Every website tells a story…the question is does it tell a winning story? There needs to be a winning story for every experience the customer gets on your website. Consider this if you don’t think a winning story is important: 75% of consumers judge a website’s credibility purely on its aesthetics. Once they start to navigate through a site, the stakes are higher: When the stakes are that high, businesses need a remedy plan.
There’s no way around the frank truth: websites do a subpar job of surfacing the right information to customers to help them make decisions. If the amount of information compiled on the average product page on a website was what an in-store experience was like…that store wouldn’t be frequented very often. When you visit an ecommerce website today, you are inundated with content and it can be summed in a word: overwhelming.
It’s far too common for websites to blind consumers with pop-ups, promotional copy, technical jargon no one understands, or if they are really behind in digital transformation–a PDF with product information. A PDF in 2021? If you’re on mobile, good luck making a decision.
This begs the question: what can be done to improve the digital commerce experience? Focus on engaging the visitor in an experience that feels natural and conversational, and have the conversation finish with a recommendation. But not until the site understands the shopper’s intent and preferences, it needs to feel like a natural progression from beginning to end, just like the best stories do.
With a conversation, recommendations and decisions are made. This is what the result of a winning story accomplishes.
How to Tell a Winning Story on an Ecommerce Website
1. Content is No Longer King without Context
According to Adobe, 63% of consumers want to see more polished, curated content companies It’s not sufficient to just provide imagery and specifications, retailers need to consider topics and questions that evoke a connection between products or services and the shopper’s needs. Are there ways to engage them in a conversation to help guide them to what they’re looking for, why they are searching for that product?
For example, if you’re in the home improvement or DIY space, it’d be wise to leverage a digital assistant or chatbot that can ask questions like what projects they are working on or their timeline. When executed with the right technology, that conversation then leads to product recommendations based on that individual consumer’s needs. The context of the search dictates the content delivered to help them convert.
2. Roleplay (Test Before Launch)
One of the most effective ways of human training is roleplaying. You may be asking what does role-playing have to do with ecommerce? So many professions utilize role-playing in training, from first responders to salespeople and even musicians. They do this as a way to prepare for different possible situations they’ll be confronted with. Yet, only 55% of businesses test their website’s user and customer experience when they are launching a new site or capability.
Even the best chefs test out their new recipes before adding them to a menu, why is it not common practice for ecommerce teams to role play as a shopper navigating the website for the first time? It’s important to remember the vast majority of ecommerce experiences are mediocre, and for the businesses that focus on moving away from the status quo and poor buying experience to being innovative with next-gen solutions will be the ones others see the benchmark to meet.
3. Build to scale
With communication and commerce accelerating towards omnichannel being ubiquitous, is your brand available where it’s easy for the customer to engage? You need to think of building the story across channels and leveraging customer reviews to stand out as the best product. When a customer has a good shopping experience, they share that with friends and family because it stood out among otherwise mediocre or frustrating buying experiences.
Word of mouth is still the number one driver for purchases and they tell the story of the search and product discovery experience that empowered them to buy. When a customer becomes an advocate and tells their story across channels, that’s when you know you’ve created a winning story and experience that leads to growth.
Tell a winning story and your customer experience will accelerate the buying process. No story slows down the process which leads to customer friction. The internet is infectious, so find out what works, remedy quickly what is broken, and continue your winning ways.