How to not ruin fall fashion with bad eCommerce copywriting.
Autumn is an incredible time for fashion. After an entire season where near-nudity is the only viable sartorial option in much of the Northern hemisphere, we get to return to dressing ourselves richly, in jackets and boots, velvets and wraps. Knitwear for days. It’s all so supportive and nurturing. Fall feels can translate to major sales opportunities for brands and retailers, some of whom get a bit carried away with autumn imagery. Not naming names, but in August, our inboxes are a constant source of eye rolls and smh’s, especially since it’s still so hot out and most of us are not planning to attend a single backyard bonfire in the next three months. These are the fall fashion copywriting clichés to avoid if you don’t want your customers to get sick of the season before it even starts.
FALL FOR FALL
Honestly, it would be better if you wrote nothing. Give us “Fall Collection.” Give us a boring eComm image with no caption. Just please don’t insult our level of life experience by expecting us to think your copywriter is clever because he figured out the word “fall” has more than one meaning. So does “leaves.” And this is us, “leaving” your web site. Sure, fashion can be romantic and hypnotic, but no one is “falling for” your new knitwear line.
In agriculture, fall is associated with harvest. Apples are prominent among the bounty and Trader Joe’s will surely have a nice display of ciders and the spices you can use to mull them up for a Halloween party or whatever. What this has to do with our need for a velvet jumpsuit that goes seamlessly from the office to a cocktail party, we do not know.
It’s true that, save for a few mid-July storms, summer is not a snuggly season. And now, we’re going to get chillier days when we will need to put more clothing on our bodies and spend more time cuddled up in our warm beds. What’s tired though is this word.
Back to school is a huge part of fall fashion, a shopping surge second only to holiday (or maybe Prime Day). Of course you need your customers to make the association between fall shopping and impressing their friends come September. Just don’t say things like “school daze” and “get schooled,” because you will sound like a dorky teacher/Beastie Boy.
There was exactly one moment in 2013 when this phrase was a semi-cool move for fashion copy. We say semi- because The Neighbourhood was never a cool band, despite all their black and white publicity photos. And anyway, that was half a decade ago. You can stop already.
THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKING
Boots are a bust-out for fall, and buying them is the most effective way to soothe the exquisite pain of saying farewell to summer. It’s also the easiest way to justify a full-price splurge upwards of $350, provided they’re cool and Italian enough. So, why in the name of the goddesses of style would you slap the most obvious song title ever on your category page and desecrate this sacred shopping ritual? Indeed, the modern pop canon is a deep fount of inspiration for fashion copy, but you need to dig a little deeper to get your hands on our credit cards. For fall, try “September Gurls” by Big Star, “We Are Going To Be Friends” by the White Stripes or “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young.
The mother of all corny fall clichés. Don’t make puns about them and their changing colors or crunching sounds. Actually, don’t mention them at all. And no, we’re not going to spend good money on a new outfit to go rolling around in them, no matter how cute your models look doing that.