Building eCommerce Brands: The Importance of Storytelling

‘The world is shaped by two things: stories told and the memories they leave behind.’

In my time planning and managing Ecommerce digital marketing campaigns, I have discovered various important tactics and techniques that contribute to success.

These can often be split as on-site and off-site factors, but one major aspect deserves more attention. It is a standalone element contributing to overall commercial appeal. It is the brand narrative and story.

Are you running an Ecommerce store? Never underestimate the importance of visuals, narrative and storytelling.

And I don’t mean just picking an image and hoping for the best.

Selecting the right image, implying the right message, relatable and relevant to your target customer AND your brand story, is paramount, increasingly so in a clouded and competitive world.

Brand storytelling imagery is vastly important on product pages, category pages, information pages, social media activity and advertising campaigns. Consistently themed.

Think about it: if you stumble upon an unknown website selling products with a price tag you cannot associate to, how do you usually react? The best brands and retailers are able to express their story and communicate the ‘why’ effectively.

If you are asking yourself, ‘what is my brand story?’, you have just realised your first marketing problem.

Consumer psychology suggests our feelings, emotions and identities are influential in the brand decisions we make.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, likens a brand to what people say about you when you leave the room. That’s a fair definition. But often, a brand is remembered by the stories it tells. Think Nike, think Apple – they are big brands with clear narratives delivered to customers.

But you do not have to be a big brand to build a strong narrative that delivers results.

To demonstrate, the below examples are from independent brands achieving strong business results.

Showcasing brand and product value – example 1

Product Storytelling Example

Mahabis slippers deliver their product storytelling effectively, using a combination of visuals and simple sentences detailing product materials, quality of manufacturing and functionality. The imagery is appealing, minimal in a positive way and the contrast of design and function as text information adds real value. This makes for a great addition to a product page.

Showcasing brand and product value – example 2

Another example is Oppermann London, a luxury goods retailer selling high-end leather briefcases, wallets and bags. The tactics they use to showcase their product, its quality and their story are excellent.

Oppermann London Briefcase

The product page above showcases a high end briefcase, made with Italian leather. At a price point of £355.50, it would be safe to assume a cold visitor may require justification for that. So, how?

Opperman London Storytelling

The unmissable combination of enticing titles, further descriptive messaging and additional imagery adds real flavour to their product page.

Oppermann London Product Storytelling

Showcasing product value in imagery – example 1

Additionally to their product page storytelling, Oppermann also use big and aspirational lifestyle imagery to show the function of the product.

Opperman Briefcase Lifestyle Image Opperman Briefcase Lifestyle Image Opperman Briefcase Lifestyle Image

All of these aforementioned elements adorn their product pages. Their use of imagery really adds life to to their product, showing it in a context that is relatable to the target customer.

Showcasing product value in imagery – example 2

Warby Parker are another leading example of presenting products in a visually pleasing way online. They regard imagery as so important, that on a 13″ screen, the product image fills up the majority of above-fold content.

Warby Parker Product Imagery

Their imagery is clear and free of distraction, bold and big. The sliders help present the sunglasses at different angles, too. It is often overlooked – the need to upload more than one single product image – but it is important to aid conversion. Simply put, alternative views of product is a clear consumer expectancy.

The overall takeaways are clear: invest in imagery, build your story and showcase your value.

To read more about interesting case studies with A/B testing data on images and their impact on website conversion rates, check out this Jeremy Said blog post.


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