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You can’t be a successful eCommerce marketer if you don’t understand the importance of storytelling.
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 to open their product pages in new tabs:
If what they see on your landing page doesn’t inspire them, they’ll exit. It’s how we all shop (including you).
And if we can’t persuade shoppers on their first visit there is a super high chance we’ll never see them again. The return rate on my site is 11.8%. This means 88% of my visitors never come back:
What’s your Shopify site’s return rate?
Importance of storytelling: impact
Just having a story isn’t going to cut it. We need a damn good story.
The difference between a good story and a great one is 512x.
The market is not seduced by logic; people are moved by stories and drama and hints and clues and discovery. Logic is a battering ram, one that might work if your case is overwhelming. Wal-Mart won by logic (cheap!), but you probably won’t. — Seth Godin
One word of caution
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. You just have to know how to extract this story (explained below).
Importance of storytelling: how it boosts conversion rates
Stories can be big and broad but in the course of A/B testing hundreds of ideas, we’ve discovered that there are two aspects of stories that have the most meaningful impact on improving conversion rates when it comes to converting new buyers. These are:
The reality is that shoppers are inundated with choices. This means that when they come to your site, no matter how unique you may think you are, they’ve seen a version of it before.
Paradoxically, because shoppers are inundated with mass-produced experiences, they crave something authentic.
Further, because online experiences lack a human touch, anything that humanizes the experience connects at a deeper emotional level.
This is why stories that connect with emotions matter.
Think of your site as a hurdle race where the shopper has to overcome hurdles before they are ready to pull out a credit card.
The first hurdle is “who are you and why should I care?” and this is what the “why we exist” section answers.
67% of users on DTC sites seek out such non-product content. Content like “About Us”, “Our Story” and “Our Process.” (Source)
Once they’ve bought your “why we exist” story, they are ready to explore your product page(s). Here, another question comes into focus: “I like you and understand why you exist but what makes your product the best?”
This is what the “why this product must exist” question answers.
Now that we understand the importance of storytelling and the 2 main stories “why we exist” and “why this product must exist” we need to figure out where to have site visitors discover these 2 stories. That’s explained in this product page optimization article.