How to Master Storytelling for Ecommerce Success

eCommerce Success

How to Master Storytelling for Ecommerce Success

With South African online spend being forecasted to grow to over R53bn by 2018, it’s a no surprise that the ecommerce industry is expanding. Fast. 
But how can today’s ecommerce brands cut through the growing competition at a time when new online shops are popping up every week and new products are going viral each day?

Well, one strategy is by leveraging the power of storytelling.
If you want to increase your potential customer conversions, then start captivating your target market by making emotional connections with them. Storytelling matters – because it gives you the opportunity to build a brand, not just a business.
In ecommerce, branding is the heart and soul of your online presence. Your customers don’t have the option to come and see your products in person, which means you have to do everything possible to make their customer journey as unique and emotionally rich as possible. A good story can turn your lifeless online business into a meaningful brand – one whose visual content and values truly resonate with its audience. Always think beyond the idea that you’re simply running a business, think about who your customers are and what they care about. Look for stories in your customer’s needs by listening carefully to them. Discover their motivations, fears and aspirations.
By aligning your brand with what drives customers, you will find the right emotional ties to link your products with their lives, which will eventually lead to higher conversion rates.

Here are 6 tips how you can optimize your ecommerce business through great storytelling:


Use high-quality product images and graphics. Thanks to the popularity of YouTube, Pinterest, and other social media sites, visuals always win over text, when it comes to storytelling. You need to be able to show visitors and customers what makes you different. Why should they choose to interact with you and not someone else?
Engaging product videos, and eye-catching lifestyle images, are key to connect with audiences online and create an emotional bond with them.


The best stories are the ones that can be told in a variety of ways. When you craft your brand story, think about how you could share it on your website, on your blog, on your product pages, on your social media platforms, on your packaging, in your newsletter, and anywhere else you can think of. Create enough text, photo, and video so that you have enough unique and repurposable content to use on each platform and channel.


Many retailers make the mistake of focusing only on the functionality of online shopping. Inventory, transactions, pricing, promotions and delivery are all critical to success, but merchants often forget the importance of creating an emotional connection with customers and aligning them with the company’s selling efforts. Linking a brand to the emotional goals of consumers can be challenging for many merchants, particularly when the products offer don’t easily ignite the imagination. The answer is often found by examining your customers.


Take time to actually talk to your customers. In order to determine which stories would resonate most with customers, you need to actually talk to them. You can do this in a number of ways. You could send a short survey to customers who have purchase from you in the last 30 days, or you could send it to your top customers. You could also email customers individually and schedule some time to talk over the phone. Finally, if you have a lot of customers near you locally, you could plan a VIP event to gather feedback from them.


Develop voice, tone, and style that authentically represent you and your brand. You can’t fake storytelling; otherwise your customers won’t relate to it and it will not work as an effective driver of sales. In order to get any sort of ROI from storytelling, you need to take time to develop a personality for your brand. When plotting out your content calendar, look at each story through the eyes of your customers and assess the quality. Is there a genuine benefit? Is it repetitious? Is it relevant, interesting and authentic? Audiences are very aware of brands that are only interested in selling them stuff, and those brands are easily ignored. Companies that offer real value in exchange for a moment of the customer’s attention provides a reason to come back.


Businesses that struggle with storytelling are often stuck in the mindset of trying to tell the world how great they are. Their websites boast of amazing accomplishments, brag about the length of time they’ve been in business, and offer empty platitudes about great service. This approach fails to make any real connection with customers and sometimes actually turns them away. Good storytelling brands do not tell people how great their products and services are. They show them – by demonstrating an acute understanding of the customer’s problems and how their products solve them. All communication – visual, aural and written – should make it clear as to how your products enrich people’s lives and help them overcome challenges that stand in the way of their goals.

Do you want to find out more on how to master storytelling for ecommerce? Contact us at Shopping Direct, a full-service ecommerce solution agency providing expertise in a wide range of digital marketing services.

Tatiana Reif > linkedin
Content & Digital Marketing Executive
 TNNG Digital Marketing