– Andrew Sabatino, Co-Founding Director – Ecom Nation
Having spent most of my working life in the not-for-profit sector, and with eCommerce being new to me, one of the first things to stand out to me was the lack of storytelling. Storytelling is vital in the charity sector to drive an emotional connection between organisations and potential donors, there isn’t a tangible product to sell so we have to make them feel seen, connected and an important part of the work being done.
Over in the world of eCommerce store owners act as if the stakes are different and are instead fixated on just trying to sell more product – hence they come to work with us I suppose – but the missing story element needs to be taken into account.
At Ecom Nation we are certainly geared to drive more sales online through a range of tactical actions and the implementation of sound strategic approaches, but it is when we can bring more ‘story’ to the customer experience that we begin to see real change. From the dawn of time, people have connected through stories and shared experiences. The best marketing and advertising over the years have always been more than product and price point – but it just doesn’t seem to be utilised as much in eCommerce.
Charities and commercial brands spend so much time on developing their emotional propositions, whereas in eCommerce, is largely rational based – product feature-led. I believe most brands should lead with their emotional proposition, why should someone care about this brand, and then use rational propositions to support the conversion. I heard once at a conference that our brain processes emotional content at 300 bits per second and rational content at 30 bits per second – hence emotional decision making is more powerful.
People will naturally buy into a compelling story and will generally connect more strongly with other people over a product. This is why crafting a compelling story about you, or your brand will usually be more powerful than promoting features of a product. It’s why most successful brands, especially those in competitive markets, spend millions on branding and emotional storytelling – if at the end of the day there is more than one choice customers will consider what a brand means to them.
In the early days of setting up your eCommerce business, you just want to get your product sold. That makes sense. But as you grow, want to facilitate stronger growth and build customer loyalty through a sense of belonging, you really need to take the time to invest in understanding your brand and what you stand for in the world – your values, beliefs, vision, and purpose. If you make that stand and communicate it effectively, others will follow as they find opportunities to identify with you and associate themselves with all the elements that underpin your brand story.
We’ve started helping a range of clients to develop their brand story and how they can use it to elevate their creative content. The results for far have been as expected – well worth the energy put into it.