Video advertising has been surging. The reason is pretty apparent – consumers are hungry for easily digestible content, and video is a tried and tested format that always delivers. But for any business looking to use video to also drive direct conversions and sales, here is the technological twist that will help you take your video ads one big step further: shoppable videos.
We mentioned that consumers are looking for fast content, but what they also crave (and expect) is the ability to interact with the content they are engaging with. Enter shoppable videos, an interactive video layer that allows your followers to buy your product directly from your video without leaving the platform they are on.
Why is this a potential game-changer? Standard product or service videos offer great content, but often leave the consumer on a search for the items they were exposed to in the video. Shoppable videos are a fast highway connecting between what the viewer sees in the video to a fast purchase. In fact, brands that provide better interaction through their videos open doors for higher conversions. A Deloitte study shows that 80% of online consumers are likely to purchase from businesses that offer interactive content.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about shoppable videos, including popular shoppable video platforms and out-the-box examples of how you can transform your video marketing into a seamless shopping process.
Let’s say a user sees your product promo video on social media. They love your product and are interested in purchasing it. You already have a link in the description box that directs the user to a dedicated landing page. This is a classic digital purchasing funnel, prompting the user to go to your site, read a little more about your brand, service, or product, and from there, diligently start the checkout process.
This is where the funnel may become problematic. Your user is on social media for entertainment purposes and may not necessarily want to leave the platform as it may disrupt their viewing time. In this case, the user may opt out of clicking your link since it may already seem like a hassle of leaving their desired platform in the first place, thus causing an upper-funnel dropout.
Enter shoppable videos, a mini-version of your business’s site. They allow the consumer to browse your products or services and directly buy from the video itself. In some cases, depending on the platform, the consumer can browse through a replicated mini-version of your store. Like this, you’re shortening the buying funnel and directing consumers from the video to checkout in a quicker fashion.
Before shoppable ads came around, businesses could only add their links in either the caption or designated description box of the post. This would prompt the user to leave the platform to view the product on the site itself when clicked. The problem here is that the consumer would have to be redirected to a separate purchasing site and complete a lengthy buying process, which could probably lead to an increase in dropouts, especially shopping cart abandonment. An estimated 80% of consumers not converting for a number of reasons, with the biggest being the extensive checkout process.
This is why shoppable videos are quickly becoming popular; according to research from 2021, 30% of US consumers are already buying products within social media platforms. From a conversion perspective, shoppable videos fulfill consumers’ desire to purchase products effortlessly without disrupting their viewing time from the specific platform they’re on.
Most small businesses can benefit from implementing shoppable videos to their marketing strategy. While they are mainly used for product-based marketing, many businesses that offer services can also enjoy the benefits of shoppable videos to increase their lead generation and sign-ups.
From fashion merchandise to tech products, mostly all product-based businesses can use shoppable videos. You can base your video on one product, like the latest kitchen gadget, or exhibit a collection of your offerings. For example, if you’re selling clothes, you can add a link to every item the model is wearing, or if you’re selling books, you can easily embed links to each book for ease of use.
Shoppable videos are not restricted to products; businesses that don’t sell a product but rather a service can also rely on shoppable videos to drive conversions and engagement. As mentioned, shoppable videos cut out the conventional steps a user must undertake, so showcasing your business and highlighting the solutions you offer to push for a sign-up (or conversion) is also a great route.
You can certainly get creative here; offering inspirational tidbits on your life coaching business, a quick how-to on how to perfect a macaroon recipe without revealing the magic trick, or simply showcasing clients’ satisfaction with short-form testimonials. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that not all platforms cater to service-based businesses. But we’ll get into that a little later.
Improve conversion rates
By simplifying the purchasing funnel, shoppable ads have significantly increased global conversions, with a usage growth of 76%. Also, shoppable videos eradicate the need for consumers to leave their desired platform, search for it on Google, or look for a link in the description area of the post.
Create a “shoptainment” experience
Sometimes, it’s not all about showcasing your product or service but adding an enticing touch of entertainment with your product feature. The “entertaining” factor could be categorized in different ways, such as creating exciting how-to videos, tutorials, and even influencer videos. This way, you’ll give the user a better understanding of how your product works, looks, or helps all while keeping it refreshing with an entertaining spin. There are also numbers to back this up; just in the USA alone, 59% of consumers are interested in entertaining and immersive videos.
Cuts back on back-end processes
Shoppable videos create a simplified buying funnel, which will probably cut back on your time and effort of creating a large-scale funnel. Since some shoppable videos allow for in-video shopping, you probably won’t need to build a landing page or, better yet, pay for ads that lead potential customers through your website.
Fuel spontaneous purchases
“I see it, I like it, I want it”- this is the basic way of how buyers act, and even more so these days where our attention spans have inevitably decreased. You open (unwanted) doors for second-guessing when you take a user through a conventional shopping funnel, you open (unwanted) doors for second-guessing. They must manually add the product to the cart, fill in their details, and fulfill the checkout process. However, adding this process through interactive shoppable videos eliminates this in-between stage, leaving the user with one option- to buy or not.
Retarget past clients
Pique your past client’s interests by perhaps offering them an upsell or even showing the same product at a discounted price. These retargeting methods work well with ads, but you can also go the organic route by simply posting your video on your feed so that your followers (who should already be somewhat acquainted with you) can see.
Makeup giant Sephora regularly uploads makeup tutorials to YouTube, uploading all relevant products in the video to the shoppable section in the sidebar seen above.
