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The era of Contextual Commerce and its great opportunities

Felipe SilbersteinSeptember 21, 2022

Today we are going to talk about contextual commerce. Have you heard about this e-Commerce strategy? It was still a pioneering idea a few years ago, but it goes beyond the different sales channels for brands.

Contextual commerce is an opportunity for people to purchase products and services from digital content on other platforms.

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But… What exactly is contextual commerce?

Brands are active on different platforms, the same ones people interact with in their everyday lives, such as social media; that’s why it’s called contextual commerce. It allows connecting commercially with thousands of products and services displayed on platforms external to the brand and with other types of content compared to traditional e-Commerce.

Incorporating live shopping from live streaming, also known as live commerce, is one of the most common ways to use this strategy. That’s why McKinsey states that this sales method revolutionizes digital commerce.

Live commerce, in particular, aims at instant interaction with the audience through buttons and conversations. But contextual commerce can be more than live shopping.

Have you noticed how sales have evolved on social media? Now, when you see photos of people or places with tags on some items, you can click, for example, on a person’s shoes, which will take you directly to the checkout. And if you already have a digital payment system synchronized, you can probably make the purchase almost instantly.

All in all, contextual commerce is the next level of an omnichannel strategy. The journey can start at any point; from there, you can navigate freely between channels, keeping the entire experience unified and seamless.

Meeting the new demands

New generations equal new expectations; it’s very straightforward. Brands are always looking at how to better understand the changes in how people behave, their expectations, and how best to approach them and offer them what they want.

With contextual commerce, people can shop from anywhere, in other words, wherever they are digitally as well as geographically. This happens because as the use of smart devices continues growing in everyday life, so do the opportunities for brands to gain exposure: a series, a photo, even a message.

We know that displaying a product here and there doesn’t necessarily ensure higher conversions, so it’s essential to know with whom you want to interact to give them a personalized experience.

Today's processing capacities and the volume of data available help digital commerce intertwine profiles with products, considering even weather conditions and foreseeing the perceptions it will generate. This puts brands considerably ahead of the game when proposing their products and, at the same time, allows people to be indulged with unique opportunities.

The boundaries between channels are blurring thanks to people’s insights. Thus, it leads to shopping experiences in which people interact with brands anywhere, regardless of the channel. It can be seen as an omnichannel sophistication.

The era of Contextual Commerce and its great opportunities

New technologies: the key to the future

Imagine that just by a voice command to your watch, you could make a hotel or restaurant reservation or buy food through your refrigerator’s interface. Digital interactions are growing astonishingly with the spread of intelligent devices (IoT) in people’s lives.

It’s estimated that 2026 will have nearly 390 million homes with smart devices installed, more than twice the number of smart homes today. The most striking thing about this is that, when applied to contextual commerce, people will buy and interact in non-traditional ways; voice, gestures, and movements. New digital trends are evolving.

The same phenomenon has made communication far more fluid, helping to create rich experiences such as offering a discount via message on a person’s favorite coffee right after lunch under the pre-payment condition and having to pick it up at the nearest store.

Another experience aspect is engaging with people; the best way to achieve it is to understand when the product in question could be a good alternative.

The future of commerce is contextual, and providing a personalized, cross-platform experience is the new arena where brands' creativity will help design new commercial practices. For instance, Retail Media Networks allow you to have ads where people can interact directly and make purchases without being redirected.

At Reign, we always keep a close eye on new trends’ behavior; we are experts in digital solutions, and therefore we must know in advance what the new brand needs will be. Thus, to reach this goal, we partner with the best headless architecture exponents to create first-class omnichannel experiences.