- Interactive advertising platform Contobox and location platform Verve created a shoppable ad format that saw a 33% jump in consumer interactions during early campaigns, the company shared with Mobile Marketer. The ad units let consumers add items directly to a digital shopping cart from mobile, desktop or tablets. Brands and retailers that have used the ad-tech include Hallmark, Poland Springs, EmergenC, Walmart and CVS.
- Early campaigns that used the tech saw a 21% increase in users' time spent interacting with the shoppable ads, per Contobox. The company also found that users were 4.5 times more likely to begin browsing products within the ad unit than click through to the brand's website.
- Display and video features aim to keep audiences engaged with brands, with support from chatbots, dynamic creative and custom games. Contobox's shoppable ad units aim to shorten the path to purchase while giving brands a deeper look at consumer behavior data, which they can use to create more personalized marketing campaigns, Contobox said.
The idea for shoppable ads is to give consumers a chance to immediately buy the products they see while browsing the mobile web, shrinking the sales funnel for brands and retailers.
Contobox's interactive units aim to drive sales for brands as consumers show greater willingness to shop on mobile devices. About four out of five (82%) of U.S. shoppers spending money online and use their smartphones to make purchase decisions, per a study by consulting firm McKinsey. Its research found that 83% of customers want their shopping experience to be personalized, and that customization can boost revenue by 20% to 30%.
Shoppable ads are a growing trend as brands and marketers seek to drive direct sales from busy consumers while they're on the go. Search giant Google, which commands an estimated 37% of the U.S. digital ad market, in March added shoppable ads to Images. Facebook-owned Instagram in May created a special account called @shop to bring together posts from online merchants that sell products on the platform as part of its broader effort to support social commerce, suggesting that shoppable or interactive ads are proving to be successful in driving engagement among ad-fatigued consumers.
Amid a maturing digital ad market, tech companies are working to make their ad formats more transactional for brands and retailers. Social media companies like Facebook, Pinterest and Snap are adopting similar strategies as they face a stronger rivalry with Amazon.
While e-commerce sales have grown rapidly, people still plan to spend 90% of their retail dollars in person this year, according to researcher eMarketer. The firm said "webrooming," or researching a product online before buying in a physical store, has helped to boost foot traffic to retailers like Ulta Beauty and Home Depot in the past year. Still, Ulta Beauty's e-commerce growth was less than expected, reflecting its customers' preference to visit stores and test makeup before buying.