Shoppable Video: The Future of Retail?

what is shoppable video?

With more of us reaching for our phones to make purchases, logging on our desktops to make attend crucial appointments and making more online purchases, shoppable video is a perfect match for our changing behaviour. In this article, we are looking at shoppable video.

What to expect:

  • What is shoppable video?
  • Why interactive eCommerce has never been so important
  • Is the future of retail shoppable?
  • Tips for delivering shoppable video

What is shoppable video? 

Shoppable video is a blend of entertainment, e-commerce and immersion. Viewers can watch live streams of their favourite brands online and purchase any product inside the sales channel. It’s a modern twist on the likes of QVC that is attracting people from all age groups. The concept originated from China where eCommerce dominates retail sales. And what makes China’s shoppable video so interesting to watch is the gamification attached to it. Users can accumulate points based on how often they interact with influencers, brands or products and subsequently use the points to access behind the scenes features. Whilst we are seeing shoppable video disrupting UK eCommerce – it may take some time before we see the gamification aspect hit our screens 

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Why interactive eCommerce has never been so important

Companies have been doubling down on digital transformation to match the eCommerce explosion that we’ve witnessed over the past 12 months. In the first three months of 2020, eCommerce penetration grew as much as it had in the past 10 years. COVID-19 also accelerated the digital communication strategy by 6 years. Despite this shakeup, brick-and-mortar stores are showing their resilience. Since lockdown measures have eased, 143,000 fewer over 65s placed digital orders. Instead, there was a 6.8% in the 65-year age group visiting brick and mortar stores. Primark shopper levels are back to pre-covid levels which strikes a somewhat positive tone compared to what the retail industry faced in recent months. Nevertheless, companies cannot standstill. Those who do not match digital transformation and deliver services across all touchpoints regardless of if they are online or offline will soon create a disjointed brand; unable to connect to their customers.  

Humans are reacting to the newly announced freedom by craving the human touch and placing found interest in having direct relationships with brands. In the era of social media, many companies have invested in immediacy, chatbots and emotionless services. But that is all set to change. Shoppable video evokes human interaction, creates a sense of belonging and helps brands not only develop key relationships with their customers but sees the return of 1:1 direct customer service. 

Will the future of retail be made shoppable? 

TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Shopify are big key players reinventing the wheel when it comes to interacting with customers. Shopify allows merchants to add live video technology to their stores, regardless of business size. Social media platforms also enable self-starters to place themselves in front of an audience where they can authentically present their products and encourage watchers to become active followers. When it comes to rejuvenating your brand’s eCommerce presence – it should focus itself on delivering the one-to-one service, as it is in-store. The pandemic has added a new layer to eCommerce experiences which is the human experience. Before lockdowns, social distancing and closed shops, eCommerce was home to heavy discounts and those looking for a quick order online. Now eCommerce has transformed itself to provide discounts and plentiful to look at and an opportunity to replicate those in-store interactions online.  

Tips for a great shoppable video delivery 

Successfully engaging your expert with customers, the human way 

To convey your brand, products and story online – it’s important to understand the role the expert plays in delivering shoppable video. For example, many brands offer one-to-one live video calls to their customers, which are scheduled via virtual appointments. Once connected, the expert can perform a needs-based analysis to personalise the customer journey. And while data will help influence what recommendations are right for the customer, understanding the intent comes straight from the humanised aspect.  Creating effective digital dialogue equips your team with valuable customer knowledge built on trust and transparency. 

Every product is shoppable, but you are the one who sells it 

The shoppable aspect streamlines the sales process, making it easier for both the customer and brand to manage virtual baskets. Nevertheless, without the passion and professionalism of the expert, it can fall flat. If your products are handheld size – show them on screen. 

Keep the recommendations relevant and in-tune with customer behaviour 

Customers detest pushy sales in-person and will detest it online too. As a brand, expert, and advocate of your products, it is important to suggest add ons based on the customer’s actual needs. To help with that, the Confer With service integrates with any recommendation engine meaning relevant products can be shared onscreen which will enhance the customer journey’s further.  

Is the future of retail shoppable?

Currently, the high-street is seeing a promising bounce back in physical sales, uncovering the all-important aspect of human connection. But this shouldn’t be a sign to slow down on digital transformation. Shoppable video addresses the changes in our buying behaviour and if retailers fail to connect with their audience virtually, they will fail to connect with them at all. Nevertheless, what makes shoppable video so promising is the human touch – without the passion, knowledge and empathy it will not exceed expectations.

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