87%. That’s the number of marketers who agreed video marketing had helped their brands increase sales in 2023. And while video ecommerce can be a very effective sales channel, not all brands are taking advantage of this critical method and harnessing its power and reach.
Video commerce can take many forms and have a wide range of applications for brands to better engage their customers and deliver improved shopping experiences. Let’s break down exactly what video commerce is and explore the best ways to unlock its potential for ecommerce brands.
What Is Video Commerce?
Already immensely popular in China and rapidly taking off in the U.S., video commerce is the use of digital video content to promote and sell products online. Through video content, brands can provide consumers with a product experience outside of physical stores. Video commerce can take a wide variety of formats, including both live and non-live video content, and can be used to support a range of business goals.
Live vs. non-live video shopping
As the name implies, live video shopping is a video commerce experience that is happening in real time. Live video shopping allows brands to tap into an increasingly growing market of live watchers. In fact, the global livestreaming ecommerce market is estimated to reach over $247 billion by 2027. Using the live format, brands can answer questions and provide critical information to shoppers in the moment, accelerating the time to complete a purchase. This style also taps into the modern shopper’s thirst for authenticity in a market saturated with the opposite. Bonus: livestreams can live forever, and thanks to AI, customers can ask questions and get answers (or additional resources) in real-time.
Non-live video shopping does not take place in real time, but rather is prerecorded. This method of video commerce puts the brand in control of their shoppable videos, such as production value and exactly what information is communicated. Having that control is important, as poorly managed live content can quickly backfire. In addition, it provides customers the opportunity to shop in the moment, making it an effective full-funnel medium.
What Are the Benefits of Video Commerce?
As technology evolves, video commerce is growing — creating new tools, methods, and audiences for brands to leverage. Brands have the opportunity to elevate the experiences they deliver through digital video and create a more seamless purchasing path. To create a future-proof strategy, brands need to recognize video commerce as a key part of their e‑commerce strategy, rather than something that is just “nice to have.” Video is no longer a luxury — it’s a necessity.
So, why should eCommerce stores start using video?
Information without overload
Video commerce allows brands to provide as much information to a prospective customer without overwhelming them. As much as product descriptions are helpful on the relevant pages, very few customers actually bother to read through it all. They are much more likely to skim through the images and form an opinion on what they have seen rather than what they have read.
Video commerce allows brands to provide consumers with all the insights they need, while doing so in an engaging and accessible manner. Live videos deliver answers to questions in real time, but they can also be recorded to be repurposed for more evergreen product information.
Connection with customers
In the past five years, ecommerce has increased transactions dramtacially, yet the customer connection to brands through this digital transaction has been lost. Video brings back this connection and engagement.
Enhanced customer engagement and experience
It’s impossible to build trust and loyalty with consumers if a brand cannot engage with them. Video has always been a format that websites can count on to drive engagement. Video commerce takes it a step further.
Younger consumers, like Gen Z, crave authenticity. In fact, 92% of Gen Zs indicated that being authentic and true to oneself is extremely or very important. This thirst for authenticity applies to their shopping habits, as well, and shoppers can tell when a brand is being real — and when they aren’t.
Video commerce offers brands a unique route to engage young consumers in a way that puts brand identity and authenticity front-and-center. By utilizing a shoppable video format, brands communicate to customers that they have nothing to hide and can provide honest answers in critical moments.
Instead of seeing static images or reading descriptions, video commerce allows website audiences to watch a product in action. The resultant interactive browsing experience gives customers a far better understanding of the product’s features and benefits. Brands should have the same experience on social media as they do on their own website.
Capture your brand’s in-store experience and deliver it to the digital marketplace with video, fostering more connections with your customers. ‘Phygital’ combines the benefits of physical surroundings (tactile exposure to products) with all the entrapments of the online environment (speed and comfort). By creating this combination, you can increase sales opportunities and create a better customer experience.
The Different Types of Live EceCommerce
A shoppable video showcases a brand’s product or services while enabling a user to in real-time purchase those products or services. Consumers get to shop quickly and seamlessly as they watch the video with tools like a sidebar that facilitate queries, shopping, reviews, and other information in real-time.
Unlike traditional consumer engagement techniques, shoppable videos have enabled brands to engage and connect with a high-intent audience in less time. After all, it allows users to simply buy products showcased through a tap on their screen. It’s no wonder nearly 83% of global brand marketers believe shoppable videos are a great way to generate leads.
Let’s explore some of the primary types of live ceCommerce and shoppable video.
Your brand’s website is one of the most critical locations to embed live video commerce content. Why? Because your website is the source from which brands can collect the most first-party data about viewers and potential customers. On social media, the platform receives first-party data and brands only have access to it second-hand. Website video data, on the hand, is collected and immediately available for brands to analyze and improve their video commerce strategies.
