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Commerce Uncovers: Spice Up Your Shopping With Shoppertainment

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Are you starting to get bored with your usual shopping experience? Whether you needed to spice up the way you buy or not, shoppertainment is coming to give shoppers an experience to remember by using immersive and interactive digital experiences.

Originating in China to reach shoppers in the midst of the pandemic, and successfully growing there, this is a trend that European consumers want too, as more than two-thirds express interest.

Shoppertainment is proving to be great for consumer engagement and impulse purchases through the use of interactive content, such as livestreaming, games, pictures and videos.

Shoppertainment’s reported success makes it attractive for more brands to jump on the bandwagon and try out the livestreaming or a more interactive experience on their shopping sites and apps. This trend is also fuelled further by other developments in the industry, such as increase in video communication and online content consumption, and the rise of short video formats, which contribute to consumers’ shifting preferences to live and video engagement.

For European consumers, the preferred product categories for exploring through shoppertainment are electronics, fashion and cosmetics.  They also favour content that is short (less than 10 minutes long), trustworthy and contains practical information, such as returns and delivery times.

This could be a major opportunity for brands who prefer to be at the forefront of new developments, try new techniques to reach and engage customers, and are able to create a truly engaging omni-channel experience.

 

 

Sources

2021 Forrester and AliExpress report ‘Shoppertainment is landing in Europe’ – http://azcms31.alizila.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Shoppertainment-Is-Landing-In-Europe1.pdf

Tencent to launch a live streaming service rivaling Amazon’s Twitch – https://techhq.com/2020/06/tencent-to-launch-a-live-streaming-service-rivaling-amazons-twitch/

Brands Turn to Livestreaming as China Returns to Work – https://www.alizila.com/brands-turn-to-livestreaming-as-china-returns-to-work/

How ‘shoppertainment’ and live stream e-commerce is filling physical store gap in APAC – https://www.thedrum.com/news/2019/08/21/how-shoppertainment-and-live-stream-e-commerce-filling-physical-store-gap-apac

 

 

Commerce Uncovers: Instaffiliates

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The social platforms have long provided a great environment for brands to inspire potential customers. In particular Instagram, with its increasingly high-quality visual platform has been responsible for helping some of its creators launch their own brands such as Huda Kuttan’s beauty line ‘Huda Beauty’ and Kayla Itsines fitness program ‘Sweat.’ 

Despite this rich, inspirational environment it has often been difficult for creators to allow fans directly to retailers site. Instagram has traditionally not allowed third party links to be easily tagged, as it endeavoured to keep users within the app. However, at the first ever Instagram Creator Week conference Mark Zuckerberg announced that was about to change.  

Amongst products such as its redesigned Instagram Shop and Shopping in Reels, Instagram announced the launch of its own native affiliate program. This new program will allow creators to tag any products featuring in their content and earn commission on those sales. Not only does this provide an additional revenue stream for creators but should increase conversion for retailers, promoting their products through creators on the platform.  

Whilst this is a great opportunity for retailers and creators alike, it won’t bring great news for affiliate networks, or sub-networks built around monetising social platforms. Over the past few years, thanks to increased diversity of affiliate programs, networks have been actively encouraging influencers to use their tracking but with better integration directly with Instagram will be much more appealing.  

What’s most exciting, is Instagram’s first foray into the world of performance marketing using the cost per acquisition model. It’s a demonstration of the next evolution in what defines affiliate marketing. Whilst traditionally pigeon-holed to cashback and voucher, we’ve seen the concept of “an affiliate” evolving to include business to business partnerships, onsite technologies and some programs using people and locations as real-world affiliates. What Instagrams new product demonstrates is that affiliate marketing can be stripped back to a basic principle of a partnership working on a cost per acquisition model. Using that simplistic definition, we can really start to get creative with what affiliates are and what they can do for retailers’ businesses.  

 

 

Commerce Uncovers: Immersive retail is coming of age

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Cases for immersive retail experiences have been on the rise. Leading beauty and fashion brands have been experimenting with AR and VR experiences for a while, but over the last year the pandemic has supercharged all things virtual.

As online shopping has become increasingly about discovery and inspiration, creating immersive digital experiences alongside physical ones, is fast becoming an essential piece of any commerce strategy.

Snap used their partner summit last week to launch some new AR commerce features including their virtual try on technology with Farfetch and Prada.

BMW launched their virtual viewer last month, allowing you to experience and configure their cars through augmented reality.

