Shoppers are constantly consuming media and according to the Internet Advertising Bureau, we now spend 2 hours 51 minutes online every day. In this article, we take a look at how retailers can capitalise on this digital ‘always-on’ behaviour in order to engage with customers and sell more products.
The longer a customer stays on a retail website, the more they engage with the brand and the higher their propensity is to purchase. But every day retailers are fighting against social media, YouTube and a wealth of websites for those precious 171 minutes.
Whether it’s the latest viral video of a hysterical mother wearing a Chewbacca mask sending sales into overdrive or thought-provoking editorial created as part of a retailer’s strategy – you can’t deny content is an important tool in driving sales.
Retailers who can tell the story of their brand or provide advice on their products, are more likely to engage with their customers and build brand loyalty. And there are many ways to demonstrate an authority in your market.
Blogs and social
Net-a- Porter is the classic example, with a shoppable social network and two magazines – its Porter magazine even launched in print at a time when physical magazine sales were declining. Porter readers pay to purchase the magazine with its celebrity interviews and fashion features, but the magazine is intrinsically linked to the Net-a- Porter app and customers can use their mobile to ‘scan’ the pages for shoppable content.
Beauty eCommcere site, Feelunique, also betted on editorial, hiring a number of beauty journalists to launch its online blog packed with tips and expert product picks. And one of the top priorities for Expedia over the next year is to hire travel writers to create fresh, shareable content to provide inspiration for the e-travel agent’s consumers.
High-street fashion retailer, Oasis, recently replatformed its website onto Demandware, and has dedicated a section of its new website to content. The #Oasisfashion tab links customers to its blog, as well as social media channels. The retailer even aggregates customers’ social media snaps and cleverly embeds the hashtagged images next to the relevant product page, which leads to a 4.5% conversion rate (up from 2.5-3%).
You may think of content as reading a retailer’s blog, but thanks to the proliferation of 4G, short, sharp bursts of video content are taking over social media feeds. We’re hearing again and again that shopping is all about the experience. And while today’s millennials are said to be loyal shoppers, they are also time poor and crave newness. And short videos, which can be watched on-the-go are the ideal solution.
A good example of this is Buzzfeed’s Tasty channels which launched last year. These cooking videos are generally under a minute long and provide watchers with a recipe, recorded in the same aerial-view format, published nearly every day. The US and UK Tasty Facebook channels exploded and now have over 70 million likes combined, while its spin-off craft video channel, Nifty, has 10 million Facebook likes itself.
Unilever also reacted cleverly to the increase in millennials searching for hair inspiration online. Rather than responding with hard-sells of its products, the company teamed up with some of the world’s most famous beauty vloggers to launch a YouTube channel called All Things Hair. Unilever became the go-to authority for hair by creating inspiring videos, supported by its portfolio of brands.
Under Armour uses yoga videos to create shoppable moments in its mobile app, while home and body brand, Rituals, also offers mobile yoga classes, as well as meditation ‘rituals’, which keep customers returning to the app on a daily or weekly basis.
Meanwhile, the award-winning Mothercare app provides a catalogue of products as well as in-store features like a barcode scanner allowing customers to view additional product information. But the key to this app’s success is its content, such as the baby name tool which has the meanings and origins of over 18,000 names, as well as a list functionality for saving favourites. The app also has a collection of lullabies, sing-a-longs and white noise sounds which customers become dependent on every night, which means well over half of app sessions are spent using this feature.
Becoming an authority in your field can be as simple as embedding a social media feed into your website or dedicating a small amount of resource to a regular blog. But with more investment, experiment with video or build an app featuring unique content which gives customers a reason to keep returning to your brand.