VTEX: How interactive buyable content is changing the face of online shopping

It’s a story as old as the hills: brands want to be seen by their customers and their target audience. Whether they are offering a new product, discounts, bundles, etc., companies have long invested in marketing and advertising strategies to get noticed.

Today, in the digital world, it’s not as easy as it once was. Ad blockers, “skip ad” buttons and other features have been created to avoid interrupting the online user experience. In 2021, the most downloaded extensions by Firefox browser users were ad blockers. Additionally, the growing debate over cookie consent and digital privacy policies can make things even more challenging for companies that want to create personalized ads based on user behavior.

This brings us to a common business question these days: how do you grab customers’ attention without disrupting their digital journey? A solution is purchasable content. Find out what it is and how big market players are using this marketing strategy to improve conversion rates and generally grow in the digital scene.

What is Purchasable Content?

Shoppable content can be anything from blogs and social media posts to digital magazines and even live shopping events. Not much different from branded content and other product placement video ads, buyable content has one distinguishing feature: it drives customers directly from the content to the checkout page. The main goal is to reduce the number of steps customers take when trying to purchase the advertised product.

With the rise of this type of content, agencies have sprung up and are offering all kinds of purchasable content experiences for businesses and end customers. Two of the best known agencies integrating content and commerce are BEN and eko.

Using artificial intelligence features, storytelling elements, eye-catching images, and programming codes, brands can add the products they want to showcase and help customers add them to their cart. It also helps give a new meaning to the e-commerce website, going beyond just a shopping mall, but a place where customers can actively watch interesting content.

Below, we’ve picked out some of the coolest and most effective ways brands in different industries are approaching this strategy and how they’re benefiting from it.

Interactive Cooking Videos from Walmart

In the first half of 2021, US giant Walmart partnered with eko to create an interactive series promoting grocery items called “Walmart Cookshop”, available only to people in North America. Walmart said the Cookshop beta had an 8.7% click-through rate, while eko said its click-through rate for commerce-related content averaged 7%.

The Cookshop is a series of cooking videos featuring celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver and personalities like Sofia Vergara. In a “choose your own adventure” format, viewers can customize the recipe to their liking and, at the end of the video, are presented with a shopping cart with the featured products.

Then they can add it to a shopping cart and be redirected to Walmart’s website where they can pay and choose the best way to get the products presented. They can also exclude items they don’t want to buy.

Walmart Cook Together behind the scenes

The main difference between Walmart’s content and others is that it empowers the viewers and makes the experience more interesting by putting them in charge of the decision-making process, which is very interesting because it keeps the customer engaged in a way that an ordinary video could not.

FARM Rio Live Shopping Store

FARM Rio is one of the biggest brands of Grupo SOMA. Born in Rio, FARM has already expanded internationally to the United States and Europe, and they are no slouch in delivering different types of customer experiences. Since 2020, as part of a pandemic-driven strategy, Grupo SOMA’s innovation lab has built Lojix, a 100% interactive and live digital store.

Example Lojix from FARM Rio

Every time a new collection is launched, FARM recruits its own staff to lead hours of content that makes the customer feel like a sales representative was showcasing the new products in-store. Thanks to their own platform, they are able to control the type of products that appear on the screen and customers can automatically add them to the cart without wasting time. When they first did this, Lojix recorded seven thousand concurrent hits to the live purchase link.

Louis Vuitton fashion items

Louis Vuitton is also part of this strategy by putting innovation to its advantage. Because they offer luxurious and exclusive products, it makes sense that the customer’s online shopping experience matches. They have videos and articles on different categories, recruiting famous partners and showcasing their most iconic articles.

Louis Vuitton blog post on the Twist bag

Instead of interrupting the reading experience, the domestic luxury brand offers its own content with interviews, newsworthy articles and other hot topics – all related to Louis Vuitton products. In all the images featured in the articles, there are “Buy Now” buttons and a “See More” tab, with other featured products from the same collection. This is extremely useful for the luxury fashion industry as it highlights how exclusive and important a product is through social proof.

Avon’s digital magazine

Avon, born in New York, is a cosmetics company that has built an important legacy in Brazil. In the early 2000s, the brand became popular by allowing people to become sales representatives through magazines. The ritual was simple: people received the magazines and could place an order through the sales representative, who then delivered the product in the most convenient way.

Avon’s digital magazine with a checkout page

Recently, AVON added the digital magazine with purchasable shares to its website. Through the click buttons, customers can add the products they want to their shopping cart and continue scrolling through the magazine which features content about the benefits of the cosmetics on offer.

Anticipate content

Buyable content is transforming the e-commerce scene. Consumers are increasingly accustomed to new forms of retail experience. Powered by smartphones and new technologies, modern shoppers expect to purchase items directly from images as part of an uninterrupted shopping experience.

The Many Faces of Buyable Content

Buyable content doesn’t have to be a big production with live events and interactive videos. These days, social media platforms offer all sorts of features that allow every brand to sell online beyond their e-commerce site. Instagram’s shopping feature and Facebook Marketplace are just two examples of how social media is driving the growth of shoppable content everywhere.

DISCLAIMER: It is important to note that historical financial information or operational KPIs may not be comparable to information publicly filed with the SEC, as VTEX has not issued its financial statements in accordance with International Standards. Financial Reporting (IFRS) prior to 2019 and certain KPI definitions may differ from publicly filed information. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on numbers released prior to July 21, 2021, as they may not be comparable to metrics disclosed at the time of the IPO.

Written by Gabriela Porto

Gabi is a curious journalist interested in telling great stories about the future of e-commerce, technology, innovation and everything related to this universe.

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