I had a chat with Nicola Kemp, head of feature at Marketing about this very topic last week as part of a bigger piece on branded content.
My view is one of caution; as per the below:
“We were promised that consumers would be shopping from their favourite programmes via their remote, yet very little has materialised.
Vikki Chowney, head of community at creative influence agency TMW, notes that the medium is still in its infancy. ‘Like most new technology, not all consumers will respond to it. There is no doubt that the idea of an interactive hot spot is more exciting to marketers than consumers,’ she adds.
Spyro Korsanos, chief executive of digital ad specialist Mediasyndicator, warns that marketers must also remember that consumers have distinct mindsets – they either want to shop or are in a frame of mind for content consumption. ‘The probability of consumers wanting to purchase products straightaway while watching shoppable ads is questionable, so, emphasis needs to be placed on branding and encouraging user engagement in an ad context. This ensures that these types of ads make a long-standing impact after initial exposure, by being relevant to the consumer at every stage of their buying cycle’, he adds.
This is not to say that there are not substantial success stories already. Fashion brand Jaeger enabled consumers to ‘shop the catwalk’ with fully shoppable videos. Jaeger claims these had a click-through rate of 13% and drove a 300% increase in basket size.
Could this translate to an FMCG brand? ‘The excitement for a consumer spending £1.50 on an FMCG product isn’t the same as the high-ticket items at Burberry or Jaeger,’ admits Chowney. However, she points to the role of coupons or incentives as an engagement driver.
The age of convenience
As consumers demand products faster and more efficiently, enabling them to shop in their own environments is key. Clare Cryer, managing director of Integer London, the promotional, retail and shopper marketing arm of TBWA\UK, says that, as it develops, shoppable content will become far more intuitive. ‘Amazon has become a top five retailer because of convenience and the fact it is trusted,’she says.
Cryer believes that in the long term, brands’ bricks-and-mortar stores could, in effect, become ‘dark stores’ existing only to fulfil online orders. ‘Currently only 6% of Tesco’s sales come from Tesco.com, but that is increasing 20% year on year, which is why it is so focused on it,’ she adds. In short, business models are changing irrevocably.
The long game
The phenomenal growth of mobile is beginning to make its mark on retail purchase patterns. Just as McDonald’s enjoys its infamous ‘fourth meal opportunity’ (when post-pub consumers pile in for some additional calories), online retailers are reporting shopping spikes at unusual hours. Armed with their smartphones, consumers are no longer at the mercy of shops’ opening hours.
Does the notion of shopping within content, whether music videos, online content or TV, fulfil a natural human desire, or even fit within existing consumer behaviour, though? The growth of ‘second screening’, where more people use their mobiles and tablets to shop for what they see on screen, suggests there is consumer demand.
‘If 10 years ago you saw that brands were investing millions in social messaging, you might have questioned whether that level of sharing via social networks was natural behaviour,’ explains Chowney. ‘There is so much focus on content marketing by brands it is inevitable that shoppable content will continue to be a focus, but it will be at least five years before it becomes a natural consumer behaviour,’ she adds.”
Full article, complete with case studies, here.