In this definitive guide, we’ll explore the world of shoppable content. Learn how brands and retailers across industries use content in clever ways to reach and convert their customers on the spot. As experts in food tech, we’ll focus a little more on shoppable content for food brands and grocers. Plus, we’ll show you how to choose the right shoppable content solution and incorporate shopping into your own food content strategy.

In this ultimate guide, we’ll cover:

What is Shoppable Content?

Shoppable content is content you can directly buy from.

In other words, shoppable content is when you make your content actionable to streamline the customer’s journey from inspiration to purchase.

For brands and retailers, this translates into content that features products and product recommendations that are then tagged with purchase details: price, checkout, etc. This enables the customers to buy those products from where they’re browsing, without friction.

Shoppable Content Path to Purchase

Shoppable content is a great way to make shopping more accessible for your customers. Customers consume content (videos, promotions, emails, etc.), and go straight from “I want it” to “I’m adding it to cart.”

Today, omnichannel shopping experiences are the norm. With several distractions along the way, the customer’s buying journey is incredibly complex.

For the average grocery shopper, for instance, this is what the path to purchase looks like.

Consumer Food Journey

Between inspiration and buying the ingredients, a lot of pieces need to fall in place before your product lands in the customer’s cart.

Shoppable content allows you to shorten the buying journey by removing the friction — by including things like retailer product pages between the inspiration phase and the purchase phase.

Benefits of Shoppable Content

Shoppable content offers plenty of advantages for both you and the customer. So how shoppable content increases customer value?

Convenience

Sure, consumers choose ecommerce for convenience. But with online grocery shopping, there are two possible sources of friction:

  • Lengthy purchase journeys and complicated transactions.
    This friction is expensive: The lack of a seamless experience cost businesses $213 billion in ecommerce opportunities in 2019 alone.
  • Wrong or out-of-stock products.
    Customers might not have the opportunity to know if the right product is available before adding it to cart.

Shoppable content allows you to make planning and shopping as straightforward as possible. And with the right technology, you can integrate at the store-level and ensure the right products are matched for a frictionless experience.

Source

Convenience and product availability are the top drivers for new brand purchases.

Value

Engaging content is great. But in today’s omnichannel shopping world, that’s not enough. Consumers want brands to solve their problems. For example, when it comes to cooking at home, the biggest pain points are:

  • Coming up with new ideas every day
  • Finding the relevant products
  • Discovering new products

When you make content shoppable, you not only provide inspiration, you also arm them with the tools necessary to make that inspiration a reality by connecting them to the right products. When you help consumers take action, you build the foundation for loyalty.

How shoppable content helps retailers and brands

Better Conversion
Consumers who use digital channels before or during a shopping experience end up converting 9% more frequently than those who don’t. This means you need to be present at many, if not all, these digital touchpoints to convert your consumers. And shoppable content allows you to do exactly that — by turning every touchpoint into a buying opportunity for the customer.

Customers shopping through recipe content are adding three more items to their cart than they were previously and they are increasing their spend significantly. In other words, there’s incredible potential for shoppable content to boost your sales.

Content Accountability
Content is only effective if it translates into product sales. But how do you measure the performance of content? Metrics like page visits can tell you only so much.

Most shoppable content allows you to measure customer engagement with nuanced metrics. You can find out which publishers, websites, and locations your customers are coming from. You also get insights into what they’re buying. Shoppable content unlocks analytics that you won’t get from traditional content, such as granular data on how they interacted with the content.

Customer Journey to Food Purchase

Deeper Customer Profiles
More and more customers expect brands to tailor experiences based on their preferences. And with more data on your customers’ shopping behavior, you can understand their needs better. This helps you:

  • Curate and/or create content designed specifically for them.
  • Make meaningful product recommendations.
  • Give them personalized shopping experiences.

Types of Shoppable Content

So, what kind of content can you make shoppable?

The short answer (and the good news): Literally anything.

Now, let’s delve deeper into the types of content that can be made shoppable. We’ll also look at examples of brands that creatively connect with their audience.

Shoppable Image

This shoppable image:

  • Clearly displays the item
  • Informs the customer that the item is in stock
  • Prompts the customer to buy it instantly, without leaving Pinterest
  • Allows the customer to interact with the image in other ways, like share or save so they can buy it in the future.

Shoppable Videos

Videos are easily the most consumed content type on the internet. Just like photographs, high-quality videos can be used to showcase several products. The biggest advantage of videos is that there is also a storytelling element involved, which keeps the viewers hooked.

Example
Ted Baker: The clothing brand’s short film highlights several products that users can immediately buy.

As the video plays, ‘Click to Shop’ links draw the viewers’ attention to the products in the spotlight. The video also gives the audience the opportunity to ‘Shop the Film,’ which means they can view and buy all the items featured in the video.

This shoppable video works because it:

  • Is short and crisp, with attractive visuals
  • Tells a timely story, relevant to the season
  • Clearly highlights the products showcased in the video with “Click to Buy” labels
  • Offers the customer multiple ways to access the products: shop the entire film or click to buy individual products as and when they appear on the screen

Other Shoppable Media

Shoppable media doesn’t always have to be visual. A simple, clear link to the shopping page could also be just as effective. Engaging and informative blog posts, stories, and articles grab customers’ attention — and inspire them to make a purchase then and there.

Captivating digital magazines subtly promote products: The written content serves to help, educate, and entertain the audience, all while nudging them to browse through a catalog of products.

