storytelling to drive e-commerce sales

The Art of Storytelling to Drive E-Commerce Sales

This article would give you a good description of how to use good storytelling to drive e-commerce sales. 2016 was a year for the spike in the E-Commerce sector. Online sales spiked to $394.86 billion, a 15.6% increase compared with $341.70 billion in 2015.

This has been the highest growth since 2013 and E-Commerce is expected to grow exponentially by 2020. As more businesses and retailers acknowledge that the internet is where good sales happen now, competition is becoming fierce now on the internet.

Small and medium scale businesses are now looking at innovative ways to stand out from the crowd. The role of content marketing has been on the rise. From dynamic content personalization to the rise of video marketing, to shopping for key influencers. Content marketing has taken an aggressive role to rise of the above the clutters.

One way of cutting through the noise is to give your brand a good personality and engage in storytelling. Storytelling is not a new concept in marketing.

It has become the darling of social media marketing that professionals and content marketing gurus use over the past couple of years. Why? Because everyone loves a good story. It may be your corporate site, investor relations website or E-Commerce website. You can tell a good story to engage with your target audience. So how can E-Commerce websites leverage storytelling? 

1. Watch the F-pattern

f-shaped reading pattern

Research has shown us that website visitors scan a web page typically in an F-pattern to look for the best parts. Customers begin by glancing at the top navigation and top fold of the page and then by looking down to the side. As soon as they find anything of interest they start to read the text completing an F-pattern of sorts.

Webmasters and content marketing teams should format the text on the webpage such that the titles and hooks fall in the F-pattern. The first two sections should contain attractive keywords that communicate good and compelling ideas. By following visual psychology of reading and aligning your content design, you increase the readability of your web pages, comprehension, and appeal.

2. Storytelling on the Homepage

It can be tempting to cover your home page with product and merchandise information and marketing pitches. But some of the best e-commerce websites take a simple visual or video to hook the audience and then draw them in. Homepages with single, unique and compelling stories ( it may be in visual or text format) tend to make a good impression to customers.

For example, the home page of Le Creuset. The website is a premium French cookware manufacturer celebrated for its colorful enameled cast iron cookware “French ovens”, known as “casseroles” or “Dutch ovens”. Their e-commerce site is built with Magento and opens with good evocative visuals of their bakeware with their 90th-anniversary logo and their iconic flame orange enameled ovens.

Their home page has all the effective visualization, storytelling, nostalgia and good opportunity for visitors to share their favorite colorful Le Creuset cooking stories with a link to a website specifically created for the 90th-anniversary milestone.

The experience is very immersive and engaging, drawing visitors to check out both the products and also the “90 YEARS OF LE CREUSET” website.

Not all e-commerce websites would have a significant history but all businesses should have good stories to share. Content marketers should use the visual elements of their website to encourage visitor participation and speak to the readers and create a unique voice through vocabulary and sentence structure.

3. Storytelling on the About Us page

Marketers may have some reservations about making bold statements on the home page or using storytelling tactics up front. In that case, the About Us page is a good opportunity to be creative and share your vision and be conservative also.

New brands and startups should pay close attention to this page of their website. For skeptical first-time customers, the About Us page is the only place to find out what the brand is about, who they intend to reach and how they intend to communicate with customers.

Analytics has shown that the About page of a website is one of the most visited pages on a website. Because of the high traffic volume, it can be a good avenue for a high conversion potential, so your About Us page should tell an immersive story using a classic narrative element of the origin of the brand, the objectives, pain points, and a takeaway message.

4. Storytelling on the product landing page

The product pages should serve the purpose of what they are meant for. That is to sell a merchandise or product. But many times, the product is usually much more than a piece of inventory.

You have to strategize and come up with interesting stories behind some of your unique products, how you came about their sourcing, craftsmanship or the communities they support.  For example, read the story of how ahalife grew 600 percent by telling the story behind each of its unique products.

5. Spreading tales on social media

You would have to leverage and use every opportunity to share your unique product and service stories not just only on your e-commerce website blog but also on social channels like Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, Pinterest where the medium is conducive for narration and you have an active audience. The power of an integrated storytelling approach can, in fact, make a big difference to your brand’s success.

And finally

The human brain is wired in such a way to activate the sensory and motor neurons when they hear a story in any format. So when customers read your stories, the stories have an emotional connection and these emotions become encoded in the memory of customers.

Storytelling is a very powerful tool for marketing and branding and with the right CMS platform, you can optimize the techniques. Many expert developers have good experience in creating such rich and informative user journeys on e-commerce websites.  

Consult a professional e-commerce development agency to find out how to share your unique tale. Do you have ideas on incorporating storytelling practice online? We would like to know your ideas in the comments section below.


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