Turkey-based Dogus Group and South Korea-based SK Group firstly established Dogus Planet in June 2012. And later on in March 20, 2013, Dogus Planet established n11.com. Name of the e-trade site first announced as numaonbir.com (numbereleven.com) which was inspired by SK Group’s enterprise, 11st.co.kr, in South Korea (tr.wikipedia.org).
n11.com was awarded the bronze award in the “Marketing Campaign of the Year – Retail” category in 2013, and the bronze award in the “Customer Service Team of the Year” category in 2014 and the “Customer Service Team of the Year” category by the “The International Business Awards”. A project prepared by Sia Insight for n11.com won the silver prize in the “Visionary Baykuş (Owl)” category at the 2013 Baykuş (Owl) Awards. n11.com also set an example for investment at the Global E-Commerce Seminar in South Korea in 2014.
We analyzed the digital storytelling of the n11 to see if the e-trade site, which had an impressive acceleration of success in a very short time, also displayed similar success in digital storytelling.
1. Name of the story / e-trade website
What comes first to mind when we hear Numara 11 (Number 11) or abbreviated as n11 is a door number. It is intriguing why an e-trade site gets its name from a door number or let’s say address. When we examine the name, we learn that company that is established by Korean – Turkish partnership inspired the name by another e-trade platform owned by Korean partner, called “Eleventh Street”. The Korean partner requested to have 11 in the name, and in the next step the domain n11.com was purchased. As a summary, while determining the name of the e-trade site, no strategy that touches the human feelings and enables emotional bonding has been followed, and a name that is not fully passed to the consumer, not totally understood by the consumer, but at the same time arouses curiosity has been determined.
2. Message, the story / e-trade website
n11 uses the slogan “fortunate address of shopping”. The logo on the main page of the site also includes the slogan. 11 is on a ladybug on the logo, namely ladybug and the slogan is align. When we investigate the reason why the ladybug is preferred, we learn that the feeling of being owned to the nature brings the symbol of nature to the symbol of the brand. Thus, the ladybug comes to life on the site with the message of the fortunate address of shopping. The first question that comes to mind is what does n11 do to support nature if they are feeling that way? When we examine the social responsibility page of the site, it is noticed that nature is not one of the social responsibility areas of the company. n11 does not have a memorable project to support nature either. Leaving aside the nature part, the “fortunate address of shopping” slogan actually overlaps in a sense for an e-trade site that has a commercial stance. When the consumer reads the slogan, s/he may think that there may be some campaigns that will be presented to her/him on the site, and that s/he can buy the same product at a more affordable price in n11 compared to other e-trade sites. But all these thoughts sit on a commercial basis. When s/he sees a more attractive campaign, the consumer will want to benefit, the consumer has no commitment to n11.
3. Entrance of the story / Home page of the e-trade website
The homepage of the site, whose name does not have an emotional interaction with the consumer, we cannot feel the reflections of the message or we find it commercial, reflects a similar commercial stance.
From the first moment of entering the site, when the consumer carefully follows the main banner, side banners and bestseller section, s/he comes to the idea that s/he can buy many products; from ginger to car from n11. As mentioned earlier, this idea does not help to make an emotional connection with the brand, but it coincides with the slogan of the site (fortunate address of shopping).
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. When evaluated from this point of view, n11 offers the consumer an easy and fast journey that is expected in a commercial point of view by providing the categories, sub-categories, fast search options, and no membership request at the purchase process. But as stated in other elements, this journey is not a journey that touches emotions. Company should take advantage of storytelling to be transformed into a journey where consumers enjoy spending time on the website and are satisfied with the experience they had.
5. Conflicts / Contradictions / Analysis in the e-trade website
One of the key elements in catching the audience in storytelling is creating a conflict and resolving it during the telling. Companies offer their fruits that are just taken from their branches and remove consumers from the city’s traffic, or promise that they will bring the desired product to the consumer, no matter how far they are, can be listed as successful examples for this case. From this perspective, n11 does not create any conflict or contradiction, so it does not bring any analysis/solutions afterwards. This element, which will attract the attention of the consumer and be kept in mind, is not applied on the n11 e-trade website.
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.
With its slogan “fortunate address of shopping”, n11 can be determined as “magician” between the archetypes. Brands mentioned with the magician archetype; promises to achieve change and practical applications, miraculous results, magic moments. It feeds consumers with these dreams. In this context, it is the archetype that has an effect on the “change and transformation” in the mind of the consumer (Ayberk, 2014: 54; Baştürk, 2009: 70). As mentioned earlier, n11 offers a wide range of products from ginger to automobile to the consumer. For this reason, it can be considered as the magician of the e-trade category.
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. n11 offers the consumer a somewhat mixed, a little cold and artificial space where you can find many products. It cannot be said that the company wants to create an atmosphere that will evoke emotions.
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. n11 doesn’t apply this element of digital storytelling on the website. It makes it harder for the consumer to connect with the site which is using more passive verb structure in the texts.
9. “Feature + Benefit + Meaning” analysis of the products in the e-trade website
n11 describes the product features and benefits in detail with text, images and videos. However, it did not embed any meaning on the products. 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 n11. When the meaning is embeded to the products, the bond between the product and the consumer becomes stronger and the product’s retention increases. Therefore, in addition to the features and benefits of the products, their meanings should be also conveyed to consumers.
10. Persuasion capability of the e-trade website
One of the most important roles of digital storytelling is to assist the consumers in the decision-making process by convincing the consumer when buying a product. It cannot be said that n11 benefits from digital storytelling; there is no approach that touches emotions and connects consumers. n11 convinces consumers with its brand awareness.
But as mentioned earlier, if the consumer encounters a better offer on a different e-trade site, s/he will use her/his preference in this direction, the consumer has no commitment to n11.
11. Recall level of the e-trade website
As brand awareness increases, a brand’s level of recall in consumers’ mind also increases. Digital storytelling positively affects the recall level of e-trade sites and helps the increase of brand awareness.
When evaluated from this point of view, there is no attempt of n11 to increase the level of recall within the scope of digital storytelling except for the curious name.
12. Reality of the e-trade website
Having a true story is one of the most important aspects of storytelling, stories should reflect the facts. Although digital storytelling is not applied on n11, the content and images shared on the site do not question the realism.
Summary of n11 Storytelling Analysis:
n11 average score in digital storytelling analysis is 4,58 over 10. In order to connect with the consumer and touch emotion, n11 must develop digital storytelling elements. In order to connect with the consumer and touch the emotions, n11 must develop digital storytelling elements.