Have you ever wondered why retailers selling the same type of products report different profit margins?
How come some manage to strike gold in their sector, while others get buried in massive debts and basically put themselves out of business in no time?
Maybe this type of outcome is linked only to the price-quality relationship of their merchandise.
Here’s the real truth: the core script and great copy behind it all.
What’s the Story with Unique Copy Tailored to the Needs of a Successful Retailer?
Unique and compelling copy is the pillar that supports the core of your online business and stops it from drowning in a sea of unremarkable products and services that nobody wants to invest in, which are represented by marketing messages that nobody ever remembers. A successful retailer knows how to highlight the uniqueness of his products and focus on their benefits, instead of boring his readers to death with features and technical specifications that the public doesn’t really know how to interpret. Online websites can’t offer prospects a direct contact with the product that they’re selling. To eliminate this drawback, they balance great copy with dynamic content in an attempt to help their users become familiar with the look and feel of the product that they are planning on buying. Seductive copy incites, raises questions and answers them punctually; it creates a sense of desire and makes prospects want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
Why Is It So Important to Invest in Above-Average Product Descriptions?
Stellar product descriptions are extremely important elements that help companies build trust and credibility, increase their client database and boost sales. What’s the first thing that crosses your mind, when you think about mediocre product descriptions? Naturally, you automatically project a technical terminology that is virtually impossible to decipher; then you throw in a bunch of random numbers and the picture is complete. After digging a little deeper, you could also envision a few lines of duplicate content “borrowed” from different other. The short paragraphs could also be stuffed with keywords and bring very little or no value to readers. Now that this little exercise of imagination has come to an end, we should tell you that this is not what a good product description is supposed to look like.
Some of the most reputable retailers already know that having exceptional, 100% original product descriptions conveying an important message that can actually be deciphered, assimilated and amplified by an audience is like having money in the bank. According to Smashing Magazine, first-hand product descriptions can help you boost your conversion rates by anywhere from 30% to 100%. Traffic increases are also associated with quality, compelling copy that manages to individualize whatever it is that you’re selling. Truth be told, finding and introducing the wow factor that makes your product memorable, unique and sellable could be a somewhat challenging task. But we are definitely not talking about a mission impossible.
5 Retailers That Kill Content Marketing
As a matter of fact, here are 5 well-known retailers whose success stories will convince you that a creative, buyer-oriented content marketing strategy is the key to flaunting deeper pockets.
1. Apple. Apple has a complex technique of seduction focused on great design, some of the coolest and desirable gadgets on the planet and a large community of brand evangelists that amplifies its marketing messages. But Apple’s world-class copy is perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle that ensures a fruitful, uninterrupted collaboration with its prospects and existing clients. Undoubtedly, Apple is the master of effective sales copy that never gets boring. What makes Apple’s content pieces so special in the first place? According to KissMetrics, Apple’s copywriters aren’t afraid to play with short sentences that start with “and” or “but.” These sentences either deliver a promise (And that’s just for starters.) or introduce an element of surprise: “It doesn’t seem possible. (…). But it is”. Apple has taught us several other important lessons that we should definitely revisit while working hard to craft memorable copy that actually sells.
Here are some basic Apple-approved copywriting principles that you should keep in mind at all times.
- Add a fair amount of technical details to boost credibility and reaffirm yourself as an expert in your field
- Use your great storytelling skills as a powerful copywriting tool to evoke deep emotions and reinforce your connection with our public
- Introduce your products as a solution to one of the most pressing problems experienced by your prospects on a day-to-day basis; for instance, Apple’s noise-canceling technology is presented as the best answer to issues related to elevated background noise. In this situation, you have to be familiar with the needs, demands and expectations of your audience and you should also know what kind of challenge each product feature can address.
(photo credit: Apple)
- The J Peterman Company. We all buy clothes with the same passion and determination, don’t we? When we don’t really have the time and energy required by a prolonged shopping spree, we take the easy way out and decide to buy the perfect dress or boyfriend jeans with just a few clicks. But this doesn’t mean that we are ready to settle for just any piece of clothing. We want to retrieve the perfect combination of fabrics, design and faultless client service. The J Peterman Company seems to have everything covered. Perhaps the best part is that this company also knows how to sum up all these aspects and make them a part of an enchanting story. Through its personalized copy, this company speaks with you, instead of speaking to you. Through the product description crafted for the dress suggestively entitled the “Million Mile Dress” J Peterman Company tells the story of a successful woman that most of its clients can relate to: a real lady who knows how to stay classy even when she has to pack lightly. “One trip, only one dress. This one.” The “Million Mile Dress” is everything a businesswoman could ever need to create a positive first impression wherever she may go. The compelling, on-point and extremely original copy surely makes us want to buy this dress in all available colors.
(photo credit: J Peterman Company)
- Appliances Online. Numerous online retailers put themselves out of business simply because they insist on the ludicrous idea that they have nothing (new) to say about their products. Come on, I mean, there are only so many things that you could say about a washing machine? After all, a washing machine is the handy appliance that you use to wash your laundry-end of story. To introduce the ones that you’re selling, you just have to bombard your prospects with a bunch of numbers and more or less relevant product details, right? Wrong! Appliances Online follows a different approach. The product description written for one of their washing machines is focused on the benefits that a buyer could experience after buying and using this item. Revolving around the concepts of energy-efficiency, time-efficiency and ultimate level of convenience, this type of copy makes you want to buy your own washing machine and ditch laundry services for good.
