The future of shoppable content

In its simplest form, shoppable content is nothing new. Since video reviews and “top 10” articles have been popular, shoppable content has been a thing. But it’s becoming more technologically viable now, with seamless experiences that don’t pull users away from their content experience–and it’s even more important in an era in which direct marketing is often ignored, and customers are internet savvy. Here’s what you need to know.

The Basics of Shoppable Content

Shoppable content encompasses any form of content — whether it’s a video, landing page, social media accounts, blog, or even podcast — that directly links through to a product that can be purchased. Shoppable content brings users in with valuable information, and then sells directly through the content, making it easier than ever to convert. Most importantly, shoppable content doesn’t pull the user away from the original content, making it possible for them to continue to enjoy blogs, videos, or social media posts while still shopping.

Shoppable Content Today

2019 saw a record-breaking Cyber Monday, with a $9.4 billion haul that exceeded even the numbers of the long-standing, brick-and-mortar Black Friday. eCommerce stores attributed this not only to the need to avoid crowds and complete holiday-related shopping, but also to the proliferation of new, shoppable content.

Shoppable content has made it easier than ever for customers to commit to eCommerce transactions, and that’s even more true when customers are expressly looking for products to buy, rather than being pitched to. Customers today can look for the “best gifts for mom” or the “top gifts for an 8 year old” and can freely shop in the comfort of their own home.

During the holiday season, many customers are already primed to buy. But that doesn’t mean that shoppable content is only effective on those gearing up to make a purchase. Because shoppable content has become ubiquitous, it’s possible for products to be presented to customers multiple times, through multiple channels. This type of familiarity encourages customers to dig deeper.

Online content channels, whether they’re blogs or streaming video, can pull their advertising and their shoppable content from the same third-party platforms. This allows companies to target the same consumer base along multiple channels, improving their brand awareness and their customer relationships.

The Evolution of Shoppable Content

In the past, eCommerce content has been limited by technology. Video reviews needed to tell users where to click to get more information about a product. Blog writers had to use messy affiliate links that often popped up and away from the content. Shoppable content has made it easier for customers to shop without being pulled away from their media, and the future of shoppable content is likely to expand upon this benefit.

In the future, you can expect that:

  • Photos and videos on social media will let you click on an item in the photo or video to go directly to a product purchase page. This is already being implemented in Instagram but will become more prevalent.
  • Visually rich landing pages will increasingly enable you to learn more about products while you’re still enjoying the story, through the use of embedded and pop-out media.
  • Lookbooks and digital catalogs will showcase content in engaging, multimedia formats, which users can browse while setting aside items to purchase later. As a whole, the purchasing aspect of websites will become separate from the content, to support both streams simultaneously.
  • Image Recognition and Visual Search will automatically identify items within images and content so users can explore products and purchase them on-the-fly.
  • Video streaming services will link to notable items inside of television shows and movies, such as furniture, decor, or clothing. Customers will be able to purchase these from their smart devices.

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