In the wake of an increasing number of brands like Matalan and Iceland launching broadcast-style content offerings, new European research released this month from Brightcove has revealed that the vast majority (81 per cent) of European retailers are anticipating a future as media companies.
Comparing the responses of 200 retailers and 2,000 consumers across the UK, France and Germany, the research reveals the extent to which retailers are experimenting with TV-like video content to engage customers, and the subsequent consumer readiness for this. 85 per cent of the retailers surveyed are already looking for ways to target consumers with content in their living rooms as they look to take on traditional broadcasting giants.
The research, conducted among 200 retail business decision makers* in the UK, France and Germany, showed that six in ten (61 per cent) retail brands are already offering what broadcasters refer to as ‘lean-back’ content services – essentially ‘TV-like’ online video experiences – and a further third (33 per cent) have plans to do so within the next two years. Almost 2 in 3 (62 per cent) European consumers would be open to watching TV-like video content in future. Less than half however (40 per cent), have watched TV-like content from brands at this point in time.
With the media successes of brands like Red Bull ringing in their ears, retailers are fast recognising the benefits of delivering TV-like content to consumers. In fact, 100 per cent of the retailers surveyed that are already delivering some form of lean-back content offering have seen at least one positive business outcome as a result. Top cited benefits include:
- Increased revenues (66 per cent)
- Customers buying a wider range of products (50 per cent)
- Increased website traffic (45 per cent)
What Does This Mean For The Future?
While the initial results are positive, some common concerns emerged as more retailers look to deliver this new kind of content service. Amongst those already offering it, these included not currently having the right in-house expertise (29 per cent), not having enough content (28 per cent), and being unsure of the value it would add to their business (25 per cent). Perhaps as a result, more than half (54 per cent) of those retailers who see a future as a media company have fears about their ability to do this successfully.
Echoing this slight apprehension, complementary research commissioned by Brightcove among 2,000 consumers in the UK, France and Germany (+18), confirmed that there is also still work to be done to truly convince consumers of retailers’ place in the living room.
To date, less than half (40 per cent) of consumers have watched TV-like content from retailers or brands – and of those 41 per cent think the content they’ve watched is too ‘salesy’, inauthentic (30 per cent) or poor quality (25 per cent).
Despite their current reservations, the findings did show promise in terms of consumer appetite for branded ‘lean-back’ content experiences in the future. Almost two thirds (62 per cent) said they would be open to watching TV-like content from retailers or brands, and 45 per cent would tune in or sign up to ‘lean-back’ content offered by their favourite brands.
Mark Blair, VP of EMEA at Brightcove, said: “In recent years, video has established itself as an absolute must-have component in any digital marketing strategy, but as driving meaningful consumer engagement becomes ever more difficult, brands are looking for new ways to unlock additional revenue streams. And this has turned their attention to the living room.
“For retailers and brands to be truly successful in what is traditionally the broadcasters’ domain, they must first understand that it’s as much about the quality of the content they’re producing as it is how they are delivering it. Our data revealed that 39 per cent of the European consumers that haven’t watched branded ‘lean-back’ content simply haven’t come across it – only 29 per cent have been served TV-like content from brands via advertising and less than a quarter (24 per cent) as a result of direct targeting. For brands, it’s about treading the fine line between being salesy and informative, entertaining and relevant, and matching content output with consumer demand. If they are able to get this balance right, a wealth of revenue and engagement opportunities will be ready and waiting for them.”
Further detail is laid out in Brightcove’s ‘The Future of Retail: Streaming into Your Living Room’ report (downloadable here).