Virtual reality and augmented reality shopping elements can be super intriguing, but that doesn’t mean they’ve made it into this year’s ecommerce marketing plan or budget for your company — let alone many others. That’s no problem. In fact, you can still generate plenty of excitement with shoppable videos.
You’ve probably seen some shoppables on your personal digital journeys. In a nutshell, they’re short, interactive videos that drive engagement by encouraging viewers to take immediate action by clicking on links embedded right into the video itself.
This unique and specialized feature allows consumers with intent to make purchases or head to product pages immediately. Forget scouring sidebars for URLs or hunting around on the video description for information — instead, viewers are taken from the shoppable video automatically to a landing page of your design based on a prearranged sales journey.
Providing Intuitive Touch Points in the Shopping Journey
Do shoppers appreciate being able to take action right from a video screen, though? Absolutely. MAGNA research indicates that people spend almost 50% more time engaging with interactive videos, and shoppable videos ratchet up purchase intent ninefold. This makes sense when you think about it: What could be more intuitive than seamless buying options when you see something you want and like?
Another reason for the advancement of shoppable videos is the growth of “shoppertainment” in the brick-and-mortar world. People have come to expect instant gratification across all the platforms they visit, and they want to connect with their favorite brands and discover new ones.
Shoppable video fulfills those needs, putting products into context and making them appear absolutely irresistible. As Inside Retail notes, one company tracked its shoppable video metrics and discovered that 41% of the people who watched its videos dropped something in their virtual shopping online carts.
A Trio of Shoppable Video Types
At the end of the day, shoppable videos allow you to stand out, be memorable and show your differentiators in the best possible light. Done well, you can attract new audiences (and increase your total addressable market in the process), stay on the leading edge of digital marketing trends, and meet consumers on platforms like Instagram and YouTube when purchase intent is at its zenith.
So what should your shoppable videos look like? The three main types we see include shoppable ad units, shoppable video experiences and integrated shoppable video.
Shoppable ad units are snackable videos purchased through ad distribution networks. They’re brief, focused and intense. Thanks to the interactivity of shoppable ad units, you’re able to increase your impression rates and (hopefully) your sales. In contrast, shoppable video experiences involve longer narratives. You could use them to tell your brand story and drive emotional closeness with your organization and its offerings.
The final type of video, the integrated shoppable video, is the most dynamic of the bunch. On an integrated shoppable video, you create a single asset that can be used for a variety of purposes: link to your pricing or send consumers right to your product feed. You can even use AI-enhanced tools to optimize every video for maximum customization.
6 Ways to Optimize Your Shoppable Videos
Of course, all types of shoppable content require that you pay attention to some best practices so you get the highest ROI possible. After all, these aren’t your average videos — they’re original and deserve some strategic TLC.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you embark on your shoppable video journey:
1. Start every shoppable video storyboard with an end goal in mind. This is step one, hands down. Start by examining your marketing funnel. What stage do you want to target consumers with a shoppable video? What is your overall objective?
Remember: Shoppable video works brilliantly for junctures where you want consumers to take action and make decisions. It’s best suited for the end of the funnel, as consumers have purchase intent at this stage. It can work well at other stages, too, but it’s most effective when you’re just lowering the barrier to entry for someone who already had interest in your products.
2. Avoid creating low-quality video. It can be tempting to consider cutting corners on video production. Don’t. Instead, hire an experienced production video company as your partner. The best way to evaluate production partners’ skills and quality is by perusing their portfolios and making sure you like what you see. For shoppable video specifically, make sure you work with a company that understands the concept of shoppable hotspots. They’ll be able to help tailor the video to that distribution method, and it’ll signal that they’re on top of the latest trends and keep up with an evolving video space.
Plus, shoppable elements (such as hotspots) won’t make up for a video that’s lackluster overall. The more professional your video looks, the better its overall effect will be. Just consider this shoppable video from clothing brand Ted Baker London. The content itself is cleverly storyboarded and is clearly high-quality, thereby boosting trust in its products and helping viewers see its clothes in a more natural setting.
3. Show your product in action. Nobody wants to see a product sitting on a shelf, especially during a video. Find use cases and develop scenarios to show off your product. This gives consumers an easy way to answer the big question, “What’s in it for me (WIIFM) if I buy this?” Plus, you’ll add a great touch of personality to your product.
4. Narrow your video’s scope. A shoppable video should highlight one product — and maybe two if they’re somehow linked. With this in mind, don’t use any video to show off your exhaustive lineup of inventory. Viewers can only absorb bite-sized morsels of information at a time. Rather than overwhelming them, keep your messaging and visuals on point. Know that you can always create other videos for additional items.
5. Tell viewers they can interact with the video. To be sure, shoppable videos aren’t entirely new. Many people will naturally understand that they can click on the hotspots they see. Yet others may not realize how cool your video is unless you tell them up front. Either in the caption or at the beginning of the video, make it clear that viewers are invited to be a part of the experience.
Many videos will have on-screen text, for instance, that says something like “tap the hotspots to learn more” or “shop these items by clicking the hotspots.” It’s best to keep things simple: Just aim for a callout that alerts viewers to a feature they might not notice otherwise.
6. Use audio thoughtfully. Do all shoppable videos need some audio to stand out? Not necessarily. Many have voice-overs or on-screen hosts, it’s true. Others stick with music in the background and just skip the audio altogether. Why the latter? To be honest, plenty of younger viewers keep their sound off. So if you decide to use any spoken audio, be sure to include subtitles or graphics. This will also make your video accessible for folks with disabilities.
Video marketing remains one of the most dynamic, reliable ways to generate buzz around your brand and products. Dive into the world of shoppable corporate videos this year to revive your relationship with eager prospects and loyal customers. You’ll find a whole new way to grab and keep your target market’s attention online.
Hope Horner is CEO and Founder of Lemonlight Video Production, a company that produces branded video content at scale. Horner is a three-time entrepreneur who has been featured in Inc., Entrepreneur, Forbes and other publications highlighting her successes in the Silicon Beach community over the past decade.