How to Write an Ecommerce Listing That Converts with Emma Schermer Tamir [EP. 49]
Copy is your ecommerce brand’s most powerful device. When written effectively, copy can move people to action and impact your business in transformative ways. But how do you write compelling copy that converts?
Emma Schermer Tamir is the CEO and Co-founder of Marketing by Emma, an agency providing copywriting and listing optimization services for ecommerce businesses and Amazon sellers. We invited Emma to join us in this episode of The Opportunity Podcast to discuss how brands can create ecommerce listings that stand out from the ever-increasing crowd and establish long-lasting customer connections.
This episode is packed with helpful, actionable advice about writing copy that converts, creating more positive customer experiences, and how to avoid common ecommerce copy mistakes.
Listen to The Opportunity Podcast Episode #49
Topics Discussed in this episode:
- Why relationship development is key to writing for ecommerce brands
- The difference between writing Amazon listings vs. listings for other ecommerce brands
- How to write stand-out Amazon copy
- The common mistakes with ecommerce marketing copywriting
- Why there’s scope for small listings to compete against big brands – and how to do it
- How better copywriting can affect ROI
- 3 tips to help write a more effective listing
Why Outstanding Copy is Vital to a Successful Ecommerce Listing
When you search for a product on a site like Amazon, it’s likely you’ll get hundreds, if not thousands, of results from sellers. In many cases, sellers offer identical products, from identical suppliers, at a competitive price point. So how are customers expected to choose a seller?
Emma believes that how you market your product can help set your brand apart and create a more meaningful, individualized experience for the customer. In plain terms, this means using copy to optimize listings so that they have a tangible, positive impact on the customer and help your brand rise to the top of the pack.
How to Cultivate Long-term Gains Over Quick Wins
Emma has experience working for a range of companies, including software companies, fine dining businesses, start-ups, and, of course, ecommerce brands. The one style of marketing that she believes can create the biggest impact is “relationship development”.
While many ecommerce brands have a one-and-done mentality – aiming for high numbers of one-time sales – Emma suggests it’s more beneficial to cultivate something much deeper with your customers.
For example, if you have a fine dining establishment, you want people to come back, tell their friends, get excited when you host an event or share a new menu. Emma believes that ecommerce brands should aim to foster a similar relationship with their customers. She says it’s not just about getting people in the door, but making sure they stay, come back, and bring more people with them.
While she believes that many ecommerce businesses are waking up to this notion, those that sell exclusively through sites like Amazon often prefer quick wins over long-term gains.
“Companies that are selling on Amazon exclusively, or sort of newer Shopify businesses, are really just taking a very aggressive approach at just getting as much traffic as possible. They tend to have a shorter game approach in mind.”
How to Write Compelling Copy for Your Ecommerce Brand
With relationship development as your main goal, Emma says there are two things you need to bear in mind when writing copy for your ecommerce brand:
- How do I incorporate a strong sense of brand identity?
- And combine it with a clear idea of who my customers are?
Emma notes that if you’re spending a lot of money on customer acquisition, it’s incredibly valuable and worthwhile to think about how you can generate repeat business, increase cart value, and even turn your customers into fans. All of these are possible when you focus on building a relationship (rather than selling a product) and can lead to increased ROI overall.
Your copy plays a huge part in this because, according to Emma, it may be your only opportunity to speak directly to your customer. A product page or listing on a site like Amazon is perhaps the sole encounter a customer will have with your brand, so it’s vital that you use the tools at your disposal to maximize your impact. That’s your copy.
Emma suggests thinking about your copy as a tailored and meaningful pitch to your specific, ideal client. It shouldn’t be all sell, sell, sell, it should be more akin to a real conversation with your customer. Approaching your listing in this way gives you scope to connect with the emotional drivers behind why someone might want your product and generate better sales.
The Need-to-knows About Writing Amazon Listings
For Amazon listings specifically, Emma advises getting to grips with your competitors and how you fit into the Amazon landscape.
For Shopify stores, it’s slightly different. Potential customers may make that extra effort to search Google and compare your products to your competitor’s. But with Amazon, all your competition is right there. Search any phrase or keyword in Amazon, and you’ll be confronted with pages upon pages of products that are either identical or that solve a very similar problem.
