Today’s consumers have a lot of choices every time they want to make a purchase. Whether they’re in the market for a new TV, a new outfit, or a piece of furniture, they’re confronted with a sea of options. Having so many choices before them can make choosing the right product a challenge. Depending on the type of customer, the variety of options available might be enough to completely overwhelm them so that they ultimately decide to buy nothing. Ecommerce writing helps to take some of the confusion and complexity out of making a purchasing decision. And buyers’ guides break down the options out there for customers, and help them see which option best meets their needs and works with their lives.
Ecommerce writing is particularly important. It fills a void left when the brick-and-mortar shopping experience is taken out of the equation. An online shopper might not get to touch and see an item up close and personal. They might not even get the knowledgeable advice and assistance of a salesperson. But ecommerce writing, especially in a buyers’ guide, gives online shoppers the next best thing.
What is Ecommerce Writing in a Buyers’ Guide?
What goes into Ecommerce Writing? How about a buyers’ guide? The answer is anything that will help a shopper make an informed decision about an online purchase.
Ecommerce Writing features you might find in a buyers’ guide:
Comparison between products.
Why would a customer choose Product A over Product B? Buyers’ guides often include a breakdown of the differences between various products, such as the pros and cons of each.
List of features and complete description of them.
When drafting ecommerce writing, understand a shopper doesn’t get to feel or see the item up close. A buyer’s guide should have a detailed description of all the potential features of a product (size options, materials, and so on), as well as a description of what those particular features mean.
Instructions for using/caring for the product.
Buying a product is just the beginning. A shopper should also know what to do with it once it arrives. Does the item have particular care instructions (for example, if it’s clothing or another textile, can it go in the dryer? Does it need to be dry-cleaned?) How should someone treat the product to prolong its life? Your ecommerce writing should answer all these questions.
Who the product is designed for.
Who is the intended audience for the product? You can look at demographic data for this, as well as at experience level. For example, some tech devices’ ecommerce writing describes them as “entry level,” meaning they are ideal for people who might not be particularly tech-savvy, or who might not care that their new smartphone or tablet doesn’t have all the bells and whistles offered by a more expensive, higher-end model.
The Benefits of Ecommerce Writing for Buyers’ Guides
Writing buyers’ guides for ecommerce has several benefits, both for your brand and the customers you’re trying to reach.
A few ecommerce writing benefits include:
Improving a customer’s opinion of your brand.
One of the most important rules to remember when doing any type of content marketing is to make sure that the content you create serves a purpose and meets a need. An effective buyers’ guide does just that — it helps a customer make an informed decision. By providing support and assistance to your customers through buyers’ guides, you’re likely to improve how they perceive your brand.
Guide a customer through the decision-making process.
You want a customer to buy the product that’s right for them. The odds are good that they want to do the same thing. With a buyers’ guide, shoppers can easily see what will work and what won’t, so that they can make smart choices.
Increase your leads.
Another benefit of ecommerce writing for buyers’ guides is that they help increase leads and conversions. Leads can increase by creating buyers’ guides that are gated. To access them, a shopper provides you with an email address or signs up for a newsletter. Another option is to include links to relevant products within the guide, so that people can easily navigate over to and buy the items they’re searching for.
Samples of Stand-Out Buyers’ Guides
Now that you’ve got a sense of what should go into a buyers’ guide, and the benefits of creating one, it can be helpful to look at a few guides created by other brands. Looking at sample guides can help you see what’s effective and what’s not when you’re creating your own buyers’ guides.
Overstock – Cookware guide.
Buying cookware is a lot more complicated than it might seem on the surface. There’s more to it than picking out a pan or two. Buyers have to consider the material of the cookware and the size of the products. Cost also comes into play, as some materials are way more expensive than others.
Overstock’s cookware guide breaks down the more popular material types, giving the reader a list of pros and cons of each type, as well as a general overview of the material. For example, copper cookware is expensive and tricky to care for, but it’s often built to last. Aluminum cookware is relatively affordable, but tends to wear out quickly.
The buying guide also has links to take shoppers directly to the product pages for each type of cookware material. To make it even easier for people to shop, links for several top-selling cookware items are along one side of the buyers’ guide.
Crate & Barrel: Essential Bedding Guide – Bedding 101.
There’s more to bedding than just picking out a color. Crate & Barrel’s bedding buyers’ guide breaks down things like thread count, fabric type, and mattress materials to help shoppers get a better night’s sleep. The one drawback of the buying guide is that it doesn’t include links to specific products.
JCPenney: Men’s Jeans Buying Guide.
Jeans might be one of the toughest types of clothing, but they are also one of the toughest types of clothing to buy. They come in different styles and sizes, so it’s tricky to figure out what will work for your specific body type and preferences.
JCPenney’s buying guide for jeans is pretty simple. It helps you understand fabric blends and quality, and gives pointers on choosing the right jeans fabric. Then, it breaks down the different types of fit available (straight leg, relaxed, etc.). Finally, it goes into some detail about different wash types. The guide is for people who are absolutely new to the jeans buying process and need some basic help.
How Ecommerce Writing Creates An Effective Buyers’ Guide
Now that you’ve looked at a few examples of notable buyers’ guides, you’re ready to take shot a writing your own.
Here’s what to remember for ecommerce writing:
Have a goal.
What do you want people to do after reading your guide? You’re most likely looking to convert people and have them make a purchase from your site. Knowing your goal will help you structure and create the rest of the buyers’ guide.
Know your audience.
You need to know who you’re addressing so that you can include information that’s relevant to them, and so that you make sure the tone of your guide is appropriate for your audience. For example, you don’t want to be too simplistic if you’re creating a guide for people with some knowledge of the product or category. On the other hand, you don’t want to get too technical if you’re writing a guide for absolute newbies.
The more detail you can include in the guide, the better. Don’t just talk about different types of materials. Explain the differences between materials, who they are better for, the pros and cons of them, and so on. The more information you can provide in a buyers’ guide, the more confident people will feel when they go to make a purchase.
Make the guide readable.
Include lots of images, bulleted lists, and subheadings to break up the text. You want a person to be able to skim the guide so that they can find the information that’s most important to them quickly.
Include a call to action and links.
After reading the guide, your customers should know what to do next. To create an experience that’s as frictionless as possible, include links to the products you mention in the guide, and a call to action to spur people to take the next step.
As with the rest of your content marketing, you don’t have to tackle writing buyers’ guides for ecommerce on your own. You can easily outsource the creation of the guides to skilled writers if you don’t want (or don’t have the resources) to create them in house.