What makes or breaks the success of a business? Some believe it’s location, either geographical or as an online medium. Others will tell you that time is of the essence, translated to web pages that never seem to load fast enough, expedited checkout processes, and fast and reliable delivery.
In today’s world, there’s one thing that makes brands stand out from the crowd, turn to content marketing, and wrap products up in emotions and personal stories. As brands scramble to offer more products and services online, the future of commerce has shifted to another marketing powerhouse: context.
Only a few have unlocked the secret behind closing the gap between engagement and purchase, between the act of selling and the act of buying: making visual content fully shoppable.
Now, as brands continue to invest in on-platform shoppable content tools, it’s clear that this specific type of social commerce is gaining steam. But what exactly is shoppable content, what does shoppable media look like, and how do you get started? Let’s cover that, next.
What is shoppable content?
91% of buyers prefer interactive, visual content that can be accessed on demand. Nowadays, marketing professionals, editors, publishers, and bloggers are expected to not only tell people what to buy but also where to buy it. How are they doing it? By turning smart social data into shoppable content.
Shoppable content is a form of visual commerce that uses compelling imagery with actionable purchase points or product recommendations to streamline the conversion path from scrolling to purchase.
These shoppable posts shorten the buying journey by converting your best content into shoppable assets. It can be any type of content (images, videos, articles, ads), often formulated in a storytelling format, and has features that are emerging across many platforms, creating new opportunities for brands big and small.
Thanks to social media, brands are bridging the gap between scrolling and buying and platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and WhatsApp have begun rolling out their own eCommerce tools to help businesses sell more items directly from their social pages—and it’s working.
73% of businesses are currently selling on social media platforms. Of those who aren’t, 79% plan to do so within the next three years. In the US alone, the volume of social commerce sales is expected to reach over $100 million by 2023.
There are a few ways brands can leverage these shoppable posts, including:
- on their ecommerce site/online store;
- as shoppable posts on social media;
- as part of social ads;
- In email marketing campaigns;
- on in-store displays;
- and more.
Depending on the type of shoppable content, consumers can either add products to cart directly from what they are viewing, or be taken to a product page and continue to shop from there. This means there’s just a couple of clicks between the Aha! moment, when people see the product, to the moment when they can actually buy it.
What makes shoppable media better than regular content?
From articles, galleries, and video ads to lookbooks and magazines, content has transformed into a more powerful, memorable, and interactive experience. Today, the average person has the ability to recall 65% of the visual content they see almost three days later and iterations of shoppable content have become more real, reducing the number of steps that customers need to take to go from content to purchase.
Visualization is vital for every touchpoint in the customer journey, especially at the product discovery stage, where customers are developing a growing impatience for wading through irrelevant searches.
By making content shoppable, brands allow their customers to flip through galleries, videos, and images and purchase the desired items with the mere tap of a finger. However, convenience isn’t the only advantage shoppable content has over traditional content. Shoppable content also:
- merges the point of inspiration with the point of sale through content;
- creates product experience through real-life context that inspires shoppers;
- eliminates the buyer’s inconvenient journey from the product description page through long-drawn ecommerce
- steps that take longer to reach the purchase page;
- enables brands to boost conversions, build social proof through inspiration, inspire purchases, and increase ecommerce conversion rate;
- involves real-time shoppability, which can result in an instant conversion, without the risk of cart abandonment.
Shoppable content simplifies the path to purchase as it leads directly from content to cart—something traditional content isn’t capable of doing.
Who is shoppable content for?
Almost every retail brand you can think of has its own content platform that shares, teaches, and adds extra value to its offering, earning consumer trust and slowly converting them into customers. And with so much competition, making a direct, instant connection between a story and a product is no easy feat.
Years ago, companies spent millions of dollars on physical ads they couldn’t truly track or on generating content without understanding the true ROI. Today, any marketing team that wants to leverage a good commerce strategy (and especially one that already works with influencers) needs to invest in shoppable content.
