By Chris Shindelbower, Senior Vice President, Creative and Content, Triad
A Rapidly Changing Retail Landscape
There’s no denying that technological advances are reshaping the retail space — both online and in stores — even as the evolving needs of retailers are influencing new technology within the marketplace. This constant evolution has not only changed the way consumers shop, but as a result, it has also forced the hand of retailers and brands to think differently about how to engage and influence them throughout the shopping journey.
In what ways exactly? That may be up to each distinct retailer and brand to decide, but consider this:
Shoppers are now empowered and more in control
Retailers are transforming their business models to elevate digital touchpoints
Brand spending is shifting toward digital media dollars and rich content experiences
Suffice it to say that now more than ever, digital media should move shoppers closer to the points of influence and purchase, where retailers and brands act accordingly to enhance the new shopper experience. While each marketing campaign has different goals, there are some common themes that are shared across programs, including: effectively reaching the shopper (both on and off the retail sites), generating engagement and, ultimately, driving conversion.
With access to retailers’ first-party data, today’s advertisers can effectively target the right consumer at all points along the shopping journey, accounting for an expansive reach. From there, the next question becomes a matter of engagement. “What are we going to show them,” an ad executive may ask. “How are we going to keep their attention for more than a second or two?”
When it comes to digital engagement, it’s hard to beat the impact of video, especially at retail. Video content is a powerful tool, combining sight, sound and motion. It is a medium well-suited for storytelling and simplifying complex information.
From simple product details to narrative brand stories, video content can be customized at retail to drive desired outcomes by simultaneously appealing to the rational and emotional influences on decision-making that occur throughout a shopper’s journey. After all, where else can brands find consumers more receptive than while they’re already in a shopping mindset?
The Purpose of Retail Content: Enhancing the Retail Customer Journey
Video can be a great fit for retail, but in order to be truly effective, brands must understand the nuances that are unique to the retail environment and its ultimate goal — driving sales.
Remember, the No. 1 priority for retailers is eliminating barriers to conversion.
Retail destinations have been purpose-built for e-commerce utility (search/find, add to cart, checkout) and efficiency (page load, minimized clicks and distraction). Anything that hinders these is detrimental to the retailer’s ultimate goal.
In contrast with a general content publisher experience, good retail content should enhance the retail shopping experience, while supporting the broader expectations of the consumer.
In short, it should:
Emphasize native experiences for content and advertising
Clearly illustrate a brand or product’s value and benefits
Speak to the audience at that particular retailer and is relevant to their lifestyle, challenges, interests, behaviors
Support the retailers mission in addition to that of the brand/product being featured
Guide vs. distract
With the exception of experiences served on the actual product page, what could be more fluid for the consumer than engaging video content and its ability to immediately cue a shopping impulse? And how much closer can the retailer and brand possibly come to delivering that content in a way that serves the ultimate goal of conversion?
Well, that’s a wrap for now. Stay tuned for our next installment where we’ll examine the answers to some of these questions, as well as some of the do’s and don’ts of video production and where video can be most effective.