Importance of Storytelling: Converting First-Time Buyers

Rishi Rawat Blog Posts 6 Comments

You can’t be a successful eCommerce marketer if you don’t understand the importance of storytelling. And when it comes to converting new shoppers who are sitting on your site right now nothing matters more than a good compelling, delicious story.

Why storytelling matters

68% of your site visitors are new (Databox survey). These are people who have a need but don’t know who you are.

How new visitors behave

Shoppers search on Google, see a list of results and right click and open in new tabs:

Importance of storytelling illustrated via a Google search.
Importance of storytelling illustrated via a Google search.

If what they see on your landing page doesn’t inspire they’ll exit. It’s how we all shop (yourself included).

Why do shoppers do that?

The #1 question in the minds of first-time buyers is, “Why should I trust this company?

This is where the power of storytelling comes in. Making your story 20% more persuasive will directly improve first-time buyer conversions by 20%. We’ve tested this on at least 50 ecommerce sites.

Let’s get one thing out of the way when we say storytelling we’re not talking about fabricating facts. Every product innovation has a compelling origin story. Unfortunately, creators are so close to it they forget how special it is. They don’t think it’s relevant to talk about the 38 times their prototype failed. They don’t feel comfortable nerding out about their passion. But these are precisely the things your audience is looking to connect over. 

Now that you understand the importance of storytelling let us reveal the anatomy of a compelling story

Building blocks of a powerful story:

  • Show how this was a personal struggle. Your site visitors are struggling with a problem (that’s what brought them to you). Knowing their struggle is your #1 concern will draw them in.
  • Let readers know they aren’t alone. 100s, 1000s, millions have the same struggle.
  • Prove that your passion goes beyond just making the next buck. If Jon Favreau said, “I’m so excited about Mandalorian, it’s going to make me so much money” we’d be super turned off and it would cause statistically significant financial ruin. Instead, what Jon Favreau will likely say is, “We’re so excited to explore a new storyline in the Star Wars saga. I’m inspired by some of the same things that inspired George Lucas.

There’s more to our storytelling list:

  • Demonstrate value for money. Whether you’ll selling a low-cost solution or a premium one your target audience demands value for money. So prove it.
  • Prove that you designed your solution after considering all other available options and how your solution is the best for a very specific audience. The last thing frustrated shoppers want to do is to research more companies. By gently suggesting that you’ve done the due-diligence on competing solutions you’re giving the buyer a compelling reason to end their search and pull out their credit card.
  • Prove to the reader that the buying power is with them. They need to feel they are driving the experience.
  • Make the reader feel good about themselves.
  • Make them feel smart.
  • Show your human side. People buy from people they like. Show your humor, display vulnerability (“I failed 38 with 38 prototypes“, “at times I nearly gave up“), demonstrate you’re trustworthy.

A little about us

Thank you for reading this article about the importance of storytelling. We are Frictionless Commerce and over the last 11 years, we’ve thought about just one thing: how do we get online shoppers to convert? We’re fascinated by buyer psychology. Once we’ve understood how your site visitor thinks we use our 9 point copywriting process to convince and convert them.

Now that you understand the importance of storytelling check out our copywriting checklist.

Comments 6

  1. Man. This is powerful. It makes so much sense!! I’m planning to reference this Next time I’m writing a story. Thank you Rishi!!

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      1. That’s cuz your posts are frickin good!! I remember them. And they help me do a better job with my marketing. Thank you!!

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