In today’s digital age, content is increasingly being viewed as a primary factor behind purchasing decisions in e-commerce. The reason behind this phenomenon, pointing out that people don’t want to buy goods and services — instead, they want to buy relations, stories, and magic. And the marketers of the 21st century are choosing to plant magic into content, deftly cultivating it in order to produce a new ‘crop’ of customers. The result? More and more brands are getting serious about content, favouring it over ads. In other words, content in e-commerce is now thriving.
But when it comes to content and e-commerce, it appears that these two have previously existed quite separately from one another. Yes, there were stories accompanying products even before ‘content marketing’ became a trend, but the truth is, those stories were never fully integrated in the shopping process. And vice versa — products were never fully integrated into the storytelling process, either.Things, however, changed dramatically when content became shoppable.
Today’s consumers demand instant gratification and the ecommerce and digital retail industry need to provide it if they want to remain relevant. Customers want a story, not a product. That means making their content both interactive and shoppable.
Shoppable content can be any type of content such as blog posts, images gifs, videos and more that customers can use to directly purchase from by adding a product to a shopping cart or get directed to a product page and continue shopping from there. So what does shoppable content look like? Here are four types of it that you should know about:
- Shoppable Articles
Most online content follows the “read, then click the CTA to buy” formula, but that often doesn’t work any more. It’s hard enough to grab the audience’s attention, let alone keep them interested and engaged long enough to click that call to action button at the end. And positioning the CTA button somewhere else only solves half the problem.
Brands need to work hard to satisfy the user’s attention and shoppable content allows them to do this by doing what content is meant to do – bring the store closer to the user by blending products into content. This brings that Lustprinzip that consumers expect from a brand today and allows them to buy the product then and there. It also doesn’t interrupt their engagement with the article, instead allowing them to simply click the “buy it now” or “buy here” button and continue reading the article.
- Shoppable Images
Imagine being able to sell a product to someone without saying a single word. Sounds improbable, right? Think again.
By using the power of visual content, shoppable images work even faster than shoppable articles. Many brands are now utilizing beautiful shoppable images on their websites to get visitors inspired and to get them to click and buy.
Interior design, fashion and travel are just some of the industries that can and do use shoppable photography this way and take the best from visual content.
- Shoppable Videos
Almost 50% of Internet users first search for a product or service video, and then visit a store to buy it. In other words, video is where it’s at if you want to get traffic.
Video is the thing in marketing, right now. It’s a format, which by its nature is interactive and lends itself well to participation. So no surprises to learn that video has been front and centre of people’s thinking when it comes to shoppable content. Consumers are looking for more interactive and engaging content from their favourite brands. Brands are looking for ways to reduce the friction between marketing and purchasing. Shoppable videos can achieve both.
- Shoppable Social Media
Where else can that instant pleasure be satisfied the best but on social media. Social platforms like Pinterest and Instagram have already tap into that well and you can expect others like Facebook or Twitter to follow them. Pinterest, for example, has its “buyable pins” that allow you to buy a product directly from the platform, whether on desktop or on mobile, without leaving for another website.
The other image-oriented social platform, Instagram, isn’t far behind with using shoppable content. Instagram users can, for instance, use apps such as “LikeItWantIt” to directly buy a product they see on the photos and not interrupt their experience.
While far from being the norm yet, shoppable content is rapidly transforming the e-commerce scene not to mention the Internet as a whole so we’ll definitely see more examples coming from all kinds of brands. This is simply because brands need to be where the customers are, and modern, millennial customers want everything to be instantly accessible and on demand. They’re armed with iPhones and smart technology and have a high expectation of how products should be presented as well as how fast they should be accessed.
Traditional content marketing isn’t enough anymore. Unless, of course, there’s a new trend that suddenly appears on the horizon something that’s even more interactive and more engaging than shoppable content.