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Contextual Commerce and Why Your Brand Needs It

Due to technological advancements and the versatility provided for by the internet, commerce has seen much more changes over the past few decades. Social media and e-commerce have been two of the most significant and impactful strategies.

Contextual commerce is the ability for customers to purchase products and services anywhere and anytime. As a brand, you want your service or product to be discovered, reviewed and purchased by as many people as possible. Placing yourself within the customer's realm of daily activities then becomes the logical thing to do; instead of driving traffic to your website, drive your service or product directly to consumer traffic.

Social media and other platforms now influence the way people shop. 451 Research reported that 57% of people between the age of 18 and 35 said they frequently use social media to inform their purchases. On top of that, the devices making all this possible are becoming more widely used.

Top brand names across the world have taken steps to position themselves in a way that would allow them to capitalize. E-bay, for example, rolled out a visual search tool, while Google, Amazon, and Pinterest are all improving theirs. Forever 21 saw a 20% rise among shoppers using their new visual search tool to minimize the number of checkout steps.

Appealing to your potential customers' convenience is what contextual commerce is all about.

Take Uber for example;

Uber's innovation was geared at coming up with a solution for the consumers' uncertainty of not being able to get a ride when needed. In five years, Uber's platform market cap was $70 billion.

The magic is not only in how the rides are procured but also in how payment happens; no intervention is needed on the consumer's part. In 2016, Uber made it possible for users to check into their rooms from the car. Furthermore, their partnership with Zomato allows users to view nearby restaurants and even make reservations on their way to the hotel.

With their user shopping habits in mind, Uber is no longer just a ride-sharing platform but a commerce platform as well; connecting users to third party apps they would view as value addition.

The continuous merging of technology and e-commerce only means more opportunities for contextual commerce. Developers are working to unlock the full potential of voice-recognition technologies. Baidu, a China-based search engine, has seen breakthroughs using deep learning to develop deep speech. The Economist estimates that one in ten Baidu searches are done by voice.

Tomorrow's revolution will be virtual reality. In the world of commerce, it will be vital to create seamless selling experiences. Despite all of this, many retailers still view channels as separate entities. This article is to show why contextual commerce is vital to your brand;

1. Allows you to capitalize on the number of social media users

There is potential revenue waiting to be captured within social media users. Every interaction can drive your sales. More consumers are open to buying during their browsing experience and the simpler the steps needed to complete a transaction; the more likely it is to happen.

2. Allows consumers to shop anywhere

Contextual commerce will enable you to directly connect your product and service with consumers anywhere in the world.

3. Provides the consumer with shopping options

The implementation of technologies like voice command and eye movement features, allow consumers more shopping convenience. According to a Voicebot.ai and Voicify survey, almost 25% of Americans have a smart speaker.

4. Using data and AI, contextual commerce has taken personalization experiences to new levels

Shoppers demand a smooth shopping experience. Contextual commerce allows retailers to use data analytics to review a consumer's purchase behavior then further offer recommendations through personalized marketing.

Personalization helps consumers feel that their needs are understood and it helps them understand the retailer's products and personality. Customer expectations have risen, and if you want your brand to stay relevant, you must evolve. Contact CTL Global Solutions to know how you can take advantage of changes in the commerce scene. 

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