When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
So what is it exactly that Romans do? Do they put cheese on their Frosted Flakes — look it up; it’s a real thing, people — or have large rodents tell them the weather forecast? Hey, we’re all out here just trying to figure out the world as best we can.
In the spirit of figuring things out, we’d like to go over some things you should embrace and others you should avoid with your shoppable media. For the uninitiated, shoppable media blends visual assets with the information and functionality consumers need to shop. It empowers brands to provide greater choice, making it easier for consumers to select their preferred path to purchase.
Ecommerce brands are competing to create the best shopping experiences and produce the most compelling content. Shoppable media is where these efforts converge, offering consumers natural onramps to begin shopping from the other places they spend time.
Here’s how Febreze used shoppable media on Instagram:
These experiences are the future of ecommerce, and brands are racing to find the tools and expertise to facilitate them. If you’re making shoppable media part of your marketing efforts, here are some tips to make sure you use it in the most valuable ways.
Do: Provide multiple paths to purchase
Most marketers avoid overwhelming their audience with choices. So it might seem counterintuitive that choice is a crucial component of shoppable media. But here’s the thing: when you try to force consumers through a single sales channel, such as your website, you create friction on the path to purchase.
People have stores they prefer. They’re not always looking for the simplest way to buy your product. Usually they want a simple way to buy your product from a handful of specific stores they’re comfortable buying from. Highlighting multiple retailers doesn’t overwhelm consumers — they’re already thinking about the rewards points, perks, and buying options they prefer to take advantage of.
Don’t: Send your audience to places you can’t track
Most brands don’t have universal tracking. They can’t collect in-cart data from retailers and only have data for direct-to-consumer purchases. This means they can’t accurately attribute sales to specific campaigns, channels, or assets.
If you can’t track transactions, you have no idea how your marketing is performing. Did your strategy work? Was your copy and design effective? Did you use the right messaging for this audience? You don’t know because your data is incomplete. Anyone who clicked through your link and then purchased from a retailer won’t show up in your metrics.
Brands need to be sure that when selecting a shoppable media tool, they choose a solution that can track transactions from their primary retail partners. You have specific sellers you want to prioritize, so make sure your tools can track sales from those websites.
Don’t: Drive traffic to retailers that don’t convert
Just because a retailer accounts for a larger share of your sales doesn’t mean it’s the best place to send your customers. With universal tracking and access to in-cart data, you can tell which retail partners convert the traffic you send them. You should also be able to tell where your customers are least likely to wind up buying your products, so you know which retailers not to highlight.
Do: Show consumers pricing and stock information
While consumers have favorite retailers, price and availability still greatly influence where they buy. If they can get the same product from Walmart for $10 less than at Target, and Amazon is out of stock, Walmart will probably win that sale.
Every consumer has a ranked list of stores they’d prefer to buy from. Price and availability can shift their rankings. In some cases, a store that isn’t on their list (such as a retailer they’ve never purchased from or haven’t had a great experience with) can shoot to the top with a better price.
PriceSpider’s Where to Buy tool lets you display pricing and stock availability on shoppable media, giving your audience what it needs to select the best path to purchase based on individual preferences.
Don’t: Give shoppers outdated information
Information has to be reliable to be useful. If consumers can’t trust you to give them accurate pricing and stock availability, they have to work a lot harder to shop, clicking in and out of websites to collect and compare information you should have provided up front.
When you tell someone your product is in stock through a particular retailer, and they click through and discover that it’s not, you’ve effectively created a dead end on the path to purchase. They have to go back and start over — or call it quits.
Most shoppable media solutions pull pricing and stock availability at specific intervals, which means you run the risk of misleading your customers. PriceSpider solves this issue by crawling retailer websites like a consumer would, meaning our tools display real-time pricing and stock information.
Do: Leverage your ratings from retailers
Consumers use ratings and reviews to gauge your product’s quality. But they also use them to determine how legitimate your brand is. If you have thousands of reviews on your own website, but only a handful of third-party reviews on major retailers’ websites, consumers will be less confident in your credibility.
Highlighting your ratings from retailers helps consumers feel more confident that they can trust your brand. By displaying them in shoppable media, you make a much stronger impression on everyone who encounters your content.
Get the definitive guide to shoppable media
Shoppable media is the latest battleground in the world of ecommerce. Brands are using tools and strategies to maximize every impression, turning every interaction into a shopping experience.
Want to make your media shoppable? In our free ebook, Shoppable Media For Brands, we explore how brands use shoppable media, why it matters, and how to pull it off.
Get your free copy of Shoppable Media For Brands.