It’s no secret that video is an extremely powerful tool to tell brand stories—and it’s only gaining momentum—as marketers are spending an average of $10 million annually on digital video, representing an 85% increase from two years ago. But video has now reached a golden age of practically being a one-stop-shop that blends content and commerce in the interactive form of shoppable video.

Shoppable video condenses the process of seeing something you want to buy in a video and then being able to browse for more information about the product right there—within one video—rather than seeing the video and then opening a separate tab to browse and buy the featured item later. By 2019, eMarketer estimates that 9.8% of U.S. retail sales will be transacted online (up from 7.1% in 2015) and shoppable videos allow brands to shorten the typical online path to purchase and propel their ecommerce ROI.

Shoppable video has mainly been used by retail and CPG brands—including huge advertisers such as Mondelez in order to drive immediate sales with “shop now” buttons, but advanced video can also support all stages of the purchase funnel to engage consumers and drive them towards the checkout:

Awareness: Show your value through messaging
The messaging of a pre-roll video is clearly important to drive awareness, but including an interactive component helps your brand and product stand out from the rest and resonate with consumers. According to Innovid’s 2016 Global Video Benchmarks, custom interactive video drives nearly 39% more awareness than standard pre-roll campaigns through inviting audiences to participate with interactive features.

Interest: Use clickable hotspots to store more info
When a user’s interest is piqued and they want to explore more information, it just makes sense to provide that information then and there within the video. By using clickable hotspots in video ads, marketers put audiences in the driver’s seat to explore more details about a product in the unit—rather than clicking out to other pages or digging around for the information they want.

Marketers can engage consumers across connected TV and mobile screens by adding QR codes to their connected TV ads that allow consumers to scan the code to open product information on their phones without the hassle of having to search for it.

Consideration: Demo products with in-unit video galleries
Now marketers can include many different types of content in interactive video ads—from strong brand stories to specific product information. Starting with the pre-roll video that shows the product in action—there can then be an additional product video gallery within an interactive slate that can offers more how-to videos or product demos.

Purchase: Buy on the fly with “shop now” buttons
The real drivers of shoppable video are the “shop now” button that appear next to a featured item while watching a video with a link to purchase on-the-spot, rather than prompting buyers to complete their purchases later. This tactic streamlines the typical buying path and encourages consumers to take action in the moment—driving the brand’s bottom line in the most efficient way.

Interactive video tactics don’t just work for brands looking for direct response—they can also be applied to advertisers with longer sales cycles or that cater more to in-store purchases. For instance, these types of brands can use personalized messaging about local sales to drive consumers to brick and mortar locations, or even show those locations in a dynamic map within their video.

Shoppable video has a bright future—especially when factoring in the endless possibilities of virtual reality. Perhaps virtual fitting rooms for a new outfit or virtual test drives of a new car are closer than we think.

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