Why You Should Stop Focusing on Conversion in 2021

Too many e-commerce sites contain an overload of products with poor information and meaningless product specifications. The result: doubt and low conversion rates. Storytelling can help to win over more customers.

As soon as we move from social to digital, the e-commerce environment to be precise, we go back in time. On social media, things are getting better and better.

Great stories are being told, it’s not just about product sales, but also about branding and building relationships with customers. But when it comes to digital, we still have a long way to go. Still, too many companies see digital, the e-commerce environment, as the place where you sell products and that’s it. Home page, product page with basic information, and a check-out. With this approach you first of all lose a lot of customers and second, you leave one of the best places to build your brand unused.

From A to Purchase

Why does this happen? E-commerce is still seen as a conversion channel. The goal of most websites is to take the customer from A to purchase as quickly as possible.

According to Forrester, a US Research firm, almost 80% of customers abandon their purchases because of a poor online experience. The main reason: the customer is not taken on a journey and is not helped to make the right decision. What you find on most e-commerce websites is an overload of products with poor information and product specifications that don’t mean anything to most people. This brings about doubt in the consumer’s mind and consumers that are in doubt, don’t buy.


It is about time that we shift the focus from conversion to storytelling, digital storytelling. Not just showing products and writing down the functional specifications but telling the ambition of your products and your brand. How does the product make your life better? What problem does it solve? And why is it the best choice for you? All these questions need to be answered in your e-commerce environment.

How do you get started with this? An outline in three steps.

Step 1: Mindset

It starts with a mindset shift. We need to understand that eCommerce is not an end station where the only thing that’s left to happen is a transaction. Your eCommerce website is a brand moment, a place where people want to learn about your brand and its products.

Step 2: Customer Journey

The next step is to take a look at your customer’s journey. The customer journey forms the foundation of good digital storytelling. Randomly making branded content and product videos and putting them in your e-commerce environment does not make much sense. Take a look at your customer’s journey and find out what questions and needs your customers have at each stage of the funnel and start creating content around these findings.

Also, think about the ways people come to your e-commerce environment. Organic, paid, email, social. If you’re putting out a lot of campaigns that link directly to a product page, you need different kinds of content on this page than if a consumer comes to your home page via organic search and then lands on a product page.

Step 3: Transparency

Remember that customers are critical, if you only tell beautiful stories about your brand this can create suspicion. There should be a mix between content from the brand and user-generated content: 80% from the brand, 20% user-generated content.

If you want your e-commerce environment to be the endpoint of the customer journey, you need to make sure that customers see it as a place where they can find reliable information about your products. Once customers leave your website to get the information they need to make a decision, competitors get the chance to grab their attention. User-generated content such as reviews, how-to’s, and unboxings can help turn your website into a place that consumers trust.

In short, shift the focus from conversion to storytelling. This is where much ground can be gained in 2021.

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