This is the perfect example of “shoptainment”, where the brand adds a “how-to” tutorial together with an interactive shopping experience. The user can see the quality of the makeup from viewing the tutorial. Should they consider purchasing, they can browse the products without leaving the platform.
Arnotts, a popular department store from Ireland, made a cooking show series in a shoppable ad format. Viewers were entertained and inspired by watching delicious dishes being prepared and, at the same time, could click on various interactive points to view crockery or cookware items they could quickly purchase.
This is a clever and immersive way to bring entertainment to the viewer. Show them through a cooking show how their products work and look, and offer them the opportunity to buy the same products used in the show itself.
What’s more, service-based businesses can also take inspiration from this idea, especially because it portrays the action and the rewarding outcome. From online chef courses to before and after house renovations, building in some how-to’s can potentially lead to more sign-ups and new-found attention.
Making a shoppable ad all begins with great footage, mesmerizing scenes to capture your audience’s attention, and customized shots that play longer at specific intervals. With Promo.com, you can fine-tune your videos so that they transform into shoppable-friendly videos. What’s more, you can personalize each scene with on-screen text, catchy music, and natural transitions.
Here’s how you can make a shoppable video in just a few clicks:
CTAs (Calls to actions) are a must
Let the viewers know that they can easily purchase from your store without having to be redirected to your site with call to actions. Be sure to add easily-viewed embeddable links so they can easily find them.
Make it loud and clear
Not all your viewers will be tech-savvy, so perhaps letting them know that your video is in fact interactive would be a great start to get them hooked. You can add this very useful tidbit as text on the video or even in a voiceover. You can also get creative and show them a quick guide on how they can buy your product with a mini-tutorial on the shoppable video itself.
Show ‘em the good stuff
Next, ensure that you showcase the best features from different angles. This is really the number one rule for general promo videos, and it also sticks with shoppable videos- show viewers why your product is useful and what kind of pain point it solves. Also, try to go one step ahead by covering common questions they may be asking themselves while viewing your video.
Make it inspirational
Whether you’re selling household cleaning equipment or you’re in the real estate industry, make sure to make your shoppable videos inspiring. Show them how personally fulfilling it is to have a clean home. If you’re selling homes, perhaps giving a behind-the-scenes peek at how you passionately prepare for open days will show potential clients your hard work and passion.
Less is More
You may have hundreds of products in your store, but trying to jam them all in one shoppable video can overwhelm the viewer. If you want to display a collection or multiple items, try to keep it short and sweet and stick to a few items from the same family or theme. Like this, the viewer will have an easier time actually viewing your products one by one and, from there, interacting better.
Go for longer shots
This one’s an industry secret! Let’s say you finished showing the advantages of your hair care product, and now your user needs to interact, then make sure you give them the time to do so. Ensure your shots run a little longer so that they have time to press and engage. The rule of thumb is around 3-4 seconds.
Now that we’ve touched base on what shoppable videos are and why they’re important, let’s delve into the best shoppable video platforms that can take your video marketing strategy from “nice” to “oh la la.”
Instagram is the pioneer of retail in the social media ecosystem. They launched their shoppable posts back in 2018. This gave their users the satisfaction to shop without exiting the app. The best part about Instagram is that they have around 1 billion monthly active users. That’s a whole lot of potential customers to be exposed to!
How to Use Instagram’s Shoppable Feature
The shoppable feature is only relevant to businesses that sell products. That means service-based companies such as tax consulting services or life coaches won’t be able to grab a piece of the cake yet.
Once you have your shopping feature up and running, you can build an immersive storefront with clear images, relevant tags and product descriptions, and of course, the relevant links.
Before you get started, there are a few things to keep in mind and some compliances to follow. Here are some tips and guidance;
Amazon is the front-runner in digital retail sales, so it makes sense that their live-streaming venture would be the ideal place for brands to interact with shoppers in the form of shoppable videos. Brands selling on Amazon can make use of Amazon Live, a place that boasts real-time interaction with shoppers.
Businesses can use live streams to illustrate product features and, on the same token, offer promotions and the ability to purchase these products quickly. Additionally, these videos can appear in unique placements across amazon, including your storefront.
How to Use Amazon’s Shoppable Feature
To be able to use Amazon’s live stream, you need to make sure you have an Amazon store and that you download the Amazon Live Creator IOS app. From there, you can choose what products you want to feature on your live stream and start your live stream through the app.
YouTube is the most popular video-sharing platform to date, with 63% of viewers stating they bought a product from seeing it on the platform. In 2020, they rolled out their shoppable videos feature through “TrueView cards. These are essentially images that are placed along with the video. They have shopping links that let viewers know they can purchase these items.
How to Use YouTube’s Shoppable Feature
To integrate this feature on your YouTube channel, you’ll need to sync with Google’s merchant center. This means that shoppable videos are only available through ads; you’ll have to actually advertise on YouTube to be eligible to use their shoppable video feature.
TikTok is quickly becoming a popular choice for social eCommerce. Businesses can create shoppable videos in multiple ways, all of which are promoted via paid ads.
How to Use TikTok’s Shoppable Feature
Connect your TikTok profile through your Shopify store.
If you have a Shopify store, you can seamlessly connect your profile and generate shoppable videos through TikTok’s different ad selection.
Shoppable videos are scalable for any business size, and user interactivity translates to a better chance at attaining conversions and increasing your ROI through paid acquisition. The online digital sphere is relatively dynamic, and shoppable videos are paving the way to becoming a digitized storefront.
With so many brands and small businesses moving their operations online, it’s crucial to be one step ahead of the crowd by providing new (and old) customers an immersive, seamless, and buying process experience that also fulfills one’s need for brand interaction and engagement.