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5 creative ways to update the copy for your products that you can finally implement in an automated way

Reading Time 4 mins | October 30, 2023 | Written by: Heike Hoppmann

Product copy is never really 'finished' as long as the corresponding product is still in the range - at least if the quality of the product descriptions is important to you. The timeliness of product copy is a key determinant of its relevance.

A smart updating strategy creates a significant competitive advantage
With a comprehensive update strategy, you can not only raise the quality of your product descriptions to a new level, but also create unique added value for your customers. This added benefit sets you apart from your competitors and gives your online store a competitive edge.

Many important factors in the purchase decision are constantly changing.

It is not just a matter of updating outdated data, but also of providing product descriptions that cover as many aspects of the decision-making process as possible. When you consider this, it quickly becomes clear how many areas are subject to potential change: Starting with the product itself, through the range of products on offer, pricing, different distribution channels and changing customer values. All of these factors should be considered as triggers for updating product copy.

Content automation opens up new scope for updating

Understandably, manual content creation often seeks pragmatic solutions to outdated information, usually due to a lack of resources to revise large volumes of product copy. The introduction of data to text automation however, opens up new possibilities:
Product data is automatically updated no matter what. You no longer have to do the work.
Planned or anticipated changes can be incorporated during project creation. They can then be triggered either manually or by pre-defined triggers.
Changes (even unexpected ones) can be made in one central point that affects many product descriptions. You don't have to change countless product texts. One correction in the project is enough.

And, of course, there is an indirect benefit to automated content creation, as the resources freed up by automation can be used to make important adjustments.

Here are five suggestions for update events that may not have been on your radar…

… but that can make a significant difference to your product descriptions and the perception of your online shop.

#1 Highlighting product improvements

This is actually the classic way to update the copy for a product: The manufacturer now delivers the product with a small improvement. This could be an improvement in the material composition of a garment, an increase in battery performance for a range of laptops, or more expensive brake parts for a manufacturer's bicycles.
These are positive reasons for an update, even if they are often not implemented: If you are writing the product descriptions by hand, you might want to correct the feature overview or the material specifications for minor changes; there will probably not be enough time to revise the product text.
As a result, such product enhancements fall by the wayside instead of being presented to the customer as interesting product details that help them make a purchase decision. What has been improved? How does it affect the functionality of the product? Does it fit me better now? The juxtaposition of new and old can provide a particularly interesting perspective on the product.

#2 Seasonal adjustment (with a twist)

In e-commerce, a lot changes with the seasons. But here's the thing: seasonal adjustment doesn't have to mean prominently displaying barbecue accessories in the summer or adding a Halloween decor category to your online shop in October.
Even non-seasonal products, such as a frying pan, can have very different uses depending on the time of year. Perfect for crispy croutons in the summer, ideal for Austrian pancakes in the winter. The trick is to write product descriptions that reflect your customers' everyday reality. Not only does this increase relevance, but it also ensures the perfect match between product and need - every season of the year.

#3 Price changes

The price of a product is a good selling point. The impact of the price goes beyond the customer's desire for a good deal. It also serves as a guide for judging the quality of similar products. Take, for example, the wetsuit for surfers, which at €300 is in the mid-price range. This price not only signals a certain standard, but also indicates a certain level of quality. In the product description, details such as the workmanship of the zip, the thickness of the material and the lining play a decisive role. A term such as 'blindstitch seams' does not need to be emphasised; in this price segment they are a matter of course.
But here's the interesting point: when the price of a wetsuit drops significantly, certain details, such as the type of stitching, suddenly become a unique selling point in the new price range. In this case 'blindstitch seams' become a new USP. A simple "good all-rounder" becomes a "value for money winner" at the lower price point.

#4 Reasons for returning

A key function of well-written product copy is to ensure that customers receive exactly what they expect and do not have to return the products they have ordered. Return reasons are a valuable source of information for improving or updating your product copy. Filling in missing information, such as compatibility with certain electronic devices, is critical. Similarly, notes on fit or clarification of material properties can prevent future returns by enabling customers to make decisions based on the criteria that are important to them. This not only increases customer satisfaction, but also minimises the return rate.

You can integrate returns analysis directly into your workflow: For example, if several garments from a particular manufacturer or type are returned with the comments "too big" or "does not fit", this triggers a task to revise the associated copywriting project. Often small changes are sufficient and can be implemented quickly.

#5 Changing customer values

Political and social changes influence customer values and therefore purchase decisions. These changes tend to be slow and often difficult to read - but there are events that bring about rapid change. In particular, we have recently observed changes in customer values in relation to energy, climate and technological progress, which should be reflected in product descriptions. There are more demands on a product's environmental compatibility, energy consumption or longevity that may not have been observed a few months ago. If you are able to observe and respond to this, you will improve both the basis for the purchase decision and customer loyalty.

Heike Hoppmann

Heike Hoppmann believes in the power of words. The use of words can be creative, but above all it must be purposeful. Writing is not an end in itself. As a mentor and coach for editorial management and digital transformation processes, she has successfully conveyed this idea to many online editors. And today it is the guiding principle of her work as PR Manager at AX Semantics GmbH.