For over a decade, media outlets and retailers have leveraged shoppable content to maximise profitability and relevance in an increasingly digital world.

Now, as brands and marketing channels proliferate and race to keep up with the ever-growing consumer expectation for personalised digital experiences, the role of shoppable content is larger than ever – as are its possibilities.

Whether you’re new to the game or looking to evolve your current strategy, here’s everything you need to know about shoppable content as we head into 2021.

Firstly, what is shoppable content?

Put simply, shoppable content is any kind of content – including Instagram reels, blog posts, native articles, livestream shopping videos (to name a few) – that provides customers with an opportunity to purchase a product or service.

Traditionally, that opportunity to purchase would require the consumer having to click away from the page they’re on to complete the transaction on a separate product page, but as technology has evolved, so too has the shoppable content journey. Now, Tipser is powering the new wave of e-commerce by allowing consumers to purchase products at the point of inspiration from any digital surface. But we’ll get to that later.

Why should content commerce be part of your digital marketing strategy?

Remember that ever-growing consumer expectation for personalised, convenient digital experiences we mentioned? When it comes to consumer buying behaviour, experts predict that worldwide e-commerce will generate $4.9 trillion in sales next year, and by 2040 as much as 95% of shopping will be facilitated by e-commerce. That’s a train you want to be on – and content commerce is your way to catch it.

Your customers are inundated with thousands of generic marketing messages and ads every day, and have entire digital marketplaces at their fingertips. But your customers are also human beings – with core needs to feel seen, heard and understood.

The best way for online businesses to connect with consumers is by establishing trust, and building a relationship. How? Through effective and personalised content, which delivers valuable products and content to your consumer when they want and need it most.  

Shoppable content fuses retail with media to make the consumer’s online experiences both personalised and profitable. It enables publishers to monetise their content, enables brands to monetise the publishers’ readers, and provides a streamlined purchase experience for consumers. That’s a win, win, win.

Who is using shoppable content successfully?

From a social platform perspective, Instagram is a leading example. The Silicon Valley giant recently announced that it’s adding a shoppable function to its Reels to leverage its millions of captivated scrollers. A recent Tipser survey revealed 74% of users turn to social media platforms for product inspiration – a prime phase of the customer journey to target for conversion.

Successful shoppable content isn’t limited to social media. Sweden’s largest price comparison site, PriceRunner, evolved its entire business model by adding a direct checkout to its site. By using Tipser to allow customers to instantly purchase at the point of inspiration (which Instagram’s new feature has been created for), PriceRunner upgraded its consumer experience and saw a major surge in conversion.

In the beauty space, big-time brands such as Estée Lauder, La Mer and Beautycounter are using technology from the video platform Bambuser to make their livestreaming shoppable. Leading global payments provider and shopping service Klarna also sets a high content commerce bar. Their latest evolution featured a brand new app “that gives users access to exclusive deals and drops, the ability to create and share wish lists with friends and family, and the ability to shop anywhere online and pay in interest-free instalments”.

Not only are these companies standing out from their competitors, they are meeting the expectations of their consumers. In our recent survey, 61% of respondents answered that they were open to purchase products from a live shopping video.

How online businesses can integrate shoppable content in 2021

Traditionally, the most common form of shoppable content was affiliate marketing links, which is still very popular among many publishers, blogs and online businesses. But as the digital landscape has evolved, so have the possibilities of e-commerce. Now, there are many ways to integrate content and commerce – which minimise disruption to the customer journey and can be adapted based on what experience would be most impactful for your market.

These include consistent omni-channel content delivery, multi-platform touch points for commerce, and adopting a content-first approach to create personalised customer journeys.

As mentioned earlier, Tipser is powering the new wave of e-commerce by allowing consumers to purchase products at the point of inspiration from any digital surface. It’s the only style of content commerce integration that means publishers and online media don’t have to risk losing their readers with their advertising, and brands are able to convert customers at the peak of their interest.

Shoppable content benefits multiple streams of online business, including:

  1. Price Comparison sites

Recent survey results showed that customers are open to purchasing products directly from price comparison sites – without leaving the page they’re on [option to hyperlink here]. Price comparison sites can now increase their conversions by adding a ‘buy now’ button to their products. Rather than having to be redirected to a different site to complete their purchase, which is frustrating and disruptive to the customer journey.

  1. Fashion & beauty brands

Fashion and beauty brands can leverage content commerce to cut through and make their products shoppable at the optimum conversion time for their customers. A great way to achieve this is by collaborating with aligned publishers to leverage their captivated audience – without having to lure them off the page.

  1. Lifestyle publishers

Not only do publishers get to stop compromising their traffic in order to host advertising, they can also leverage shoppable content to increase their reader return rate. Many publishers have seen an increase in return visitors based on their embedded ecommerce.

  1. Marketplaces

In a world where convenience is key, consumers turn to digital marketplaces in a bid to combat the overwhelm of having to search for individual products. Innovative marketplaces like ShopStyle are leveraging the new wave of e-commerce to revolutionise their business model; by offering customers the opportunity to purchase affiliate products directly, which in turn maintains their visitors and boosts conversion.

While consumer expectation will undoubtedly continue to grow in parallel with our technology proficiency, one thing is for certain – online businesses who can make the customer journey as personalised, smooth and convenient as possible will stay ahead of the game.

Shoppable content used to be a novelty, but now the technology and consumer journey work seamlessly in any digital channel. As shown by recent data, consumers are also open to shopping in new channels. It’s clear that shoppable content will become the new normal in 2021.

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