The Power of Visual Storytelling for eCommerce Brands [with 7 Examples and Best Practices]
Storytelling has been used to build deep, emotional bonds since the beginning of time. Scientists have discovered that storytelling leads to the release of chemicals like cortisol, dopamine, and oxytocin in the brain. These chemicals help in articulating memories, keeping humans engaged, and being empathetic.
Now the question arises: can brands use this power of storytelling to grow their businesses? The answer is a resounding yes!
While there are many ways to tell a story, this blog discusses the importance of visual storytelling for eCommerce brands, along with examples and best practices so brands can put this practice to use right away.
How Does Visual Storytelling Impact eCommerce Brands?
Visual storytelling uses visual aids like pictures, videos, infographics, animation, and more to communicate a brand’s narrative to its audience.
But why visuals? Research and studies have repeatedly shown that visuals are easier to comprehend, memorize, and relate to. A picture is processed between 6x to 600x faster than a word. So let’s see how visual storytelling impacts eCommerce brands.
1. Forges an emotional bond
Stories help the audience relate to the brand and forge an emotional connection. Moreover, when consumers see themselves in a story, they’re more likely to resonate with the brand.
2. Helps capture and retain attention
Increasing competition and shrinking attention spans make every retailer look for ways to cut through the noise. When done right, visual storytelling captures attention, earns the brand a competitive edge, and conveys a message that creates or increases brand recall.
3. Boosts brand awareness
Visual storytelling tells people about the brand’s narrative and why a brand exists. This is an integral part of making shoppers feel deeply about the brand.
Moreover, it gives them a reason to trust the brand. Visual storytelling shares a message, and even data, in a way that’s engaging and more memorable, resulting in higher brand awareness and trust.
4. Showcases the brand values
It’s hard to convey something with long texts when the same can be shown with visuals. Studies show that the human brain can process an image in just 13 milliseconds. By portraying the product’s usage with customers at the core, it shows people why a brand should be trusted.
5. Boosts sales
If consumers consistently consume a brand’s story, know its real value, and are deeply connected to the brand, they’re more likely to purchase from it. According to research by Headstream, 55% would consider buying from the brand if they loved its story.
Now that we’ve seen how brands benefit from visual storytelling, here are 7 real-life examples of brands crushing it.
7 Brands Crushing it with Visual Storytelling
Camilla is Australia’s leading fashion designer. She is world-renowned for her artistic, innovative, and intricate designs. Every single piece of Camilla is inspired by the Founder’s “ travels abroad and imaginative escapism.” Moreover, each piece is hand-drawn and painted, cut and sewn by in-house artists, and every embellishment is applied with precision.
Here’s how Camilla narrates their story.
- Since Camilla is known for their intricate prints, the collections page arranges every piece of clothing based on unique patterns and prints. For example, the first row features a “Look At Me” theme, and the next one features “Love Web” in various clothing pieces. This reflects Camilla’s vision really well and is aesthetically appealing.
- Along with basic filters like category, size, and color, they also allow shoppers to view only the prints they wish. This boosts shoppers’ engagement, makes it easy to find preferred products, and encourages sales.
- Shoppers can also view the dress sizes and images from multiple angles by hovering over the image tiles. This gives information right on the collections page and makes it easy for shoppers to select what they like.
Sheike is a fashion brand that believes “style is the way you show who you are without saying a word.” Sheike wants their shoppers to have chic and new-season additions to their wardrobe and find everything from basics to dresses to accessories. They’ve done this well by doing the following:
- Sheike has all essentials of visual storytelling in place—high-quality product images, precise copy, white space, and more. Additionally, it arranges the products as per colors so that customers can view a variety of options without feeling inundated.
- The filter drawer pulls from the left side of the page allowing shoppers to select their preferences from many filter options. These options include size, price, category, style, color, features, occasion, availability, and sort by options. The variety of filters shows that the brand has put a lot of thought behind curating a personalized collection for its shoppers.
- Viewers have the option of switching between product views to compare the product’s appearance with and without models. That improves their understanding and portrays how the product would look in real life.
Meshki wants their customers to adorn themselves in glamorous dresses that “leave an impression.” They provide a wide selection of dresses for every event, including cocktail parties and date nights, in styles including mini dresses, silk, and more.
Here’s how Meshki sets an example for visual storytelling.
- They show their models in various settings, not just studio settings, to show how the dress would look in real life. It allows consumers to feel the dress as they would in real life.
- They add color and size options right beneath the images. This ensures shoppers don’t engage with a piece of clothing they like and then end up disappointed because of its unavailability in their size or preferred color.
- Along with basic filters like color, category, and size, they also allow filtering based on occasion and fabric. This is incredibly helpful for viewers and allows them to buy dresses according to their preferences. Moreover, it helps them to find what they’re looking for easily, which increases the chances of sales.
This UK-based women’s wear brand strives to make every customer feel like a diva. From summer dresses to wedding dresses, they’ve got it all.
