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Contextual Commerce New Era

When transaction gets invisible


Every other Wednesday, h/commerce provides in-depth analysis of the most impactful trends reshaping retail.

Since 2020, commerce has undergone difficulties forcing players to transform themself and above all to accelerate their digitalization. Consumers had to transpose their daily activities (working, shopping, entertainment, education, sport etc.) to digital platforms. This was what brought the new era of contextual commerce to life.

In order to do this, it has been crucial for retailers to understand the new practices of consumers, particularly on the digital, so that they could reach them at the most relevant times and places. Contextual commerce  started to be conceived as an idea. 

The questions that pioneering retailers have asked themselves in order to meet their consumer base on digital: What do my consumers consume online? What complementary offer can I bring to their online consumption? What do they expect from merchants today? How can I make the transaction as smooth as possible?

It is today very easy to connect online contents with transactions by seamlessly implementing purchase opportunities into customers’ everyday activities. 

This is how  the new era of contextual commerce was born.

Social Media are pioneers in the field of contextual commerce

Social Media platforms are the main ones to accelerate towards the capitalization of contextual commerce. Instead of redirecting customers to ecommerces promoted on the social platform, it allows them to pay directly on the application, in one click. Retailers are trying to reach their customers’ attention across different channels through content.

Social Commerce

Source: Crobox

Walmart is gradually expanding its contextual commerce ecosystem

Walmart is one of the most pioneering retailers of this move towards contextual commerce.
Shoppable content is not unfamiliar to the brand.
Indeed Walmart is integrating with other content platform.

Walmart and Tasty (BuzzFeed brand) extended their partnership

The partnership started in 2019. Customers were able to add the ingredient list from 4,000 Tasty recipe videos directly to their Walmart Online Grocery carts in one click. They could then get their order via pick up in store of delivery at home.

The new service developed in 2021 is providing an add to bag option. Tasty viewers can now connect with brands and order groceries for pickup or delivery through Walmart.

For both players, the aim, apart from developing another source of income, is to make it easier and faster for consumers to cook at home.

Source: Walmart

Walmart & Meredith in the contextual commerce field

Late 2021 Walmart joined force with Meredith media brand. Consumers are now able to shop Walmart items directly across Meredith’s entire range of brands including Allrecipes, Better Homes & Gardens, Parents, EatingWell and Real Simple.

The idea is to allow families to buy their groceries directly from recipes published on Meredith’s platforms. Customers can access content providing recipes and add the ingredients directly to their Walmart online grocery cart for pickup or delivery.

Content platforms have realized that commerce represents a new source of revenue for them

Spotify teamed up with Shopify to sell artists products

In 2021, Spotify partnered with Shopify to enable artists to sell their by-products to their fans. By-products are directly accessible through artists’ profiles.

Once their online «shop » connected to their Shopify for Artists account, they can implement their products catalogue into Spotify.

Shopify is expanding its presence in the creator economy and Spotify makes its first entrance into the e-commerce industry.

Source: Shopify

Carrefour and Brut. are joining forces to create a live shopping platform: Other ways to achieve contextual commerce

This new organisation, named Brut Shop, aims to become “the leader in the French live shopping market”.

“It is open to all brands and retailers and will enable them to offer their customers multi-branded live shows on all social networks,” explains Elodie Perthuisot, Carrefour’s Director of Digital Transformation.

Brut Shop benefits from the expertise of its two founders:

– Brut, which has 70 million users in Europe, representing 39% of the media market on social networks and reaching 100% of the 18-34 year old audience.

– Carrefour, which has carried out nearly 50 ‘live shopping’ events in 2021 and whose 60% of customers declare “an interest in live shopping and brands”.

Brut Shop’s ambition is to achieve 1,000 live shops by 2022.

According to Accenture, the social commerce market, estimated at 492 billion dollars, is expected to triple by 2025 (1.2 trillion dollars).

Both players intend to take advantage from every consuption opportunity to push call to purchase to their viewers and consumers combining content and ecommerce functionalities.

Walmart - Livestreaming

Source: Ecommerce Mag

What can we imagine for the future?

Netflix, as a content platform, already got a foot in the commerce game last year. Indeed, the streaming platform opened a ecommerce dedicated to the sale of products derived from its original series and content.

Walmart - Livestreaming

Source: Netflix Shop

What we can foresee for the future of Netflix is a true integration of contextual commerce directly on its content platform. It would be fun to be able to buy the products consumed or worn by the series characters directly from the sofa, on Netflix platform and without having to stop watching the program.

Why is it interesting?

Contextual commerce is another way to provide customers with a quick and convenient shopping experience.
Consumers are far too used to the discouraging multi-step online transactions.

Here, the transaction takes place without the need to leave the content that is currently being viewed or consumed on the platform. Everything is done to make the transaction as smooth and invisible as possible. It is apparently easier for brands to get customers to purchase something directly in the moment of products’ discovery when they are interacting though content platforms.

Indeed, for brands, contextual commerce could shorten the cycle between engagement and purchase.

Integrating buying opportunities into content platforms is also allowing brands to personalize an overall customer experience.

Contextual commerce is pure frictionless shopping!

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Mikaela Barbosa

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