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December 15, 2021

How shoppable content is taking customers by storm this holiday season

David Vanamburg

Christmas is right around the corner, but for most customers, the holiday shopping season is already well underway — and has been for quite some time.

Thanks to global supply chain issues, limited inventory, and the fear of missing out on hot-ticket items, many consumers began shopping much earlier this year. As a result, brands had to adjust.

Enter: shoppable content — a digital asset – such as video, social media post, advertisement, etc. – that lets customers purchase products directly from the content.

While this might not be entirely new, brands are leaning into it and finding creative ways to reach, appeal to, and intrigue their customer base. If done correctly, it could pay dividends now and in the future.

Here are some notable examples of how companies are utilizing shoppable content to entice customers during the holidays.

Pinterest does TV

Pinterest already leads the social media industry in customer satisfaction with an ACSI score of 78, per our most recent E-Business Study. Now, it’s trying its hand at livestream shopping.

Introducing Pinterest TV – “a series of live, original and shoppable episodes featuring creators right on Pinterest” that was launched back in November.

Pinterest will release new episodes every weekday and record them for users to watch on-demand later. Every Friday, there will be exclusive, live product drops from brands like Allbirds, Outdoor Voices, Crown Affair, Mented, and more.

According to Coresight Research, the livestream market is estimated to reach $6 billion this year and grow to $25 billion by 2023. With this latest endeavor, Pinterest is making its presence known and positioning itself to be a major player.

Walmart looking to connect through ‘Joy’ 

At the end of October, Walmart announced its “Joy. Fully” campaign, which will embrace multiple “content-to-commerce” pathways.

Walmart plans to offer holiday shoppable livestreams with numerous publishers and popular influencers, including a large-scale launch of shoppable recipes on Pinterest – where shoppers can effortlessly add ingredients to their Walmart carts for purchase – and a “first-to-market AR lens retail experience” through a partnership with Facebook. The lens uses facial expressions to detect which products “spark joy” for the customer. From there, they can visit Walmart’s “gift finder experience” directly from the AR lens to buy those products.

Walmart has struggled to satisfy online customers. This year, it sits near the bottom of the internet retail industry after slumping 1% to a score of 73. Perhaps it needs a little “Joy” to turn things around this holiday season.

Dress like your favorite TV show character? Yes, please

It’s true that “Squid Game” took the world by storm after 111 million viewers watched the Netflix original series in under a month. But the streamer also struck gold with “Emily in Paris.”

Back in October 2020, the story of a young American who lands her dream job in Paris debuted to over 58 million viewers in its first month. Not only did many folks fall in love with the romantic comedy series, but they also fell head over heels for the fashion.

If only there was an easy way for them to get their hands on the stylish wardrobe. Well, now they can.

Ahead of Season 2’s premier on December 22, ViacomCBS is launching a show-inspired shoppable content pop-up, where customers can purchase curated luxury items on Saks.com and the luxury brands’ e-commerce sites (and select retail stores). Netflix.com will even make some merchandise available for sale as the release date approaches.

The marriage of entertainment and retail through branded merchandise is not uncommon. However, luxury brands aren’t typically at the center of it. This drop changes that, offering fresh and exciting ways for brands to connect to consumers.

If this succeeds, other retailers and companies may take similar routes.

Curating the online shopping experience

Most consumers prefer to do their shopping online, opting for the speed and efficiency they likely can’t get when shopping in stores.

Yet, we’ve seen that, compared to other retail industries, online retail is experiencing the biggest satisfaction slump, down 3.7% year over year to a score of 78. As these retailers work to sustain the relationships they’ve built with their customers, they must always be thinking ahead.

Creating an experience that engages and connects with shoppers directly is one way to keep their attention. Curating that experience to meet them on a personal level is even better.

Through shoppable content, companies are doing just that. Don’t be surprised if this becomes a more regular part of the shopping experience moving forward.

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