Two worlds that have traditionally lived separately are now converging: Media is playing a larger role in commerce and commerce is picking up typical traits of media. One of the primary drivers of this shift has been the emergence of what Oracle CEO, Mark Hurd, called “The Customer Economy.” In this new economy, the customer owns choice of where they shop and interact, unlike previously when products were only available from select merchants, which presents a major challenge for merchants and digital publishers. Shoppers can order from Amazon and receive a delivery the same day, without having to leave their home — they have myriad choices in where to buy from, so what sets apart one merchant from another? The same is true with media. How will a media company earn your time and engagement, when your friends are all hanging out on Facebook?
Historically, the only connection between media and commerce has been through various forms of advertising: display, search or retargeting ads. As we originally learned from the dawn of the Internet in 1994, standard display ad formats quickly lost their luster as users became conditioned what to expect and where to expect it. The syndrome of banner blindness is an epidemic that can’t be cured. This prompted a shift in thinking; content marketing was born. The basic needs of a user to be entertained, educated and informed has never changed, and this medium of content sponsorship has flourished in recent years. Today, a user’s attention span is approximately 8.25 seconds, which is slightly less than that of a goldfish. So where does that leave content marketing? In an age where people no longer sit still and read an entire news article or pore over still images, the one medium that has proven to garner the attention of even the most fickle, is video. Video is the single most effective form of content marketing, this is truly where the bridge between media and commerce now exists.
Video Commerce: Engage, Entertain, Excite and Convert
The challenge that media and commerce companies face today is that users have a thirst for content that is difficult to quench. When they visit a website or open a mobile app, they expect to be entertained and engaged, which requires constant curation and tools that automate content presentation. Video is the perfect medium for this, it keeps users engaged and builds lifetime loyalty. Let’s not forget that the same device that users engage on is the same one they shop on.
Video commerce is the combination of engaging, entertaining or educational video content with contextually relevant product calls-to-action. The idea being that when users are learning “how to replace an oil filter,” they are provided with the products necessary to complete the job: supplies, tools and related accessories. This presents a tremendous opportunity for media and commerce companies to capitalize on their existing video content initiatives or leverage sponsored content from advertisers to monetize the new digital real estate with commerce links.
Specifically for merchants, video commerce solves a few critical issues. First, it enables merchants to deploy engaging video experiences, lowering bounce rates and increasing the time on site. Second, merchants can match relevant products from their catalog, enabling users to shop while they watch. Ultimately the combination of video engagement and commerce links increases conversion rates and average order values for merchants, which is critical in building a growing, loyal customer base.
Video commerce truly facilitates the convergence between media and commerce and solves a real business problem that has emerged with the rise of “The Customer Economy.”
Matt Babineau is the vice president of product marketing atTVPage, a video commerce cloud platform.
As the VP of Product Marketing, Matt Babineau brings extensive experience to TVPage with both product and web-based marketing. Prior to joining TVPage, Babineau was Corporate Marketing Technology Director at Emcore (following the acquisition of Opticomm). At Opticomm, Babineau was instrumental in developing an Online Configuration System that drove a community around the company’s configurable platform, almost tripling sales in less than one year. Babineau holds a registered US patent involving the viewing of rich media content over the web.