Shoppable Content – taking the internet by storm
Content is a vital contributor to brand experience and plays a large part in influencing a shopper’s decision. According to Adobe’s survey, Mastering the Complexity of Mobile with Simplicity, out of 177 shoppers questioned ‘about two thirds (67%) rely more on content to research and make purchasing decisions than they did a year ago’ . One of the challenges that content marketers continually face is being able to create engaging content that not only increases brand awareness and interaction, but also makes a positive impact on sales.
MAKE WAY FOR SHOPPABLE CONTENT
That’s why more and more brands are creating what is known as shoppable content, making it increasingly easier for customers to make those important purchases whilst engaging with the brand. By combining content with commerce in editorial-style formats such as blogs, lookbooks, online magazines and style guides, brands can simplify the process of the buying funnel by minimising the amount of digital touchpoints between content and product.
L2 Digitals’ Content and Commerce report (Oct 2014) states that ‘the ability to weave together content and commerce may be what separates winners from losers’ . If done correctly, shoppable content allows brands to showcase inspiring imagery that directly links a customer to the products without taking away from the aesthetic value. Be it with a simple ‘shop the look’ button, an interactive hover-over pop-up lightbox, or a minimalistic hotspot discreetly dotted around the page, customers can now add products straight to their basket. Major brands including Net-A-Porter, Habitat, Topshop, French Connection, H&M, Jack Wills and Joules are all embracing the shoppable content trend.
WHAT IMPACT ARE WE SEEING
Styla.com and `Smartzer examine the effects that shoppable content has on the e-commerce industry, and the ROIs that online retailers can see from it, in Defining Shoppable Content: How Shoppable Articles and Interactive Videos Turn Content Consumers into Actual Buyers. They state that ‘taking [customers] to the buying funnel earlier decreases the Acquisition Cost and increases retention rate’  and that ‘by using shoppable content, brands can better recognise the exact tipping points that trigger consumers to click on a product and make a purchase.’ 
KPIs based on Styla clients’ performance (until March 2016) showed that shoppable content contributed to a 60% increase in time spent on page, a 22% click-through-rate to product pages, 57% more non-paid traffic to the content site and 112% more social shares.
WHAT SALMONS THINKS
Shoppable content is a win-win for consumers and businesses alike. Not only does it help to give customers access to the information they want, exactly how they want it, but it also provides businesses with a cost effective, profit driven marketing solution that allows for in depth analytics opportunities. With the recent growth and success of shoppable content Salmon predicts that it will content will continue to be a major focus for Content Marketing strategies in the future.