Why Shoppers Crave Stories (And How To Use That To Drive Sales)


In Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Harari claims that humanity's capacity to imagine and tell stories is what truly sets us apart from animals. A story is vital stuff. Capture the story of your product, and you capture your shopper's attention (and purchasing dollars). Here's why.

Stories invite shoppers to linger

As a recent Forbes article notes, the amount of time shoppers spend in a store and the extent of their interaction with team members and merchandise both boost sales. The story keeps them there.

Find the products in your store that have a rich, significant story behind them. Use multiple mediums to tell that story, like video (as we'll discuss), or hands-on demonstrations, an audible interview with the artist, or a visual process journey.

The story can be even simpler than that. A few minutes with a highly trained team member who invites a customer to touch and feel a piece and explains the inspiration behind it can also be a powerful way to share its story.

Our own David Rive notes that:

"Knowledge is power and sharing the stories behind individual pieces and collections adds to the customer’s appreciation and respect of our handmade items."

For example, at summer markets, we explained how the form of the tropical hibiscus flower inspired Beatriz to design our new VENTO Petal Collection. Even with the essential, abstract forms, the story behind the piece captured the strong visual images, scents, and a touch of a hibiscus bloom that unified our collection.

Videos capture our attention

A video is perhaps one of the most powerful storytelling mediums. Millions watch recipe videos on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, where The New York Times notes that "the hand has been cast in a new role, as a symbol of artisanal craftsmanship and entrepreneurial zeal." Another 500 million hours of video are watched on YouTube each day, from tutorials to testimonials to interviews and more.

WordStream notes that up to one-third of all online activity is spent watching video, though some estimates are much higher. Video is a powerful tool for driving sales for brands, so powerful in fact that, according to Animoto:

"73% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product or service if they can watch a video explaining it beforehand."

David at Beatriz Ball explains how he observed this at summer markets:

"Customers come upon tables and shelves laden with pristine gleaming objects and learning of their somewhat primitive and earthy origins comes as a bit of a shock. Once they gain an understanding of the labor intensive and artistic process that goes into the production of each piece they look at the product in a new light. You can see a look of admiration in their faces when they absorb the depth of the handmade story."


Stories help us remember and connect

Finally, with our always-on lives, stories allow us to step back for a moment and reconnect. Whether it's a video, a hands-on demonstration, or an interview with the artist, a great story can help shoppers find products they love.

According to One Spot, stories are up to 22x more memorable than just facts.

At Beatriz Ball, we know that the increasing rarity of a handmade object makes them all the more precious and desirable. As Beatriz often states:

"In a world of mass production, handmade is the true luxury."

Share these stories behind your handcrafted artisanal products and you'll truly capture your shopper's delight and inspire connection. It's what makes us human, after all.