What is the 'Netflix Effect' and how is it impacting eCommerce charts worldwide? By Lina Kassem, Client Success Director at PiWheel.

Streaming services such as Netflix have changed the way we consume content. But what is also interesting is the impact of the content on consumer behavior. It is no surprise that OTT content has proven to be one of the largest contributors to sales peaks that brands witness from time to time on Amazon and other eCommerce platforms.  

OTT content has created a culture of binge-watching where consumers watch a series of episodes at one go rather than having to wait multiple weeks and months to know the course of events. This culture creates instant gratification among the young generation. However, more importantly, this also impacts brands that appear within the show, as brand awareness and consideration see a direct impact after watching multiple hours of content vs an hour of content every week.    

Add to that the fact that shoppers do not have to go to the supermarket to buy the sneakers they have seen in the show or the game any players have been playing. With one click on Amazon, the product is delivered the next day at their doorstep (if you are a prime user J).     

Many are calling this “The Netflix Effect”.   

What is the Netflix Effect?   

The Netflix effect is a combination of several events that are a direct consequence of a launch of a series on Netflix. It can be an actor becoming worldwide fame in one night or it can be Netflix generating millions of users after the launch of a series. In the eCommerce world, it is the impact of a particular series on the sales of a product that was included in the show.     

The Netflix effect is no longer a theory as since the start of the pandemic there have been multiple surges in sales during key shows published on the streaming network.    

Squid Game:   

Squid game has taken the streaming world by storm and broke different records on Netflix. More than 130 million people have watched the series globally and according to documents obtained by Bloomberg, the show will create $ 900 million in value for the company.   

The show is a huge success in the streaming world and will reassure Netflix’s shareholders, but what we have seen in terms of impact on Amazon sales in India has been tremendous.  

One cannot imagine after binge-watching squid games, and especially the last episode, that the dramatic scenes will have an exponential impact on the sales of the white Vans shoes. The Vans Men’s U Classic Slip-on Sneakers has seen a 300% increase in sales on Amazon India during the first two weeks of September and became out of stock. The impact was noted on the brand overall and on the number of Vans products that were listed during September as the main product was no longer available.     

Queen’s Gambit:   

After its launch in October 2020, the show immediately became a global success. Not only did it change the way viewers perceive chess as a game but also had a big impact on the sales of chess boards globally.   

Sales of Chess boards on Amazon India grew by 42%the week following the launch of the series and in the UAE the sales increased by 116%.  

Add to that, the original novel that was first published in 1983 became a best-seller after the release of the show and you can guess where people bought this novel from.  

Netflix quickly realized the impact of these shows on consumer purchase behavior and announced in June 2021 the launch of Netflix shop. As per the platform’s press release “Netflix.shop will drop exclusive limited editions of carefully selected high-quality apparel and lifestyle products tied to our shows and brand on a regular basis.”   

The platform has launched in several markets, and you can purchase items from different collections, such as a “Stranger Things” branded cereal box, a small table inspired by Lupin & the Louvre, and all of the squid games players as miniatures.     

Is this the future of advertising?   

Netflix since its launch didn’t adopt video ads in its content to maintain a smooth customer experience. While Netflix is unlikely to add any “traditional digital ads” within their offering, the branded content included in different shows is reshaping the future of digital advertising and eCommerce.

PiWheel helps brands elevate their content and advertising game on Amazon and other eCommerce marketplaces. Connect with us today to find out more.