One of the biggest challenges of running an online business is building trust with your customers. It’s not enough just to get people visiting your store; you have present your brand and products as appealing, valuable, and, most of all, trustworthy.
Trust can be hard to maintain when you don’t have a physical location or engage face-to-face with shoppers—interactions that come more easily for brick-and-mortar shops. Fortunately, as an ecommerce store, you can still connect and build relationships through the simple act of storytelling.
As countless marketing books will tell you, making stories an integral part of your business can lead to a serious uptick in sales. In this post, we’ll look at four main things storytelling can do to help you build relationships with customers—and then we’ll discuss a few ways to incorporate stories into your Shopify store.
Why use stories in your online business?
1. Stories add a human touch
Stories humanize your business and remind customers that they’re not just buying from a faceless website but from a store run and created by an actual person. A story gives your brand a narrative, sparks consumer interest, and opens up conversations.
2. Stories give context
People buy things in order to fulfill a need or desire or to solve a problem. A story places your business or products within the context of a customer’s need, desire, or problem. When positioning a product, try to tell a story that presents your products or services as the solution to your customer’s woes.
3. Stories create purpose and promote action
Similar to context, people like a reason to buy. Your reusable shopping bags do more than carry groceries—they reduce waste and help people adapt more eco-friendly habits. The company TOMS doesn’t only sell shoes—for every pair of shoes they sell, they donate a pair to someone in need.
By telling a story that shows customers the greater purpose of your product outside of the obvious, you create another compelling reason for people to buy.
4. Stories are memorable
With so many online stores to choose from, you need to make yours memorable. Customers are more likely to remember your products or business if you present them within a narrative. According to research, people are 22% more likely to remember something when it’s told as a story.
How to use storytelling in your Shopify store
A blog is a great place to share stories, but navigating through old blog posts can get tedious, and leaving it up to customers to hopefully find the most important and integral stories is a game of chance. Similarly, an “about” page is awesome, but it’s not always the right place for something a little more in-depth.
Storytelling was top of mind when we designed our latest Shopify theme, Reach. We designed Reach to perfectly fit the needs of online businesses in niche and emerging markets. And one of the features that sets Reach apart from other Shopify themes is its unique “story” section.
Reach’s story feature is essentially an expanded multimedia “about us” section. It allows you to tell your story with text, video, and images, while drawing attention to collections and products through call-to-action buttons and testimonials.
Practically speaking, there are so many uses for Reach’s story section beyond sharing your origin story or expanding on your about page. It’s an ideal place to spotlight your company values or highlight a charitable giving initiative. The option to include video and images with text makes it a perfect place for showing customers how your products are made.
Reach’s story section is also a choice location to spotlight a brand, maker, or artisan. You can even use it to profile your customers with real-life examples of how your products are used “in the wild.”
Of course, these aren’t the only uses of Reach’s story section. To harness this feature, all you need is a little creativity and a compelling story to tell.
The story is easily accessible from your store’s header, and Reach’s mobile-first and responsive design means that customers can access and share your story from wherever they happen to be browsing your store.
For a live look at Reach’s story feature, head on over to our demo store!
Whether or not you’re using Reach, storytelling is a great way to engage your customers, give context to your brand and products, and ultimately increase your sales. We would love to hear how you’re using stories to lift your business. Are you using Reach’s story section? Share a link to your story below!