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In e-commerce entertainment sells itself short

The entertainment business likes to pride itself as being as high-tech and creatively innovative as any or all when in reality, without imagineering e-commerce, it is selling itself short.

Global ecommerce sales will top 3.5 trillion dollars worldwide this year underlining it as an increasingly lucrative and indispensable option for businesses. What’s more, it’s projected to grow at roughly 20 per cent a year approaching $6.54 trillion in revenue by 2022 as internet transactions take a larger and larger piece of the retail pie.

It’s a staggering figure which, as it stands, video content owners are not well placed to capitalise on.

While the sophistication and maturity of e-commerce techniques have grown to propel markets from shopping to taxi rides and tourism, video has remained in the dark ages. Far from being trail blazers in content bought and consumed digitally, the business is languishing with clunky processes barely retrofitted from the days of shipping DVDs to Blockbuster.

The lack of imagination in initiating e-tail techniques is startling but one that can be reversed by forward thinking companies. Some ideas in regular play in the e-commerce world which could readily be applied to video entertainment include:

Personalisation – dynamically displaying unique and individualised experiences to a customer. There are lots of ways to implement ecommerce personalisation but all rely on analysing user information from demographics to browsing behaviour. No longer a trend, customers expect it. In fact, a third of customers have ended their relationship to a business with insufficient or no personalisation in place, according to this Accenture report [https://www.accenture.com/t20171122T144713Z__w__/us-en/_acnmedia/PDF-66/Accenture-GLOBAL_DD_GCPR-Hyper-Relevance_Infographic.pdf#zoom=50]

Shopping basket recovery – reach out to customers who wander away from the site before clicking the ‘checkout’ button. It’s a problem effecting every industry as data showing a global 79.17% rate of cart abandonment reveals [https://designadvisor.net/blog/shopping-cart-abandonment-stats/. Potentially reduce these rates by offering a discount. It shows that you care about the user’s shopping journey and reaffirms their decision to purchase from your store.

Displaying other customers activity – for example “these titles are trending in Liverpool just now” offers proof that the film is worthy of attention by its demand.

Flash sales – Adjusting pricing on a day to day basis takes advantage of prime shopping times. For example, a film promoted during prime time on a Sunday affords the chance to offer the latest Avengers movie for £1 to rent, for 1 hour only. This will increase brand awareness and WoM can lead to being featured on blogs/articles, vastly expanding visibility in the process.

Dynamic pricing – drives optimal sales and profit, calibrated according to changing data points like weekly promotions and newsworthy events. Successful ecommerce businesses monitor their competitors pricing, seasonal and historical demand and react in real-time, offering personalised pricing.

Go social – More and more people’s spending is influenced (even transacted via) social media platforms. For instance, Instagram’s ‘shoppable post’ feature, allows businesses to enable product tags in their posts and product stickers in stories. Integrating social presence using influencers, brand affiliates and competitions, encourages engagement and underscores approval from a trusted source.

Tripwires – offer a lower, entry-level priced good to a potential customer to get them on board. You can then build trust and offer higher-priced products. An example, offer movies in the Star Wars catalogue at £1 whilst the latest release is being promoted in cinemas.

This is just a fraction of what’s possible. Content owners should already be trying to understand the customer’s multi-platform viewing habits and video sales journeys, in particular grasping the potential of mobile oriented shopping to maximise chances of future success.

Voice technology through virtual assistants cannot be ignored since this will be a key interface between customers and content. The leaps and bounds made in artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies offer deeper levels of personalisation that have already started to penetrate e-commerce.

The entertainment business likes to pride itself as being as high-tech and creatively innovative as any or all when in reality, without imagineering e-commerce, it is selling itself short.