Consumers are increasingly demanding when it comes to their ecommerce experience with hyper-personalisation, lightning-fast speed, and instant gratification to complete transactions becoming the norm. Retailers face a big task in delivering such an exceptional experience, yet doing so is critical to remain competitive.
More than 80% of customers say a positive customer service experience makes them more likely to repurchase, customer service provider Zendesk revealed, while global CX software leader NICE reported that 95% of people said customer service impacts their brand loyalty.
As rising living expenses and economic uncertainty continue to hit households, consumers are spending less and on the hunt for bargains. Overall spending is down by 3.1 per cent nationally compared to last year, and the average transaction size decreased by 6 per cent to $105, according to Australia Post’s latest eCommerce update.
With consumer spending and shopping habits shifting rapidly, businesses are left with little margin for error. But Australian brands and retailers are quietly staying ahead of the game by experimenting with new, innovative and homegrown technology that’s about to take the world by storm – especially in the content commerce space, where brands leverage high-quality content to sell products or services.
Top champagne house Moët & Chandon recently ran an e-commerce initiative that enabled consumers to purchase their products directly from an online video advertisement.
Essentially, Moët & Chandon teamed up with publisher News Corp to run video ads on story pages. In the old days, a reader would click on an ad unit and be taken to the advertiser’s website, but the new technology ensured that they could research the product and make purchases on the spot – within the video ad frame.
This technology is dubbed ‘in-stream checkout’, where shoppable video ad units remove friction from the e-commerce experience by reducing the number of steps to complete a transaction.
In-stream checkout boosts conversion rates for advertisers by connecting “hearts to carts”, allowing consumers to buy goods in the moment of inspiration. The technology works through an API (application programming interface) so transactions can seamlessly occur within an advertiser’s e-commerce platform, eliminating the need for additional setup. Brands and retailers can still control their real-time stock, pricing, digital merchandising, payment, and logistics.
Third-party sites, on the other hand, can effectively act as virtual department stores, with different products sold through their content. This amplifies the presence of a retailer far beyond the usual channels and opens a new path to establish multiple touchpoints for a customer to interact with the brand – enhancing the likelihood of making a purchase.
A Kantar study on the Moët & Chandon campaign found that 81% of users said the shoppable video ad made product discovery and shopping easier, 80% found it innovative, and 75% said it was a single, seamless purchasing experience. Viewers exposed to the ads saw an uplift in unaided brand awareness of 38%, while aided brand awareness rose by 5% to 96%. Purchase intent saw a double-digit increase of 10% to 83%.
In-stream checkout delivers a single source data capture that covers the entire consumer journey, collapsing the purchase funnel by raising product awareness, and inspiring and empowering customers to make payments seamlessly – all in one place. Retailers can get top and bottom funnel insights to see what’s working and what isn’t. Real-time data points also mean ads and campaigns can be instantly adjusted to ensure the experience is as useful as possible for consumers and as effective as possible for brands.
Offering a curated retail experience means businesses can keep customers informed and engaged while they consume the shoppable video content and complete their purchasing journey without having to navigate away from the source.
The retail industry is fast embracing a model where goods and merchandise can be purchased directly through apps or ads in a ‘shoppable anywhere and everywhere’ world. Technologies like in-stream checkout levels the playing field for smaller players as the cost of implementation is affordable and doesn’t require vast IT infrastructure or systems migration.
The technology will continue to reshape the future of commerce and give brands and retailers powerful ways to connect with their consumers. Furthermore, brands that adopt it first will get a distinct ‘first to market’ advantage not just in the results alone but also in how this positions their brand and its willingness to innovate for the consumer. Delivering a seamless customer experience is an absolute necessity to win consumers’ hearts and remain competitive in this new era of shoppers’ behaviour.
This article was first published by RetailBiz