Emma suggests understanding two things before writing your Amazon listing:
- Knowing how you fit into the Amazon ecosystem (who your direct competitors are)
- What makes you different
Emma believes that one of Amazon’s failings is that it doesn’t yet help customers compare products. Customers can be easily overwhelmed when faced with a wall of like-for-like products, making it a frustrating and stressful experience.
She sees many people playing in the “safe zone” aka, copying what the high performers do. This only exacerbates the problem, as not only do the products look identical, but the listings do too.
In this instance, potential customers are forced to make a decision based on other, non-brand-related factors, such as price, reviews, or whether they’ll even make a purchase on Amazon. Customers know that they have other options outside of Amazon, and when faced with too many similar products, they may decide to look elsewhere.
Emma says that writing an Amazon listing is about much more than just helping people choose your product over other brands, it’s about giving them confidence in where they’re buying from. If you’ve created a positive experience for them, they’ll be more likely to return to your brand and Amazon in general, which in turn helps your brand.
Why Successful Ecommerce Listings Embrace Individuality
It’s normal to have reservations about breaking the mold and focusing on your differences. You may be concerned about where you’ll rank – or if you’ll show up at all. But Emma believes this is short-term thinking.
Certain factors can help you climb to the top of listings, such as longevity on the platform or investing heavily in marketing and advertising. But these aren’t the only (or best ways) to achieve a more noticeable listing.
Emma advises taking a more long-term approach. She suggests carving out a unique niche for your product, so you’re not competing head-to-head as often. However, when the time comes, you’ll be in a much stronger position, as your brand will be able to communicate to a customer why you’re the best fit for them and the reasons behind it, as opposed to saying, “look, we’re $3 cheaper”.
“One of the really exciting things about copy and branding is that it’s a fantastic tool, when you may not be incredibly differentiated product-design-wise, it can still be something that you can use to set your business apart and to give customers something to grab onto that has deeper substance than something more arbitrary, like your price.”
How to Write Amazon Copy That Converts
Emma says that successful Amazon copy should be:
- Search engine optimized (specifically, balancing what works without keyword stuffing)
Finding what is unique about your product and what pain points it solves can help you achieve the first three points easily. For example, if you’re selling travel mugs, it might be difficult to compete with a generic product like “insulated tumblers”.
Being more precise about your product’s features and benefits allows you to write a listing that directly communicates how it can help solve your customer’s problem. Perhaps your tumbler fits a certain type of car model’s cup holder. So your more specific niche could be, “insulated tumblers for X car model”.
When your copy confidently and clearly shows a customer how it can fix their problem or make their life easier, it gets their attention. From there, you can start to build on that emotional connection and relationship.
Where Amazon Sellers Go Wrong – And Where You Can Get Ahead
One of the biggest issues Emma sees with Amazon listings is that companies are still leaning on analytics to drive one-time sales. This manifests as keyword stuffing. She encourages businesses to try and take a more creative approach – even if the thought is intimidating.
The second mistake is overwriting. Bullets, for example, should be used as simplified ways to provide easily graspable information. Customers should be able to quickly assess whether a product is right for them in just a few seconds after skimming this high-level information.
If potential customers need to work hard to find the information they want, it can scare them away. Emma’s advice is to be concise, clear, and unafraid of who you’re targeting. To do this effectively, Emma says you need to get really precise with the language you choose, and even potentially limit your reach, in order to convert more successful customers.
A big problem with the ease of buying through a site like Amazon, is that it’s also very easy to return a product. In many cases, a sale isn’t a success until it’s guaranteed that the buyer will keep the product. So you can’t always rely on the number of products sold as an indicator of how successful a listing is.
Emma’s advice is to write a listing that clearly shows what specific problems your product can help with, what the features are, and how it’s going to impact your customer’s life. While it might be scary to drill down into a specific niche and potentially repel buyers, it can have a much greater long-term impact.
This all comes back to Emma’s “relationship development” marketing style. Promising something and then delivering on it is a sure-fire way to create a positive customer experience and turn those one-time-buyers into lifelong fans.
To hear more from Emma, including her thoughts on establishing a powerful brand narrative, how humanizing your customer leads to better ROI, and why Trader Joe’s is a perfect example of marketing done right, scroll to the top of this page and hit play on the podcast player. Or subscribe and listen to The Opportunity Podcast on your chosen podcast app. It’s available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more.
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