Shopping for shoppable video

Shoppable content isn’t anything new. Traditional home-shopping TV shows have been around for many years, and shoppable video delivered through the web is just its latest iteration. Smart brands are leveraging the modern consumer's inclination towards image-centric marketing and reach for different strategies to convert video content into a direct sales channel by turning passive viewers into active consumers.

Shoppable video technology offers e-commerce fundamentally more effective ways to turn viewers into buyers that are advantageous to both customers and businesses. Shoppable content benefits the customers by freeing them from disrupting video ads and the feeling like they are constantly sold to and benefit the business by providing the opportunity to combine sale-oriented traffic drivers with powerful storytelling and brand-oriented video campaigns within a single marketing effort.

Why is Shoppable Video the Future of E-Commerce?

The list of e-commerce benefits from integrating interactive shoppable video into shopping experience does not end at streamlining sales and marketing activities. Interaction means data. Data from interactive video allows businesses to gather very specific and realistic information at the level of an individual customer. With these insights, e-commerce can adopt their offering and calls-to-actions increasing the likelihood of future purchases.

Moreover, easy to interact with, shoppable video has huge potential to shift the conversion rate’s weight towards mobile devices that used to be more favoured for browsing and not purchasing itself. According to a new report from comScore mobile now represents 65 % of all digital media time customers spend online, while the desktop has receded to 35 % of digital time spent after losing 12 percentage points since 2013. These numbers indicate quite a bright future for shoppable video that provides a experience easy to navigate on mobile devices.

No surprise then, that an e-commerce giant like Amazon is stepping their foot into shoppable video technology with a recent live show Style Code Live launched on the Amazon website. The series features fashion and beauty tips from style experts. It also, allows viewers to use live chat and purchase corresponding Amazon products from the section under the video player.

A Creative Take on Touchable Video Used by Ted Baker

There are many ways to approach shoppable video. From creating a display section adjacent to the video with the purchasable items corresponding to the items featured in video story – like in the example of Amazon - to more ‘experiential’ a fully ‘touchable’ video allowing the viewers to click directly on the featured item and save it on a pre-order list or even add it automatically to the shopping basket.

An excellent example of a “touchable video” built with digital and mobile audiences in mind is the film created by Ted Baker. The UK fashion retailer is one of the first brands to make use of shoppable video technology for the e-commerce purposes. Called ‘Mission Impeccable’ the Ted Baker’s short spy-themed film allows users to browse the new Autumn/Winter 2016 collection and direct them to the online stores. Inside the video, viewers can click a “plus” icon on each character to save their looks to a pre-order list further down the page. From there users can explore items in more details and add them to their shopping bag, without having to interrupt the film throughout.

The Secrets Behind Setting up Shoppable Video Technology

Setting up shoppable videos can be done either in-house with the help of various tools and interactive video platforms available online or, if the aim is to create an interactive masterpiece and seamless integration in-line with the overall brand experience, with the help of a custom software provider. While the video production itself could be an expensive component of the interactive campaign, adding the shopping experience, comes down to pure frontend engineering. For instance, the technology behind setting up the shoppability feature in the above-mentioned Ted Baker film would involve adding an extra overlay with interactive tags/icons that allow users to click on different characters from within the video to save their favourite looks to their wish list. The interactive layer works according to the scenario that activates the icons at the specific moment in time and location within the film. Besides moving an item to a pre-order list, tags can be attributed other types of responses including adding to the shopping bag and generating a social media update about the purchase. The more actions that are to be featured, however, the more expensive the software solution.

For already existing video content, the process of adding the shoppability experience, similar to the one applied in the Ted Baker’s production, could take up to one month and include four stages: selecting a video player (paid, open-source or custom-made), selecting a custom engineering team, drafting product specification and development, and as an additional option - maintenance.


The Interactive shoppable video technology has great potential for helping e-commerce sell products and services. It enables one-click purchase opportunities at the exact point of customer’s interest, ties to e-commerce without interrupting, provides insightful marketing data at the level of an individual user and is expected to tip the shift of conversion rates towards powerful new purchase channel of mobile devices.

Even though setting up shoppable videos can be done in-house with the help of various tools and interactive platforms available online, digitally focused e-commerce brands who want to come out on top of this trend need to make sure they are providing customers with a seamless video shopping experience – aligned with the overall shopping and brand experience.

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