Basket abandonment is a perpetual challenge for online retailers, with an average of 72% of customers said to leave behind their order instead of buying online.

From delivery demands to the trend for dual screening, online shoppers are more distracted than ever before, and far less likely to display brand loyalty.

So, how can retailers capture consumers in the moment?

Shoppable content is one effective strategy. This refers to any kind of content – including images, video or blogs – that offers customers a direct opportunity to buy within just a few clicks. The strategy helps to bridge the gap between browsing and buying, effectively engaging consumers and increasing conversion rates in the process.

So, what does effective shoppable content look like? Here are just a few inspiring brand cases and the reasons why they work.

Diesel

Shoppable video can be a mixed bag. While the medium sounds great in theory – allowing consumers to click directly on the products they’re seeing on screen – it can actually be a rather jarring user experience, interrupting the video and taking viewers away mid-action.

That being said, Diesel’s shoppable video – created as part of its #forsuccessfulliving campaign and in celebration of the brand’s 30th anniversary – is a pretty seamless example. 

Directed by Alexander Turvey, the short follows various Diesel models as they prepare for their first catwalk show. Calls-to-action appear at certain points throughout, which allows the viewer to save items or go directly to the Diesel store. As the video only involves music, with no real narrative or plot, this means that the experience of ‘in the moment’ shopping is less disruptive.

Meanwhile, the video capitalises on the ‘see now buy now trend’, selling exclusive items ahead of Diesel’s FW16 runway show in Tokyo to provide extra value for consumers.

Lazy Oaf

Instagram is now the top social media platform in terms of user engagement. Instead of just likes and comments, however, many brands want to transfer this engagement into direct purchases. 

While Instagram itself has been testing its new shopping features, retailers like Lazy Oaf have been busy finding their own ways to make the user experience more shoppable. It has created its own ‘Insta-shop’ – which lives on its main site, but is also linked to from its Instagram channel.

Essentially, it allows consumers to browse the Lazy Oaf Instagram feed (but on its own website) and means they can directly click on and buy any item they like. By hovering over each photo, users can instantly see whether an item is shoppable, also making it easy for consumers to buy multiple items in one go.

Made.com

Made.com’s Unboxed cleverly shows how to merge user-generated and shoppable content. Building on the idea that people want to see how furniture or homeware looks in real life before investing, it allows customers to upload photos of their Made.com purchases. 

Alongside this, it also includes links to available items in each photo, encouraging customers to take action instead of just inspiration. Users can even get in touch with the people who have uploaded photos in order to ask questions and hear honest reviews.

While it's not the most seamless example of shoppable content (perhaps focusing the user's attention on reviews rather than clicking through to the products themselves) - it still helps to drive purchases in the long run.

Net-A-Porter

Net-A-Porter is a retailer that truly understands the importance of shoppable content, using it to drive customer loyalty both on- and offline. Its print magazine, Porter, works in conjunction with a digital-version, allowing users to shop items directly from the page. By downloading the Net-A-Porter app and scanning the magazine, readers can find and buy items as they flip through.

Net-A-Porter's weekly online publication, The Edit, uses the same formula, including handy links to all the items featured in the magazine.

Delivering instant gratification to consumers (and taking away the frustration of seeing something you like and not being able to find or buy it) – Net-A-Porter ensures that there is minimal friction between browsing and buying. 

Tesco

It’s not only fashion or homeware retailers that benefit from shoppable content. Tesco is one supermarket that puts this at the heart of its digital strategy, using its ‘Real Food’ content hub to drive conversions online. 

The reason it works so well is because it makes buying multiple ingredients incredibly quick and easy. Instead of writing down and searching for individual items, users can be one click away from buying everything that’s needed for a recipe. What’s more, Tesco also prompts users in case they don’t have store cupboard items like olive oil or ketchup.

This example also demonstrates how FMCG brands can capitalise on faster purchase intent. Unlike fashion or retail brands – where the path to purchase involves much greater deliberation and comparison – people are much more likely to see and buy when it comes to food and drink.

Kate Spade

Kate Spade is one fashion retailer that has taken shoppable content to a whole new level, launching a series of ads designed to be watched and enjoyed like a TV show.

Starring recognisable faces like Anna Kendrick, the #missadventure series is billed as a series ‘about interesting women leading interesting lives.’ Naturally, however, Kate Spade also hopes that people will be just as interested in the clothes and accessories they wear, allowing viewers to find and buy all the clothes featured.

In order to avoid disruption to viewers, the brand collates all shoppable items into a list, which can be clicked on during or at the end of the video. 

By truly immersing viewers into world of Kate Spade, the brand is able to increase the chances of them becoming paying customers.

One Kings Lane

Home décor brand, One Kings Lane, has generated effective results from its shoppable blog. However, that doesn’t mean it focuses on revenue over and above engagement. Instead, it focuses on creating high quality content and photography, providing customers with inspiration and value above everything else.

One danger of shoppable content, especially in blog form, is that it can soon become outdated. Products will be sold out or limited, leaving content filled with old or broken links. In order to combat this, One Kings Lane focuses on refreshing content regularly, and ensuring that its shoppable content stays up to date.

Matches Fashion

Lastly, instead of using shoppable video to create film-like ads, Matches uses industry experts and behind-the-scenes insight to entice viewers to buy,

Its ‘Digital Trunk Shows’ series involves a number of designers talking about the inspiration for and creation of their collections. Viewers can simply click on an item for it to be automatically added to their basket.

This approach aims to use information and insight to offer real value to consumers, softly encouraging them to make purchases rather than blatantly selling.

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Nikki Gilliland

Published 13 July, 2017 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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