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BizReport : Ecommerce : March 30, 2020

How to create shoppable content

According to experts about one-third of consumers begin their search for products at Amazon and nearly 20% start with a Google search. This makes it imperative for retailers and merchants to create shoppable content that leads shoppers to their store rather than a bigger retailer or even Amazon. Here's how to do it.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What can retailers and merchants do to create a more 'shoppable' digital experience for consumers? Why are these changes important now?

John Brumbaugh, Senior Director of Commerce, Avionos: To create a more shoppable digital experience for consumers, retailers and merchants must focus on creating vibrant and engaging product media, including imagery and videos, which can easily be shared on social media platforms like Instagram. Retailers should also provide detailed product information for when possible customers are searching for more information, for example, after they have seen an ad or a friend's post on social media. Additionally, making it easy to checkout by leveraging single-click checkout and online pay functionalities like Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc. is another way retailers and merchants can build out their digital customer experiences, so customers don't need to enter in any credit card information and have an easier time making purchases. 

As digital shopping has transformed into a community experience with people looking for advice from their social media followers, retailers and merchants are compelled to make these changes now to stay ahead of the curve. If customers aren't provided with a shoppable digital experience from one business, they will turn to another company that does. Additionally, buying decisions happen in an instant, so retailers and merchants need to be able to take orders without friction to retain existing customers and attract new ones.

Kristina: Is this only important for merchants using third party platforms like Etsy or Amazon? 

John: While the marketplaces on Etsy and Amazon provide a great way to get in front of customers, they aren't the only ways for companies to connect with customers. When brands build out their own platforms, they are able to control their brand's messaging more so than if they used third-party platforms. 

Kristina: What kind of benefits/improvements can merchants expect to see once they're made their sites more shoppable? 

John: Once they've made their sites more shoppable, merchants can expect to see increased brand awareness, social media sharing and heightened conversion rates on their sites or within a marketplace, especially as they continue to build out their digital storefronts. 

Kristina: Outside of a storefront on, for example, Etsy, what other shoppable elements do merchants need to employ? 

John: Retailers need to employ social sharing capabilities, Apple Pay / Google Pay, one-click checkout, high quality imagery with zoom capabilities, video of product in use (when applicable) and potentially even AR for virtual showroom / try-ons (when applicable) to engage today's consumers. All of these elements allow businesses to provide a frictionless purchasing experience for customers, which ultimately boosts customer loyalty and even can encourage repeat purchases.  

Kristina: What are your top 3 tips for SMBs and smaller merchants to begin making these changes?

John: 1. Smaller merchants and SMBs must start small and focus on what they control, for example, focusing on creating branded and engaging content and imagery. This sets smaller brands up for both their own platforms and for the marketplaces at once. 

2. Second, SMBs need to get their brands out there via social sharing from both themselves and their customers. Promoting and amplifying that content is also essential to increase awareness.

3. Finally, smaller merchants and SMBs should leverage third-parties that have built-out capabilities, such as Apple Pay, that make purchasing easier for customers. This encourages customers to come back time after time, and enables smaller retailers to compete at the scale of their larger counterparts. 

Tags: Avionos, content marketing, ecommerce, ecommerce tips, shoppable content, social marketing

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