YouTube has been testing it; Walmart wants to be part of it. The cousin to social commerce is more immersive and complex than current eCommerce iterations.
Get ready for a new buzzword and a new front in the digital-first economy. Driven by Google’s recent tests of YouTube as a shopping platform, shoppable media is ready for its closeup.
It is not a completely new concept nor is it strictly the province of YouTube. Shoppable media is a cousin to other digital-first practices such as social commerce, but it’s more immersive and complex. For example, if a luxury brand like Burberry wanted to use an influencer to sell a new line of scarves it would use an Instagram post or Instagram Reel for its basic image and interaction. If it was using shoppable media, it would think more about a lengthier video that has several opportunities for interactions with consumers and a harder sell for the purchase.
One company is even trying to own the concept. Cloud-based eCommerce solution provider ChannelAdvisor this week announced the launch of Shoppable Media, which it calls a “comprehensive suite of multi-channel solutions designed to help businesses reach purchase-ready consumers more efficiently.” ChannelAdvisor is further describing the concept as media that allows shoppers to explore a brand on its website, social media, email or through digital ads. For brands and retailers, it also provides richer analytics to help inform business decisions for stronger online performance.
“Shoppable media will support brands and retailers with digital transformation in an increasingly volatile e-commerce environment,” said Steve Frechette, vice president, product management at ChannelAdvisor. “It can help brands connect their customers with purchase options, whether on the brand’s website or from within digital media.”
TikTok has also been testing and refining its shoppable media capabilities. It recently collaborated with shopping network Ntwrk and artist Joshua Vides on a livestream to sell exclusive apparel.
“TikTok’s collaboration with Ntwrk and artist Joshua Vides on a shoppable livestream is significant in making the social video app more transactional,” said Mobile Marketer. “By letting people buy products directly through its app, TikTok can help to convert passive viewers into active shoppers and further open its platform to retailers and direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands. Support for social commerce is key for mobile marketers who seek to reach shoppers as the coronavirus pandemic drives a surge in eCommerce.”
The term has also popped up in relation to Walmart’s potential involvement with TikTok. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told CNBC on Thursday that part of its bid to become a 7.5 percent owner of the social media app (approvals of the deal are still pending) is because it sees social media as a huge business opportunity and a powerful way to reach customers.
“If you’re watching a TikTok video and somebody’s got a piece of apparel or an item on it that you really like, what if you could just quickly purchase that item?” McMillon said. “That’s what we’re seeing happen in countries around the world. And it’s intriguing to us, and we would like to be part of it.”