The product featured at the top of this post has serious corporate backing and considerable exposure. It is a brand most all of us know. (And I happen to like). It represents what is least effective because it does not call you to action. To explain why, this article I am writing points out the differences between traditional marketing prior to the web and the new approaches taken when one moves into eCommerce on the web. This is based on an extensive article, written by quite the expert, Avinash Kaushik. His article covered a wide range of territory unique to the web environment.
Of most interest to me was Kaushik’s examination of the actual images and words used to woo you as various objects are displayed and described. He provides examples of how very dulling to the senses are long lists of technical features that do not explain why they are useful to the potential user of a product. For instance, to note advantages of a thumb drive (which is also referred to as a memory stick) the text might read: this thumb drive is 16BG. Now if you are not a computer person, what the heck does that mean? It is smarter to say, with this little gadget you can hold literally hundreds and hundreds of pics coming out of your camera for two years And no need to be so stuffy. Write casual!
Take a close look at the ad positioned at the top of this blog. It’s definitely colorful, but notice that there is no “copy” to explain why this is so delicious. Yes, the ingredients are listed but this cold clinical approach to the taste test leaves my taste buds un-appetized. In contrast, see this next item for a product called “innocent”. The copy for this product uses words that describe how this product makes you feel and who might like it! And it uses words that are fun, not formal or subject to a detailed analysis of its food worthiness. Just looking at the different captions under each tub of yum makes me want to be swept away to some exotic place while filling my tummy in a simple smooth experience. Will I buy it, you bet ‘cha!
As a web designer and writer of copy, I plan to keep these principles in mind when I help folks build eCommerce sites. For those of you interested in this kind of viewpoint, and clever inspection of what might work and might not, take a look at this informative and useful piece by Kaushik He has great insight into how marketing works in the ever evolving world of digital communications.