Customers are more likely to buy after having social proof, rather than from an ad campaign made by a brand. Numbers don’t lie:
- 85% of executives report that social data will be a primary source of business intelligence for their company moving forward.
- 78% of consumers are more willing to buy from a brand and 77% will choose a brand over a competitor after a positive experience with a brand on social media.
Your content literally comes to life by embedding shoppable features into content that directs users to the products they want to buy. Ultimately, this will help your team see the true impact of the content you produce.
Shoppable content benefits
1.Content that boosts conversions
Historically, content alone has struggled to create a clear connection to sales. Shoppable content cuts out the middleman and helps produce assets that are, by nature, the ideal conduit to closing a sale.
Embedding shoppable content features on your website creates a natural next step for customers who already love your awareness content. It streamlines the purchase journey so users can easily get information, engage with content, and shop the products they like.
2. A more seamless and relevant shopping experience
Longer shopping journeys, complex navigation, and slow websites are some of the key factors that negatively affect the shopping experience. However, you can make your shopping experience more seamless, quick, easy, and instant with shoppable content.
Most brands deal with issues regarding shoppability and product discovery. Shoppable content capitalizes on this frustration by adding the ability to shop directly within online content, which leads to:
- a seamless merge of content and commerce;
- the ability to shop instantly;
- a shorter consumer flow;
- an emotionalized shopping process;
- the ability to measure sales and conversions.
3.Learn what works (and do more of it)
Knowing what’s working can help you repeat your success as you scale your strategy. It can also illuminate new opportunities you might have otherwise missed, by leveraging user-generated content like real customer photos and videos, which could help in building the much-needed social proof.
As you can see, there are multiple benefits of shoppable content to consider. However, the best way to get started is by putting theory into practice and actually doing it. Let’s go over some shoppable content examples.
The best examples of shoppable content
Shoppable galleries keep your customers engaged by bringing your brand to life through visual inspiration and product discovery. They turn your photos and videos into shoppable experiences, which customers can experience directly in your store.
By incorporating visual content from actual customers, fashion retailer Collective managed to create an experience similar to that of scrolling through a social media feed, successfully alleviating the pressure of purchasing. The images act as a product endorsement from other satisfied customers, and the shoppable elements make it easier to discover the product information necessary to make a purchasing decision.
These ProductLead shoppable galleries are beautifully customizable and blend seamlessly with your brand. Once you click on one of the images, a new window opens to offer more product details and reveal a shoppable pin. This is a portal that leads users directly to product pages where customers can add their favorite products to the cart.
Adding these visual shopping cues to your website gives customers new ways to shop your products. It also lets you leverage influencer marketing and User Generated Content (UGC), as the ultimate organic marketing assets that a brand can use to give audiences relevant and relatable product context.
Shoppable Social Media
Social media is one of the areas that picked up pretty fast on the shoppable trend. What started with apps like Like2Buy or LikeItWantIt that made Instagram photos directly purchasable, has ended up as a rich self-sustaining platform, with shoppable features and capabilities.
Other platforms quickly followed through, with Facebook Shops, Pinterest Product Pins, and WhatsApp E-Commerce and Social Channels speeding up the customer journey by seamlessly directing users to buy products, sometimes without ever leaving the app.
Video marketing has been on a roll and brands are taking notice by allowing users to shop products directly from videos, as a way to transform viewers into consumers.
Videos are a super-engaging way to catch a browser’s attention. Once you have it, you definitely intend to keep it, without interrupting the viewing experience with ads. Clothing and accessories label Kate Spade realized this early on, and implemented a feature that compiled the list of products into a cart viewed at the end of the video. That way, they eliminated the need of exiting a video when shoppable elements were clicked, which often ruined the viewing experience for consumers and discouraged purchases.
Affiliate network provider ShopStyle also revolutionized shoppable videos, by taking the idea of a retail worker’s commission and translating it for the digital age.
