Shopping Online, Shopping Together

Shopping has come full circle  from brick-and-mortar to online stores, and back again. But there is yet another method of shopping: on social media. Influencers are naturally part of this growing trend, but a person telling you to buy something or modeling a look is not necessarily why most people shop. Generally shopping is a spontaneous event: you look in your closet, your drawer, or your pantry, and the phrase comes to mind: “I need to go shopping. I need dog food. I need detergent. I need sunglasses to make me desirable and mysterious.” What started as a physical journey to the store, either by walking or driving, has been supplanted by the smaller but no less daunting eCommerce journey.

But with the rise of digital marketing campaigns, shopping may become more of an interactive experience. NASCAR cleverly paired a marketing campaign that included trivia questions with selling cute NASCAR-themed Funko Pop figurines via Instagram sticker. It both combined a campaign (trivia questions) with options to purchase the figurines (customer journey and eCommerce.) Omnichannel, customer experience, and eCommerce, all on one digital platform, specifically Instagram Stories.

It was a genius move. The mini trivia session is hosted by a real person asking questions, so the consumer feels like they are in a bar on Trivia Night or at minimum, surrounded by friends. Suddenly the figurines take on symbolic significance — they prove that you are, indeed, a consummate NASCAR fan. You can put the figurine on your work desk, a place of honor to remind you of your conquest. Every sports lover loves trivia, so it makes sense for that audience to have a trivia-themed campaign. And by making the figurines available for purchase, it’s easier for the marketer to measure click through and conversion rates, which are absolutely essential metrics to know whether or not a campaign has been successful or not. Finally, the figurines are wrapped up in short content: no endless survey, endless scrolling, or making a purchase that isn’t relevant to the consumer.

Short, pithy content on a digital platform is not really new. When Vine debuted, the platform took off like wildfire, and many talented consumers crammed pithy, engaging content in a mere six seconds, which is no easy feat. SnapChat, its successor, is a similar deal. In addition to the fact that SnapChat can support short videos, you can also tailor your persona with filters. Generally, consumers prefer content in short, engaging bursts. Meeting this demand, that increases with every new generation that gets their hands on a screen, not as easy as it sounds. Three act dramas in small bursts take extensive skill and practice (just ask any director who’s submitted a film to a festival.) But if a marketer knows their audience, and has taken the time to learn what the individual data points mean on a larger scale.

Consumers are usually pretty good at communicating their wants and needs in a space where they are most comfortable. By understanding where consumers are congregating and why, marketers can derive insight into the customers’ mindset and gently introduce products or service wrapped in an experience that they are bound to enjoy. Knowing when your consumer is most receptive to an introduction to a sales pitch is the magic of marketing, and you can use data to read their “body language,” and create and experience that will attract consumers, not repel them.

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