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Things to look out for when choosing a video shopping provider

What do you need to consider when looking for a video shopping provider. We go through all the main components of what a great provider looks like, examine the trends driving the growth in video shopping and the emerging operating models.

Video shopping involves a presenter who demonstrates or features a product in the video with the goal of getting shoppers to buy the product. Many platforms now link to the product directly from the video which improves conversion. Here is a guide of the elements you need to consider when you select a video shopping provider.

Video shopping growth

Video shopping is on the up and is one of the big trends of the last few years.

More than 50% of internet users looked for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store. (google/ipsos 2018). Other sources have this statistic higher – Adobe has this at 62%.

33% of shoppers say they have purchased products discovered on YouTube (google/ipsos 2018)

Consumer technology shoppers who watched video in the research phase spent 21% more than those who did not (Google/LTWGreenberg 2019)

Live-streaming in China was reported to be worth USD$4.4 billion in 2018 year, up 32% from 2017 (Deloitte 2018)

This was all before Covid-19. Video usage has now hit the mainstream, with live video streaming ubiquitous among internet users, business and entertainment.

woman having a video call

Types of video shopping providers:

Video shopping is emerging as a battle ground in e-commerce. Providers at this early stage are diverse, but fall within one or a few of the categories below. Depending on your goals – you will want to select a provider that excels in one or more of these components:

  • Straight video – perhaps a key component to video shopping is the presence and ultimately the quality of the video. It’s the basic requirement of a video shopping provider. So get that part right, but consider that whole powerful, a provider who does this alone is missing a trick.
  • Tagging – tagging is all about identification of the product. In order to drive purchase the product, the system needs to know what the product is. This can be done by tagging manually, or using AI to recognise the product. Most shoppable video platforms allow you to tag products. It’s a manual process, so it compromises scale. AI speeds it all up, gives the scale, but there is investment upfront to get it right
  • Linking – linking is key. It makes the video shoppable. You want a scenario where shoppers can either purchase the product directly in that experience, are linked directly to the product page on the e-commerce site or the product is linked directly to the shopping cart for instant purchase.
  • Live video shopping – a step on from straight video (which is generally prerecorded), is the ability to broadcast live to shoppers. Live shopping broadcasts have a number of distinct advantages (number one being ability to understand needs) and disadvantages (for example limited scale) compared to prerecorded.
  • Live one to one video shopping – setting up direct consultation between a retail expert (or demonstrator), replicates personal styling and the direct one to one experience you might see in a physical retail store. When you offer live video shopping, matching becomes important
  • Live one to many video shopping – rather than having a consultation, you can expand your audience to groups of people, which then starts to resemble teleshopping. A demonstrator shows a product, compelling people to buy as the broadcast is on.
  • Video in social – social platforms have a ready made audience that more often than not group together online under one interest group. So it makes sense to try and engage social audiences to shop online. Most social platforms now have live components and can tag and link. Specialist providers that have built sophisticated platforms integrate well into the social platforms
  • Embed in e-commerce platform – an emerging and key element of video shopping providers, is the ability to integrate the shopping experience into the video. Instant buys, tracking of sales, basket sophistication are all game changers in video. To do that, an integration into your e-commerce platform will be necessary. Can they integrate into your platform? Can it be done natively. All of these questions will be key to your success.

Emerging models in video commerce

There appear to be 3 emerging operating models in video commerce that you need consider:

  1. Enhancing prerecorded videos with tags and links – monetising what is in place. This is the mainstay of the social platforms – where they make existing content “shoppable”
  2. Straight video matching – live matching consumers one to one with retail experts over livestream video calls to boost conversion and average order value.
  3. Realtime video commerce – integrating live tags and links into real-time livestream video, forever pushing deeper into e-commerce platforms, with the goal of making the experience deep and seamless.

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