Their Video Looks feature is a unique landing page that hosts an embedded YouTube video and highlights all the products featured in the video, for a one-click shopping experience allowing viewers to easily find and purchase products featured in an influencer’s YouTube video.
You’re probably thinking: aren’t ads inherently shoppable? And you’re right, what makes an ad different from any other type of content is the fact that it’s intended to sell.
However, these shoppable ads leverage the power of creative automation, letting you mobilise and apply trustable content and relatable user stories all across the customer journey.
When Samsung was gearing up to launch the Galaxy S10e, S10, and S10+ smartphones, they needed a solution to produce a stream of assets for their biggest and the most important event of the year. These assets had to be produced fast, with no human errors, and be implemented right away for the launch of their new generation smartphone.
This ProductLead campaign was focused on reducing feedback loops and increasing adherence to corporate identity while improving ROAS and saving 90% of the creative production costs on 900+ assets – from Facebook Video Stories formats to static formats on Google Display Network, all without breaking a sweat.
User-generated content (UGC) infuses personality into products by transforming them from objects into relatable lifestyles, making it an ideal asset for shoppable content.
As a major fashion retailer, Collective regularly partners with social media influencers across platforms, to amplify their reach. This strategy ensures that they consistently provide quality and authentic content their target audience will love.
By sourcing micro-influencers to fuel UGC, they were then able to repurpose the content using ProductLead to increase their ecommerce conversion rates by 2.5x. More than 1300 UGC assets later, Collective had also gained a 428% increase in Instagram followers.
By using UGC, online retailers can reduce bounce rates and improve their overall performance. You have the option of creating amazing social walls for your website using only the best UGC, using tags to rate them, adding more details, and providing context. This enhances your website with UGC from inspiring hashtags and turns Instagram content into commercial results.
Get started with shoppable content: How ProductLead can help boost your conversion rate
ProductLead offers easy-to-use tools & embeds that turn aggregated user-generated content into powerful eCommerce social shopping experiences. Your freshly gathered UGC, brand-owned content, and product feed can be displayed anywhere—from your website product pages and personalized landing pages to social ads.
This innovative SaaS technology empowers distributed marketing teams to work with content across the customer journey. ProductLead helps brands seamlessly publish, track and manage shoppable content, so you can draw a direct line between content and your bottom of the funnel.
Shoppable Content Galleries: Convert your best content into shoppable assets.
Turn your Instagram feed and User Generated Content (UGC) into customisable shopping experiences that engage customers and increase sales. You can embed these shoppable social walls or galleries to your website, product pages, and personalized landing pages.
You could benefit from implementing Shoppable Content Galleries if:
- You’re not maximizing the power of digital UGC;
- You’re finding it difficult to develop and maintain brand loyalty;
- You’re ready to make shoppable content a core component of your marketing strategy.
Visual Commerce Platform: Give your on-site customer experience a sales boost.
ProductLead’s Visual Commerce features lets you build a seamless customer journey, with automated visual marketing solutions that can:
- Facilitate product discovery
- Improve customer experience
- Shorten the path from product discovery to purchase
- Drive engagement across the shopping journey
Distribute shoppable interactive galleries and social ads from your own product feeds or user-generated content. Do it at scale, for a cost-effective way to increase sales, save time, and have more control over your content.
ProductLead’s Visual Commerce capabilities are the right fit for you if:
- You’re having trouble effectively getting your product out there, in front of customers;
- You’re spending too much time or resources with ad design creation;
- You’re struggling to launch new products and generate enough buzz.
Social media has revolutionised the way businesses and consumers interact, and shoppable content is its newest frontier. Now is the time to be adaptable and lean into change. The earlier you experiment with shoppable content, the faster you can scale.
There’s plenty of room to stake your claim. Just make sure you have the right tools in place. Request a ProductLead demo today and shorten your customers’ shopping journeys with shoppable assets built from your best content.