Amazon recently opened Amazon Salon, the retailer’s first hair salon and a place where Amazon aims to test new technologies with the general public, trailing the use of augmented reality and “point-and-learn” technology.

To then order the products, the customers will scan the QR code on the shelf, which takes them to the Amazon.co.uk shopping page for the item where they can add it to their cart and check out. The salon’s AR technology, meanwhile, will be used to allow customers to experiment by virtually trying on different hair colours before making a commitment to a new shade.

AR, despite its gimmicky past is now an essential piece of technology to give people more exciting and immersive shopping experiences.

In fact, just over half (51%) said they were willing to use this technology to assess products and Shopify research showed that interactions with products having AR content had a 94% higher conversion rate than products without AR.

Immersive experiences provide accessibility and tangibility. When a few clicks let you see a designer handbag in 3D or a 360° view of a mountain top getaway, and augmented reality lets you see if a lipstick colour works with your skin tone, you’re that much closer to experiencing the product.

Amazon Salon https://blog.aboutamazon.co.uk/shopping-and-entertainment/introducing-amazon-salon

Retailer Kohl’s collaborated with Snapchat to create Kohl’s AR Virtual Closet.

BMW, launched their virtual viewer last month as their dealerships remain shut www.bmwvirtualviewer.co.uk

Charlotte Tilbury Beauty launched an interactive VR shop www.glossy.co/beauty/charlotte-tilbury-leans-into-vr-for-holiday-shopping

Sources

Harvard Business Review – https://hbr.org/2020/10/how-ar-is-redefining-retail-in-the-pandemic

Warc – https://www.warc.com/newsandopinion/opinion/how-augmented-reality-is-set-to-transform-retail/3967

 

Commerce Uncovers: Sustainability Sells

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It’s been impossible to miss the unprecedented rise of ecommerce in 2020 as global lockdowns sent people shopping online. It was the strongest growth for more than a decade. As a result, these increased online sales has meant more packaging and waste during a time when practices which exploit the planet need a critical overhaul. 

As a population however, a noticeable increase in people looking for climate friendly brands and solutions is seen, with 73% of UK consumers wanting to be more sustainable in 2021. With social causes and environmental impacts becoming more apparent and impactful, consumers are re-thinking where they buy and willing to spend with companies that align with their green values. For some, the cheaper cost is no longer the most important factor. 

Today’s shoppers are looking for brands that get it right and “walk the talk”, and nearly half are willing to pay a premium for brands that support recycling, sustainability and are environmentally responsible.   

Companies now need to look at how to align their values with sustainability. After receiving customers complaints, clothing brand Patagonia committed to replacing their plastic packaging with sustainable options, and documented their investigation and change process online. 

Elsewhere, global brands like L’Occitane are working towards a goal of using 100% recycled plastic in their bottles by 2025, whilst smaller independents like Serious Tissues are changing the world from the bathroom by selling UK made 100% recycled toilet rolls with no plastic packaging. 

Sustainability in ecommerce is moving from its status of being niche to essential. As consumers become more environmentally aware and take their money to ethical companies that are making the necessary positive changes, it’s time for more brands to make the better choice and show their sustainable credentials.  

To understand how brands can play a role in turning consumers’ climate change goals into reality, download and read our whitepaper Sustainable Now.

Sources 

Allure – https://www.allure.com/story/garnier-one-green-step-report-2021  

IBM – https://www.ibm.com/downloads/cas/EXK4XKX8  

Internet Retailing – https://internetretailing.net/sustainability/sustainability/uk-consumers-are-becoming-more-socially-and-environmentally-responsible–and-are-calling-out-brands-that-make-meaningless-climate-pledges-21022  

Internet Retailing – https://internetretailing.net/industry/industry/ecommerce-grew-by-46-in-2020—its-strongest-growth-for-more-than-a-decade–but-overall-retail-sales-fell-by-a-record-19-ons-22603  

Patagonia – https://www.patagonia.com/stories/patagonias-plastic-packaging-a-study-on-the-challenges-of-garment-delivery/story-17927.html  

Serious Tissues – https://serioustissues.com/  

 

 

Commerce Uncovers: The Range

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This month The Range became the latest online retailer to launch their own marketplace allowing other brands the opportunity to sell to their customers. Approved sellers will receive exclusivity rights to avoid competing with other sellers on the platform but will also have to deliver items to customers directly and manage returns process.  

