Once you’ve made the leap from hobbyist to entrepreneur by starting your own online store, it can be easy to get discouraged. You may feel like your traffic is stagnating, or that visitors are flocking to your store but aren’t making any purchases. We’ve discussed how to get over the hump and make your first online sale, but did you know that when it comes to selling online, how you present your products is nearly as important as your products themselves?
The path to a successful online store is long and riddled with lots of tasks -- SEO, conversion rate optimisation, A/B testing -- that many small business creatives feel are overwhelming and put off for another day. But one thing that you can do to increase revenue today is to improve your “copy,” or all the written text on your website that’s meant to attract, draw in, and sell your products to customers.
It’s important to write copy that evokes the senses, memories and nostalgia, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here are 6 more ways to tweak the copy on your online store to increase revenue and get your products flying off the shelves:
Your headline is often the first thing a customer sees upon getting to your home page, so make it count! One headline technique that really boosts sales is highlighting a problem that your ideal consumer faces, which lets them know that your store is the solution.
Let’s think of a plus-sized fashion boutique with the headline “Bold, beautiful clothes for the curvy girl.” That headline sounds fine, but it describes what the product is rather than what it does -- in other words, it doesn’t let the reader know within the first few seconds exactly how your website can help them.
Instead, think of a headline like “Fashion that highlights our curves instead of hiding them -- finally!” This describes how the store can help its target audience, which is plus-sized fashionistas. It also shows how the store can solve a problem, which is finding clothes that both fit and are fashionable. Saying “our” curves fosters solidarity between the brand and its customers: readers hear “our” and know that the online store owner probably had the same troubles with finding fashionable clothes in the oft-forgotten plus-sized department. The “finally!” at the end serves the same purpose.
Online fashion store MissGuided show a great example by using a catchy headline and emphasise it's value by showcasing a product which does just that! Why not do the same and use banners along with a strong headline to go with it. A great way to really grab your shoppers attention!
Use the same principles as you just learned about headlines, and apply it to the rest of your copy. That means, don’t just tell us what your product is, tell us what it does and why it’s important! In order to do that most effectively, you’ll have to establish the problem that your product fixes.
Customers can’t trust that you will be able to solve their problem unless you actually know what it is. Once you’ve convinced them that you understand their problem, you’ve built some credibility that will make them much more receptive to your sales pitch. Remember, your copy should communicate to users exactly what they’ll be getting in terms of your physical product, but also the benefits to their lives that your product will bring.
Credibility, and therefore trust between you and your customers, can also be established with testimonials. Add them where they’ll be seen, such as your homepage or margins that don’t have any other distractions in them. Add them to your sales letter, which is where you’re describing your product and why people should buy it. And, most importantly, add testimonials to your “opt-in offer,” which is eCommerce speak for the place where you ask people to give you their email address.
No one likes giving their email address away, so it’s understandable if you don’t like asking your customers for them. However, asking is the only way to build your email list. That list is how you’ll keep in regular contact with your target consumers, build relationships and customer loyalty, and let them know about sales or new product launches. Increasing your email list increases revenue, and testimonials are one of the best ways to convince customers that they want to hear more from you in the future.
We’ve written about how to get the perfect testimonial before, as it’s surprisingly difficult to get useful reviews from your customers if you leave them to their own devices. The key is to get good, honest testimonials that describe how your product improved their lives, rather than just “I really liked this product! A+!”
FreeAgent, an accounting software provider for small businesses, include a video testimonial and several other brief text testimonials on their buzz page
This one’s an easy problem to fix: make sure your copy is focused on your reader, not yourself! Run a search through your sales copy, blog posts, and any other content that is attached to your brand. See if you use words like “I” or “we” a lot, and try changing them to “you”.
For example: “I find that when I make my copy more descriptive, it increases sales!” Compare this to: “You’ll find that when you make your copy more descriptive, it increases sales!” We use this trick all the time to ensure that our eCommerce tips always sound relevant, inspiring, and above all possible to our readers. You should too!
One of the easiest ways to turn window shoppers into buyers is to instill a sense of urgency into your copy: you want to convince customers to buy now instead of putting something in their cart and wandering off. That means you’ll have to convince customers that either your stocks are limited, or their time is limited. Try one, or all, of these four things that increase urgency in your copy:
Offer A Limited Quantity
Only offer a limited quantity of your product, or consider offering a limited edition
Offer A Limited Time Price Incentive
These could include a sale that ends on a specific date, or a voucher that expires within a specific timeframe
Offer Free Bonuses
Often fashion boutiques, for example, will offer a free accessory -- that are only available while supplies last
When’s the last time you read every word when shopping at an online boutique? Everyone on the internet skims through to find the best bits, and your online boutique is no exception. And since you already know people are scanning through for something that catches their eye, you should make sure the words and phrases that you choose are the ones that stick out.
Use Bold, Italics, Or Highlight Words And Phrases
This will show off your product’s benefits -- but be careful! Uniformity in terms of colour palette, font choice, and overall design of your text helps maintain your professionalism. Selectively highlight the words you think should stick out, but don’t make your online store look amateur!
Break Up Your Bigger Blocks Of Text
Smaller paragraphs compel people to read onward, which big blocks of text can be intimidating and therefore skipped over entirely. Sub headers that introduce each paragraph are also a good idea, as they quickly tell the reader what’s coming and prime them to read on. Always make your copy look easy to read, and it’ll get read!
Highlight Important Bits Of Text
Often the most quotable part of your copy or actual quotes from testimonials -- by centring them. Think of how they pull out the best bits in magazines and get you to read them by making the font bigger, italicising, or bolding the quote.
Bullet Lists Make Everything Easier To Read!
These are 6 ways that you can tweak the copy on your online boutique today, but it doesn’t end there! Test each change to make sure your sales are going in the right direction by noting where your analytics are today vs where they are in a few weeks’ time.
Once you find what works, you’ll be a revenue-driving, copywriting master in no time!
For a more in-depth look at writing copy that gets people excited about your online store, check out How To Write Brilliant Product Descriptions That Sell