Intro to Writing a Compelling Product Story

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July 07, 2022

In 2020, 130 million eCommerce site sessions were analyzed.

Here’s what was found: the average time on site was just 2 minutes and 32 seconds (source).

What’s even more shocking is that this metric is getting worse year-over-year. Yikes.

What is a marketer to do in such a situation?

You might be a really good marketer. Even then, closing a sale in under 3 minutes is a big task.

Rather than trying everything under the sun, let me share a secret: an effective strategy is to tell a product story that’s so compelling, the visitor wants to stick around.

What is a product story?

It is a special type of story in which your product is the central character. This story is so compelling and relevant to the buyer, it shakes them out of apathy and gets them invested in your cause.

Where to place your product story

The best location for your product story is your product description page (also known as PDP) – why?

Shoppers behave in curious ways. When they first land on a site they dart around like crazy, missing most of the great content we’ve placed for them. They quickly navigate to the product page and come to a screeching halt here. It’s like they’ve hit a brick wall. We’ve been seeing this in user session recordings for years.

It’s as though they were giving us only 15% of their attention initially. The moment they land on the product page, we have 100% of their attention.

 

all-roads-product-page

 

The product page is where the buy/no-buy decision happens. This is where we lose 90% of sales. this is where we need to attract them with our product story.

Developing your key product story elements

The building blocks of a great product story are: “Why we exist” and “Why this product must exist”

  • “Why we exist”: this story aligns the buyer with the creator’s journey.
  • “Why this product must exist”: here we are letting the buyer know that for a very specific type of buyer, there is no better product.

In our experience working with clients, we find that while they have a really compelling story, they are often unaware of it or just too shy to talk about it.

To overcome this natural hesitation, we invented a role-play exercise to give them direction towards how to start thinking about their story:

You are sitting at an upscale bar enjoying a delicious cocktail. It’s been a good week.

Someone sits next to you. You get talking and hit it off. You tell them about your business. They smile and lean in with interest.

Turns out, they’ve been looking for. This is a crazy moment of serendipity.

They’ve visited plenty of online review sites and seen plenty of products, but just haven’t found the right model.

They ask, “Mind if I play around on your site on my phone right now?”

You say, “Absolutely!”

Framing with buyer psychology triggers

Now we need to place this story on your product page. Just placing it on the product page can give you a nice sales bump. But if you want more, then you’ll need to work on framing the story. The goal of framing is to align this story with buyer psychology.

You need to take the story you created above and frame it uses these 9 buyer psychology triggers:

  1. People are skeptical of “too good to be true”
  2. They find expertise attractive
  3. They root for people who beat the odds
  4. They get fascinated by surprising details
  5. They are visual animals
  6. They need motivation to break habits
  7. They love personalized experiences
  8. They like knowing they’ve stumbled onto something rare
  9. We must resolve their negative thoughts

Examples for each of 9 triggers can be found in this article: Conversion Copywriting: The Formula That Unlocked Conversions.

About Rishi Rawat

Rishi specializes in radically improving product page conversion rates. He does this by supercharging your product story.

The most valuable thing he owns is a reprint of an 1897 Sears catalog.

These copywriters were the best.

Rishi’s company, Frictionless Commerce uses copywriting to optimize conversion rates.

Frictionless Commerce works with product inventors. Companies like HandicappedPets.com, Oransi.com and BakingSteel.com.

 

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