How video shopping is changing consumer buying habits
With online shopping on the rise, businesses are looking for a new way to target internet users wherever they may be getting their content. One of the latest innovations is video shopping, where consumers can click a product they see in a video or livestream and be taken to its product page.
This technology has rapidly made its way into fashion, a category that was already leading online purchasing; 59% of U.S. shoppers bought clothing between Q2 2018 and Q2 2019, according to Big Commerce. With video shopping capabilities, fashion retailers have yet another path to direct consumers to their product.
Here are some of the established platforms — as well as some up-and-comers — that are trying out the technology.
At the end of August, the social media platform TikTok offered its first shoppable livestream in collaboration with Ntwrk, a home shopping network geared toward Generation-Zers. The products were part of a partnership with artist Joshua Vides, who created a series of black T-shirts and sweatshirts with sayings like “Not going anywhere!” and “Here to stay!” in reference to the controversy over TikTok’s status in the U.S. and the popular “fit check” TikTok videos.
The collection was available for a limited time on TikTok through the livestream, where users could purchase items without leaving the app.
With 43% of global shoppers researching products via social media (according to Big Commerce), TikTok is already positioned to get the attention of buyers, especially those belonging to younger age groups. Whether video shopping capabilities allow the platform to effectively compete with Instagram Shopping, Snapchat shop and other social media e-commerce tools, though, remains to be seen.
This influencer-centric platform also expanded into video shopping at the end of the summer with its app LiketoKnow.it. The addition is expected to help sell $1.5 billion worth of products by the end of 2020, the company reported.
At launch, the app had 5,000 retailers integrated into video shopping capabilities, ranging from global retailers Target, Sephora, Nike, Adidas and Lululemon to luxury brands Chanel, Gucci and Saint Laurent.
RewardStyle influencers can use the shopping video capabilities to monetize videos up to two minutes long, expanding the marketing capacity of beauty tutorials, home tours or closet reveals.
“LTK Shopping Videos are high value and are uniquely created for people who are actively shopping in the app. They bring confidence to the purchase through education, better understanding of product origin, quality, selection and context for use,” said Amber Venz Box, influencer, co-founder and president of RewardStyle and LiketoKnow.it. “Our mission is to empower influencers to be as financially successful as possible. The expansion of our fastest growing product, the LiketoKnow.it app, will multiply the opportunity for influencers around the world.”
The LiketoKnow.it app’s edge is in organizing stoppable videos within users’ feeds, on influencers’ profiles and within an indexed search. RewardStyle expects 50% of sales to be driven by video shopping by the end of the year.
A platform that advertised itself as ”the first stoppable streaming platform,” droppTV debuted over the summer with music video shopping technology. The pilot video was “Stop Panickin’” by Kid Daytona, which featured apparel from Coogi and footwear from Jaclar.
“We’re thrilled to be helping artists and fans discover and connect with each other on a deeper level,” said droppTV CEO and Co-Founder Gurps Rai. “Music videos are very unique as they are at the intersection of culture, art, music and fashion and were the obvious choice for the first large-scale application of our technology.”
The platform functions across devices and operating systems and recently expanded its footprint to AppleTV. Without obvious endorsement from influencers or brand ambassadors, video shopping embedded into music videos may be one of the most natural-seeming avenues to the consumer.
As with most digital trends, Google is getting involved. It was one of the earliest companies to get in on the video shopping trend, and like RewardStyle, it relies on regular users and influencers to generate content.
Shoploop is review-oriented, with most content geared toward specific products or tutorials. For the moment, it’s focused on beauty — makeup, skincare, hair and nail products. Like other platforms, users are brought directly to the merchant’s website when they click on a product they like, and they can follow creators as if on a social media platform.
According to the company’s announcement, Shoploop is limited to mobile devices, but a desktop application is in the works.
Like RewardStyle, Verishop also unveiled video shopping capabilities within its iOS app that target users with recommendations.
“From lifestyle and e-commerce photos to educational and entertaining videos, we’re using computer vision technology and our shopping recommendations engine to make content shoppable — with not only the featured product, but also similar options in case one of those catches your eye,” explained Imran Khan, CEO and co-founder.
Shoppable products are personalized based on the user’s preferences, and artificial intelligence (AI) collects similar products to create options. Users can bookmark items and check out within the Verishop app, which includes the free, two-day shipping that the company has long advertised.
As one of the largest and most well-known hubs for video, YouTube has been quick to utilize video shopping for its advertising base.
Perhaps the most obvious example of YouTube’s shoppable video ads has been with American Eagle Outfitter’s Aerie, which had nine times more sales conversions than traditional mixed media when it tested the format. Google Ads reported that Aerie’s return on ad spend also rose 25% from the previous year.
The shoppable ads include a “Shop Now” button, which opens a product page below the video with the advertiser’s products. This differentiates somewhat from other platforms, which link products from the video itself, though the numbers still support this as an effective sales tactic. The Google Ad report also stated that 70% of people said that they’ve bought a brand as a result of seeing it on YouTube, even as businesses have begun to reopen.
With 80% of people reporting that product videos give them more confidence when purchasing (Wyzowl), it’s no wonder businesses have begun to capitalize on shoppable videos. Consumer data and AI technology is increasingly available, making it easier than ever to direct shoppers to the products they want to see, no matter what they’re watching.