Writing Short vs. Long: Which is Right?
When is it wise to write short vs. long? Depends on the merchandise you sell. Consider both approaches:
Short Copy Approach
When is the right time to use long copy vs. short? Let’s analyze Chico’s and two other multichannel apparel marketers, J. Jill and Talbots, and their use of short text.
Chicos’ short, arty, loose approach to dressing:
Fun Up Tanya Jacket
Embroidery and appliqué accent an artistic swirl pattern on this eye-catching denim jacket. Slash front pockets. Imported. 98% Cotton, 2% Spandex.
J. Jill’s simple, loose approach to dressing:
Beloved Denim Jacket
Feminine and flattering with waist-shaping details. Button-front placket. Curved flap pockets and on-seam pockets. Banded hem. 231⁄2˝ mid-hip length, 221⁄2˝ petite, 241⁄2˝ tall, 25˝ women’s. In ultra soft cotton infused with Lycra® spandex. Machine wash. Imported. $79
Talbots’ classic dressing with more extensive copy:
Striped denim jacket
The perfect go-to travel jacket that knows how to step out as well as hang out. Yarn-dyed, railroad stripes with contrast stitching, snap front, patch pockets, slit cuffs. Inset back belt and princess seams. Length from center back neck: misses 22˝; petite 211⁄4˝; woman 26˝; woman petite 241⁄2˝.
Cotton/spandex. Machine wash. Imported.
Pictures for these products are all similar in size and display of the product. So the thing that tells the story most clearly — and differentiates the catalogs — is the copy. With Chico’s, many shoppers would be hard-pressed to spend $138 on that jacket without touching it and learning more. So, based on that and Chico’s catalog’s continuous couponing approach, it’s safe to assume the catalog is primarily a retail driver.
Short-copy catalogs’ brief descriptions don’t reveal what their garments are really like. So retail presence is essential for customers who need to touch and feel a product in order to figure out what they need to purchase.