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How Contextual Commerce Could Make Purchasing Easier

Daily, consumers are bombarded with targeted ads online. And these ads can seem intrusive and irrelevant to the customer, while demonstrating negligible returns on investment (ROI) for the business.


To counteract negative consumer perceptions towards online ads, and to drive better ROI, some brands are reviving a strategy that involves pitching customers relevant deals targeted to the actions they are taking at the exact moment, in the environment they are in. Called “contextual commerce," this is no different than a vendor selling your team’s football jersey on game day at the stadium. So while it’s technically not new, its application in the digital space allows businesses to take contextual commerce to a new level.


One car-service app, for example, is partnering with both a hotel chain and a restaurant review and reservation platform to allow customers being driven to their hotel to check-in remotely, choose a room and accept a digital key, so they can skip the front desk when they arrive. For patrons that are hungry, the app allows them to review local restaurants and make reservations.


Other brands are employing voice-enabled technology to allow customers to make purchases remotely. One company has created a standalone piece of hardware that sits in a consumer's home and allows family members to order everything from detergent to pet food—just by vocal commands.


Finally, in the entertainment space, one app is making the connection between music and other products with which it is contextually aligned. Take alcohol, for example. The combination of music and lyrics that call out certain alcohol brands, have some businesses capitalizing on what has become a contextually relevant space to someone streaming music from an app. At the conclusion of the song, the music listener is prompted to make a purchase from a local liquor store for the alcohol brand specifically mentioned in the song. By interacting with the ad that enters the listening stream, the user can be transferred to another app they had previously downloaded to easily complete the transaction and have their purchase delivered within an hour.


Through contextually relevant digital spaces, using apps and embedded payment technology, brands are empowering consumers to make purchases in the most relevant and seamless way, without the distraction of intrusive advertising, while potentially driving more meaningful ROI.


The article and information provided herein are sponsored by Discover® Global Network for informational purposes only based on independent research and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice.