The Tech Enabled Features Set to Drive E-Commerce Growth

hand holding laptop with graphic of shopping cart on top

By Vladi Shlesman, Managing Director, EMEA at ChannelAdvisor.

Spoilt for choice, online shoppers now have a wide range of options when researching and deciding where to purchase a product.

Standing out from the competition can be difficult but shoppable media and social commerce are under-used technologies that can help. The data provided by these two innovations also allow online sellers to reimagine retailer relationships, take advantage of new buying habits and help drive sales.

Capturing Consumer Attention

Consumer attention is short and out of stock messages lead to abandoned baskets. Our research supports this with 8 in 10 UK shoppers stating they were willing to buy from a competitor instead of waiting for a restock. With brand loyalty and consumer patience at a low, shoppable media provides a solution.

Instead of showing an out-of-stock message, shoppable media allows brands to automatically link to backup products, bundles or even alternate retailers.

For example, when searching for perfume, a bottle of 50ml fragrance may be out of stock. Instead of losing the sale to a competitor, an advert will send shoppers to an alternative retailer where the product is in stock or to a slight variation in the product like a bigger bottle.

The technology is also able to use interstitial ads and although they have been around for a while in the digital advertising space their integration with shoppable media opens up new possibilities.

The beauty here is that with a simple creative, interstitial ads can be placed almost anywhere on the internet, with an eye-catching advert and a dynamic link customers can be shown where to purchase products before losing interest.

Reimagining Retailer Relationships

The data provided from shoppable media campaigns is incredibly valuable and can help brands reimagine relationships with retailers. Armed with new insights, online sellers of all sizes can renegotiate with particular partners, assess which products to sell in which store and know where online customers are most likely to convert.

The technology can empower customers too.

As mentioned, part of its functionality allows preferences to be set for where shoppers are sent when they click an advert, allowing the buyer to select their favourite online store or marketplace. This allows brands to make bold decisions when partnering with certain retailers and is particularly useful for small businesses that may not have the negotiating power of their larger well established competitors.

Making Media Shoppable

Statistics show since the start of the pandemic consumers are spending an average of 1hr 40mins a day on social media and 72% of users reported they made a purchase decision based on something they saw on Instagram.

With more users joining high-growth platforms like TikTok the opportunity is huge. Social commerce is already a massive market in China and growing in the US, the UK is playing catchup and online sellers should take advantage.

However, knowing how to capitalise on this growth can be difficult.

A common misconception we hear in the industry is thinking shoppable media and social commerce are the same thing. Social commerce is an element of shoppable media, the difference is the functionality within it that allows advertisers to make social media shoppable.

In the same way you can use dynamic links and interstitial ads across websites you can also utilise them on sites like Instagram or TikTok, allowing more customers to see and purchase products without leaving the app.

As social commerce continues to grow, understanding buying habits, where time is spent online and what products are being searched for, will prove crucial to success. Both technologies present a wealth of information and whoever utilises it most effectively will become big D2C players in the coming years.

What’s Next?

Over the next 12 months we expect to see more brands and consumers utilising shoppable media. Across our network we’re seeing them take advantage of the functionality and insights provided to diversify sales channels, drive revenues and retain customers.