Social video commerce
Social commerce allows users to buy from a brand directly through social media platforms like Instagram without having to exit the live stream experience to complete their purchase.
Live influencer video
Live influencer streaming requires a partnership between a brand and an influencer. In exchange for payment and/or free products, influencers can expose brands to a new, highly engaged audience on social media—their followers.
Brands can host a live stream with their new partner as a guest, but if the influencer has a wider reach on social than the brand’s page, it can be beneficial to allow them to run the shopping stream themselves.
When choosing the right host or influencer for your live video, it’s important to consider the primary audience and ensure the influencer reflects it. If the goal of the video is to provide an insider scoop on a particular product, the right host might be an in-house expert. But if the video’s purpose is to demonstrate authentic, non-branded insights, then an outside influencer would be a better host.
Key Use Cases of Video Commerce
1. New product launch
Use video commerce to showcase new products and generate excitement and anticipation around a product launch. Retailers can host a Livestream shopping event to demonstrate the features and benefits of a new product and generate buzz and interest among potential customers. The Livestream video can also be converted into a shoppable video and hosted on the website.
2. Product tutorials
Brands can use videos to create tutorial content that shows customers how to use their products. This generally includes step-by-step instructions or demonstrations of the product, which can help customers better understand the product and how it works.
3. Humanizing interaction on the digital storefront
Video commerce can help retailers to create a more personal and human connection with customers. Consequently, retailers can use livestream videos to interact with customers in real-time, answering questions and providing personalized advice and recommendations.
4. Community building and interaction
Retailers can use video content to build a community of customers and create a more interactive and engaging shopping experience. This can include hosting live Q&A sessions or product demonstrations and encouraging customers to share their own videos and experiences with the retailer’s products.
5. Shoppable ads on the open web
Retailers can use video ads to reach potential customers and drive sales. They can show these ads on the open web across a publisher network and include calls-to-action or links that make it easy for viewers to make a purchase.
Video Commerce Best Practices
- Create high-quality videos that are engaging and informative. Create videos with good lighting and sound, shoot them from a flattering angle, and make sure they have a clear, compelling message. Every piece of existing content is a conversion opportunity. Leverage existing Youtube and IG content and repurpose it for video commerce.
- Make your videos shoppable by including links or calls-to-action and instant checkout capabilities. Make it easy for viewers to learn more about featured products with tools such as product tags or annotations.
- Set a livestream shopping video cadence to create a more personal and interactive shopping experience that aligns with customer behaviors, seasonal moments, and brand occasions.
- Use store associates as livestream hosts over influencers for better ROI. This can include hosting Q&A sessions or product demonstrations in real-time
- Simulcast your live videos on social media to reach your existing audience base and drive more traffic to your website.
- Optimize your videos for search with keywords and tags to attract potential customers.
- Improve and refine your video commerce strategy by analyzing video performance data.
- Consider partnering with micro- or nano-influencers or other businesses to create focused content or cross-promote your videos to a high-intent audience. This can help you to reach a wider audience base and generate more exposure for your products.
See more best practices in our Shoppable Videos 101 eBook.
Mistakes to Avoid in Video Commerce
- Don’t create low-quality or poorly-produced videos. This can turn off potential customers and make your brand look unprofessional.
- Don’t make your videos too long or overly complicated. Keep your videos short and to the point, and focus on the key features and benefits of your products.
- Don’t forget to promote and amplify the reach of the videos. If no one sees your videos, they won’t be able to make a purchase.
- Don’t ignore the first-party customer data you glean from your video content. Use this information to hone and elevate your video commerce strategy.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things with your videos. Be creative and think outside the box to find new ways to showcase and sell your products.
What Is a Video Commerce Platform?
A video commerce platform, or a video commerce app, provides the technology wrapper around making video shoppable.
- Discovery: A video commerce platform helps both the shopper and the retailer discover the customer needs. Identifying these needs is critical to setting clear goals for what the brand’s videos should achieve.
- Video delivery: Deliver high-quality shoppable videos in every customer’s preferred format.
- Product identification: Within the videos, the platform identifies different products which can be tagged, allowing shoppers to either be further immersed in the product or converted into a purchasing stage.
- Immersion: Immersion directs shoppers to more information on the product or the brand. This can be executed by sending them many different kinds of information including links, text, imagery, more videos, augmented reality, calculators, and more.
- Conversion: The platform also allows customers to be converted from the tagged product into the shopping cart, providing a seamless experience from discover to purchase.
