Monday, 28 June 2010

Web Hints - The Importance of good Product Copy

chris black and white for blog It’s an unequivocal fact that the better your general and product copy, the more likely you are going to be to get a customer to buy. How this isn’t obvious to some retailers completely stuns me. But it isn’t.

It seems to be a tough message to get out there that there are no short cuts to be had in this or pretty well any other area of your site if what you’re trying to do is sell product with any success. I review websites constantly, and try (and sometimes fail) to come across as being polite when I find typos, bad grammar, limited information and what basically boils down to lazy copy. Sorry if you’re trying to sell hundreds of different products, but you need to establish a consistent, friendly, informative and accurate format and stick to it with every single item.

Some retailers try and write too much, which can also have the adverse effect of sending a prospective customer scurrying away to another retailer, drowning in an overflow of words.

Once a customer has been tempted by firstly your home page and secondly by easily navigating through to a product they’re interested in, usually via a pic, and hopefully with a zoom facility (and don’t get me on that subject) they will want some more info.

This is what they expect, and what it most likely to tempt them to buy:

1) Friendly, brief and informative descriptive text
2) Sizing information (or dimensions, depending on the product)
3) Fabric information (or ingredients, construction, fabrication etc)
4) Any relevant further detail.
5) Knowledge that they can speak to someone if they need to ask for help

Inevitably one of the best examples of ‘how to get all of this right’ and a role model for selling pretty well anything online is www.netaporter.com. Here you have some inviting ‘Editor’s Notes’ to draw you in. The you can click through to the ‘Details’ where all the fabric information resides plus things like ‘exaggerated shoulders’ and ‘concealed zip fastening’. Then you can click to ‘Size and Fit’ and all three mini pages have the invitation to email their style advisors plus the product code.

netaporter dress

Now you may well say to me that Netaporter have spent a fortune on their site, which they undoubtedly have, but that’s not the point. The point is, that through trial and error (probably) they have established a formula which works, and which you should analyse and follow in as much as you can, whether on a single product page or more.

Yesterday I writing about ‘Summer Pearls’ for GlamourSleuth (to be published on Wednesday along with a special offer at thesiteguide.com). I came across some of the worst designed websites I have seen for a long time – dreadful pictures – hopeless copy – totally out of date design. Why the people running these websites think they will work totally beats me. Come to me please………I can really, really help you, I promise………….