We’ve moved beyond the age of eCommerce as being a separate entity from brick-and-mortar retail. Increasingly, the two are becoming one and the same, influencing decisions across channels and even individual retailers. Shoppers no longer think of eCommerce and in-store as separate experiences or merely transaction points, and as marketers, neither can we.
We can see this in recent statistics concerning Click-and-Collect (or buy online, pick up in store) shopper behavior, which shows that after making selections online, 69% of shoppers will purchase additional items in store when picking up their online purchase.
Or consider mobile search in store, which we’ve seen develop as a standard shopping behavior over the past several years. As Bloomberg reported this past holiday season, 49% of shoppers will first turn to Amazon.com for a product search. From our research, we know these searches often happen in conjunction with an in-store experience when shoppers are in the aisle.
It might seem challenging to start meeting shoppers everywhere at every touch point with relevant content to move them to transaction. However, there are two fundamental steps brands are taking to ensure they’re guiding today’s eShopper in just the right moments.
1. Enhanced Content
Amazon started incorporating a more advanced version of its “A+” manufacturer content this year, which includes enhanced content like engaging videos, beautiful imagery, and other immersive content that allows product pages to feel like native brand experiences.
It’s important to note that this content trend isn’t limited to Amazon. Online search is now a key experience point in shopper journeys, and retailers across the board are taking note and asking themselves, “How can content keep shoppers on a retailer’s or brand’s site and eliminate the need to jump to platforms shoppers usually rely on for visual information like YouTube, Instagram, etc.?”
The key is developing enhanced content that serves the shopper first, beyond functional product descriptions and images. What is it about your product shoppers want to know more about? How can you, as the brand, help?
The most successful brands—take Dove, for example—are starting with the shopper’s “why?” and developing content to meet those needs.
2. Store Locators
Shoppers now expect the ability to move from everyday experience to purchase in seconds. Due to experiences with Amazon or Instagram’s expanded shoppable photo functionality, we are now living in an age of hyper-convenience and frictionless commerce.
And what we’ve observed through our studies on eCommerce behavior, is that convenience-minded shoppers don’t necessarily care where they purchase a product, further blurring the lines between retail experience decisions.
If we, as marketers, also break down the walls between retailers and focus on simply helping shoppers purchase products, store locator technology will play a central role in meeting that need. However, directing shoppers to stores has moved beyond simply stating “Available at These Retailers” at online touch points.
Brands like Gerber have taken a more sophisticated approach, embedding options for online purchase within product content pages on their website. Shoppers are served multiple online retailers along with pricing, so they can move to purchase via the experience of their choice with a simple click.
Advanced store locator functionality also works for driving shoppers to physical locations. For example, Facebook and Instagram ad units now leverage location-based data, serving directional maps within visually appealing carousel units, guiding shoppers to the nearest brick-and-mortar location.
By reconsidering where and how shoppers are served store or product location information, brands begin to take back control of the omnichannel purchase journey from a place of helpfulness to shoppers.
Contributed by: Elizabeth Lowe, Integer Dallas