While product discovery and fulfillment were once distributed across multiple channels, the gap between the two has closed. In fact, marketers now have a borderline overwhelming volume of options within which they can simultaneously convey product value, unpack features and facilitate direct purchase. To help marketers demystify their options, we’ve isolated three recent products that have experienced a lot of buzz, breaking down who should invest right away and who should hold off.
What It Is: A platform that allows brands to showcase Amazon products in action or tutorials on how to use them. Accompanied by a carousel, viewers have the direct ability to purchase while the demonstration is taking place.
When to Invest: With real-time product demos as the main selling point of Amazon Live, brands with high-consideration products (i.e. an expensive bike) or products that benefit from detailed user guidance (i.e. video games, software) are best positioned to benefit from this platform. One toy brand, for example, was able to showcase how its quirky new game is played, where users put a mouthpiece in and then try to read a sentence from a card with other players guessing the statement. By doing this live demonstration, the brand was able to increase sales and build brand awareness, measured by a 5X increase in daily visits to their product details page.
When Not to Invest: Lower consideration items such as ready-to-wear apparel might not make sense for Amazon Live, simply because these are products purchased on a frequent enough basis and don’t have a need for demonstration on how to use them.
Google Shopping Actions
What It Is: An online marketplace coordinating with Google Express (A same-day shopping service delivering online purchases from multiple retailers) that allows users to purchase products across various Google properties without having to click off to a brand’s website. In addition to being an instant checkout feature with saved shopping credentials (which requires user opt-in), it also uses a shareable list and universal shopping cart which allows customers to easily turn browsing into buying.
When to Invest: If your brand is currently investing in any Google Shopping feature, it makes sense to test which subsets of your audience are more likely to participate with a native experience (likely younger since attitudes towards information security are more flexible) versus the more familiar experience of fulfillment after clicking to a brand’s e-commerce site.
Additionally, Google research shows that a slow-loading mobile website leads to a 56% abandonment rate. So even if your brand doesn’t currently invest in any Shopping features on Google, tools such as these are also an effective way to achieve lightweight and functional mobile experiences.
What It Is: An organic shopping feature that allows users to make a purchase without leaving the app. Linked to a brand’s shopping post in-feed, a “Checkout on Instagram” button will appear after tapping to view the product. Payment prompts will then appear, where only a name, email, billing information and shipping address are needed the first time it’s used. Every time after that, credit card information can be stored for easier purchasing should the person choose.
When to Invest: Since you cannot put paid media behind this creative, the tool makes the most sense for retailers who see excellent returns from their existing organic activity. A major fashion retailer like Zara, for example, was at an advantage when it came to selling its products via Checkout due to their already highly-engaged audience on the platform. But if a strong following hasn’t been built thus far, it makes sense to continue to invest in paid media such as Stories.
Remember that these platform tools provide brands a more streamlined approach to e-commerce. It’s always important to remain open and flexible to new opportunities while taking a critical lens to the opportunities most likely to move business objectives forward versus those that may be exciting but misaligned from core objectives.