Image source: odd pears
With Pinterest and Instagram set to roll out ‘buy’ buttons and shoppable video tech disrupting your YouTube transmissions, the question isn’t so much whether truly shoppable content is possible – it’s whether it’s a good choice for the future of your brand.
What’s the real conversion rate of this technology? While there’s convincing evidence of real ROI on certain shoppable content in use today, brands also need to consider whether consumers might want to keep their engagement with Pinterest and Instagram free from retail. At Decoded Fashion’s New York Summit, an expert panel will weigh in on the shoppable content debate – but for now, let’s take a look at the current state of play.
With fashionable consumers spending long periods of time browsing personally curated content on their Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr accounts, the reasons why brands would want to engage with those sites are obvious. The desire to make the world more shoppable has disrupted the world of video, with platforms like Wirewax allowing any brand to make interactive videos. No doubt attracted by an average click-through rate of 18.8%, Lacoste, Pepe Jeans and Coach are just some of the big names to have used the service. And if you’ve been dreaming of digitised wardrobes ever since Cher in Clueless got dressed for her school day, then you’ll appreciate the new trending smartphone tools for curated closet displays. Smartphone apps like Closetspace replace racks and hangers through geo-tagging and customised styling suggestions.
But there’s certainly a case against making anything shoppable just for the sake of it – by making it all about instant purchasing, you could risk reducing brand loyalty by putting off devotees. As a result, certain brands are pursuing an alternative kind of user engagement that taps into their tendency to browse for inspiration in a different way. After all, Pinterest and Instagram are about displaying a certain lifestyle that goes against the digital: vintage magazine scans, interiors inspiration and slow-cook recipes.
On Aesop’s website, for example, branded content doesn’t mean getting people to buy soap – instead, the company produces an online bi-monthly literary magazine, The Fabulist, which features fiction, non-fiction and interviews from emerging writers. It’s a tactic that takes a leaf out of Prada’s book: the brand’s global writing contest is in its third year, and its new Wes Anderson-designed café, Bar Luce, has been designed with Instagram suitability firmly in mind.
While shoppable content is here to stay, the world of branded content doesn’t need to end there. For some brands, conversion rates might be harder to track – but brand loyalty will stick like glue.
Reported by Claire Healy