Hepsiburada is one of the most popular e-trade websites in Turkey that serves to cyber consumers in many categories. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, company was selected as the “The Most Loved Brand of Turkey”. Moreover in 2013 company was selected as the “E-Trade Site of the Year”. Therefore, it can be said that Hepsiburada is one of the most popular and preferred e-trade website in Turkey.
Due to it is popularity and success, Hepsiburada has been selected to be analyzed by its digital storytelling application on the website.
In the following parts, digital storytelling analysis of Hepsiburada is shared under the framework:
1. Name of the story / e-trade website
The name “Hepsiburada” creates an image of a room or a cloud in mind that is full of technological devices, where everything is intertwined, but also can be found. This room or cloud associates with an image which seems a little bit mechanic and artificial. The name Hepsiburada as a name itself doesn’t really create connection with consumers, instead puts a distance between them.
2. Message, the story / e-trade website
The message of “Free shipping over the purchase of 50 TL” is placed at the top of Hepsiburada home page. This is the core message that the website gives at the home page which is kind of commercial. E-trade website’s commercial perspective is reflected to the website’s core message as well. It is also observed that Hepsiburada does not have concerns about warm messages and touching the emotions; features and benefits of the products are the main focus areas on e-trade website.
3. Entrance of the story / Home page of the e-trade website
Hepsiburada has cold, industrial look at the home page. It is difficult to connect with the brand emotionally as a consumer.
4. Journey that the e-trade website promises to consumers
E-trade websites need to present a journey to consumers while they are looking for a product. Through this aspect, Hepsiburada is a bit difficult to find the product that one is looking for. On the other hand, steps of buying the product in Hepsiburada is easier than many other e-trade websites (There is no membership request when buying the product for instance.).
To sum up, the journey that the website presents to consumers has to be designed carefully (easy and clear) and smoothly. Journey has to be supported by the storytelling for consumers to enjoy spending time in the website and have a satisfied user experience.
5. Conflicts / Contradictions / Analysis in the e-trade website
In the storytelling one of the key elements to catch audiences is to create a conflict and solve this conflict during the telling. In that perspective, Hepsiburada neither creates a conflict nor solves it. Therefore, there is a lack of attraction for the audiences.
6. Archetype of the character / e-trade website
As Ballester & Sabiote (2016) mentioned, the use of archetypes in brand story helps to connect with others (e.g., consumers), and present products and brands, in a meaningful way. Since archetypes are forms or images of a collective nature that represent a typical human experience, define the personality of a brand, and give a voice to express the story to the consumers, e-trade websites should also benefit from the advantages of archetypes to generate the impact on consumers and to make the core message, mission of the brand or company pass to the consumers easier.
Through this aspect, Hepsiburada, which means; “whatever you are looking for is here” in English can be determined as “ruler”. Key attributes of ruler are everyday functionality, honesty, dependable, not pretentious, straight shooter, people-oriented (Jung, 1959). Position of Hepsiburada is mainly align with the features of ruler archetype.
7. Place / Atmosphere of the e-trade website
Creating a “Place” in e-trade websites is actually for creating an atmosphere in consumers’ mind that evokes emotions. “Hepsiburada” brings the image of a room or a cloud, full of technological devices, where everything is intertwined, but also can be found. This image seems little bit mechanic and artificial actually. Therefore, it seems like Hepsiburada is not aiming to create an atmosphere.
8. Narration / The narrative language of the e-trade website
Use of description, adjectives, phrases and first-person singular & plural expression increase the sincerity and create a warm atmosphere in the websites. By not having applied this element of digital storytelling on the website, Hepsiburada seems more like a cold, commercial website, which has a mechanical, didactic language.
9. “Feature + Benefit + Meaning” analysis of the products in the e-trade website
When it is analyzed, it is found that Hepsiburada only shares product features and benefits on the website but not the meanings which can be actually supported with storytelling. Therefore, consumers can only check the features of the product, review the benefits (if there is) and if they are satisfied with the info they get from the website, they might prefer to buy the product in Hepsiburada.
10. Persuasion capability of the e-trade website
Generating persuasion in consumers’ mind is one of the most important roles of digital storytelling which helps consumers with their decision making process while buying a product.
During a research, when consumers’ comments for Hepsiburada are analyzed on observation forms, it is found that consumers are not really satisfied and convinced with Hepsiburada’s presentation of the products. Digital storytelling support will be helpful at this stage.
11. Recall level of the e-trade website
When brand awareness increases, retention of a brand in consumers’ mind also increases. Stories can be helpful to increase the brand awareness, which also has a positive impact on the recall level of the e-trade website.
Through this aspect, when consumers’ comments in the same research are analyzed, it is noticed that Hepsiburada is found ineffective by consumers.
12. Reality of the e-trade website
Having a real story is one of the most important elements at storytelling, stories should not be taken into consideration as fiction. Stories have to reflect realities. Although storytelling is not applied on Hepsiburada’s site, the content and the visuals that are shared on the website do not create any question in terms of realty in consumers’ mind.
Summary of Hepsiburada Storytelling Analysis:
Hepsiburada average score in digital storytelling analysis is 4,6 over 10. The elements that should be improved to connect with consumers and touch their emotions are also mentioned above. Hepsiburada can have a better business results and sales performance once the e-trade website is enriched with digital storytelling elements.