Eva Wang, Head of Commerce Partnerships, sat down with Omni Talk Retail as part of the Ask An Expert Series to discuss how Firework is driving innovation in video commerce and how brands can succeed heading into next year.
There is a lot to unpack in this episode. Here are the five key takeaways:
1. Brands need to prepare for the future of video commerce
“Everything needs to be built on brands owned and operated channels. This produces an ecosystem to create a better customer profile and allows brands to have a holistic experience across every channel.”
What consumers deserve is proper engagement from brands they trust, via direct and uninterrupted interactions on platforms they can trust. So while social media platforms may be great for getting initial interactions up-and-running, it is the engagement with the brand’s website content, specifically video content, that ultimately drives conversions, creates meaningful connections, and builds brand loyalty.
2. Brands need to create a seamless checkout process
“Instead of shifting consumer behavior in a forceful way. How do we help bring engaging and immersive brand-specific content to the retailer’s website where people are already used to making purchases.”
Consumers are already used to making purchases on a brand or retailer’s website. Trying to forcefully shift consumer behavior in order to make them carry out transactions on social media platforms is like trying to reinvent the wheel. Firework is transforming the checkout experiences for brands and their customers with in-video checkout. Customers never have to leave the video or live experience to purchase a product.
3. Brands need to create an omnichannel customer experience (that’s measurable!)
“Shopping experience is non-linear and less predictable. It’s hard to complete customer profile in omnichannel world with so many different options.”
Thanks to the on-demand nature of content consumption, brands need to be more aware, and in control, about where their customers are, what the different touchpoints are, and connecting those touchpoints to tell a story. It’s more important than ever for brands to deliver consistency across all paid, owned and earned channels. Video commerce (shoppable video and livestream shopping) creates always-on content that can live on the open web.
4. Brands need to own and access their data in real-time
“Brands need to curate a more direct-to-consumer experience. Not only in the way customers interact with the brand but how brands interact with the data. Brands need to pull the different data points together to make omnichannel touchpoint.”
When social media platforms serve video content to consumers, it is the platforms that collect and hold onto the customer data. This critical information rarely, if ever, makes its way to the brands.
Attracting audiences to their own website gives a brand the opportunity to dictate the relationship with its customers, moving it away from merely utility (“I come here to buy a specific product”) to learning and discovery (“I want to know more about these premium products”).
5. Brands need to create authentic content in order to connect with their customers
“Authentic content speaks to the new age consumer. Videos and Livestreams also increase the life of the content.”
Creating traditional video comes with high production costs. Thankfully, the new age consumer wants authenticity, not highly-produced content that feels like advertising.
A brand ambassador showing how the brand’s products fit into their daily life, or a brand founder hosting a livestream, talking about the ingredients in their products, can deliver a huge impact. And all this can be done easily on smartphones, drastically cutting down on production costs.
This is also where livestreams help brands hit the value jackpot. Even beyond replays, a livestream can be repurposed into multiple short videos, increasing the life of the content significantly.
The Outlook for 2023 (& Beyond)
2022 was not the easiest year for brands or retailers, and it’s unlikely 2023 will be either. There are plenty of economic challenges and uncertainties, including inflation, to keep marketers on their toes.
In times of economic stress, it is even more important that companies like Firework work collectively with customers to help them adapt their business.
Creating a truly holistic strategy and experience for customers is where brands will stand out from the competition. Bringing the right content (engaging video), in the right context (brand’s own website or on an affiliate site – across the open web), with the right commerce experience (1-click checkout) will be the ultimate game-changer for retail.
Want to learn more about Firework? Reach out today to book a meeting with one of our video commerce experts.
About the author: Eva Wang is Head of Commerce and Partnerships at Firework. This article is based on Eva’s appearance on Omni Talk Retail’s Ask An Expert series.