Nurture the path to purchase with discovery driven content
Retailers and brands alike have been riding the wave of online shopping that the global pandemic necessitated; but all waves eventually crash back into the mass from whence they came.
As the choppy waters spurred by the pandemic begin to settle, the question you should ask yourself is: how will you continue to nurture relationships and retain customers who bought your brand or product during this digital shopping surge?
The answer is simple: content.
But as is the case for most things, it’s easier said than done. Adweek reported that 66% of shoppers will continue to buy new products and services that they started purchasing during the pandemic. This stat is compounded by shoppers’ newfound savviness in online shopping. In Q2 2020, US retail ecommerce sales grew by nearly a third from the previous quarter per the US Census Bureau of Department of Commerce. So, if brands want to continue to harness this momentum post-pandemic and drive online purchase decisions, they must understand what content matters most as consumers shops their category.
In my June 2020 article “Is Facebook Headed for an End-To-End Commerce Solution?”, I nodded to the convergence we’re seeing between social (pushing further into shopping features) and ecomm (pushing more into content). The blending of these two worlds isn’t coincidental, they’re both focused on driving discovery with content, and if you can make that discovery shoppable, converting shoppers becomes easier.
One need not look much further than DTC brands who have found tremendous success in perfecting discovery – especially in social. Take home goods brand Parachute for example, through a quick visit to their Instagram page, you’ll find beautifully curated images of homes; most of which have the shopping icon associated with the image, meaning you can shop right from their Instagram account. Clicking deeper into the content, you’ll see that Parachute is using user-generated content (UGC) to bring a level of authenticity and approachability to the content … it’s not a professional shoot, it’s content that makes you feel like you could do this in your home too. Even their website incorporates the same UGC. It shows you how the product gets used by everyday people, giving the shopper confidence in purchasing and designing their own home.
Parachute Instagram Page
And this approach isn’t limited to just DTC – even Target is finding ways to drive discovery on its website through Target Finds, which is more critical now that shoppers don’t want to browse in store amidst a global pandemic, so having a way for shoppers to browse online is key.
Curated Content on Target Finds
The examples above each demonstrate that discovery is more than simply showing a product and detailing a few unique selling points for it. It’s also about how your brand/product can fit into and make the lives of your shopper better, which is likely the reason why social platforms Pinterest and Instagram (both focused on discovery) are primed for driving sales. Pinterest in particular saw global monthly active users grow by 40% year over year as more people shop and search for things to do, make, and cook on the platform. With more and more shopping now taking place online, it will be abundantly clear to shoppers which products lack quality content, and sales could be lost as a result.
Questions we’re starting to ask is:
- Will Amazon begin changing best practices for ATF content to be more discovery focused?
- Will Amazon posts or Influencer Storefronts start have more prominent play within the Amazon ecosystem?
- Amazon recently started featuring Brand Stores within search results
- What type of content is already being shared about our product/brands in social? What are people saying?
- How can influencers help us build out any existing content gaps?
In the online shopping landscape of tomorrow, content – and specifically social content – will drive more discovery and will be used across more online touchpoints. Taking stock in the content you have, the gaps that exist, and the story your brand is telling across the purchase decision journey are paramount to ecommerce success.
Find out how we can create value for your business and drive your commerce performance forward.