Why you should consider Shoppable Media for a Successful eCommerce Strategy

4 mins

Your Customers Are Demanding More

Currently, outdated advertisements are flooding the digital retail landscape and as a result, no longer serving consumers on their purchase journey.

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, there's significant potential for transformation in digital advertising, with ads being “ripe for reinvention.” 

Approximately half of your customer base is willing to invest more for a smoother and more effective shopping experience.

Shoppable media is your key to delivering that experience. 

Shoppable media (you might also see it called shoppable content) is any interactive content that enables commerce. That might look like: 

  • QR codes on a bus shelter reminding you to buy groceries 
  • Big-budget interactive fashion video experiences 
  • Banner ads that let you drop products in your cart 

If it can be clicked, tapped, scanned or swiped to facilitate a purchase, it’s shoppable media. Sell more products faster, with less friction. Deepen your understanding and relationship with customers. Secure better ROI with more powerful data tracking and analytics. It’s time to get your content working harder for your brand.

Exploring The Business Benefits Of Shoppable Media

Why should your brand get into shoppable media, or give it added focus in your marketing mix? If you’re building a case to justify an increased or changed budget, think about these glowing positives…

Shorten Your Sales Funnel 

Traditionally, content marketers hoped for a sales funnel that looks something like this: 

  • The customer sees a product in a piece of content and decides they want it 
  • They’ll look for the product (or a similar one) by any means available to them 
  • Once the product is found, the customer faces the decision to buy 
  • All being well, they put the item in their cart and make the purchase

If that works, great! But if you’re like us, those second and third steps should be throwing up a lot of red flags. Both steps are laden with points at which the customer might find a competitor’s product instead of yours, or get bored and abandon the sale entirely. 

Shoppable media dramatically shortens this process. Few things in commerce get as disrupted as often as the path to purchase. The emerging tools, channels and trends which enable shoppable media have driven its evolution into overdrive.

At the very least, a piece of shoppable content cuts out the process of searching for a product by directing customers straight to a place where they can buy from you. More sophisticated options also streamline the purchase decision itself by keeping the whole process entirely within one publisher’s ecosystem.

Inspire Your Customers, Sell With Stories

We humans are a narrative species. From our early hunter-gatherer days, the tribes who survived were the ones who were able to make sense of where food would be at any given time. We did this with stories. Food grazes in summer and hides in winter; basic narratives helped us stay alive. 

This is still ingrained to this day. Memory experts recommend linking bits of information with made-up stories while revising for exams. It also remains true in how we hunt and gather in the modern era. 

Shoppable media uses this particular evolutionary trait to your business’ advantage. Seeing products in the context of narrative content helps customers visualise how those products will benefit their lives. You’re helping them synthesise their intentions, goals and actions in a way which is inseparable from what you’re selling.

Find Warmer Leads From More Receptive Customers 

The idea that consumers, particularly in younger demographics, are naturally resistant to advertising might not be entirely accurate. 

True, there’s a certain level of cynicism when people feel like you’re selling to them (or worse, selling at them). But 90% of Instagram users follow some kind of business account. That doesn’t sound like resistance or cynicism, does it? 

Consumers will let you into their headspace if you catch them at the right moment. Shoppable media reaches people when their guard is down, when they’re in a more passive and less critical state. Whether their motivation for engaging with your content is to be entertained, informed, inspired or convinced, they’re giving you a chance to forge a meaningful connection.

If your shoppable media helps them satisfy their motivation and makes a clear case for purchase, and if the path to that purchase is low-friction, it can be highly effective in overcoming resistance. 

Almost 8 in 10 Gen Z consumers use social media to discover new products. 11% of which bought the product straight away and over 40% bought at a later point. 

You can interpret these stats in a few ways. Brands that are neglecting or not performing in their shoppable media campaigns are missing out on 55% of sales, either immediately or at a later date. 

Or from another perspective – 89% of consumers are not buying products they see on social straight away. So it’s vital to have an effective shoppable media operation, but just because you’re able to reach the right type of people and run shoppable ads where they are spending a lot of their time online, doesn’t circumvent the purchase decision making process. The funnel is still a path that marketers must navigate effectively. 

8 in 10 consumers say that brand familiarity makes them more likely to buy on social media. This shows that large retail brands are benefiting from the explosion in social commerce, not just small sellers drop shipping gadgets from AliExpress.

Offer A Better Experience Across More Touchpoints

Nobody experiences the disruption to the traditional linear path to purchase as keenly as your customer. They’re using more devices than ever, being exposed to more products from more brands, and interacting with those brands via more and more touchpoints. 

Whether today’s path to purchase is a circle, a spiral or an infinite loop, every single interaction has to feel consistent and positive. Shoppable media lets you achieve this. You’re meeting customers on platforms where they already hang out, giving them content that’s tailored to the experience they want on each platform.

Across a shoppable media campaign, you can provide a consistent experience in terms of branding and tone that helps people recognize your brand. Whether a customer sees you on Instagram on Monday, YouTube on Tuesday or your blog on Wednesday, it all still feels like you. 

Although the ad is always going to be primarily about catching attention, marketers can use the destination page to provide the user with all the product detail and information they need to make the purchase.

Generate Sales Across Different Media Channels 

It’s not only customers who are using more platforms than ever to do business. Brands are under pressure to expand and experiment with every new app and social network that emerges, in case it turns out to be the next big thing. But how can you make every platform actually work for your business? You need to be quick off the mark and ready to put skin in the game immediately. 

Brands that get ahead on their social commerce strategy will take advantage of the overall compounding growth of the media. According to a study from ResearchandMarkets.com, the social commerce market will reach $6.2 trillion by 2030, growing year over year by 30.8%.

Brands that have a mature shoppable media function already are best placed to take advantage of future trends and platforms that appear over time. For example, the emergence of TikTok as a global social media powerhouse shows how quickly the market can evolve and change. Brands that have a clear shoppable media strategy and experience in running these types of ads are able to take advantage quicker than brands who are flat footed with their head in the sand. 

And don’t forget your bricks and mortar throughout all this. Traditional retail remains a powerhouse, but it doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) compete with eCommerce. Your physical store is another channel to make sales and utilise shoppable media to support it.

Learn More About Your Customers

Think about all these benefits so far; a more efficient sales funnel, more engagement coming from more channels. Everything has the added bonus of generating greater quantities of first-party user data. Shoppable media links your online presence together so you have a clearer picture of what content is provoking what kind of response. 

Without shoppable media, there’s a massive chasm of guesswork between content marketing and conversion. For the customer, there’s also a whole process of searching and selecting products which you’re simply not privy to. If you can’t see it, you can’t learn from it. 

Shoppable content gives you more ways to measure and test different kinds of content. Equally useful is the ability to see more of the user’s journey. You’re not only seeing ‘someone saw content A and bought product B.’ You can see what related products they also picked up in the same shopping trip. With that knowledge you can iterate new content that sells both items.

Shoppable media gives you the information that can power your eCommerce strategy and make decisions with real sales data connections. For more information on Shoppable Media and how you can make the most of your content, read the full report here.

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