In the new digital world where shopping journeys are compressed and making a purchase is easier than ever, it’s harder for brand marketers to discern where to place their top-of-funnel media investments. If shoppable content can propel consumers all the way from discovery to conversion in one moment, and shoppers are purchasing in the same place they’re researching and evaluating, does brand marketing really need to be reserved strictly for the top?
The reality is no. Brand marketing is more fluid than ever and can now be optimized across the purchase funnel, especially with the rise of social commerce. For this reason, it’s important that brand marketers begin to pay attention to e-commerce sites—and not only in terms of display inventory.
Here are four reasons why:
While many publishers tout first-party data, it’s usually limited to behavioral information and shopping interests. Very few media partners are able to boast first-party transaction data. They can tell you how much traffic they delivered, but they can’t tell you what your true return on ad spend is.
E-commerce partners, however, monitor transaction data. This includes affiliate publishers such as Slickdeals, which employ third-party tracking from affiliate networks and often specialize in quality content creation. In fact, eMarketer recently agreed that “the affiliate channel now offers marketers considerably more premium and engaging content partners than what was historically available.” In many cases, these affiliate partners are both introducing customers to a new brand or product and converting the customer—often in the same session.
Thus, when placing brand advertisements across e-commerce sites, you can more clearly see when and how (new) customers engage and transact. You can discern all touch points, map a clear path to purchase and establish attribution without the hassle of matching anonymous audiences with various media partners across multiple sessions and channels.
Because of the aforementioned first-party data, e-commerce partners are able to target their users with unique accuracy. They can definitively tell you when someone has bought the item they were browsing for, and they can help you win over the consumers who love buying from your competitor.
As a result, you’re not only able to get an accurate sense of your return, but you’re also able to better maximize it through more effective targeting.
Brand advertisements that are positioned close to checkout will also increase your chances of driving new customers. McKinsey confirmed that 40% of consumers who changed shopping behaviors during the pandemic also made the decision to change brands due to factors of convenience and value.
Simultaneously, e-commerce sites are experts in maximizing both convenience and value. In addition to product and deal information being immediately available to the consumer (including everything from price comparisons to rewards information), conversion is only a click away.
So it makes sense that 35% of social buyers describe their most recent social commerce purchase to eMarketer as an impulse buy of a product or service that they were not previously aware of or considering.
Ditch your virtual billboards! Or at least ditch some of them.
With more and more social components being integrated into e-commerce sites, marketers have the chance to ignite conversations with customers as well as establish long-lasting discussions between consumers and their brand media. Such results are way more impactful than passive banner ads, which may or may not draw mindshare from the passing viewer.
Harking back to earlier points, this conversation is also facilitated close to the point of purchase, which again lends itself to higher impact and increased conversion. A friend talking about a brand they love as you drive down a highway is one thing, but a friend talking about a brand they love as you’re holding the product in the checkout line is another.
For these reasons (and probably a few others), it’s important that marketers begin considering e-commerce sites as viable brand media partners. At Slickdeals, we’ve found that advertisers see the most success when they engage in both traditional top-of-funnel branding as well as performance-driven campaigns. As the core social commerce platform propels consumers through the shopping funnel, smart e-commerce partners such as Slickdeals strategize with brands on everything in between to achieve a clear purchase path and an accurate return on ad spend.