People love stories.

It’s why some stories originally told over a thousand years ago endure up to this day.

We’ve loved stories from an early age, back when we barely understood them.

Stories entertain. Stories inspire. Stories fuel the imagination.

Storytelling in Marketing

It’s no surprise that storytelling has become one of the most effective tools used in marketing.

Its ability to establish a deeper connection with consumers is unparalleled. Storytelling can humanize a brand and make it more relatable.

When done right, eCommerce storytelling can reach out of the computer screen and “touch” consumers.

It can also be the catalyst to mobilizing a legion of loyal fans. 

What Is Storytelling For eCommerce?

Marketing is a necessity if you want to succeed in eCommerce.

There are countless competitors selling products identical to yours.

It becomes a race of who can capture their audience’s attention first. When it comes to engaging your audience, few can be as potent a tool as storytelling.

Capture the Imagination of Your Audience

Online stores can make consumers experience their stores physically.

So you need something else to reel them in. Engage them. Make them understand what your brand is about. Let them know what you stand for.

Tell a story that makes your audience imagine themselves enjoying your products.

Take Consumer on an Emotional Journey

A powerful story can do a variety of things for your brand.

It can compel your audience to trust you.

It can evoke an emotion that leads to a desire to buy your product.

A good story can make consumers feel like they’ve known your brand all their life.

Why do I need to care about storytelling?

Stories make your brand feel more authentic.

Stories can make your audience feel like they are talking to a trusted friend.

Stories allow you to converse with your audience on a more emotional level. Stories add depth.

They can make your brand seem more than just a product or service.

Stories can make your brand an entity that consumers want to be friends with.

Information overload

Let’s face it. Consumers today find most conventional advertising methods boring.

You can’t expect a consumer to read a boring wall of text. We’re in the digital age.

Consumers are overloaded with information:

  • Google receives over 63,000 searches per second
  • The average consumer processes around 100,000 digital words each day
  • A person encounters an average of 5,000 marketing messages per day
  • 3 trillion online ads are sold each year

Most consumers don’t bother with marketing messages. Almost 80% of people scan content and only read the parts that interest them.

Ecommerce storytelling can compel your audience to read every word of your message.

Develop stronger relationships

Communication is a two-way street.

Consumers aren’t content with just listening to you.

They want you to listen to what they have to say too.

Tell a story your audience can relate to. This will make them feel that you understand them.

The more relatable stories you tell, the stronger your bond with them will be.

Make Your Audience Feel They’re a Part of Something Greater

Define your brand with a core set of beliefs. Make sure these core beliefs resonate with your audience.

This will build goodwill between you and your audience. It will add perceived value to your products and services.

This perceived value will allow you to charge higher than your competitors without losing your customers.

Consumers who feel strongly about your brand will also become your brand ambassadors.

For instance, Warby Parker has the mission to solve the problem with access to glasses. Their Buy A Pair, Give A Pair program encourages customers to be part of their initiative and help solve this crisis. This adds to the alure of buying a pair of glasses from Warby Parker.

Warby Parker Buy A Pair, Give A Pair Program

Similarly, LUSH is an active participant in donating and discovering ways to help solve various environmental and animal crisis. Their strong activist brand attracts those who share similar values and adds to the “feel good” state of customers when they see that portions of sales goes to LUSH’s many ethical campaigns.

Some of LUSH’s initiatives

Stories are motivational

Stories can move people. A good story can motivate consumers to do what you want them to do. Build a story around these motivations. To do this, there are three factors you need to consider:

  • What you want your audience to feel
  • What action you want your audience to take
  • What call-to-action (CTA) will be the most compelling

How Do I Start Telling A Story About My Business?

1.) Focus on emotions

Most consumers make buying decisions based on emotion instead of logic.

Paint a clear picture of how much they’ll love your product or service. Focus on positive emotions.

Casper focusing on how they help people get better sleep

Make consumers see themselves being satisfied with what you offer.

2.) Talk about how your product makes the customer’s life better

Focus on the benefits instead of the product or service.

Emphasize why your product or service is superior. Highlight why it is unique.

Casper’s Mattresses

Bellroy showcasing how their wallets can handle wear and tear through time

Last, clearly define what consumers can achieve by getting it.

3.) Explain how your company solves customer problems

Attack the pain points of your target audience. Describe the problem in detail. Include its causes and its impact.

This will tell them you understand what they’re going through. Then describe how you’ve developed a solution for the problem.

Bellroy visually showing the difference from regular wallets and theirs – the pain most people have with their wallets.

4.) Make the story shareable

Build a story around the core values of your brand. Present the story in a way that makes readers want to share it.

Create a short hashtag that summarizes your core message or the story.

Encourage your audience to share their own stories using the hashtag.

Warby Parker’s story that makes you want to root for them

5.) Be more transparent

Consumers tend to assume the worst when there’s something they don’t know. So say tell it to them right off the bat.

Tell them about your company culture and how it’s like for the people working for you.

Zappos’ perspective on company culture

 

Describe your manufacturing process.

Warby Parker shows the full process from prototype to completion

Everlane sharing their factory details for their products

Talk about where you came from and how you got to where you are today.

6.) Be socially conscious

Give back and pay it forward.

Get involved in local community events. Donate to charity. Sponsor a local project. Fund a few scholars.

Any good thing you do can be incorporated into the story of your brand.

Sharing this story will further endear you to your audience.

But make sure to be authentic with this. If you don’t believe in the event or charity, do not force yourself to be part of it. People can sense it.

Everlane’s ethical approach

Patagonia’s Denim

7.) Highlight your brand’s origins

People love success stories. It inspires them.

Share a story about the evolution of your brand.

Highlight the challenges and setbacks you’ve had to overcome.

Talk about the mistakes you’ve made and the lessons you’ve learned.

8.) Humanize your brand

Don’t only talk about your company or your products.

Tell stories about your employees.

LUSH has video features of their employees that share their work and life

Highlight what they bring to the table.

Showcase the various ways they contribute to your company.

Talk about people who founded your company.

The story behind Huckberry

Story of Yeti

9.) Enhance product descriptions

Many Amazon FBA sellers have trouble finding ways to tell their stories on the Amazon.

Ecommerce storytelling is harder to do on online marketplaces. So what should you do?

Use what’s already there. Use visuals and stories to describe what your product is and what it’s like to use them. 

10.) Use real-life stories from customers

Encourage your customers to share their stories involving your company. Offer them a prize to encourage their participation.

This will give you a chance to collect user-generated contact. It will also add authenticity to your storytelling.

LUSH user-generated content

Daniel Wellington user-generated content

Tweets and Instagram posts from Casper customers

Storytelling is vital to eCommerce success. It’s vital for a business’s longevity. 

A good story will not only make someone want to read every word of it, but it will also connect with them on a much deeper level. It transcends what the product is about. 

The beauty of a well-established brand is creating that connection where what you sell matters less than what you stand for.

And when you stand for something and mean something more than just a product to them, you build a tribe that will root for you in the long run.