There are many new “paths” for consumers to shop for the products they love in today’s marketplace. Innovations in the advertising and marketing technology sector over the last decade will forever change the consumer shopping experience – from how we learn about new products, to how we advertise them and how we shop for them.
Retail marketing has always focused on capturing the consumer “in” and “at” the point of purchase. Today, new technology advancements have helped fill the gaps in the online customer journey – from location data to purchase data. These advancements can shorten the consumer’s path to purchase while providing additional, personalized information about an item, brand, place, person, etc.
As stated on Business2Community, online shopping has become a lifestyle – growing at exponential rates. The ease of researching, buying, shipping and the huge availability of options from small retailers to large brands is driving more consumers online than ever before.
- 57% of consumers prefer to shop online (Bizfeel)
- 81% of retail shoppers conduct online research before buying. The overwhelming majority of retail consumers start their journey with online research. (GE Capital Retail Bank)
- 64% of buyers prefer to make purchases online versus going into a store. (Shopify)
- YoY online sales continue to increase. (Shopify)
There are many innovative brands that have been taking steps to create a D2C (direct-to-consumer) experience that shortens the path from awareness to consideration to conversion. The modern shopper is now connected more than ever across each step of the consumer journey, and these emerging technologies open an entirely new commerce opportunity for retailers and brands alike.
Additionally, the rise of Amazon’s Cyber Monday and their same-day shipping capabilities has fast-tracked and created an entirely new consumer habit. Consumers can curate the products they want in-app and have them delivered to their house in a matter of hours. Gone are the days of getting up at 4:00 a.m. to wait in line for that new big screen TV.
This massive leap forward has also had an impact on other industries. Take a look at the growth of the online delivery business that’s soon to be a hefty $200 billion by 2025 (Forbes). From online grocery pickup to local food delivery (which is growing immensely fast right now). Even the automotive industry is evolving – you can order and purchase a car from your phone, and have it delivered to your house!
There are also MORE opportunities than ever for consumers. From flash sales to the typical tentpole events like Black Friday, Labor Day, holidays, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. All of these are separate and unique opportunities for brands to create demand, test new technologies and offer a new path-to-purchase.
Commerce-driven digital advertising has always been the holy grail – to be able to serve an ad to a consumer and get them to take an action such as buying a product or signing up for a service. It all started with search advertising (still the king), expanded to banners and rich media (still significant), then social platforms (growing fast) and now it is taking place within video (emerging).
NBC launched their first “shoppable” commercial that encouraged users to scan a QR code during the morning show with their smartphones and shop deals. Instagram and Facebook have been slowly rolling out commerce solutions for retailers where you can shop from within the app. You also have new companies like Quibi who are creating shoppable and commerce-focused content to create new opportunities for brands to sell direct-to-consumers within content.
KERV Interactive has worked with many partners to capitalize on these new technologies to create successful D2C experiences within a video experience. KERV is able to identify actual interactions with specific products in a brand video, and match that up against a geographic location, device and environment in which it’s being viewed. This is of great value for the brand (and their agency) as it bolsters their creative insights, creates new data/audience segments and enhances optimization capabilities for media teams.
With the data available today we can now track an actual lift of in-store foot traffic or utilize POS data to KNOW that a specific campaign truly worked and drove a sale. That’s pretty incredible.
We are at a new inflection point in our industry. The moves being made TODAY by advertising, marketing and technology companies are dynamically shifting consumer behavior. We are in new territory, and that is exciting.
Months from now you’ll be sitting on your couch watching your favorite show, and with the touch of a button you’ll be able to learn about the actors, follow them on Instagram, learn about what their wearing, buy that dress you love AND have it shipped to your house – all from your phone.