Shoppable videos: is this the future of e-commerce?

Discover the main benefits of shoppable videos and the role they will play in the future of e-commerce!

Marketing Team
Video Marketing Shoppable videos: is this the future of e-commerce?

Table of contents

Are shoppable videos the future for e-commerce? 

The short answer is plain and simple: yes, definitely

But let’s take a step back and look more closely at the world where we’re operating. 

Shoppable videos are marketing videos related to certain products or services that have embedded links that directly link back to the purchase. In practice, the user can click (or tap) on links while viewing and make the purchase, all without leaving the video page.

It’s similar to the physical store experience: the customer makes one or more purchases staying in the same “digital place,” thus the social or platform where the shoppable videos are uploaded. In short, it reduces steps and simplifies the Customer Journey: two really decisive aspects, especially in the digital ecosystem in which we are all immersed, which is characterized by ever increasing stimuli and, consequently, a reduced attention threshold.

These are two big challenges that digital marketers know they have to deal with. The formats of shoppable videos are diverse. But, by preference, they are presented in a pop-up format that allows the user to browse through the products, select them, learn more about their features and, thus, finalize the purchase. 

So, we have accurately identified the subject of our post. Now let’s move on and start by isolating the benefits that come from producing shoppable videos. Following that, we’ll provide you with the most important best practices you should follow.

Shoppable videos – the 4 main benefits 

As anticipated, we’ll turn our focus to the main benefits from the production and distribution of shoppable videos. We will collect them around 4 core themes. 

1. Simplification of the Customer Journey 

We mentioned this decisive point  in the introduction of this post. 

It’s also a very decisive point to understand: with shoppable videos the user is not directed to another site or platform to finalize the purchase. He does everything on the same page. This simplification offers great advantages but also opportunities, such as those related to targeted cross-selling strategies, for example. 

2. Improving conversion rates 

As you can easily guess, this point is closely related to the one above. The Customer Journey is simplified; a click or tap is all it takes to complete a purchase. The natural consequence of this is soaring conversion rates!

3. The impact on the Customer Experience and brand image 

For digital marketers today, the importance of the Customer Experience is well established. It’s not rash to argue that, for most businesses, market challenges are won (or lost) in the field of Customer Experience quality. We often hear it repeated that it’s all about putting the customer at the center: nothing could be more true. However, all too often this is limited to easy slogans that are not reflected in the actions—small or large—that companies put in place.

Shoppable videos constitute just one of those concrete tools needed to improve the Customer Experience. It is an immersive experience, similar to what we are used to in a physical shop (as we mentioned above), which contains the entertainment of storytelling and the moment of purchase in the same stream. 

The optics, in short, are win-win: for customers and for the company. What is the further consequence of this? It improves the brand image and its perception among the public.

4. A decisive boost for data-driven marketing 

Individuals are at the center of the new digital marketing; we emphasized this just above. But how do brands get to know “who these people are”? What are their preferences? Their behaviors, their habits? And, consequently, their needs and possible desires? The answer in one word: data. In fact, profile reconstruction is done through the “digital traces” that we all continually disseminate online even when viewing videos.

In the case of shoppable videos, there is something that goes even further: in fact, companies have the ability to collect very precise data. To work with analytics not only in breadth, but also in depth, in a surgical way. And from there, consequently, companies can design very targeted retargeting strategies, for example, and they can continuously recalibrate campaigns based on the performance and results that are tracked and analyzed. 

Shoppable videos – the 7 best practices

Having identified the benefits of producing and distributing shoppable videos, below we look at best practices to make sure that your campaigns are always effective, high performing, and tailored to your target audience. Again we offer a list, this time in 7 points. 

1. Consistent and compelling storytelling 

This best practice applies to all video marketing strategies. Before selling a product, it’s essential to build a story around it. Provide added value in terms of entertainment and informative utility. First, it’s good to start with a strong hook that can attract users’ attention. Then focus on a very identifiable “storyline” that can create a certain expectation. 

All of this leads to the actual call to action, which must be clear and consistent, which must feel consistent with the previous storytelling. In fact, this is even more important and decisive when the purchase can be made directly on the video page. 

2. Stimulate engagement and interactions

One of the most important keys to the success of shoppable videos lies in interactivity. That is, in the ability to transform a one-way business communication into a real dialog between company and customer, where the moment of purchase comes naturally, as the crowning moment of a journey. 

Translated: capture attention, address the individual user directly, and build in the interaction experience within the video in a very functional (but also enjoyable) way.

Let’s move on to a much more operational and circumscribed but extremely important point. When should you insert the shoppable option in the video

Sure, not right in the first frame. But it is absolutely critical not to wait too long. In fact, the risk that the user will stop viewing before he or she gets to the purchase option increases tremendously as time goes on (and, clearly, we’re talking seconds, not minutes!).

4. Better a more relaxed pace

Often, in videos made for marketing, there is a tendency to exploit a very concise pace, without pauses or slowdowns: this is something that makes perfect sense, and it stems from a desire not to lose the user’s attention. 

In the case of shoppable videos, however, things are a little different. While it’s good to start with a strong and interesting hook and proceed quickly to show shoppable possibilities, it’s also true that, at that point, it is good to slow down. In fact, you need to give the viewer a chance to better focus on your products and allow the right amount of time to click the links and proceed to the purchase.

5. Few products and well identified 

Another common sense tip: Avoid crowding your shoppable videos with too many products. Too wide a choice can be paralyzing. Attention,  when you don’t know what to focus on, ends up scattered. In this sense, it’s much better to produce several short videos focused on a few products than one long video where you offer a large number of products. 

6. Design videos from an omnichannel perspective. 

First and foremost, omnichannel means optimizing your shoppable videos for desktop, tablet, and mobile viewing. The focus, in particular, should be on the latter.

Why? Very simple: because smartphones are the primary medium through which we watch online video. This is a trend that is constantly and steadily growing. 

But not only that. Product viewing and the embedded shopping experience is more critical from mobile, for a trivial but decisive reason related to the size of screens. 

Beware, however! This is not just a device-related issue. In fact, there are several platforms where shoppable videos can be distributed: from YouTube to social networks to dedicated apps (and more). Each platform has its own technical rules, target audience, and best practices. And it is best to adapt…but without losing the unified identity of one’s campaign. 

7. Aim for maximum personalization 

Finally, a really decisive best practice. In a previous step, we told you about the importance of data analysis, which allows you to know your target audience, even when we are talking about audiences of thousands or millions of people. 

However, it’s also necessary to take the next step. Once you have identified the characteristics of specific segments of viewers, target them with tailored communications. 

All the way to true personalization. To put it another way: move from the old view of one-size-fits-all marketing to one-to-one marketing. It’s a secret as old as commerce. The difference today is that it is possible to create and distribute personalized videos, based on individual viewer characteristics, in a simple and automated way. 

How? By leveraging cutting-edge tools such as Babelee’s Video Personalization and Video Automation platform!

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