The exciting and accelerated growth of e-commerce is playing a major role in sales strategies and digital advertising plans being made for 2021. Consumers are increasingly comfortable with online shopping and e-commerce platforms, and American shoppers have come to expect easy online purchasing experiences that are frictionless and engaging, influencing repeat business, brand loyalty and connection.
Shoppable entertainment, which is essentially the merging of commerce and video, checks multiple boxes for consumers when executed properly. For consumers, shoppable entertainment is seamless, fun and informative. For brands, shoppable entertainment offers opportunities for brand building, consumer engagement and sales.
Shoppable Entertainment Can Be Delivered a Number of Ways
The rise of e-commerce and the popularity of creative video and innovative technology solutions are now converging to create refined, frictionless and integrated shopping experiences. Shoppable entertainment can be delivered a variety of ways, and many brands and advertisers are embracing the growing trend.
For brands and retailers adapting to the precipitous rise of e-commerce in 2020, shoppable videos offer an opportunity to reach consumers who are online, looking to buy, and poking around for something interesting to watch. For example, this past fall, Walmart kicked off Cookshop, a shoppable video hub. Cookshop features interactive cooking videos with famous chefs that viewers can customize while watching, making choices that shape their experiences, including different ingredients, flavors and results. Everything in the videos can be purchased for pickup or delivery from within each video, leveraging the at-home cooking trend with the ease of, and need for, seamless online shopping.
Livestreams, often popular with fashion and beauty brands, can include live fashion runways, influencers sharing their passions for specific products, and showrooms that shoppers can tour and buy from in real time. Livestreaming is very common in Asia, with interest starting to grow in the U.S. During the holiday season, makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury included a livestream as part of her virtual holiday experience. Livestreamed music events are also gaining popularity on social media platforms like Triller, with sponsorships, including big CPG brands like Pepsi, creating an ideal synthesis between commerce and entertainment and limitless opportunities that benefit brands and consumers.
Shoppable videos can also be served as ads, with social media platforms an ideal channel for their placement. When users click to see tagged products, they're directed to landing pages or have the option of making purchases right from the ads, all without leaving the brand ecosystem.
By gathering first-party data through shoppable ad clicks, form fills and purchases, brands can learn more about their audiences. This valuable first-party data can be leveraged for future campaigns to offer authenticity via personalization of video campaigns, which resonates with younger consumers. Many shoppable ad formats also permit brands the ability to make changes in real time based on first-party user data, allowing for more specific targeting and creativity. Additionally, shoppable ads can be used in emails, spliced and diced to be shorter or longer for different audiences, and served alongside respected partners for a halo effect that increases audience reach.
Shoppable Entertainment Offers Engagement, Meaningful Interactions and Sales
After a year that challenged people on a variety of fronts, many are hoping that 2021 will bring brighter days. Brands and retailers that want to resonate with consumers should offer fun, authentic experiences that delight and help consumers get the things they need easily. Shoppable entertainment can provide brands access to consumers across a mix of channels, reaching them when they're ready to engage, shop and make connections.
Kathy Bryan is the chief marketing officer for Digital Media Solutions (DMS), a global adtech company leveraging innovative, performance-driven brand and marketplace solutions to connect consumers and advertisers.
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Combining vast industry knowledge and a natural leadership ability, Kathy Bryan has become an expert in the digital marketing space. She has worked at both global and boutique advertising agencies with Fortune 100 clients in the hospitality, travel, mortgage, education, finance and retail sectors, including US Airways, Circle K, Lincoln Technical Institute, Choice Hotels International, TIAA, Amtrak and the Mortgage Bankers Association. Throughout her career path, Kathy gained strong B2C and B2B expertise via integrated marketing, brand management, demand generation, content marketing and client services. As the Chief Marketing Officer at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), Kathy takes the lead on all aspects of corporate marketing and communications for DMS and its brands, including DMS Insights – an approved Google News publisher, which she built out from scratch. Under her leadership, Kathy and her team have successfully reduced marketing expenses while scaling results.