Example
Net-a-Porter’s Porter, the high-end fashion brand, has a lifestyle magazine on its website.

Users can read and shop directly from the engaging reads.

Why this shoppable content works:

  • The story revolves around the actor, not the products
  • The images accompanying the story are clear, displaying the products
  • The story adds an emotional element that spurs the customers to be inspired
  • Customers can instantly add these products to the cart without friction

Shoppable Recipes

For food brands and retailers, recipes are an excellent means to inspire and help customers. Recipes are inherently designed to be converted to shopping lists. Shoppable recipes let the customers add all the ingredients to their cart or digital list. When they find a recipe they like, they aren’t burdened with creating a separate shopping list, finding the right products at a store of their choice, etc.

Examples
Kraft Heinz: The My Food and Family website allows the users to add the ingredients to their cart or shopping list seamlessly. For example, these are the ingredients for the Ring Around the Posey recipe.

Food Network also lets the users seamlessly add the ingredients from the recipes to carts.

Shoppable Ads and Promotions

Contextually targeted ad placements let brands recommend relevant products to users where they’re looking. Plus, these ads eliminate friction. Not only do they show the customers a product they might like, but they also let the customers directly shop from the ad. For example, if the user is browsing through a camping-related website, they might encounter ads for tents and camping gear.

Examples
Google search and images have strategic ad placements that pertain to the customers’ search. For example, if a customer is searching for information on skillets, these are some promotions they’ll see among the search results. Google ads also let the customers see if the products are in stock. Also, Customers can also save the products, add them to a collection, etc.

On a tech blog ranking the top laptops and tablets, a user might see an ad for a related product. It’s reasonable to assume that a user interested in tech news might also be curious about the latest gadgets. The ad takes the customer to the product page where they can buy it right away.

How to Choose the Right Shoppable Content Solution as Part of Your Food Marketing Strategy

The shoppable content market is exploding, and there’s still a lot of potential to be uncovered. The food industry is starting to realize the power of adding shopping functionality beyond the add to cart button.

In this rapidly changing landscape, finding a trustworthy technology platform is crucial. Especially in the food and grocery space, customers want more convenience: they want to be relieved of the repetitive task of planning and shopping for meals every day. Their desire to customize and personalize the recipes is an important factor that shapes your food content strategy.

Here are some tips to help you choose the right shopping platform for your food brand or grocer.

Accurate inventory-level integrations

Your primary objective with shoppable content is to reduce friction for consumers.

This means, you also have to ensure that your customer is not left with the wrong or out-of-stock products added to their carts, resulting in a frustrating shopping experience.

Check if your shoppable solution comes with accurate product- and ingredient-matching and deep integrations at the inventory level, so you can fulfill your customers’ every order.

State-of-the-art technology and advanced tools

This should go without saying, but you want the shoppable solution to do all the technological heavy-lifting. Look for a platform that takes the complexity out of the equation and puts you on the fast track to digital.

Here are some technical attributes of a powerful shopping platform:

  • Simple to incorporate and integrate with your website, social, promotions, and other platforms
  • Highly flexible, scalable, and customizable with branding, loyalty points, etc.
  • Enables customers to add products directly to their cart with a couple of clicks; not just a retailer’s product page
  • Can automatically parse your food content and instantly create shopping lists
  • Pays keen attention to minute but crucial details that enhance your customer’s shopping experience and your business’ efficiency
  • Ensures that your product/store “sticks”: makes your product land in the customer’s cart and gives you the power to direct them to your store

Airtight connections: omnichannel and ecommerce enabled

The perfect shopping platform would let your customers instantly check out with grocers online for delivery or pickup, or take their lists to the store via mobile, email, SMS, and print. And no matter where they stop and where they continue, their shopping journey remains one.

Advanced engagement metrics and content performance tracking

When looking for your ideal shopping solution, dare to go beyond just making your content shoppable. The right tools need to give you deep analytics that combines advanced data with your existing data to create deeper customer profiles. Insights like what content performs the best, how customers engaged with your content (e.g., saved, printed, emailed, or shopped), etc., help you capitalize on the latest trends, rinse-and-repeat your success, and refine your strategy.

Key Takeaways

In this guide, we covered some important topics around shoppable content. Here’s how shoppable content can help food brands and grocers like you turn inspiration into action.

Shoppable content lets you cultivate a relationship with your customer. It lets you be present at key points along the customer’s path to purchase, from the moment of inspiration to the point of sale. Plus, it helps you drive loyalty by offering increased convenience and value.

Shoppable content gives you insights you might otherwise not have access to. You get a deeper insight into customers’ buying habits, which helps you offer compelling experiences tailored to their needs.

Shoppable content is especially relevant in the food space. Food brands and retailers are adopting this consumer-centric approach and reducing friction for consumers with reliable technology partners.

The purpose of shoppable content is to make the grocery shopping process more flexible, convenient, and frictionless for the consumer. Shoppable content gives you the power to help them choose what and where they buy. Therefore, your shoppable content should be thoughtfully and strategically planned.

With the right technology partner, you can make any content shoppable on any surface. Your customer hunts for inspiration on multiple channels and platforms. That’s why your shoppable media (images, videos, etc.), shoppable recipes, and shoppable ads and promotions must live wherever they look for ideas.

With the ecommerce scenario evolving rapidly, shoppable content is your ally in staying ahead of the competition — and it’s fast becoming a necessity.

Are you ready to explore what shoppable content can do for your food brand or retail business? You have a technology expert and strategic partner in Whisk. Contact our sales team for a demo now.