With global ecommerce sales jumping to $26.7 trillion, COVID-19 has quite clearly boosted online sales as consumers stay out of brick-and-mortar shops. With the advent of new tech solutions and brands, advertisers and publishers are focusing on creating better relationships with consumers and generating the best user experience funnel possible.
Embedded ecommerce, also known as content commerce, makes products discoverable and buyable directly from publications, instead of being forwarded to an external vendor or site. For example, if you’re reading an article about “5 Bridgerton-Inspired Dresses You'll Wear On Repeat” on Bustle.com, you can instantly purchase the dresses chosen by the editor right there and then, instantly.
The point of embedded ecommerce is that the shoppable content blends seamlessly into the site or app so that it feels native to the user. Over the years, we’ve generally become averse to intrusive and irrelevant adverts. Embedded shoppable content allows publishers and brands to build trust by providing direct access to products that are contextually relevant to the reader. If you’re reading about leather boots, you’ll only see options to buy the same leather boots.
Publishers are therefore able to turn the point of inspiration into a point of sale.
This feeling of buying at the point of inspiration is well documented. There has been a sharp increase in consumer demand for convenience and speed to purchase when the impulse to buy strikes. For example, in a new Tipser survey of more than 70 brands and publishers, 60% of respondents said that they would use Instagram to purchase products if they offered a direct checkout option on their platform.
Different from affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing has previously been the standard approach to monetizing digital media. While similar, affiliate marketing prompts consumers to navigate away from the publisher, whereas shoppable content gives the audience the option of buying an item without ever leaving the page.
The result is an experience in which a consumer remains immersed in the publisher’s content but has access to the entire shopper’s journey, from browsing to purchase. Shoppable content or embedded commerce leads consumers through a tighter funnel – which cuts out the noise of competitors. It keeps the focus on your site or app with users converting directly instead of being led away. Additionally, you can create a unique reader experience by only selling items that align with your brand and values.
Publishers need new ways to keep readers engaged and revenue streams incoming to stay competitive
Shoppable content is an opportunity for trusted publishers and advertisers to drive new revenue streams and better position their products. According to a Tipser survey, driving revenue is the primary goal: 57% of surveyed brands and advertisers said ROI is the most important factor to any strategy involving selling products outside their own website. The profit potential of embedded ecommerce is generally a lot higher than classic affiliate solutions.
And it makes sense. Publishers get returning visitors because the visitors see value in coming to the content that has been curated by the editorial team, including the products it serves to buy at the point of inspiration.
Foster better relationships
When pulled off properly, merging commerce and content seamlessly enables better brand and consumer relationships to be fostered. The benefits of this relationship extend beyond the consumer purchasing right there and then to long-term brand loyalty and advocacy to their networks. As the internet becomes more privacy-focused but customers are demanding better user experiences, can brands and publishers really afford not to explore embedded ecommerce?