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Online Shoppers Ask for More Detailed Copywriting

February 14, 2007

by Karon Thackston C 2007, All Rights Reserved

 

I found out quite by chance.  I noticed a research brief in my inbox
entitled, “Bad Web Experience Impacts Brick and Mortar Shopping.”  Being
primarily focused on Internet business, I really didn’t pay it much
attention.  But then I noticed it made reference to a customer’s online
experience, too, so I read on.

 

Allurent, Inc. gave the following details from their Online Customer
Experience Survey.  A total of 82% of consumers who participated said having
a frustrating online shopping experience would make them less likely to
revisit a retailer’s site.  That’s expected.  The survey continued by saying
if the experience improved, visitors would be open to buying more from the
offending sites.  Logical.  But what does this have to do with copywriting?
It’s what I read next that caught my attention.

 

According to respondents, visitors want specific “interactive and engaging
features” when they shop online.  One of those “engaging features” included
better copywriting.  Specifically, “68% want the ability to ‘feel’
merchandise through better imagery, more product descriptions and details.”

Just exactly how do we accomplish that?  It’s really not difficult.

 

Use More Descriptive Adjectives

 

Break out your thesaurus and find words that impress, inspire and convince
your customers more effectively.  Look at the examples below to see what I
mean.

=======


Before


=======

Great Top for Hot Summer Days

 

When it’s hot outside, this top will help keep you cool. Made of cool nylon,
you’ll love how it stops moisture. Available in four pastel colors.

=======


After


=======

Perfect Tank Top for Hot Summer Days

When the temperatures are steamy outside, this tank will help keep you
remarkably cool. Made of breathable 100% nylon, you’ll love how it sheds
moisture. Available in four spring-fresh colors.

============================

 

See the difference?  The latter paints a more vivid picture of the tank top
than the former.  It also gives more detail.  It’s not a nylon blend, it’s
100% nylon.  They aren’t just any colors, they are spring-fresh colors.

 

Create a Sensory Experience

 

Site visitors are looking for an experience as close as possible to standing
in the brick and mortar store.  That means you have to create copy that
plays on all five senses to bring the products to life.

 

See if this example makes you hungry:

 

============================
Definitely NOT Grandma’s cinnamon rolls! Bake them fresh right in your own
oven. As the aroma begins to waft through the air, your nose will start to
tingle and you’ll immediately know they are worth the wait. The scents of
freshly ground cinnamon and yeast begin to merge as the dough rises and the
cinnamon, sugar and butter begin to bubble. Open your oven door to reveal
one of the largest sweets you’ve ever seen. Drizzle the homemade frosting
over the top to complete your warm, gooey treasure. Your taste buds will
praise you with every bite!

============================

 

Do you notice the detail?  With the exception of hearing, all five senses
were addressed here.  Smell the aroma. See the largest cinnamon roll you’ve
ever seen.  Taste the gooey treat.  And the description of warmth brings in
the sense of touch.

 

Rather go on vacation than eat sweets?  How about this?

 

===========================
As your day begins, enjoy a gourmet breakfast prepared by your own private
staff — at your disposal 24 hours a day. A gorgeous view overlooking your
own crystal-blue freshwater pool welcomes you to another exciting adventure
in Hawaii. A morning stroll along your private, white-sand beach is the
perfect way to welcome the day. A fun-filled outing can consist of splashing
in the surf, sunning on the beach or napping in an authentic hand-woven
hammock that cuddles every curve of your body. At the end of the day, you’ll
have sun-kissed shoulders, a glowing bronze tan and a phenomenal appetite!
Unwind poolside at the gazebo as you prepare for a world-class dinner that
rivals any five-star restaurant. Refreshing after-dinner cocktails are
especially enjoyable when sipped on the terrace as nature provides an
amazing display of sunsets and a soft, caressing breeze you won’t soon
forget.

============================

 

Now, isn’t that better than:

 

============================

Rent our two-bedroom condo right on the beach!  You’ll have a private staff
to meet all your needs.  Pool, hammock and gazebo are on site.  Gourmet chef
will cook all your meals to order.  This is the best vacation house you’ve
ever seen!

============================

 

The next time you begin to write copy, think about every aspect of the
product.  How can you entice the visitor?  How can you help him or her
touch, smell, see, taste or hear what you have to offer?  The more real you
make the experience, the better your conversions will be!

 

Karon Thackston

 

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