There are plenty of technical elements involved in running an ecommerce store. These elements are crucial to the success of your business, but not without the help of something more. Today’s ecommerce landscape is filled with millions of businesses trying to establish a captive, loyal customer base. While having a good product used to be enough in order to be successful: that is not the case today. Today, ecommerce stores have to provide their customers with a complete experience that involves great products, fantastic customer service, and compelling content in order to keep those customers coming back. Storytelling may sound like a concept that you left in kindergarten, but in reality it is a great tool for captivating an audience of any age. Telling stories will help you build your brand and connect with your audience in a meaningful way. Here are 5 ways these stories will help.
Compelling stories will increase your amount of loyal customers
Simply put, compelling stories increase loyal customers. Customers easily feel disconnected from the brands they shop at, especially ecommerce stores. This can be a problem when it comes to customer retention. However, introducing compelling content into your website and marketing scheme can help to build up that connection. Write content about the inspiration for your company, or what inspired you individually to become an entrepreneur. Many companies only produce content focused on one thing: selling. Set yourself apart from that with unique, compelling content.
Customers become return customers as a result of feeling connected to the company they shop at. These customers not only come back to purchase more items, they on average spend 31 percent more than new customers. These customers also become advocates for your brand, which is sure to produce more new customers. People trust in what their peers have to say, as opposed to marketing material which consumers tend to be skeptical of. Therefore, it is crucial to have loyal brand advocates.
Identify a problem and provide your solution
Was your business created in response to a problem that you experienced over and over? If so- you aren’t alone. A compelling story often follows the same general plot line, and that starts with identifying a problem, and then offering a solution to that problem.
Take the company Bonobos for example. They identify a simple problem, one that many people identify with, and provide a solution. This is not only a great platform for building a business in the first place, but is a great formula for telling a story that will interest your audience. Identify problems that your audience have, and offer them solutions. Take this beyond your products as well and discuss any difficulties you have had starting your own business, and what you did to overcome those difficulties.
Prove yourself as a thought leader in your industry
There are likely several ecommerce brands out there that are very similar to your own. What sets you apart from all of the others? One way to establish yourself as the ‘leader’ of your industry is by producing content that shows your knowledge. Tell stories that engage your readers and also educate them on issues that are important to you in relation to the industry you are in. While the bottom line in business is to sell products and make money, the way to get there is not by using every opportunity you get to sell or advertise your products. Telling stories is a great method for proving that you care about more than making money. Use this opportunity to share why you care about the industry you are in, and prove that you know everything there is to know about it.
This is also the type of content that influencers in your industry will take interest in and may comment on or share. Or, alternatively, you may decide to contact relevant influencers and ask them to write an article of this nature. Being featured as a guest writer for a website, or simply getting the influencer to acknowledge or share your work, will broaden your audience and people’s awareness of your company.
Show you value your customers by including them
While there are plenty of opportunities for writing content focused on you or your brand, don’t forget that you are doing all of this to please your customers. When developing a content plan, consider reaching out to your customers asking them to share their stories. Highlight a customer story each month (or more frequently if possible) and always ask for your audience to provide suggestions on the type of content they want to see. This direct connection with your audience shows that you value your customers and care about if they are happy with your brand and your products. Good customer service always translates to better business!
Humanize your business
Finally, every opportunity you have to humanize your brand, take it. We previously talked about various ways to make your ecommerce store feel more personal (read that article here), and we can’t understate how important this is. Put a face to your name, explain who you are, write those stories, and let people get to know you.
Nasty Gal creator Sophia Amoruso is a great example of an individual (and a brand) that focuses on the people that make this brand what it is. She has always featured her story and her journey that has led her to the place she is today. People love a good ‘rags to riches’ story, and can relate to someone who started at the bottom and has had to struggle to get to where they are today. Don’t be afraid to share your story, including any failures you’ve experienced along the way.
Telling stories will take your brand to another level, and will give your customers something to remember you by. Share your journey and include your customers in that journey as you grow and evolve. Produce content that is interesting and informative, share your backstory, and most importantly, give people reasons why they should shop with you, and not somewhere else.