Shoppable Media’s impact on the consumer journey

4 mins

The rise of eCommerce has reshaped our understanding of how consumers discover, evaluate and purchase products. With it came a plethora of digital channels that continue to evolve and expand. 

The collection of data from websites, apps, social media, online marketplaces, and various other digital platforms provide crucial insights into today’s consumer journey.

Within eCommerce, a typical consumer journey would look something like this:

  1. Consumer Sees Product: The consumer encounters the product in your content (could be a blog post, social media post, advertisement, etc.).
  2. Search for Product: The consumer conducts an internet search to find more information about the product.
  3. Decision to Buy: Upon landing on the product page, the consumer makes the decision to purchase the product.
  4. Product Added to Cart: The consumer adds the product to their cart.
  5. Purchase Completed: The consumer completes the purchase process.

Throughout this process, it gets progressively harder to track and retain a prospective consumer’s attention. The consumer journey isn’t linear any more (if, indeed, it ever was). It covers multiple devices and physical locations. There are endless blind spots where consumers leap from one method of shopping to another, with little way to tell what drove them in that direction. 

How does Shoppable Media solve this? 

For marketers, that meant using loose, estimated sales data to measure performance. Every 1,000 leads, for example, might convert at about 5% so you can take a rough guess at how much revenue a campaign has driven. 

You’re also beholden to whatever metrics your partner platforms serve. Is eBay giving you the same kind of data as Amazon right now? If not, how can you synthesise that reporting with so many blank spots in the user journey? 

So, we’ve got two problems here: too many opportunities for consumers to abandon a sale and too many blind spots when measuring ad performance. Shoppable media fixes both issues. 

First, it cuts out step two where the consumer has to manually search for each item. But also, depending on how you’re running your campaign, it could skip the product page and drop an item directly into the cart.

D2C vs Omnichannel 

There’s also the issue of where you sell. Direct to consumer brands can use shoppable ads to drive consumers to their site and make the sale from there as normal. But if you’re taking a more omnichannel approach, you have more options. 

A platform-agnostic campaign could give the consumer the option to buy from several different platforms via the same ad. Tapping a piece of shoppable content might cause a popup to appear with a list of each platform where the product is sold (eBay, Amazon, your own site, so on and so forth). You might also include the price on each platform. 

At first, that might seem to go against the ethos behind shoppable media. On one level, a faster, shorter and lower-friction consumer journey seems to be the only goal. Giving people a bunch of different options for various platforms doesn’t seem like streamlining. 

Yes, consumers like simplicity. But they also like choice and transparency. As long as you’re in control of their path to purchase, there’s no problem with giving them all the options they need to convert. And, of course, you get to track which platforms are performing best for you.

Data And Attribution In Shoppable Media 

In a good shoppable media campaign, everything is trackable. It’s hard to overstate the significance of letting the consumer skip the manual ‘searching for the product they saw’ phase of their journey. That’s the phase where ambiguity arises between the marketers who develop creative and those who look at the data. 

Now, with a well-constructed shoppable campaign, you can see exactly what iteration of which piece of content drove how many conversions via what platforms. Adding urchin tracking module (UTM) parameters to links creates a transparent chain which, in theory, could connect the whole consumer journey. 

This also lets you keep tabs on which platforms are performing for you with far greater accuracy. If you want to emphasize one, you can make it more prominent in your ads and test it against other pieces of content. 

If your analytics platform is advanced enough (ours is), you can even track what other products consumers bought. Say you know that a piece of content is doing a good job driving people to a marketplace, but they’re also buying related products from competitors while they’re there. That could be a good time to introduce bundle deals to secure more of each cart for yourself. 

In this way, every piece of content your marketers develop becomes a powerful source of business intelligence. Leveraged properly, it allows you to give users as many choices as they need without giving them so much choice that it becomes a risk to your sale.

But we understand that learning how to implement Shoppable Media into your eCommerce strategy may be overwhelming. We’re here to help. 

ChannelSight’s software enables eCommerce brands to provide an excellent consumer experience, gather detailed insights and maintain a first class brand. We partner with the world’s most successful retail brands, enabling them to maximise their online sales. 

By taking a ‘partnership first’ approach with our clients, our dedicated brand performance team ensures we meet our objectives together.

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