You’ve made the right ad creative and your audience is watching it all the way through. I want this product, they think, just as your campaign had intended. Then they wonder: “Now where can I buy this?”
Did you answer that question? Was it the right answer?
Not answering the “where to buy” question is one of the most costly of opportunities lost.Not only is this a waste of digital investment converting them up to this point, you’re also losing the consumers at their second most likely point of purchase (the highest being when they are at the populated cart itself). That’s why Where To Buy solutions exist, to answer for your customers at their point of consideration which retailer they should go to in order to purchase your products.
Here are some best practices on how to answer the “where to buy” question, incorporate Where To Buy solutions into your digital shopping experience, and leverage it as part of your overall eCommerce strategy:
1. Give your consumers the power to choose when shopping
Your brand has a ton of consumer-facing content out there. Social media, programmatic, paid search, email -- these campaigns reach out to your consumers through different channels and meet them where they prefer to discover new things. That’s also where you have to answer the “where to buy” question, or transition the consumer to where you can answer it without an experiential break.
Now I'm sure you're asking, "What's the best answer to my consumers on where they can buy?" Showcase retailer options and let them tell you. Show your consumers the different retailers carts that they can choose from as they are considering your product. Having their preferred retailer option available is highly encouraging for purchase intent.
There’s a prerequisite for this, of course. Your digital content that engages your audience at their point of product discovery must already be made shoppable. Otherwise, your customer journey ends here at the beginning of their purchasing experience.
2. Make sure you are capturing your audience data
Are you making evidence-based decisions on your campaign strategy? Do you own your audience data? Let’s say a consumer chooses a retailer after engaging with your content on Pinterest or Facebook. What you have now is called a “channel x retailer” preference, a key piece of information that should drive your digital investment decisions -- and help you decide which retailers to include for your consumers’ Where To Buy options based on where they are engaging.
That means an important function of a Where To Buy solution is the ability to plug into your consumer-facing content, and to capture audience data. Your campaigns are valuable beyond their immediate goal of driving purchase intent and revenue. They’re also here to make your future campaigns smarter.
3. Understand the preferences of YOUR industry and YOUR shoppers
Selling for every industry is different. Beauty products are purchased differently than groceries or toys. For industries such as spirits, retailer loyalty matters less (for now). For CPG and personal care, promotions and inventory management matter. For beauty, shade-color-size selectors matter. You should always be answering “where to buy” in a way that provides your consumers with the information they need to shop, specific to your industry.
No matter where consumers discover products (ads, search, email, etc), marketers have several short but critical windows of time to give them the content and retailer options they need in order to drive purchase intent and conversion. The first is using the initial 1.5 seconds to capture attention. The second step is to engage them with a timely call to action to move further down the purchasing funnel. Then, give consumers the power to choose by answering the “where to buy” question. Finally, they have to be enabled to purchase successfully at an in-stock cart.
All of this must occur seamlessly. Miss any of the windows, and all your digital investments that brought your consumer to this point are wasted. At best, you would have lost potential revenue. At worst, the disappointing shopping experience would count against your brand for future engagements.
In the world of impulse-driven purchase decisions, the best eCommerce solution is one that is always on, always learning about your consumers, and always improving. So as you’re designing your digital storefront and your eCommerce strategy, make sure that it is based on your consumer’s shopping journey and purchasing preference, and that you have the proper tools to do so.