Shoppable ads need to tone down the sales pitch
New research shows that mobile shoppable ads with a call to action work better than those that do not include that type of message. But as to what the call to action should be, the same study says that marketers should focus first on letting customers “learn more” about their product or service before asking them to “shop now.”
The study, “The Interactive Ad Effect: CTAs in Mobile Video Shoppable Ads” from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and its Digital Video Center of Excellence, sought to understand how consumers engage with interactive ads and what steps, in the short and longer term, marketers needed to take to drive awareness and sales. Researchers used biometrics, eye-tracking and survey tools to measure engagement and attention of 70 participants from Austin, TX and Chicago who participated in the study.
One of the key findings of the research is that consumers like being presented with ads that allow them to shop. But before they click-through to shop, consumers typically want access to more information.
Eye-tracking of the study participants found that more than 68 percent followed “learn more” call to action messages. That’s significantly higher than the control group without a call to action (59.2 percent) and marginally higher (64.4 percent) than those viewing “shop now” messages. Interestingly, a sweepstakes call to action did not do any better than no call to action at all.
“It’s clear that a brand’s first ‘handshake’ with a consumer should focus on letting them learn more about the product before transitioning to ‘shop now’ language,” said Eric John, deputy director, IAB Digital Video Center of Excellence. “This study is a reminder that it’s important for advertisers — especially direct brands — to pay attention to calls-to-action used in interactive and shoppable video ads and then to test and learn to understand what works best and why. A data-driven approach is table stakes for effective creative innovation.”
Sue Hogan, senior vice president, research and measurement, IAB, said the research findings show that shoppable ads not only generate revenues, but also provide an opportunity for marketers to engage in “smart retargeting” that can help “build direct relationships with consumers” that lead to sales.
- IAB Study Proves Mobile Video Interactive Shoppable Ads Drive Direct Relationships between Consumers & Brands – Interactive Advertising Bureau/Business Wire
- The Interactive Ad Effect: CTAs in Mobile Video Shoppable Ads – Interactive Advertising Bureau
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What is your take on marketers’ use of “learn more,” “shop now” and other calls to action in their interactive ads? Do you see an opportunity for marketers to use “smart retargeting” to build relationships and sales?