The explosive growth of e-commerce since the pandemic has presented a paradox: while the digital market space has ballooned, opening up incredible opportunities for brands, it has also spawned heightened competition. The average local sports store now finds itself pitted against not just neighboring competitors but global players as well. Global e-commerce sales are expected to soar to an astonishing $5.5 trillion by 2027, begging the question: how can a brand carve out its own unique space?
Brands have begun to realize that building engagement is the secret sauce. Social media platforms have showcased the enormous power of high engagement levels, setting a model for brands to emulate. By becoming an indispensable part of your customers’ lives, you’re not just a vendor; you’re a valued community member, and this shift in perception can make all the difference in brand loyalty and customer retention.
In a digital world swamped with e-commerce platforms, video commerce is emerging as a beacon for brands seeking deeper engagement with consumers. Unlike traditional online shopping experiences, video commerce offers two-way engagement, inviting users not just to browse and purchase but to ask questions, interact, and form connections. This shift transforms brands from mere vendors to partners in a shopper’s journey, a crucial nuance that fosters loyalty.
Brands leveraging video commerce are creating communities around themselves. These communities are more than just frequent buyers; they are groups of individuals who feel a sense of belonging and emotional connection to the brand. This emotional bond is the pinnacle of customer loyalty, and once achieved, it represents a sustainable competitive advantage that is hard to beat.
Far from being an advanced form of e-commerce, video commerce is an engagement and relationship-building tool. It brings humanity back into a sphere that has been predominantly transactional, facilitating more engaged, meaningful relationships between brands and consumers.
Building Communities: Lessons from Leading Brands
Before we dive into the specific strategies, let’s take a look at some aspirational examples of brands that have successfully harnessed the power of community. While these may be high-profile cases, these brands show us that community isn’t just about transactions but shared experiences, interaction, and exclusive access.
Apple as a Master of Two-Way Community Building
Apple’s ecosystem engages consumers beyond transactions by offering forums for shared experiences. Users not only learn about product features but also engage in meaningful conversations with other Apple users, thus shaping the community themselves. This shared participation and exclusivity make members feel like insiders in an exclusive world.
Airbnb: A Two-Sided Community of Global Enthusiasts
Airbnb’s strategy includes two-sided interactive platforms where hosts and guests benefit equally. These platforms are not just transactional spaces; they offer shared experiences and enable community members to help shape Airbnb’s offerings, thus contributing to a cycle of continuous improvement.
Glossier: A Beauty Brand Built on Insider Relationships
Glossier’s community feels like an exclusive club. Members get insider access to beauty tutorials and product development, experiences that are both engaging and participatory. This interactivity makes each member feel valued and like an essential part of the community.
Nike: Fostering an Engaged, Active Community Through Challenges
Nike’s community is a hive of activity and participation. It offers more than just athletic gear; it provides a series of shared experiences through video training programs and challenges. This approach to community engagement makes users feel like insiders and collaborators rather than mere customers.
Solutions for Relationship-Driven Video Commerce
In today’s digital marketplace, mere transactions are no longer enough. Brands have to think beyond sales and focus on building enduring relationships with their customers. Video commerce is uniquely positioned to offer solutions that not only facilitate shopping but also foster human connection and community.
The three most essential elements in this transformation from transactional to relationship-based commerce are interactive video, 1:1 video chat, and virtual showrooms.
Interactive Videos do more than just display products; they invite participation. Hotspots, live Q&As, and real-time polls encourage viewers to engage with the brand and with each other, enriching the relationship and fostering a sense of community.
1:1 Video Chats take personalization to a new level. Scheduled appointments provide a personal touch rarely seen in e-commerce, simulating the in-store experience online. These scheduled interactions not only offer exclusive access to the brand but foster deeper relationships between consumers and the brand.
Virtual Showrooms replicate the tactile experience of in-store shopping. However, their true power lies in their ability to foster conversations and interactions, bridging the gap between the brand and its community.
Strategies for Fostering Community and Deepening Relationships through Video Commerce
When you think of video commerce, it’s crucial to look beyond mere transactions. Your strategy should revolve around creating avenues for genuine relationship-building, enabling two-way interactions, and providing shared experiences that can turn customers into loyal community members. Here are some elaborated strategies that leverage video commerce for community building:
- User-Generated Content: The Voice of Your Community
Engage your community by launching campaigns that encourage customers to share video reviews, unboxings, or styling tips. This authentic content not only enriches your platforms but also gives your customers a voice and a sense of participation in the brand’s story.
- Live Shopping Events: A Venue for Shared Experience
Conduct real-time video sessions to introduce new products, offer special deals, and create interactive experiences. Shopify’s research indicates that live shopping events can boost conversion rates up to 10 times, proving that real-time, shared experiences resonate deeply with customers.
- Short Shareable Videos: The Quick Help Your Customers Need
Consider crafting videos focused on FAQs or quick tips that solve common customer queries. These videos are not just informative but highly shareable, encouraging community members to become advocates for your brand.
- Influencer Partnerships: Extending Community Boundaries
Expand your community’s scope by partnering with influencers for video content. This strategy allows you to tap into existing, engaged communities, opening the door for these audiences to become part of your own brand community.
- Exclusive Launches: The Privilege of Community Membership
One way to make your community members feel special is by launching new products or features exclusively within the community. This creates a sense of exclusivity and belonging, reinforcing the idea that being part of your community offers real benefits.
- Video Highlights in Emails: Enriching Customer Communication
Enhance your email campaigns with snippets of video content. It could be highlights from a live shopping event, a teaser for an upcoming product, or clips from user-generated content. This strategy makes for a far more engaging and interactive communication channel.
- Behind-the-Scenes Content: The Brand Story as a Shared Narrative
People love to feel like insiders, and what better way to offer this than by taking your community behind the scenes? Whether it’s a look at how products are made, interviews with team members, or sneak peeks into your company culture, this content adds depth and relatability to your brand.
By implementing these strategies, you are not just driving sales but facilitating a more complex, rewarding interaction. These aren’t just ways to use video for commerce; they are techniques for leveraging video to build communities, make people feel valued, and foster long-term relationships.
The Transformative Power of Video Commerce
Community building, while not easy, is fast becoming a non-negotiable asset for brands in today’s competitive marketplace. In a digital world overflowing with options, brands that can build and nurture communities will find themselves head and shoulders above those who can’t. With compelling statistics like a Deloitte study showing that 83% of consumers are more likely to purchase after watching a video, and Sprout Social data indicating that 64% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands they feel connected to, the efficacy of video commerce is beyond doubt.
Unlike traditional e-commerce models that were primarily transactional, video commerce is carving out a new standard in customer engagement. It fosters communities by providing brands the tools to offer more than just products—to offer meaningful experiences and lasting relationships.
The future of online brand-building isn’t just about upgrading to video commerce; it’s about embracing it as the new cornerstone of consumer engagement. As brands vie for consumer attention, video commerce isn’t just an optional upgrade; it’s the key to building lasting communities that will stand the test of a rapidly evolving market landscape.
So, as you ponder on the next big move for your brand, consider this: Video commerce doesn’t just sell products; it builds communities.
And in today’s world, that is invaluable.
Book a demo to start your video commerce journey today.