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2023 Marketing must-have: An authentic story

The pandemic has had a monumental impact on the e-commerce industry, instigating a rapid-fire change in consumer behaviour. 

Bricks-and-mortar shopping experiences have been replaced with a digital shopping landscape, with more than two billion online shoppers scouring the internet globally for their next purchase. 

Consumers are enthusiastically buying into the convenience of online shopping, but on the flip side, they are facing the challenge of a limited understanding of their purchase through a lack of product visibility online. 

Today there are an estimated 24 million e-commerce sites across the globe, and it is forecasted that by 2040 nearly 95 per cent of all purchases globally will be made online or through a digital

platform. Business owners find themselves in a situation where competition is increasing faster than the market is expanding, and drop-shipping is gaining huge traction. It is now more and more difficult to stand out in an overly saturated market. 

This change in buying behaviour along with the rising demand for short-form video has revealed that marketing tactics need to be redefined to be about immersive, customer-centric content, not just disruptive messages.

TikTok’s monumental success can be attributed to its ability to allow brands to inspire their fans in authentic and entertaining ways, and that’s what consumers want—genuine connections with authentic brands.

“The writing is on the wall, and it’s telling us that to stay front-of-mind in audiences of the future, brands need to up their game in terms of creative storytelling and the representation of their ethos. The globally minded audiences of tomorrow demand more complexity, authenticity, and transparency,” said co-founder and CEO of the market-leading video-based platform Tolstoy, Dov Kaufmann.

“Marketing tactics like interactive and shoppable videos can channel the desire for authenticity and help businesses build the valuable connections they need to succeed and stand out from their competitors,” said Dov. “Marketing in 2023 is poised to be about making the shopping experience more fun, convenient, and meaningful.”

So, what marketing tactics can we expect to see in 2023?

Shoppable Videos

In 2023 the shoppable video experience will take over much of the way we shop online. Shoppable video is rapidly transforming the e-commerce storefront by capturing an audience’s attention with an experience as immersive as TikTok, with eye-catching product videos to show how their products look in real life, on real people.

Videos alone have proven to be a powerful sales tool, with more than 50 per cent of shoppers saying that online videos help them decide which brand or product to buy. With shoppable videos, customers can research all they need to know and read more about the products, all within the same shopping session. 

Videos can be embedded in e-commerce sites, sent via SMS and email, or displayed as stories, a Carousel or Widget, enabling users to scroll through videos to view products and buy directly from the videos with “add to cart” or “shop now” buttons. 

These days over 82 per cent of all consumer online traffic is spent viewing video content, and businesses realise the tremendous potential of this incredibly effective tool.

Interactive Videos

Savvy customers now gravitate towards brands that can provide them with unique, tech-forward shopping experiences. In fact, 75 per cent of consumers expect brands to leverage new technologies to build better online experiences. Interactive videos allow brands to send users on a unique journey where there’s more of a person-to-person conversation or personal experience, as opposed to the linear monologue that traditional videos create.

Interactive videos have the capability to turn passive viewers into active participants by creating a memorable, thoroughly engaging experience. This results in reduced user drop-off and higher engagement. Research also shows that the click-through rate of interactive videos is ten times higher than passive videos.

By allowing viewers to ask the questions they want or to see and interact with the products they’re interested in, brands will save in costs and time and provide their customer base with more targeted, genuine leads. 

Product Demonstrations

Interactive product demonstrations allow potential customers to experience a product and all its features through a self-guided, clickable process. Product demonstrations are seeing rapid growth in the digital world as brands are now turning their attention to virtual experiences—offering consumers a direct window into an e-commerce store from the comfort of their homes. A product demonstration can be as complex as allowing a customer to explore the intricacies of an engine or as simple as displaying different clothing items on different models with different body types. 

By providing each customer with the opportunity of a personalised demonstration, they’re able to view the product in a way that interests them, thus avoiding unnecessary information and potentially boring the customer.

This method has the advantage of providing customers with tangible proof of how a product works which then aids them in their purchase decision. In addition, they can boost the appeal of a brand’s products to a wider audience and build a sense of familiarity with the brand.

Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality

Virtual reality (VR) marketing incorporates the full immersion of a customer into a virtual world. This can connect a customer with a brand or product by engaging a variety of the customer’s senses, encouraging more interaction. VR allows brands to create and imbed memorable experiences, as well as bring an entertainment factor to advertising.

This is more immersive than a customer scrolling down a static catalogue and encourages visitors to spend more time viewing the products, interacting with the brand, and ultimately increasing the chance of sales. 

Augmented reality adds to an existing environment by introducing computer-generated images and effects. Using AR, prospective customers can try on clothing items without needing to interact with them directly.

According to Shopify, implementing AR technology into the online shopping experience can increase product interactions by 94 per cent. And while in-store purchases are returned at a rate of 5-10 per cent, online purchase returns currently sit at around 40 per cent. To overcome this challenge, AR/VR can help customers to make more informed decisions, reducing the need for returns.

Competitions & Games

Competitions and games are prize-driven strategies that encourage people to participate and engage with a brand in the hopes of a reward. A competition or game is a great way for a new audience to follow a brand’s social media accounts, as it incentivises their actions in exchange for a chance to win.

This marketing tactic can help a business obtain multiple goals, such as increasing brand awareness, encouraging customer loyalty, increasing sales, and obtaining customer information with little effort. Not only are people more than willing to share their details when it comes to entering competitions and playing games, but they will also share achievements around social platforms which can further boost awareness.

With more and more people spending time at home and working remotely, the demand and consumption of authentic storytelling and genuine connections with brands have—and will continue—to accelerate. Brands are optimally positioned to embrace technology like shoppable videos to meet their customers’ need for an immersive, personalised online experience.

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Dov Kaufman

Dov Kaufman

Dov Kaufmann is the co-founder and CEO of Tolstoy. Tolstoy is a new way to communicate, through interactive video.

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