One of the next big steps for e-commerce? Shoppable videos. Technology is once again changing the game in retail, making it easier to create an engaging shopping experience, even when people don’t have the physical product in front of them. With attention spans decreasing by the day, it gets harder and harder for brands to fight for this attention. Video shopping is a game changer because it enables a quick and frictionless shopping experience – with one click on the video, customers can get more details about a product or make a purchase directly.
The numbers speak for themselves. In a recent survey, 87.7% of companies reported growth in their online sales after adding interactive video to their sales strategy. SEO experts further claim that interactive e-commerce videos are up to 10X more effective at generating click-throughs than other content.
The potential of shoppable videos for e-commerce has not escaped tech investors. In Central and Eastern Europe, VideoWise, a Romanian e-commerce video platform, recently raised a $3 million seed round from a suite of investors led by Slack Fund to further develop its video commerce technology stack for omnichannel video shopping experiences.
“Keeping an eye on trends, Claudiu Cioba watched as TikTok took off during the early part of the pandemic and how consumers engaged with social reels and stories. Looking at the stats and the growth curve, he spotted a gap. Traditional video solutions didn’t offer a truly dedicated e-commerce solution, and from a product design point of view, they felt outdated. Claudiu always wanted to build something in the e-commerce industry because it has a clear north star, conversions. You know you have a product-market fit if you can positively influence conversion,” the VideoWise team tells The Recursive.
In this case study, we will explain how shoppable videos work and the benefits for e-commerce businesses, with insights from Claudiu Cioba, Founder and CEO of Videowise. You can also download it as a free PDF here.
What is a shoppable video platform
In a nutshell, a shoppable video overlays a product pop-up over a video footage and makes it clickable, which means viewers can interact with it right away to learn more or add the item to their shopping cart.
The main channels for shoppable videos are websites, influencer marketing platforms such as LTK, and video hosting platforms such as Tik Tok.
Shoppable video platforms facilitate the process of adding a product and ways of interacting with it to a video, as well as collecting useful analytics for video campaigns.
In the case of Videowise, the solution is specifically built for e-commerce platforms like Shopify, SalesForce Commerce Cloud, Adobe Commerce, etc., and are highly optimized for their requirements and needs. As a result, Videowise loads up to 5X faster than traditional video platforms, the company says.
The magic of video shopping for e-commerce businesses
Providing a seamless shopping experience and boosting sales
Conversions are highly dependent on the quality of the user experience. Traditionally, video ads interrupt the shopping journey, by either sending users to another page/ website, or requiring them to search it separately.
Not shoppable videos. Here, the main advantage is that shoppers can directly interact with the product overlay on the video to learn more about it, minimizing effort and thus friction. When they are interested in making the purchase, they don’t need to be sent off the page, but can add it directly to the cart instead. Therefore, adding a shoppable functionality to videos increases the chances that shoppers will complete a purchase.
Another key advantage of shoppable videos is attributed to the video format itself. Video is gaining popularity as a medium that is easy to consume. Its prevalence on social media makes it more and more familiar. According to HubSpot, 66% of consumers prefer watching a short video to learn about a product or service over reading an article.
With shoppable videos, users are encouraged to linger longer, therefore gaining and retaining more information than with video ads. According to Magna, users spend 47% longer watching interactive videos than traditional ones.
Collecting useful data
Finally, shoppable video software enables e-commerce companies to collect data on their videos’ performance, which they can use to further improve the user experience. Companies can understand when their videos engage customers and why, as well as discover patterns in their customer’s behavior.
Nowadays, data analytics is crucial. The majority of consumers (91%) say they are more likely to buy from brands that offer personalized offers and recommendations.
We asked the VideoWise team about the platform’s advanced video analytics capabilities. “While many video platforms provide basic view tracking, Videowise offers a comprehensive suite of performance metrics to help merchants understand the full conversion funnel of shoppers that watch a video and how video truly influences their bottom-line conversion rate,” the team shares, adding:
“Moreover, Videowise is a platform that can manage and distribute videos on thousands of pages at scale. As a result, it has many-to-many distribution and is a huge time saver for merchants and retailers.”
Are you developing an e-commerce platform in CEE? Here is some advice.
We asked VideoWise what helped them build a successful business and fundraise during a rather dry period for startups. They highlighted having a clear vision, a great product, and a passionate team.
First, having a high-quality offering that distinguishes VideoWise from other shoppable video players was a critical factor in raising their seed round.
“Focus on creating a product or service that addresses a genuine need, and begin by targeting a specific, narrow vertical to find product-market fit. Once you’ve conquered one vertical, strategically expand into others,” advises Caludiu Cioba.
Building a dedicated team is equally important. “When building your team, take your time and avoid hiring a full-spectrum team from the onset; instead, prioritize key roles. Cultivate discipline and organization in your daily operations, as consistency ultimately leads to success. Remember that quality surpasses quantity in the long run,” he adds.
The company further talks about future plans that are meant to ensure success in the long term:
“With this new round of funding, Videowise aims to further develop its video commerce technology stack for omnichannel video shopping experiences and take its leading place in consumerism’s next frontier. Also, the main goals are to add more employees and to expand outside of Shopify, which is now trialing with new Salesforce Commerce Cloud stores.”