the problems that they’re facing without it. That’s why using positive language will greatly improve your ecommerce copywriting.

6. Create urgency

In ecommerce copywriting, urgency is a proven technique to get potential customers to take immediate action. Our job is to let them know that acting as soon as possible is in their best interests.

We have many ways to convey urgency:

  • Limited stock levels
  • Mystery and flash sales
  • Limited edition products
  • Time limit to get a special price
  • Free delivery for special conditions

Let’s see a couple of examples.

Boughs promotes a weekly deal with limited-quantity products with this message. It conveys urgency well and is concise and on point. Well done.

Boughs copywriting
Source: Boughs

Next example: a flash sale. 

This ecommerce copy comes from an email Redbubble used to announce a quick sale.

Redbubble flash sale copywriting
Source: Redbubble

One thing to note when conveying urgency: focus on the most important details your shoppers need to convert. As the examples above have shown, those details might include timelines, discounts, codes, conditions, and, of course, some encouragement to engage.

Learn more about increasing conversions with urgency: Urgency: 4 Ways to Generate Action From Shoppers

7. Make copy scannable

Are you making your ecommerce copy easy to read?

Folks are busy these days, so they want only the essential info, quickly. So fight the temptation to write a long and detailed copy – very few people will read every line.

With practice, you’ll learn how to be concise while still packing in the info you need to convert visitors to customers.

This product description from Dollar Shave Club uses bullet lists to communicate many benefits in a reader-friendly and scannable way.

Dollar Shave Club ecommerce copywriting
Source: Dollar Shave Club

Besides bullet lists, consider using:

  • Different font sizes
  • Headings and subheadings
  • Short paragraphs (no more than three lines)

Adding visuals is another way to break up your text, making it easily digestible. Let’s cover this tip next.

8. Add visuals to enhance the content

You can greatly increase the effectiveness of your copy by having some awesome visuals accompany the text. 

A picture is worth a thousand words, after all. For example, you can try to describe how a product works, but images might do the job better. 

Let’s see an example.

Queen Garnet describes how to use its products but it’s the image here that will get the visitor’s attention. 

Queen Garnet copywriting
Source: Queen Garnet

Visuals can also enhance storytelling across your website, not just in product descriptions.

Describing your brand history, for example, would be much easier if you added images and/or videos to the mix.

Yellow Tail Wines boosts its story with photos of the owners, the family winery, and the vineyards. In under a minute, we learn how the family of Italian immigrants became one of Australia’s top wine success stories. The combination of engaging text and images is evocative.

Yellow Tail Wines ecommerce copywriting
Source: Yellow Tail Wine

9. Write in the active voice

If ecommerce copywriting was the posture…then the passive voice would be slouching.

The passive voice introduces an “academic feel,” which can make the text boring and hard to comprehend, and effectively prepares the reader to sleep.

That’s why businesses use active voice in ecommerce copywriting.

Let me give you a quick example.

Imagine if Nike chose a passive voice-based slogan instead of “Just do it.” 

This would be the result. Not quite so inspiring, is it?

Your brand should also use active voice in ecommerce copywriting.

Check out Grammarly and Hemingway Editor (both free) if you need help detecting and removing passive voice from your text. They’re accurate and easy to use.

10. Overcome objections and hesitation

Most customers who visit your site aren’t ready to buy. They want to explore many options before committing – and that’s fine.

Your ecommerce copy can convince them to stop searching.

How?

With risk aversion.

It’s a strategy for showing people that the risk of taking a deal is minimal. Buying and selling apps, for example, use free returns and shipping to reduce hesitations of shoppers. Ecommerce stores do the same.

You can use risk aversion in your ecommerce copy by including:

  • Customer reviews
  • Product characteristics
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Secure payment badge
  • Free shipping notifications

HelloFresh is a brand with a great risk aversion strategy in copywriting.

Right on the homepage, customers can see answers to popular questions about their meal subscription services.

HelloFresh copywriting
Source: HelloFresh

And it gets better. If customers still have some doubts, HelloFresh gives them social proof in the form of customer reviews. Up to 79% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

HelloFresh copywriting
Source: HelloFresh

HelloFresh continues by ensuring customers that they can cancel their subscription any time – no commitment is required.

They do it with this text, packed with trust-promoting words.

HelloFresh ecommerce copy example
Source: HelloFresh

And the last piece of the puzzle: Call-to-action, or CTA, buttons. 

Deliver that final push to convert with these CTA writing tips:

  • Use words that indicate low risk, e.g. “Try for free” “No-risk trial,” or “No credit card needed” 
  • Add benefits for converting, e.g. “Get professional advice,” “Explore our products,” or “Customize my plan”
  • Personalize the action by adding personal pronouns, e.g. “Sign me up,” “Yes, take me to the sale, ” or “Add to my bag”
Best way to display trust signals to store visitors? 

Website popups.

Try a popup tool (free) to create awareness of free shipping, customer reviews, and other offers.
Copy example

11. Use sensory words

Sensory words can really spice up your ecommerce content.

Done well, ecommerce copy with sensory words can captivate visitors and let them experience brands in a deeper way.

Sensory language makes us “see, taste, feel, or hear” writing. For example, instead of bland words like “good,” “nice,” or “bad,” food brands can try “sweet,” “zesty,” “creamy,” “crumbly,” or “foamy.”

This is exactly what Matt’s Cookies is doing.

Matt's Cookies copywriting
Source: Matt’s Cookies

Davines, a beauty brand, uses many sensory words to describe its products to refer to smell, touch, and sight. This product description for shampoo is a nice example.

Davines shampoo copywriting
Source: Davines

Get started with sensory language in your ecommerce copywriting by replacing some descriptive words with sensory alternative. Then, add some more sensory words to describe some of your product’s characteristics.

12. Add keywords

Keywords are the last remaining part of the ecommerce copywriting puzzle.

Before you start writing, do keyword research. This means using Google or dedicated tools like Ahrefs to find queries to include in your copy.

One crucial thing, though –

Place keywords to your ecommerce copy organically. 

Stuffing (the practice of overusing keywords) makes the copy sound unnatural and robotic. Besides, Google now penalizes sites for doing this.

Ecommerce copywriting: Summary

Whether you’re a newbie copywriter, veteran marketer, or a master copywriter who needs a refresher, I hope these tips were useful. Ecommerce copywriting is not high art, so you can drive great results even with very little experience.

Follow our copywriting for ecommerce tips and create fantastic copy. If you’d like to put your skills to the test, here’s an idea – try website popups to generate leads

Here’s how to do it:

  • Grab Wisepops [free]
  • Write great popup copy (try some of the 12 tips you’ve just learned)
  • Active the popup on your store and capture visitors’ emails

Good luck!

Pawel Lawrowski Pawel is a Head of Growth at Wisepops and a Lead Generation&Pop-up Expert.

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