Why adopt a lifestyle eCommerce?

The recent research revealed that people’s attention spans are just as long as 8.25 seconds, says the CMO. That sounds appallingly bad for human evolution, doesn’t it.

But the result also means that we are much faster at filtering what’s important / what’s not in this cluttered market.

Unless your target audience is goldfish, then most brands will need to rethink their marketing and communication strategies to cater the time-compressed customers.  


This is a tough question. Most contemporary brands have adopted the concept of storytelling that swept the world of branding few years ago.

However, with the attention span that is shorter than your pet, telling a story to your customers online may be no longer effective. Nothing is more valuable than time in this oversaturated market for your customers. Brands need to get to the point as effective and engaging as possible.

Having said that, the concept of “narratives” is not going obsolete. (As many have argued that it is in our DNA.) Reduced attention spans doesn’t mean that your consumers are less smart today. They are just as eager to dig deeper and discover about a brand story as ever.  

A shift from storytelling to story-SHOWING?

So what’s a better way to capture and retain customers’ attention these days?

Strong visuals and less fluff.

Savvy brands often opt for a lifestyle-focused content, combining stunning imagery and user-generated content that encourages customers explore and use their imagination to complete the missing parts of the brand story. This is no stranger to eCommerce sites, as having a compelling lifestyle content that connects emotionally with customers is what keeps them coming back.

Savvier brands are exceptionally adept at crafting and curating captivating content that help them persuade, motivate and inspire their online customers.

Content is not an immediate conversion channel.

Nonetheless, if you fail in creating the emotional connection through content, then your brand will likely to end up being perceived as irrelevant to your customers.

Whether an aspirational, confident or even adventurous, brands will be better connected with customers by communicating a particular kind of “lifestyle” and increase your brand awareness.

Does your eCommerce only sells ‘functional’ products? Then you are in the risk of losing users’ attention by boring them. eCommerce sites are beyond just a functional platform where transactions take place.

They help business owners persuade, motivate and eventually sell products. Yet, many of us tend to misunderstand the relationship between content, particularly lifestyle-focused, and sales.

 “Lifestyle as hyper segments”

From short documentaries, how-tos and eye-catching photography, editorial content embedded in eCommerce or website contribute to an increased brand awareness. Inspired customers are more likely to come back to your site to check out new editorial contents, which in return, help encourage them to buy the items.

At the same time, lifestyle eCommerce brands have been particularly good at ‘creating hyper focused, niche customer pockets.’  In business marketing 101, market segmentation used to be confined within age groups, geographies, gender and so on. But lifestyle brands focus on the itsy-bitsy details, leading to an even finer level of segmentation.

Hyper segmentation allows brands to emotionally and effectively engage with customers. It talks directly to the right people by conveying the exact lifestyle they aspire. Because lifestyle, just as much as personality, defines who we are.

What do GREAT lifestyle eCommerce brands look like?

Here’s a small selection of captivating lifestyle eCommerce sites. But, firstly, we need to see the difference between lifestyle eCommerce and the rest. 

Despite having “The Mediterranean Way of Life” as the web tagline, the MSC Cruises’ website/eCommerce doesn’t quite communicate their unique selling point. I couldn’t help but ponder: “Isn’t it a little dull for a business selling aspirational travel experience online?”

With the design being rigidly confined by grid layouts, the overall look-and-feel doesn’t quite show the luxurious lifestyle that should be associated with the brand. On the other hand, their social media such as Instagram is full of captivating and user-generated content.

Smart lifestyle brands “think outside the grid”


Even though I’m a non-subscriber, their magazine-like eCommerce consists of interviews, inspirational ideas, hands-on advice and the usual how-tos that benefit everybody. Well, surely their eCommerce caters for those who are interested in cosmetics. But sometimes it is much more than just makeup tips. Engaging articles on  food and health trend also encourage those new visitors to come back for more. Their blog is seamlessly integrated into their online shop as users can easily add and view the products related to the articles.

Edwin journal 

Edwin’s eCommerce welcomes you with full, screen-wide, stunning images and GIFs, and then offers four options: shop, fit guide, music and lookbook. Unlike a rigid grid layout design, the look and feel is visually appealing, seemingly more spontaneous but simultaneously easy-to-navigate.

Their “journal” is rife with lifestyle content. From trendy DJs to collaboration projects with their like-minded brands, the journal makes the site more vibrant and motivational. From the taste of music to holiday destinations, they know who their audience are. Their previous collaboration with Blitz is a clear example of successful communication with their core customers: riders and surfers, or those who simply dream of that sort of lifestyle. Instead of trying to sell a pair of jeans as a functional clothing, Edwin brand is integral to pursuing a certain lifestyle you believe in.

What do you think?

Appnova is a digital agency specialising in web design, UX, eCommerce, branding, digital marketing and social media.

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