Path to Purchase Toolkit (September 2019)
A roundup of technology-driven tools that drive consumer understanding, engagement and conversion on every step of the path to purchase.
- Stylish hat retailer Tenth Street Hats has seen success from an augmented reality experience added to its online shopping pages. (No separate mobile app required.) Results have shown that shoppers are more than two times more likely to buy a hat after using the feature, that revenue is nearly 42% higher per user, and the overall conversion lift is 52%. Tenth Street Hats, part of Stockton, California-based Dorfman Pacific, worked with Vertebrae, Santa Monica, California, and its Axis platform to bring Tenth Street’s range of hats to life. Shoppers on the Tenth Street site first can see the hat in a 3-D mode, spinning and moving the hat around for a closer look. Then, by clicking a “virtual try-on” button, the tool accesses the desktop or mobile camera and instantly overlays the hat on the user’s head. I gave it a whirl and was certainly impressed with how it gives a shopper a bit of an extra feel for the hat in a fun way – as opposed to blindly buying and hoping it fits. The Vertebrae platform also helps manage all of the 3-D content on the site and delivers analytics on how shoppers are engaging with the experience.
- For the gaming community, streaming channel Twitch is a popular way to watch tournaments and videos from influential gamers who stream videos. On July 15 and 16, Amazon teamed with Twitch for two 12-hour broadcasts that highlighted products for sale on Amazon Prime Day, which was held those days. The broadcasts included celeb Twitch streamers such as Jericho and AnneMunition promoting products best for their community in gaming, electronics, housewares and more, and the streamers shared demos of unseen titles that will be released. The broadcasts were like a QVC special – only instead of grandma watching, it’s her grandkids. The curated Prime Day specials were called “Twitch Sells Out: A Prime Day Special Event.” Viewers were able to buy through the streaming special if they had a Prime account. They could also comment during the specials and even stream their own commentary through an interactive on-screen overlay.
- Facebook’s Instagram said in its business blog that it now includes ads with its Instagram Explore feature, a tab users select to syphon through a feed of what’s trending and newsworthy among the accounts they follow, or from accounts that have interests related to that user. Ads will be posted and a user can click them for more info or continue swiping by. Instagram said in the announcement that more than 50% of accounts on Instagram use Explore every month, and 80% of users follow a business on the app.
- Walmart is already testing with various companies that focus on using autonomous vehicles to deliver goods to the shopper’s front door (see article, page 30), and now the mass merchant signed on another partner – Palo Alto, California-based Gatik – to test autonomous commercial trucks and vans for hauling product from warehouse to warehouse. Gatik refers to its business model as autonomous vehicles for “short-haul logistics.” The trucks, still with a human rider, follow a fixed route from fulfillment center to fulfillment center or a pre-set destination. Where as autonomous robots or drones may be seen as completing the last mile of delivery, Gatik’s model is to manage the “middle mile” warehouse delivery.
- Tapping into the release of Columbia Pictures’ “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” Papa John’s rolled out specially designed pizza boxes that included a Snapcode to be scanned while using the Snapchat app on either Apple or Android phones. The result was an augmented reality experience of a “webified” Papa John’s logo connected to 3-D animated recreations of locations from the film: Palace of Westminster, Tower Bridge and Rialto Bridge. In addition, app users could then play an augmented reality game by turning the camera on themselves, and virtually try to catch slices of pizza with their hands and mouth that are slung by a virtual web.
- Kraft Heinz’s popular lemonade brand, Country Time, ran a social campaign last year called “Legal-Ade” that sought to pay fines on behalf of kids who got burned for running a lemonade stand in an illegal state. This year the fight continues with its #LegalizeLemonade effort, turning more of a focus on the actual states that still fine residents for operating an illegal stand. The updated program still reimburses fines. Parents upload images of a child’s fine with a story of why the lemonade stand was meaningful to the child, and they are reimbursed up to $300. Going further, Country Time is leveraging a resource center at CountryTimeLegalAde.com that highlights the current illegal states and information on how to start changing that law in those states. Last year, Texas and Colorado changed the law. In addition to the site, Country Time is running posts on its social pages to highlight the campaign and is leveraging programmatic out-of-home billboards to personalize messages in those states.
- British supermarket chain Tesco is reportedly looking to develop a cashierless store, working with an Israeli company named Trigo Vision that would embed AI-enabled cameras and sensors to track items picked up and placed in shopping bags to automatically trigger transactions via the shopper’s mobile phone – similar to the Amazon Go process. Tesco highlighted the Trigo Vision technology inside a Tesco Express store as part of a capital market day event, according to an article in Britain’s The Daily Telegraph. Trigo Vision is also working with Shufersal, a grocer in Israel, to provide an autonomous shopping experience in 272 of the chain’s stores.
- Using Apple Business Chat, retailers selling over the Shopify e-commerce platform now have the ability to chat with Apple-enabled shoppers through the Shopify Ping mobile app. Businesses on Shopify Ping can interact with shoppers to answer questions on products and inventory through the Apple chat messaging, as well as connect when they’re not shopping to further the conversation. The Shopify multi-channel commerce platform serves more than 800,000 independent merchants globally, most of which use it to design, build and manage an online storefront and handle mobile, web, social media and more through the platform.
- In support of their Spartan Race sponsorship, Johnson & Johnson has issued a unique, digitally enabled SKU-based reward card for its Bengay and Motrin products at Walmart. The program helps runners in Spartan’s grueling obstacle races save money on post-race pain relief. The program comes from TPG Rewards. The card was distributed inside gift bags handed out to Spartan racers, who then went online to activate the card and bring it to Walmart for $5 off the purchase of any two Bengay or Motrin products. Unlike a standard e-gift card, the TPG SKU-Based Reward Card limits the purchase to an exclusive retailer, in this case Walmart. After the card is activated, it is scanned at checkout and the reward is automatically deducted from the purchase. The 2019 program began in May and will run through December. After seeing the results from various races that already occurred, J&J is aiming to repeat the program for 2020.