Godiva nails it with their visual storytelling by doing the following:
- They have a filter option right at the top of collections that allows customers to select the type of dress they’re looking for. This includes bridesmaid dresses, sequins, midis, maxis, and more. This enhances visitor engagement, reduces bounce rates, and encourages CTR.
- Next, the collections have image tiles and display videos of models adorning the dress. This displays product usability and allows shoppers to feel how the dress would look in real life.
- The background of each image is sought after and compliments the dresses and occasions the dress would be worn on.
- Hovering over the dress allows consumers to add the dress to their wishlist or the cart.
- The collections pages feature a wide array of visually appealing dresses and demonstrate variety.
5. Pretty Little Things
PLT (Pretty Little Things) believes in making style accessible to all. From the latest pieces to celebrity-inspired looks, wardrobe staples, and more. They strive to inspire confidence and believe in body positivity.
Their values clearly reflect in their merchandising. Here’s how:
- The filter drawer on the left makes it accessible for shoppers to narrow down their search and find what they’re looking for without wasting a minute. They allow shoppers to select their preferred category, shoe size, clothing size, price, color, brand, and product type.
- Besides the filter option, shoppers can select their sort preference and view the page in two different layouts.
- They stand true to their values by showcasing all kinds of clothes, from party pieces to casual ones.
- PLT showcases tags right on the image tile that helps shoppers identify the right product for themselves. For example, they’ve mentioned “Tall”, “Plus”, “Shape”, and more which reflect their values.
6. Hook & Albert
Hook and Albert are clear about who they cater to—frequent travelers. The brand believes in “designing and delivering products that speak for themselves.”
Here’s how Hook and Albert nail their visual merchandising strategy:
- The collection page displays every travel essential, making shoppers feel like all their travel needs are met here.
- Since they focus on travelers, the listing includes travel accessories like wireless charging valet.
- Hovering over the image allows shoppers to see how the product would look when used, giving them an idea of how they, too, can use it.
- They allow shoppers to view the page in two different layouts, giving them complete control to view products in their preferred style.
- They set the tone right by showcasing a handbag as a cover image, conveying to the shoppers that the brand sells travel bags right from the moment they step onto the website.
Harveys has got the most engaging story—its founders have made handbags out of seatbelts! Their creativity is what makes them stand out from the competition, and it clearly reflects in their merchandising efforts.
Here’s how Harveys nails visual merchandising:
- The seatbelt-made products are depicted on the website.
- Hovering over the image not only shows the image from various angles but also includes a picture of all products in that particular category. What’s more interesting is that the background image changes when users hover over it.
- The minimalist theme works well, as their products are strong and creative enough to speak for themselves.
- Showcasing the Halloween collection first is a smart move to engage the customer and boost sales as the festive season is right around the corner.
What are Visual storytelling best practices?
Visual storytelling might look like posting visuals on various mediums. However, it’s more thoughtful than that. Thus here are 5 best practices to adopt when eCommerce brands are telling their stories visually.
1. Clarifying goals and buyer persona go a long way
While it sounds basic, identifying audiences—their preferences, geography, age, and more—will go a long way in connecting with them.
Moreover, clarifying goals will help brands move in the right direction when creating visual assets. For example, email copy will drastically differ from the copy on a website. Likewise, brands may benefit from using static or motion graphics if the goal is to gain more followers on social media. And if the goal is to boost conversions, retailers may benefit from using certain sorting orders on the website.
2. Include context
Context is the factor that differentiates an impactful visual and a confusing one. The context in visual storytelling could be the type of fonts a brand uses. It could also be a certain kind of filter, color pallet, or the type of content they share. It should be consistent to make sense to the audience and ensure recall of a specific brand.
3. Stick to the core message
It could be quite tempting to experiment with every other trend that rules the internet. However, it’s crucial that brands only share content that aligns with their story and, when seen collectively, forms a unique story.
Additionally, unplanned content confuses the audience and loses their trust. Therefore, brands must share visuals that convey their narrative and message clearly and authentically.
4. Follow a basic storytelling structure
Storytelling is an art and a science. Any compelling story has a beginning, a middle, and an ending to it. Visual storytelling takes its audience on a journey that portrays customers as the hero and strives to explore solutions that are relevant to them.
Finally, a well-structured story engages the audience, answers questions, and has a key message.
5. Conflict is essential
Conflict is a struggle between opposing characters. It’s an essential part of any compelling story. A conflict piques curiosity and fuels the quest to find a solution. In brand storytelling, conflict shows a customer’s pain points and compels them to look for a solution.
Therefore, any brand that wants to leverage storytelling should plant conflict in its story relevant to its target audience’s problems or struggles.
Visual storytelling is the need of the hour. It establishes an emotional connection with customers and turns them into loyal followers. To start narrating the story online, retailers must begin by solidifying their brand’s story and following the best practices to see results.
Finally, with platforms like Tagalys, retailers can optimize their websites, convey their stories with analytics & insights, and turn visitors into customers. Contact our sales team today to learn more about Tagalys.