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Hearts and Minds: Boost E-Commerce Conversions With Storytelling

E‑commerce

Ed Maule

25th May 2018

Hearts and Minds: Boost E-Commerce Conversions With Storytelling ‘Storytelling’ has the ring of another marketing buzzword to it. But there’s a reason it’s proving so popular.
‘Storytelling’ has the ring of another marketing buzzword to it. But there’s a reason it’s proving so popular. Engaging consumers’ emotions has long been an effective trend for boosting E-Commerce conversions and driving online sales. Even if it’s less revolutionary than some might claim...

Hearts and Minds: Boost E-Commerce Conversions With Storytelling

“Long before ‘behavioural economics’ had a name, marketers were using it. ‘Three 
for the price of two’ offers and extended-payment layaway plans became widespread 
because they worked—not because marketers had run scientific studies.”

(Ned Welch, McKinsey)

Chances are, your online retail team are using emotional strategies every day. Growing your business using these triggers is less learning something new, and more about getting smarter with the approach you already have. 

The fastest way to do that? 

Tell a story. 

Stories are part and parcel of everyday life—we’re hardwired to engage with them. Done right, storytelling gives consumers a whole new reason to choose your brand. 

Consumers are willing to pay 11% more for a painting when its product page includes the artist’s story (eConsultancy, research from Origin). And they’ll pay 5% extra for a hotel room when the page uses the story of a real guest’s experience. 

An intimate, compelling story gives consumers a reason to choose your brand and products—a potent point of difference over the global giants of E-Commerce. 

Boosting online conversions and outsmarting E-Commerce pioneers means harnessing the power of storytelling, and winning consumers’ hearts and minds. Here’s how… 

DEFINE YOUR STRATEGIC SPIN 

In other words, get your brand story straight. 

If your busines can't clearly define who the brand is and what it stands for, then your consumers have zero change.

Everything with your brand’s name on needs to help create a captivating narrative. Focus on articulating your company’s story and define what makes you different—what makes your business worthy of consumers’ loyalty and attention. 

Once you’ve found that angle, it’s time to tell your story. Like any award winning raconteur, start by establishing a beginning, middle, and an end, then add some interest with conflicts, problems, and resolutions. 

Next, bring it to life with a human touch—anecdotes and examples, imagery, and your brand’s unique tone of voice. 

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EASY WIN IDEAS FOR YOUR BRAND STORY

Telling your brand story could be as simple as giving your ‘About Us’ page a makeover, adding information and creative designs that are attractive and memorable for consumers. 

For example, don’t just list your achievements in the last 5 years. Pull them together and write the page as a mission statement—an ambition consumers can connect with. 

A great story is more than just words. So push some creativity onto the page layout and present your brand story visually as well as verbally. 

Clear, simple styles like a timeline or infographic, enhance the effect of your brand story and help bring the key points to life. 

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A brand story sets the groundwork for a personal relationship with your consumers. Tapping into readers’ emotions when showcasing your brand, paints a positive, memorable picture about who you are and what you represent. 

It’s honest. It’s real. It’s accessible.

With your brand story in place, it’s time to spin a yarn about your products… 

Tapping into readers' emotions when showcasing your brand, paints a positive, memorable picture about who you are and what you represent.

PUSH YOUR PRODUCTS

Your ‘About Us’ and ‘Who We Are’ pages are there to set the scene. They establish who you are, what you do, how you do it, and where you’re going. Everything else your consumers see needs to feed in and support this identity. 

And that includes product pages. 

If your product pages are a world away from your brand story, they’re a world away from driving conversions. The story needs to be seamless, taking consumers on a journey from A to B; gaps along the way create friction and fragment your customer experience. 

A good product page is single minded about driving conversion, and storytelling hooks are the ideal way to convince consumers’ that they’re buying the right thing. 

Take Hiut Denim Co. The luxury jean retailer claim to focus on one thing, and one thing only: denim. 

Everything from Huit’s brand story to their blog content keeps up this tight focus, establishing the brand as denim specialists. They want to create the best version of one product, rather than an average version of lots of products. 

Their hook is honesty, and simplicity. Huit know their story and they stick to it. 

And their product pages each take the central story one step further. Alongside standard product information and size suggestions, each page is brought to life with the addition of the denim’s backstory. Consumers know where their denim was sourced, and the journey the brand went on to find it, and why that particular denim was chosen for that style and cut.

This subtle storytelling strategy means consumers have a whole host of reasons to buy products from Hiut, and to pay premium prices for them too. 

Get past the plain sales pitch or settling on just ‘handing over’ information, and you’ll see a transformation in the way consumers engage with your brand. 

BUILD RELATIONSHIPS AND DRIVE SALES

Boosting conversions and building meaningful relationships with consumers go hand in hand. And storytelling is at the heart of this combination. 

Without the means to connect and captivate people, there’s no way to make your brand stand out. Before consumers invest and ‘buy into’ your brand, they want to know who they are, what they do, how they do it, and where they’re going. 

A focus on storytelling is a potent way to make that happen.

Discover more about growing your business with storytelling and consumer emotions, alongside the full suite of E-Commerce growth strategies, in our free eBook Beyond the Hype: Four Fundamentals For Sustainable E-Commerce Growth.

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Ed Maule
Ed Maule

25th May 2018