Phrases to Avoid in E-Commerce Writing

Posted: January 10th, 2014, 4:22 pm   By: brittany.corners

The ability to write good descriptions for products is an integral part of writing e-commerce pieces for CrowdSource. While there is much more to creating excellent copy than choosing your words carefully, it is a great place to start. Many words and phrases are overused, inappropriate or fluffy. Keep your e-commerce writing free of the following, and you are sure to produce stronger and more engaging content with substance.

“For many years to come”

While this phrase is not really incorrect, it is overused. Instead, try writing phrases that are specific to the product’s durability. For example, if you are writing about outside garbage cans, you could write the following: “These rugged garbage cans withstand the elements and stay sturdy through years of curbside use.”

“The best available on the market today”

While the product about which you are writing might favor consideration as the best available, in most cases, it is not. This does not mean it is not a quality product. However, whether something is “the best” is subjective, depending on who is making the consideration. Product descriptions cover high-end products, low-end products and those in the middle; in addition, sometimes you are writing descriptions for a more obscure brand. Avoid this phrase to ensure you are not making false claims. Using “today” in general is also unnecessary and fluffy – by writing in the present tense, “today” is implied.

“Leads the industry”

The reasoning behind avoiding this phrase is similar to that of the previous one; the brand that makes the product might enjoy consideration of “leading the industry,” but most likely, it does not. Instead, if you are set on using this phrase, you could write that the brand is ONE of the leaders in the industry – if that is backed up through your research. However, it is generally best to avoid this phrase altogether to avoid writing inaccurate or misleading information.

“Get yours here today”

This phrase adds nothing of value. “Today” is implied through writing in the present tense, and “get yours here” is very generic. Instead, if you were writing about children’s bedding, try writing something like this: “Browse this collection for quality bedding that sparks your child’s imagination with fun, colorful choices that include favorite fictional characters.” This statement is much more specific and does not easily apply to another keyword.

“The next time you are in the market for”

Those reading your content are most likely “in the market for” the product at that particular time, so avoid this phrase. It adds no value to your content. If you really feel the need to use the phrase, write “if you are in the market for” instead. Something more specific is always a better option, though. For example, if you were writing about purses, this sentence is much more engaging: “If you are looking for a stylish purse that looks as great as you do, browse this collection of versatile styles and colors for an accessory that makes a statement. “

“Go to your local [insert store name or type]”

Never forget that e-commerce is for online sales. You never want to suggest or encourage a reader to visit a local store to make the purchase. The purpose of your writing is to make a reader want to purchase from the site on which your content is displayed.

“Great”’ and other overused, generic adjectives without backup

Adjectives are necessary when writing e-commerce; however, overusing generic adjectives, such as great, excellent, perfect, high quality and many others, hurts your content rather than helps it. You should never use the same adjective more than once, especially in a 100-word paragraph. Also, look to use more descriptive adjectives that add value to your words. For example, instead of writing “these great purses are a great addition to your wardrobe accessories, try writing something like “these designer purses make a versatile addition to your wardrobe accessories.”

URLs of any type (unless specifically requested)

Never, ever include URLs to where products are sold. The content you are writing is for a specific site, so anyone reading it is already visiting the “right” site to make a purchase.

The phrases/words and suggestions outlined here are just some of the overused, inappropriate phrases used in writing e-commerce pieces. Keep in mind you want to write content that engages and is accurate, not content that can apply to any other product. The best way to avoid fluff is to ask yourself if you can insert a different keyword and have the information still make sense; if the answer is yes, what you wrote is most likely fluff.

Learning from and following the information and suggestions contained within this post is sure to help you write engaging, relevant and quality content that does what e-commerce writing is supposed to do – sell products for the client for whom the content is generated.