How to Choose the Right Video Commerce Solution
Video commerce has skyrocketed in popularity across the globe, which means there are a wide variety of live video commerce solutions to choose from. While every brand and retailer are different, there are several critical factors that every brand should consider when selecting the right live video commerce platform for their business and market.
Before you start researching the right live selling platform for your business, it’s important to identify your target audience. Who are your ideal customers? What are their interests and preferences?
Understanding your target audience can help you to identify the right influencers who can effectively engage and resonate with them, as well as the right solution with which to create and execute a video commerce strategy.
How can you know if a live video commerce solution will be right for you without knowing exactly what you want to achieve? Establishing your goals is critical to determining the right solution.
What do you hope to achieve with your campaigns? Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, or generate leads and sales? Defining your goals can help you to create a focused and effective strategy that aligns with your overall marketing objectives.
Your live video commerce solution should be equipped to integrate seamlessly with your existing marketing tech stack. Simple integrations with top commerce partners should allow you to easily launch your livestream shopping and shoppable videos in minutes. Some of the most popular commerce integrations to consider include:
- Adobe Magento
- WordPress WooCommerce
- Generative AI for video commerce: The in-video chat feature allows customers to interact with livestreams on an ongoing, on-demand basis, even long after the livestream has finished.
- Shoppable video: Ensure shoppable video features empower you to place and utilize video content in a number of formats.
- Livestream: Livestream is only as effective as its ties to your brand, so be sure that livestream features allow brand safety control and online and offline amplification.
- Creative services: You need to be able to rely on your live video commerce solution to provide you with the support to execute your campaigns seamlessly. This should include short video editing, monitored livestream, managed livestream, and creator hosted livestream.
- 1:1 personalized video chat: Create meaningful connections with customers through video chat. Book personalize styling appointments to ensure customers are getting the 1:1 experience even if they are not in store.
- Digital showroom Go live directly from your store and invite the world in. Interact with customers virtually while giving them the same in store experience.
Brands That Got It Right
Celebrity esthetician Angela Caglia leveraged video commerce to increase conversion and engagement on her brand website. Using video content, the brand was able to increase session times by 4x. The brand particularly used the power of video storytelling to build trust by enabling their customers to find the right products for their skincare needs.
Angela Caglia also used livestreams to build up the brand community and answer customer questions, resulting in a 2x increase in average order value. By enabling instant checkout across video experiences, Firework was able to simplify the path to purchase and increase conversions for visitors who used it by 3x.
Spread The Love
Through shoppable videos and livestreams, Spread The Love turned traffic into engagement and engagement into conversion.
Spread The Love is a family-owned superfood company that started with a small jar of homemade peanut butter and has now grown to be sold in the US and internationally. Using shoppable videos and livestreams, the company was able to increase traffic, engagement, and conversions on their website. Also, simulcasted livestreams on multiple sites significantly increased traffic for the brand.
Spread The Love also used Firework-powered livestreams and shoppable videos to share their brand story and showcase new products, resulting in an increase in time spent on the site by over 250%. Additionally, implementing frictionless, one-click checkout in video experiences increased conversions by 14% for visitors who watched the videos.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is video important for eCommerce?
A: Video can be essential to helping prospective customers better understand a product’s features. Unlike brick-and-mortar stores, customers cannot physically touch and examine products when purchasing online. Videos help customers not only get a more realistic look at the product but also give them additional insights. Videos have a proven track record in increasing conversions, sales, and customer satisfaction.
Q: Why should my brand use live video?
A: Most people today prefer watching ecommerce product videos than reading long product descriptions. Ecommerce video content makes a website viewed by a larger audience, increases page visits, and increases the chance of conversions. Video e-commerce content is also useful to be shared with the media.
Q: How does video affect the customer journey?
A: Ecommerce videos are an efficient way to attract people’s attention during the awareness phase of the journey. Different types of video content determines which direction your customer’s journey will take. At every step of the journey, personalize the video content as much as possible to meet customer expectations.
Q: Why is vertical video important for ecommerce audiences?
A: According to Comscore, mobile commerce accounted for 38% of all digital spending in the United States in the final quarter of 2022. With this percentage continuing to rise, not to mention how much video is consumed on mobile devices, adopting a vertical content strategy just makes sense. Gen Z shopping trends lean considerably toward vertical video content. Younger generations are consuming vertical video at scale, making it easier for brands to pass off shoppable vertical videos as native, without compromising immersiveness.
Q: How can I measure the success of my live video campaigns?
A: You can measure the success of your live video campaigns by tracking metrics such as viewer engagement, social media engagement, website traffic, and sales or leads generated as a result of the broadcast. It’s important to set clear goals and objectives before launching your livestream marketing strategy so that you can effectively measure your success.
To start connecting with your shoppers through live video commerce, book a demo with Firework today.