We often hear about the rapid increase in DTC retail however the stats show that marketplace shopping is still miles ahead. In the UK 57% of shoppers now buy from marketplaces, compared to the 13% who order directly from retailer websites. This was accelerated further by the pandemic when between March and June of 2020, the average online shopper made 11 purchases from online marketplaces but just 3 from an online retailer* 

Whilst marketplaces like The Range are nothing new (*cough cough* Amazon) their existence gave many brands a lifeline during lockdowns as traditional retail outlets closed, but at what cost? Fees vary massively for brands looking to sell on marketplaces, The Range reportedly charge between 7-20%. When you factor in the cost of delivery, returns and fulfilment this doesn’t leave much profit margin for sellers. 

Sellers also need to be careful with their choice of marketplace. Whilst onboarding as many as possible might seem like a logical step, these marketplaces have different audiences in the same way as media does, so they need to make the right choice. This way they can fully optimise their marketplace homepage to be an extension of their brand.  

For those retailers such as The Range who have pivoted towards marketplaces, there is an opportunity for a huge additional revenue streamNot only can it provide a bigger pull to new and current customers to get more items in one place, but there is also advertising revenue to be made. Take ASOS as an example, they started selling media space within their listings to drive users to their most “strategic brands” but with job vacancies for programmatic execs it’s clearly something worth investing in.     

 

*Source: E-Commerce News  

 

 

Commerce Uncovers: The rise of buy now pay later

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It is recently reported that John Lewis is about to launch its own buy now pay later (BNPL) product as they respond to consumers thirst for more convenient and easier ways to pay. With talk of M&S following suit, BNPL schemes have been the fastest-growing online payment method in the UK last year and are predicted to account for 10 per cent of UK e-commerce spending by 2024.

The agreements, provided by firms such as Klarna and Clearpay, are a flexible payment method that allows customers to make a purchase when they may not have the funds at that time. They can then pay for their goods flexibly – and interest-free – either within a 14-day window, 30-day window or in instalments.

Klarna recently has raised $1billion (£720million) of new funds amid rapid growth. The Swedish firm reported to be valued at $31billion making it the most valuable fintech firm in Europe.

Greater regulation is not far behind, but that will only bring further consumer confidence in the payment mechanic.

Shopping cart abandonment is one of the biggest issues that online retailers still face, with a lack of payment options being one of the key drivers. The payments landscape however, is evolving at pace, responding to consumers’ drive for convenience and the ability to have more flexibility in their purchasing decisions.

Retailers need to think about what payment methods they want to integrate to give their customers the right choice.

What else we’ve uncovered:

You Tube is testing the ability to shop directly through videos, as it creates a shoppable platform.

Amazon quietly buys a competitor to Shopify as battle hots up.

Shopify to introduce Shop Pay to Facebook and Instagram to help businesses capitalise on social commerce

 

Sources

Econsultancy – https://econsultancy.com/stats-roundup-coronavirus-impact-on-marketing-advertising/

Internet retailing – https://internetretailing.net/mobile-theme/mobile-theme/almost-a-fifth-of-the-uks-population-have-used-buy-now-pay-later-as-they-shift-away-from-credit-cards-and-towards-mobile-22843

This is Money – https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-9333191/John-Lewis-offers-online-buy-pay-later-scheme.html

 

 

 

Ancestry’s Look Back at WW2

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To commemorate the 80th anniversary of The Blitz this September, Ancestry commissioned 80 pieces of art to tell stories from their records about what everyday Britain was like during WWII. Our campaign marked the moment by transforming key UK cities into real life art galleries, showcasing the bespoke local art across cherry-picked print and outdoor. This activation bolsters Ancestry’s current brand campaign which includes brand TV, sponsorship of Sky History and an original content partnership with The Times.

 

Wagamama crowned winner at the Effies

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wagamama back in 2018 launched with their first ever brand ad into cinema. By embracing its distinctive soulful philosophy, and mastering the secret art of cinema, wagamama attracted a new swarm of urban butterflies through its doors. While others closed shop, our campaign delivered a 6% point penetration increase, grew like for like sales 8.8% vs. market growth of just 1.7%, and achieved a profit ROI of £5.21 for every £1 invested. Through meticulous media planning and an innovative cinema strategy, we broke the stereotypes of cinema and flipped it on its head. This successful campaign has been recognised and is now the winner of the 2020 Media Strategy & Idea category for the Effies.