eCommerce Sales: Building experiences when you’re not face-to-face

Ecommerce is always developing, and trends are always changing. Today, customers with discretionary income, especially millennials living in bigger cities, are looking for more than "just" products. This doesn't mean you need to completely change your whole business strategy to keep pace – just adapt it and try some new ideas.

All around the world, this is leading to an “experience economy” that you can tap into by presenting your products in the light of contributing to an experience. This is especially true if you position your products as listening to and responding to the needs of millennials.

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The good news for your business is that these can work with your existing products. The only things you have to change is how you approach your products and the story you tell around them. Let’s dive into a reliable process that can help you build an exciting experience, even if your customer never leaves their chair.

Define your benefit

Part of your focus is to tell a broader story about your products that involve how people interact with and enjoy them. This works with just about every product category and industry – no matter how boring or fun you believe your offering to be. The starting point is determining what you provide to people and how you make their day better. Define your benefit.boy-child-countryside-551568

Take some time to think about the people who use your products and what they value. For example, if you can help parents save time on household chores, they will appreciate having extra time to play with their kids.

Once you have taken time to learn about your customers and how they use your products, think about the bigger picture you play in their daily lives. Some top actions or activities to tackle and build a benefit around include:

  • Bringing joy
  • Relieving stress
  • Empowering people
  • Reducing anxiety or worry
  • Simplifying complex things
  • Making people feel better about themselves, their family, or their legacy

Create a story

Once you’ve established your benefit, it’s time to build a story around it with a focus on the broader experience. Take one example of that benefit and flesh it out to describe the people who can achieve it, the situation where it happens, and how it makes them feel.

Let’s say you sell very comfortable rocking chairs. These could be the perfect chairs to rock a child or grandchild to sleep. Or to have a cat nap on your lap. Or to relax in at the end of a long day, or during retirement, with a spouse or friend.cat on a rocking chair

The language used in your eCommerce store product descriptions to share those thoughts shouldn’t be around the chair itself. Instead, focus on “creating the perfect space to enjoy the company of those you love most.” It should be about relaxing and de-stressing, or “finding the right way to enjoy nature every day.”

By discussing the experience people will have with your product, you’re inviting them to start imagining their interaction with your product. Yes, your rocking chair will be there in spirit, but it isn’t the focus of what perception you’re creating. When you build the story, and they put themselves inside of it, then your ads, copy, and sales pages can do the final bit of lifting to close the sale.

And, the more they enjoy these experiences and stories, the more likely you are to turn them into repeat customers, even if they were initially impulse-buyers.

Focus on discovery

One part of this storytelling that might not seem intuitive is that you can’t send it all directly to the customer; they need the ability to discover what they’ll end up loving.

Discoverability of new products and things is one of the reasons we loved malls growing up. As online shopping took over, we were often forced to use the search engine to discover new things. Slowly, influencers and icons have started to tell us what the next big thing is, but they’re limited in the scope of offering and by who pays them.

Your mission is to provide glimpses into the stories you tell and experiences you create throughout your site. Think about “products people also viewed” as more of an “experiences people also enjoyed”.people enjoying product experiences

It’s possible to tailor that delivery further using the historical customer data you have as well as modern predictive analytics tools, like TradeGecko’s demand forecasting feature. These options can help you determine what products people might like, allowing you to push related experiences to people. Not only is this about giving them room to scroll and discover, but try highlighting products in a variety of ways and stories to reach multiple groups.

For our rocking chair example, you’ve got different stories for grandparents and parents, people in the country who will sit on their porch, those in the city who want to cuddle with a pet, and much more. Each experience is distinct enough for you to tell a story around.

Tailoring discovery without limiting it is the perfect way to ensure that people will be able to see themselves in the experiences they ultimately select with your product offering.

Jake Rheude is the Director of Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment, an eCommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of eCommerce. He has years of experience in eCommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.

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