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The on-demand economy will fuel shoppable video

By Thomas Hobbs, Journalist

June 18, 2021 | 5 min read

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The global pandemic has boosted consumer appetite for shoppable video and accelerated the move towards an on-demand economy.

Shoppable Video

What does e-commerce look like now?

At The Drum’s Digital Transformation Festival, during a fireside chat, Stuart Heffernan, head of e-commerce at Pernod Ricard, and Nicola Spooner, vice-president of strategy for Unruly, asserted that post-pandemic consumption habits were here to stay and would fuel a shoppable content boom.

On-demand e-commerce

“This past year has been revolutionary for e-commerce,” said Heffernan. “In the space of a year, on-demand retail and players have boomed globally.”

Uber’s acquisition of the drinks delivery platform Drizly, Pernod Ricard’s recent stake in on-demand grocery platform Glovo and the rise of delivery apps in mature e-commerce markets such as the UK all suggest this trend will continue.

Heffernan also remarked: “On-demand will stick around because people get hooked on convenience and are prepared to pay a premium for it. Uber Eats’ alcohol sales have increased significantly – that’s a premium price point for standard products because it is pure speed and convenience.”

Connected TV growth

The two also spoke about the rise of ‘hometainment’ and how it dovetailed with the rise in super-fast, on-demand e-commerce.

Spooner said: “Consumers are accessing more content in an on-demand capacity than ever before. We don’t predict that slowing because now that people have trialed that kind of method of indulging in content, they’re not going to want to let it go.”

She added that while she could foresee a consolidation in subscription services, there would always be a thirst for on-demand quality content. “For brands, that brings an exciting opportunity because we’re delivering a lot of creative shoppable solutions.”

According to a recent study from Unruly, 72% of UK advertisers say connected TV (CTV) is a key part of their video advertising strategy. There is also a huge amount of optimism about the medium’s future, with all media agencies and 77% of brands saying they plan to invest more in CTV during the next 12 months.

The pandemic-induced boom of branded ‘hometainment’ experiences, such as showing how to make cocktails or advice on pairing food and wine, has readied consumers for shoppable content from brands.

Heffernan argued that this would continue to be the case even after lockdowns ends.

“Even if the pandemic has completely gone away by January next year, it will still be cold and wet and I will still be sitting at home. So, if a Jameson brand ambassador reaches me through the right media targeting, then yes, I will engage because it’s something to do on a Wednesday night.”

Unruly’s Spooner said that making branded content shoppable and serviceable by the on-demand apps consumers have grown to depend on during lockdown will induce impulse purchasing.

According to Unruly and research consultancy MTM, 90% of digital advertisers plan to increase their CTV spend in 2021.

“Shoppable content really opens the doors to impulse purchasing,” said Spooner. “If you are watching content around cooking and there is the contextual placement for Jameson’s cocktails or Viejo wines, I – as a consumer – could be inspired and take action immediately.”

From awareness to conversion

Both panelists agreed that TV is no longer about brand-building but about conversion, adding that advertisers should now augment campaigns with shoppable elements.

“There are plenty of ways to add shoppable elements to campaigns,” said Spooner. “It could be a light touch brand bar over the top of an amazing TV creative or an on-screen QR code so that consumers can scan it with their phone, which is location-enabled, and have that experience in their front room in moments.”

Ultimately, shoppable video will allow marketers to build video into every stage of their marketing plan rather than simply viewing it as an awareness boosting tool.

Taken from a fireside chat between Stuart Heffernan, head of e-commerce at Pernod Ricard, and Nicola Spooner, vice-president of strategy at Unruly, during The Drum’s Digital Transformation Festival 2021.

You can watch the full discussion here.

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