from Maximilian Bochenek
Shopping as a lifestyle concept? The internet is abuzz with day-to-day examples, such as customers who choose to buy organic groceries. Nowadays, people talk more about stores than they do about the products that are sold. This article analyses what the trend means for your business and how you can use it to your advantage.
True stories instead of fairy tales
Status symbols are a thing of the past. The increasing availability of luxury items and simple financing options make products less and less interesting. Instead, customers place greater emphasis on the lifestyle image that an item brings. Buyers want to identify with the item they're purchasing. They're anxious to learn more about it and where it came from. The keyword here is "storytelling".
But don't start telling tall tales! Rather, give customers real information that helps them understand the value of an item – for example by using detailed descriptions of the material, the product's origin or how it was manufactured. Successful story tellers give their customers an unforgettable shopping experience. They make themselves known as experts in their field and they stand out from the competition.
Know your mission!
In his book, Start with why, author Simon Sinek gives companies strategies that they can use to position themselves well on the market. As the title suggests, the most important question is "why?". Companies need to understand their vision and mission. Then they need to communicate these values openly. The question "why" is particularly helpful when deciding which story you want to tell. Further questions that companies should ask themselves on the way to finiding the right story:
- Who am I?
- Who is my customer?
- What does my customer want?
Once you've identified your target group and clearly worded your mission, it's time to get your story out to customers. We suggest starting with your store's "about us" area and blog. Sellers can use these platforms to showcase their companies, introduce their employees, tell their stories and bring their visions to life.
Next, begin using your item descriptions as a story telling platform. Write detailed descriptions and choose images that tell customers about the item's origin, material and characteristics. Item descriptions and images are particularly useful tools for story telling since they help customers understand the lifestyle aspect of a product.
Of course, not every product line is equally compatible with story telling – few customers are really interested in learning more about insignificant household items like garden hoses or gas heaters. But you may find it helpful to tell potential customers how the product can improve their own quality of life. For example, paint a picture of parents and children planting flowers together in the garden. Or hint at the unique selling points of a gas heater.
Send your story out into the world!
Stories live from being told and re-told. Even the greatest story will be useless if it never leaves your office. That's why it's important to create a social media strategy. On the one hand, social media channels are an effective way to tell your company's story. On the other hand, they allow you to interact with your customers and thus strengthen your own position.
Sellers know that satisfied customer recommendations are the best form of advertising. The sharing buttons in your online store allow users to share content directly. By including these buttons in your store, you allow customers to bring your company's story into the limelight. This turns customers into multipliers for your own story telling.
Start right away!
When online stores use creative and authentic story telling, they're rewarded by reaching a wider range of customers and achieving higher conversion rates. Their stores also benefit from a positive image, a high degree of customer loyalty and a good market standing. More than enough reason to start thinking about your company's story today!