Interactive Video Shopping: A True Game Changer for Online Retail

Consumers are becoming increasingly demanding in terms of the customer experience they expect brands to deliver. The competition is fierce across every industry and, while the web and social media provide various opportunities for businesses, it pays to stay on top of trends and to know how to use them to your advantage. Shoppable videos – also known as interactive video shopping – are a great example of this. Propelled to the forefront during the COVID-19 pandemic, livestream shopping has become a staple that many retailers are now adopting for good. Here’s what you need to know about interactive shopping experiences in video form.

Interactive Video Shopping: Redefining the Brand/Consumer Relationship

Interactive video shopping is a concept that takes e-shopping to the next level, delivering an enhanced, sensory experience for shoppers and concrete benefits for e-commerce businesses.

Shoppable video content is a great way to meet consumers right where they are through a format they enjoy consuming. With the right shoppable video software, brands can make their content more engaging and set themselves apart from the competition. The interactive nature of live video shopping appeals to Internet users and the exclusiveness of the content fosters the feeling of participating in a very special event.

Shoppable videos are conducive to a very intuitive experience, thus reducing the “friction” to purchase that online shopping sometimes creates. Before interactive video shopping, purchasing a product seen in a video implied a convoluted path to purchase. The user would need to peruse a video description, follow a link to a website or, at best, the product page, place said product into a cart, and finally proceed with checkout (a process all by itself!) Every single stage provides a new opportunity for the shopper to change their mind about buying the product. The fewer the clicks, the higher the likelihood that they will complete the purchase. Interactive video shopping takes away all the extra steps and allows users to click straight on the product they are interested in, in line with the instant gratification consumers have come to expect.

Brands can also rely on the advanced capabilities of shoppable video software to gather relevant data and bring their clients a personalized experience that maximizes their engagement.

Selling While Entertaining

In traditional marketing, brands tend to design entertaining content that will appeal to the consumers’ sense of curiosity and encourage them to find out more about the product on their own. Interactive video shopping integrates these two elements tightly, making the entertainment part of the purchasing process, or making the act of shopping more entertaining in and of itself.

This means that during the interactive shopping experience, the video is not seen as an ad that you’ll just skip to get to the content you actually want to consume: The ad is what you want to watch!

Depending on your buyers’ persona and on what you are selling, the challenge is therefore to create content that people will be happy to be a part of. This is why the interactive aspect of shoppable videos is so important. It provides an opportunity to generate higher user engagement and to build trust, something that infomercials (which interactive video shopping is sometimes compared to) could never quite achieve.

Brands are using the advanced functionalities at their disposal to come up with high-value content in the form of games (trivia, or “choose your own adventure” games), user-led discussions, tutorials with live Q&As, and more.

Brands that Did Interactive Video Shopping Right

If you need some inspiration to create your own interactive content, here are some shoppable video examples that really delivered.

Shoppable Cooking Show – Arnotts Cooking Club

A clickable cooking show to sell cooking utensils, that was Arnotts’ take on interactive video shopping. And it worked! Viewers followed chef Donal Skehan as he guided them through the creation of a spicy harissa lamb dish. As the video played, an interactive overlay encouraged them to click on hotspots to shop the products being used directly from the video. This seamless e-commerce integration allowed the brand to generate a 71% engagement rate and a click-through rate of 14%.

Touchable Videos – Matches Fashion

The London-based clothing retailer created a set of “touchable” videos that live on a platform where users can interact with the content and discover the products in a completely unique way. The idea is to provide shoppable content that doesn’t disrupt the flow of the consumer experience. The concept allowed the brand to achieve a 13% click-to-buy ratio.

Shoppable Film – Ted Baker

A shoppable spoof. This genius idea from Ted Baker – titled Mission Impeccable – followed the British luxury fashion brand’s models (dressed in a new collection) in a race against time to save the fashion world from the evil plans of a villain. Totaling over 370,000 views on YouTube upon its release, this video featured clickable plus signs that allowed viewers to be taken to a “vault” where they could find out about the characters’ outfits.

Informational Shoppable Videos – Wayfair

Interactive video shopping can apply to any type of product, as evidenced by the success of Wayfair’s shoppable video ads. The home goods and furniture brand opted for how-to content to offer viewers advice on their decorating and DIY projects. This allowed Wayfair to garner engagement all while drawing attention to their CTA through a “Click to Shop” button.

Final Thoughts

In a world where consumers have come to expect an enhanced approach to online shopping, interactive video shopping provides an effective way to create a frictionless marketing-to-purchasing experience. Shoppable videos bridge the gap between entertainment and marketing, allowing viewers to relate to the products in a manner that is more similar to shopping in a physical location. This helps forge an emotional connection and build trust between the consumers and the brands they engage with all while shortening their path to purchase and boosting conversion. Thanks to its versatility, this format is an invitation to be creative and to apply some outside-the-box thinking to your marketing strategy to get closer to what your consumers truly want.

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