In the early 1990s, we saw the first online transaction being processed which marked the start of e-commerce. Fast forward 30 years, and retail e-commerce sales are expected to reach 6.3 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide in 2023. Having worked in e-commerce and digital payment for over a decade, and witnessed the ongoing evolution in this space, it never ceases to amaze me how much innovation and creativity this industry brings.
What makes these innovations exciting and relevant at the end of the day is that the payment experience is core to our everyday lives as consumers. Digital payment 1.0 gave rise to online stores and made goods and services accessible on a global scale. Next came the embedded payment experience, which allowed us to pay our fares inside the Uber app, for example, which changed the way we commute, rent lodging, order food, and so much more. This is the reason why I’m so excited to announce that Firework is driving digital payment innovation into new territory with our first-of-its-kind, In-Video Checkout solution — a fully-integrated, quick checkout solution developed with the ultimate goal of improving the next-generation consumer shopping experience.
Firework In-Video Checkout is a first-of-its-kind offering in the US: a fully-native, instant checkout solution for video commerce. The new technology enables seamless, one-click checkout within Firework’s shoppable and livestream videos, providing brands a truly frictionless shopping experience on both their own websites and across the open web.
Bringing Content and Commerce Together, in the Right Context
So, why does this matter? Well, it’s about much more than simply merging video with payment processing. And it’s more than just another fast checkout feature. It’s about finally bringing content and commerce together into a single, fully-integrated customer experience. And, just as importantly, we’ve done so in the right contextual environment — namely, brands’ own websites.
While social media platforms may be fantastic environments for product discovery, over 94% of all e-commerce transactions in the U.S. still take place on the open web (i.e. not within the walled gardens of social media). For a multitude of reasons, American consumers still prefer to transact on brands’ own websites — and those sentiments show no signs of changing anytime soon.
Not only is this beneficial for consumers, who feel more secure and in the mindset to transact on the open web, but it also puts control over the customer experience back into the hands of brands themselves… and not a moment too soon. With the third-party cookie coming to an end and Apple’s new privacy features in full effect, access to first-party customer data has become vitally important to brands and retailers of all sizes.
Closing the Gaps Between Impression, Engagement, and Conversion
Video continues to play an increasingly important role in the digital customer journey — enabling richer, more engaging experiences of brands and their products and, in turn, influencing purchase decisions. And with Firework In-Video Checkout, brands can dramatically accelerate the path to purchase, closing that all-important gap between impression, engagement, and conversion.
With the release of In-Video Checkout, Firework has become the only full-funnel video commerce solution on the market. While other platforms continue to market their technology as “shoppable video,” they’re not actually enabling the complete purchasing process within the video itself. And that’s a crucial distinction — for both the customer and their experience, as well as the retailer and their ability to gain customer insights and drive action at the moment of engagement.
Combining Cutting-Edge Technology with Industry-Leading Creative Services
Of course, when it comes to video commerce, technological capabilities are only part of the equation. To reap the full benefits of these tools and technologies, brands need to deliver content that connects and resonates with their audience. That’s why Firework has complemented its industry-leading technological capabilities with a comprehensive suite of end-to-end creative services — Firework Creative Services.
Firework Creative Services is an in-house team of industry-expert creatives dedicated to helping brands become fluent in the language of livestream shopping and shoppable video. Firework Creative Services helps brands with a wide variety of both fully managed and consultative support, including creative and content strategy, on-camera training, casting, full video production, and ongoing optimization strategies.
Continuing to Lead the Video Commerce Vanguard
Having spent the last decade of my career at American Express helping to shape digital payment experience, one of the most valuable lessons it taught me is to be obsessed with our customers’ problems. I joined Firework last year because there is no boundary to the founders’ vision, and I’m so incredibly humbled by my time here because our team cares deeply about our customers and continues to challenge ourselves to learn, unlearn and relearn — and in the process, creating the best solutions on the open web. As we designed the In-Video Checkout solution, the most frequent discussions you would hear were “Is this what our customers want? Are we helping them to solve their pain points? What can we do to make the experience better for their customers?”
And no matter how many milestones we mark, and how many wins we have, we’ll continue to evolve and innovate, all with the goal of improving our customers’ experience at heart. It’s that spirit that drew me to join the Firework team in the first place, and that will ensure our continued success for years to come.
To learn more about the In-Video checkout news, check out the full press release, here.
And for a more in-depth look at our In-Video Checkout innovation, go to Instant Checkout.