E-commerce stores are essentially a shop window for customers; get it right and they might just come inside and spend some serious cash… get it wrong and they’ll be gone in the blink of an eye. Poof!

In this post I’m going to take a look at content writing for e-commerce stores; how not to do it and how merchants should treat the exercise. It’s important that content becomes a big consideration and not just slap dash task that’s done because it needs to be. In e-commerce, particularly new e-commerce stores- content can be the decider between a sale and an abandoned cart. In an ever more digital age with many high street retailers deciding to tout their wares online, it’s becoming increasingly important to get it right.

Don’t shout!

Now I’m all for directing users to certain areas of the site; for instance, you may have a promotion running on certain items that you’re keen for potential customers to see, so using prompts like ‘click here’ ‘buy now’ and ‘learn more’ will work well to get them to that specific area. Using a combination of these more than once in a paragraph using bold font certainly won’t. Treat your customers like you would a friend.

Don’t palm them off with links!

In the case of new e-commerce stores- customers will want confirmation that the shop is well established, that there will be someone at the end of the phone should they need to contact them and most importantly that they’re not being ripped off. These little tick boxes can all be confirmed with good content.

A good about us section should be able to hit each of these points in a clear and concise manner. Avoid pointing them here there and everywhere from an important page, so instead of making additional pages for contents sake; merchants should aim to keep users on one page for as long as possible and provide them all the info they need.

Don’t write for search engines!

I’ve seen a lot of sites with content written for the sole purpose of getting picked up by Google. In case you didn’t know, it’s not Google who will be buying from the store… it’s your customers, so write your content specifically for them.

An easy way to test whether your content is written for your customers is to go through each page (predominantly the static pages) with a fresh pair of eyes; imagine you are a new customer, having never heard of the brand before, then ask yourself- do these pages give me everything I could possibly need to find out about the product/service/brand in a user friendly manner? Is the site fast enough? Is it easily navigated to find important info? You might find that there is an information overload with content being duplicated on many pages, or you might find that the tone isn’t quite right, perhaps it’s shouty or confusing. These should be triggering alarm bells in your head; I’d review all the content, make cuts to unneeded info, clarity to important info and determine how you should be speaking to your customers. Once you get these right you’ll be onto a winner.

By Steve

01 / 07 / 2013


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