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Marvel, despite being one of the biggest entertainment brands in the world, never rest on its laurels.

It is forever looking for ways to better engage with its customers.

And when it took a look at it current channels, it realized its social campaigns were due for an upgrade.

Prior to Marvel’s investment in social commerce, users would have to go through various steps to make a purchase after viewing a social post that interested them.

I actually walked myself through that very process in writing this piece, and counted nine steps between viewing an Instagram post and landing on a page that confirmed my final purchase of movie tickets. Here’s what that long journey looked like pre-social commerce:

  1. Viewing the Instagram post
  2. Following it to the page bio
  3. Clicking through to Fandango
  4. Confirming the movie (and ignoring ads for commuting and upcoming movies)
  5. Confirming my location
  6. Choosing time and cinema
  7. Confirming the number of people
  8. Confirming seat location
  9. Payment information

I had to navigate through nine steps after seeing a cool post on Instagram.

Average purchase journeys have enough of a drop-off rate. On social media platforms like Instagram, that drop-off rate can easily become even more exaggerated.

This step drop-off rate is exactly what Marvel wanted to combat.

It wanted to reduce the friction and maintain the experience Instagram users were expecting.

The below is one of the real ads it ran to promote Infinity War.

You’ll notice users are asked to swipe up, and then comment with an appropriate hashtag.

Once they do, an automated checkout bot takes over and asks a few questions that lead them through those nine stages of the purchase funnel in less than a minute — without leaving the app.

Here’s how the chat sequence looked for those engaging with the Ant-Man and the Wasp campaign.

This conversational method of driving sales is not only more aligned with the user’s expectations on social, but it also streamlines the purchase journey.

Users are kept on the platform they’re engaged with and are able to complete their purchase in a fraction of the time.

Marvel results speak to the effectiveness of the campaign.

On the initial Infinity War campaign Marvel achieved:

  • A 58% conversion rate
  • 18X more comments than any other in-season content

But Marvel also took it a step further.

It built a custom audience of those who engaged with the Infinity War campaign and retargeted them with a secondary campaign that promoted Ant-Man and the Wasp.

By retargeting an already engaged audience who were comfortable buying through social commerce solutions, Marvel increased its overall conversion rate to 68%.

Not too shabby.

The moral of this story is that your customers are looking for more streamlined purchase experiences.

Bouncing them around from one site to another so they can complete numerous steps is too much of a chore, and leads to the terrible social media conversion rates.

Marvel’s conversion rates were so high because it did three key things:

  • Made the purchase journey as simple as possible
  • Used (at the time unreleased) brand assets within the chat to keep users engaged
  • Retargeted its best audience with Facebook Ads for easier sales