The Original Content Manifesto, Part VI

The Original Content Manifesto, Part VI

So far with this series, we have looked at using original text in various locations throughout an Associate-O-Matic site in order to keep customers engaged and interested enough to stay on the page. The more involved they are with the page contents, the more likely they are to search the site and/or select items to purchase. Now, paradoxically, we want to create and position text on the page that will encourage customers to leave a page, and the faster, the better.

We are talking of course, about the Shopping Cart page (only available on the 30-day Trial and paid Full versions of AOM). From the Shopping Cart tab of your AOM control panel, there are two boxes for custom text:

Shopping Cart Instructions Boxes

Like any custom box, you can add text, HTML, etc. and the contents will display above the cart items (Shopping Cart Instructions), or below the cart items (Shopping Cart Instructions2).

The function of this page is to show what items have been added to the built-in cart, which provides a tighter integration between your store and Amazon.

Example of a non-empty cart

Once items have been added to the cart, the focus shifts to getting the customer to click the all-important Checkout button, where they are taken to Amazon, hopefully to complete the purchase.

What do you want when a customer reaches this point? The most important thing is that you don’t want them to be distracted. Banner ads or links to external sites are generally not a good idea to display on this page. These can confuse some shoppers, and lead them away from sending the cart contents to Amazon. Likewise, any custom boxes you may set up with interesting information regarding the site or the products can be irrelevant at this stage; you want to limit the choices available, and entice the customer to go to Amazon and (hopefully) complete the sale.

The question then becomes, why would the customer want to do that? How could they be persuaded to click the Checkout button? What does the customer want from the site to convince them that it’s a good idea to do so?

And the answer is, the customer wants reassurance. Just as they wanted someone to talk them into putting items into the cart in the first place, now you need to let them know that checking out is a good idea. Not just good, but a safe, pleasant and even satisfying idea. You need to create text that tells the customer:

  • To complete and pay for their purchase, they need to click on the Checkout button.
  • When they click on the button, they will be guided to make their payment. It won’t happen by just clicking on the button.
  • Their payment details will be handled safely and securely.
  • They will have the chance to review the order before it’s finalized.
  • You thank them for their business, and appreciate their shopping at your site.

Remember that while you may know what happens when someone checks out from your site to Amazon, most people who visit your AOM store will have no idea; Will the store somehow magically extract funds from their bank without their consent? Will they just get a receipt without having furnished a shipping address? Will items they didn’t order be snuck into the cart? These concepts might seem humorous, even outlandish, but many shoppers are not particularly computer-savvy. You don’t want a potential sale to be lost because the shopper got cold feet and abandoned the cart before going to Amazon. It does happen for a variety of reasons, but you don’t have to stand by and let the revenue slip between your fingers by doing nothing.

Some store owners will include images along with the text that reinforce the idea of a secure shopping environment. Locks are common; A display of credit cards Amazon accepts is another recurring graphic. Perhaps you can come up with other ideas that can subconsciously echo your text. Compare the basic finished layout below with the version shown above, without text and/or images. Which one strikes you as better? More secure? Friendlier?

Full Cart with Text

So if you can reassure the customer that nothing bad will happen when they click on that button, they will be more likely to do just that. Of course, once they arrive at Amazon, there’s nothing more you can do to influence them. But every time you safely deliver one across the threshold, you’ve increased your chances of booking a completed sale.



We’ve now taken the concept of writing original text from the initial impressions of the home page, through categories and specific items, and now the shopping cart page, hopefully sending our customer off to Amazon and payment. Along the way we’ve seen where text can be added, how to summarize information and rewrite it in your own words, and what kind of information or instruction you’ve needed to give to visitors to your store (welcoming, informative, instructional, reassuring, etc.).

Next month, we close out the series with an overview of creative writing in general; it’s easy to grasp where the text should be, and what it should say, but the actual writing is always going to be the biggest hurdle to many people. We’ve touched upon it many times over these six articles, but now let’s focus solely on the writing aspect, without worrying about which box location to put it in.

Part VII

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