Behind every successful consumer product is a powerful product story. Dyson makes excellent vacuum cleaners but the reason they’re able to charge a price premium is because they tell excellent product stories.
Why product stories matter
We’re living in a world of abundance. Google the product you sell on your Shopify site and you’ll see a scary number of ads competing for YOUR customers.
You and I know your product is the best but we need to sell your prospects. You’ve spent countless hours fine-tuning and developing your breakthrough invention. It’s literally the result of sleepless nights. You’ve made so many sacrifices, risked so much to bring it to life. Don’t rely on product features and benefits alone.
In the last
11 12 years of relentless A/B split testing, we’ve seen the awesome power of product stories; this article is a how-to guide for developing the perfect product story.
There is a very specific process we use at Frictionless Commerce for developing a product story. Here it is:
— Step 1: extract the soul of the story
There are 2 fundamental aspects of a great product story: “why we exist” and “why our product must exist.”
You’re going to need to extract these two ideas first. This article (Product Page Optimization) has a step-by-step guide.
— Step 2: read and understand current content
When we start a client project, be it dog wheelchairs, a gourmet truffle hot sauce, or room air purifiers, we don’t really know their target audience (even if we think we do). So that’s where we start.
You need to zoom out for a better bird’s eye view. For example, if you’re working for a site whose unique selling proposition is giving instant price quotes for selling a car online, go to Google and search for a term like “car selling quote” and see what paid ads show up. Study those paid landing pages to see what your target audience is seeing online. Walk in their shoes.
What product stories are these sites telling? What psychological product story angles are they using? Study and note them down.
— Step 3: start noting hidden assets
These are elements on your site that convert really well but are seen by a small fraction of site visitors. We call these hidden assets.
- A video that does a good job demonstrating the product but isn’t clicked on much. I shared an example on LinkedIn.
- Clever hook being used on a competitor site.
- An important sales angle that’s not even mentioned on the main sale page; it’s hidden away somewhere on your FAQ page.
- While reading your Amazon customer reviews you stumble on review #34 where the buyer describes why they bought the product. It’s really compelling but our own Shopify product page makes no mention of this.
These are examples of hidden assets. You need to note all of them down.
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— Step 4: identify killer product story angles
Think of product story angles as the building blocks of a great product story.
Product story angles are designed to grab the reader’s attention and connect with them. We need to identify killer angles. From the notes you’ve been taking in steps 1, 2, and 3 we need to identify our main killer product story angles.
Here are 3 product story angle examples.
— Step 5: write the first draft
All the foundational work has been done. Now we shift gears to crafting the product story. Don’t think too much about the final version at this time. I like to just free write my ideas. We’re looking for flow. It needs to feel natural. Keep writing until you’ve run out of inspiration.
— Step 6: shape your story using 9-buyer psychology principles
There is a reason why conversion rates of ecommerce sites are a measly 2.3% (source). Here is the reality: the shopper on your site doesn’t want to part with their hard-earned money. They’ve been disappointed too many times. Their buyer psychology has evolved to protect them from bad decisions.
Buying your product isn’t a bad decision. It’s a good one. But how do we convince the sceptical buyer? This is why a deep understanding of 9 core aspects of buyer psychology comes into play.
Your job now is to organize your product story around these 9 core conversion copywriting ideas.
— Step 7: take a 24-hour break
Now let the work marinate in your head. Give it time to breathe. Add a reminder to look at the copy the next day. I like to do it first thing in the morning when my brain is fresh.
Reread the copy and make tweaks.
— Step 8: edit ruthlessly
Editing is the most important part of the process. Here is where we chisel away anything that doesn’t add to our copy.
One editing trick is to take a printout of the copy and edit it with a pen. Reading printed copy slightly changes our mental context, which leads to new insights.
To explore the topic of editing read this definitive post: Conversion Copywriting: Let’s Talk Editing.
— Step 9: the art of the start
Obviously our entire sales pitch matters but the opening really matters. If you can get the reader to read the first few sentences of your pitch you’ve won most the battle. The process is explained in more detail here: The Art of The Start.
— Step 10: organize
The sequence for this step is preference driven, some prefer to create an outline first. I prefer to get my thoughts out first, and then organize. You can change the order of this step to suit your style.
A/B test your idea on your product page.
About Frictionless Commerce
Product pages matter because that’s where our prospects make the crucial buy / no-buy decision. Shopify product pages are all we do. Watch your bestseller convert 20% better in 90 days. Our process.
If you like doing the hard work yourself, our founder Rishi shares ecommerce conversion ideas on LinkedIn every day. Connect with him here.
If you want to make your life easier and still increase conversions, jump on a call.