(photo credit: Appliances Online)
How could you possibly ignore a company that sends you an email with a subject line reading: “As You Wish!” Clearly, this intriguing and somewhat mysterious introduction raises your curiosity and makes you want to listen to what Uncommongoods (the author of this catchy email and a very successful retailer) has to say. According to HubSpot, Uncommongoods takes personalization to a whole new level, by replacing generic categories such as “women” and “men” with unique groups based on interests, such as “geeks”, “travelers” or “animal lovers.” Furthermore, this retailer offers a wide selection of gifts that can be customized based on their clients’ unique demands and uses a great variety of descriptive words to tell the compelling story of their merchandise. Each product description reflects a clean layout comprising three sections: in the first one you can discover the story of the product that you’re planning on buying; the second column delivers all the technical details, while the third section reveals interesting details related to the maker.
Photo credit: Uncommongoods
5. Old Spice. According to Business2Community, some of the most successful brands are the ones that have a deep, resonating voice. Old Spice is constantly rolling up marketing messages that its audience understands and can actually relate to. Their ingenious slogan “Smellcome to Manhood” proves that Old Spice is so much more than a “smell good” type of product that men can buy to feel good about themselves. A funny documentary film that went viral in no time proves that dynamic content can be more relevant than 1,000 words. This memorable video shows what happens when one of the most popular fragrances in the world becomes available in spray form and also indicates that original, compelling, user-oriented copy is the most powerful tool that a well-known brand can rely on to attract new fans and followers, boost online exposure and reach just about any other marketing goal that might be on its agenda.
(Photo credit: Old Spice)
5 Basic Principles of Stellar E-Commerce Copywriting
Can small businesses follow in the footsteps of huge retailers, hoping to achieve the same kind of goals? We’ll tell you this much: good copywriting is the magic wand that can make anything possible. Want to make your product more desirable? Would you like to reach a broader audience? Wish to keep your new line of products or services in the spotlight for the longest period of time with minimal expenses? Great copy is the simplest answer to all these challenges. Here’s the catch: in order to achieve excellent results, you have to factor in these basic principles.
- Less Is More. Long paragraphs and strings of numbers that don’t really say much about your product can be quite counterproductive. Avoid wordy phrases and try to stay relevant and concise while describing your goods.
- Leave Your Clichés at Home. Clichés are a major distraction that could actually stop your readers from grasping the real meaning of your copy. Moreover, clichés are also extremely cheesy and can hurt your image pretty badly; any professional content creator will tell you that flowery language will never have the power to stimulate a buying decision, so try to avoid unnecessary adornments and keep your copy simple and sophisticated at the same time.
- Use Active Voice and Make Yourself Understood. Active voice focused on the noun that is performing the action is always clear and compelling. “The battery in the 13-inch MacBook Pro lasts up to 10 hours (8-9 hours on the 15- an 17-inch models) on a single charge.” Stretching on only one line, this concise description delivers all the info that you should know about the MacBook Pro battery and accentuates the main benefit (a long battery life) that could encourage prospects to make a purchase.
- Don’t Exaggerate. Hypes won’t do you much good when it comes to crafting copy designed to build trust and convince your prospects that they actually need your products in your life. Exaggerations may make your goods more desirable, but only for a short period of time. On the other hand, they will most likely cost you trust and authenticity.
- Make Sure Your Copy Revolves around Cultural Sensitivity. There’s nothing more dangerous than a piece of content that can be interpreted in different ways by different cultures. In other words, all your content marketing strategies should be developed and implemented with the idea of cultural sensitivity in mind. This is a very valuable lesson that Pepsi had to learn the hard way. Its otherwise inspiring slogan: Come alive with the Pepsi generation got translated by its Chinese audience as “Pepsi brings back your ancestors from the grave.” This is perhaps one of the most hilarious examples showing how a marketing translation error can hurt the image of your brand. Unfortunately, Pepsi is not the sole company that recorded a failed attempt to promote a marketing message designed to reach a global audience. According to ClickZ, Clairol introduced its curling iron entitled “Mist Stick” on the German market. In this case, the problem is that in German “mist” is the slang term for “manure.” This major marketing mistake could be the main reason why Clairol’s “manure sticks” aren’t exactly top-selling items in Germany.
Can Great Copy Help You Consolidate Your Online Business?
The most inspiring success stories of giant retailers prove that original, creative and informative content with a real substance is the key element that ensures a much-needed competitive advantage in any field of activity. No matter how common your product actually is, there are thousands of ways in which it still differs from the ones introduced by your competitors. You just have to figure out what makes your goods stand out from the crowd and tell their one-of-a-kind stories through stellar copy written with your audience in mind. At the end of the day, being different always pays off, especially in a world where most of your competitors lose their own voice simply because they’re not bold or creative enough to explore their own uniqueness.
Feature photo credit: news.pg.com