Last updated on 9th March 2022
Want to get your viewers to the checkout quicker, easier and with fewer clicks? Shoppable video could be the secret you’ve been waiting for!
We all know that the path from ‘awareness’ to ‘purchase’ has many potential pitfalls, and nowhere is that more keenly felt than in eCommerce.
The longer the journey – both in duration and in number of clicks required – the more potential customers cool down and ‘drop off.’ And that clearly hurts sales.
Enter shoppable video. The idea is simple: stop sending your video viewers to home pages, ambiguous product pages, and making them do the donkey work of finding the stuff they just saw in your video.
Instead, give them the chance to interact with your video, and get right to the product they’re interested in. (Some platforms even let them buy, or add to cart, without leaving the player window!)
The numbers show how effective shoppable video can be. WIREWAX data suggests:
- 41% of viewers add products to their cart as a result of shoppable video.
- Shoppable video has been proven to increase purchase intent by 9x.
In this post we’ll give you the lowdown: everything you need to know about shoppable video, with examples, tips and platforms, so you can take the plunge and try it out for yourself.
What is shoppable video?
Shoppable video is a type of interactive video with embedded functionality for people to discover and buy new products.
How that looks differs depending on which tool you use – there are plenty available, as we’ll explore shortly!
The compelling opportunity here is that it reduces the number of clicks and simplifies the path to purchase.
It also offers interesting opportunities to create content that pushes your products with a clear, compelling and powerful call-to-action – that’s integrated right into your video itself.
It powerfully streamlines and simplifies the buying process – reducing the inevitable attrition that happens along the buyer journey.
How shoppable video works
Sounds complex, right? So how does it actually work?
Well, it differs depending on the platform used (we’ll look at a few shortly.)
Some of them are interactive ‘live streaming’ channels which offer a sort of ‘shopping channel’ experience where a presenter can showcase and demonstrate products for users to buy in seconds, with just a couple of clicks.
Others embed pre-created video with powerful interactive functionality. In this instance, your video is created and saved out in exactly the same way as it usually would be – a simple, flat video file, generally MP4. (This means shoppable video can be both animated and live action.)
You then use a software tool to ‘overlay’ the video with interactive functionality – clickable hotspots, forms, widgets and more.
The video can then be uploaded to your website where viewers can interact with it to their heart’s content.
The viewer clicks those interactive elements and, because they’re laid contextually over the footage of your video, it feels like they’re interacting with the video itself.
Most platforms come with comprehensive analytics so you can understand exactly which parts of the video people are watching, and clicking.
It’s important to mention that, because the video consists of both the video footage AND the technical ‘overlaid’ functionality, it can’t be uploaded elsewhere – for example, to YouTube – without losing that functionality. (This is a question we often get asked!)
Examples of shoppable video
Let’s take a look at exactly how it works, and what the viewer experience is like…
In this festive example, click the links that pop up in the video, and you’ll see a popover with some info about the product. Click the button and you’re taken to the relevant product page, ready to buy.
The ‘+’ icon in the yellow square is your cue in this video. Every time you see it, you have the option to click it to find out more about the product in question, with some beautiful product imagery, pricing info and a link to buy.
Another example which uses the visual prompt of a ‘+’ icon. Anywhere these appear on screen can be clicked – and, when you do so, you get a closer look at the product in question, with product specs, pricing info and the option to buy.
Adding a further layer of interactivity, this example uses quiz functionality to help the viewer decide what gift they should buy – AND follows this up with the functionality to buy it.
Shoppable video platforms
Our interactive video platform of choice, WIREWAX allows you to upload a created video file as an MP4 and overlay it with interactive functionality using their web-based editor. When you’re done, you get a code to embed the video on your website.
Similar to WIREWAX, create and upload your video, then use a drag-and-drop editor to overlay with powerful functionality.
Adventr even features an example whereby you can add items to cart without even leaving the player window.
You could think of Amazon Live as a sort of online ‘QVC!’ It’s a little like a shopping channel where brands and influencers can run live streams, demonstrating their products.
On the right hand side you can see a chat window in which people can interact and ask questions.
And, most importantly, underneath the player window itself we see the products – linked to the Amazon product catalogue – so users can click and buy them right away.
As always with Amazon, this brings you a certain audience as a publisher – but it takes a certain type of niche, and personality, to be able to resonate with a shoppable live stream!
Another similar platform, Bambuser boasts a 36% add-to-cart rate which is really quite phenomenal. The video you create through Bambuser is built directly into your site and allows customers to add to cart in-stream. They have a stellar client list including Tommy Hilfiger, Samsung and Clarins.
Another live stream channel, Buywith lets viewers watch product demos streamed live by brands and influencers, chat – and buy, using the ‘WANT’ button, which makes it a little different.
Ah, faithful Insta! You don’t need to head out and sign up for an interactive-specific tool – Instagram now allows you to associate products with videos you upload to IGTV.
The ‘Browse’ button allows the viewer to see product imagery and pricing info for the products they’re interested in – and add them to their bag.
Top tips for creating shoppable videos
There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to creating shoppable video that really works.
We’d always advise that you:
- Consider interactivity/functionality from the beginning. The planning stage is always the most important part of a video, but it’s particularly important for interactive and shoppable. Thinking through what you want your audience to be able to do, and how that’s going to be made clear to them on the screen, will enable you to create something slick and cohesive.
- Make it ‘slap in the face’ obvious. Interactive video still isn’t common enough to be ‘expected’ – and it can actually be lost on your audience if you don’t make it clear. Include tags and text in your video that make it clear that the viewer can interact with the video. (The IKEA and gogglesoc examples earlier in this post are the way to go!)
- Research your platform beforehand. Make sure you understand exactly what can and can’t be done within your chosen tool – this will help you save wasted time and manage your expectations.
- Work with an expert team. Make sure to ask the experts. And since you’re here, we should probably let you know that we’ve created interactive and shoppable videos for all sorts of different brands and products, and are here to help you too!
Thanks for reading!
So, we hope after reading this post, you’ve got some inspiration and preliminary ideas around shoppable video.
To find out more, check out our interactive video page to find out more about our service. And when you’re done, why not get in touch and have a no-obligation chat with one of our video experts about how it all works!