More than a USP: Emotionalisation in E-Commerce

Emotional Shopping
Photo: Bert Kaufmann

When it comes to animating customers, the key word ‘emotionalisation’ is often heard in e-commerce. Whenever it is about conjuring a smile to the customer’s lips, the buzz word comes up most often by pure players, such as Fab (“smiles guaranteed”). But why? It is because we want to get rid of the image of the tech orientated e-commerce enterprise? Naturally an emotional shop provides higher recognition value, awakens enthusiasm and the desire to browse, and raises conversion. Identification and customer connection may even come out of it.


However, the argumentation mostly sounds as though everything happens for the sole purpose of convincing the customer that they are cool. This is certainly not wrong, but it is not everything. The effort required is out of proportion. We are experimenting with storytelling, gamification, high-resolution images, videos, funny texts, pop-up stories, the extraportation service and big data right up to multichannel strategies. So what is the long term idea behind these efforts to reach customers emotionally?

Emotionalisation as a way out of price wars

The attempt to solve two big e-commerce problems lies behind all this: Brand establishment (and thereby customer connection) without a stationary background and the ever increasing price war. To put it bluntly: away from the transparence of the shopping search engine and towards the feel-good landscape, in which it is not always about the price.

If the brand is trusted, price sensitivity drops, which in turn has another positive effect: there is less price comparison with the competition and profit margins increase. So this is where one of the few ways out of the price war in the internet opens and of course, gauging according to top dog Amazon.

For this reason, the topic emotionalisation is a central theme in e-commerce, which goes further than turning the screws of the shop surface. Strategies are being looked for, with which branding and customer connection can also made possible online.

Sadly, this is as difficult as it ever was. Successful brands are still built up offline. Moreover, there are not just advantages: emotions fire up desire, which in practice, can lead to to higher return rates and other uncomfortable side effects.

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