Shoppable video is the next big marketing opportunity

(c)iStock.com/oneinchpunch

Over the past two years, TV viewing figures have dropped by 13% in the UK, according to Accenture – a blow for TV advertisers. On the flip side, online video is building its strength thanks to the plethora of platforms, services and devices consumers have at their fingertips.

The IAB reports that UK video ad spend grew by 56% in the first half of 2015 to a healthy £292m. This growth demonstrates the recognised ad potential of video, and its latest iteration, shoppable video, brings an opportunity to win over brands and advertisers who may have otherwise been unconvinced of its success.

Capitalising on consumer impulses

Shoppable video offers a direct route to commerce opportunities by providing a clickable link to shop the products featured throughout the video.

Burberry’s runway video is a textbook example. It combines the latest looks with the purchasing experience, enabling viewers to browse through fashion stills and click for more information to buy.

By marrying video with an interactive component, brands can leverage ‘in the moment’ consumer impulses. 

Convenience and consistency are the fundamental driving forces.

Savvy brands have been quick to realise the potential that shoppable video holds and are beginning to experiment with the format – creating and executing innovative campaigns that take advantage of the decreased gap between purchase inspiration and transaction completion.

Very.co.uk is a perfect example of a brand that recognised this potential early. Last summer, the brand produced a new music video for the 90's classic ‘Summertime’, featuring Rizzle Kicks.

A small banner appeared in the corner of the video as it played, saying ‘shop the video’.

A simple click on this message allowed the customer to scroll through a range of products which were featured within the video, as it continued to play. Clicking on a specific product then directed them to a dedicated ‘Summertime section’ on Very’s site.

Simple but well executed.

Embracing interactivity leads to more data

Data is at the heart of intelligent marketing, and interactive video allows brands to gather specific, real-world data at an individual level.

These detailed insights enable brands to tailor call-to-actions, leading to better engagement, or – in the case of shoppable video in particular – higher probability of purchase.

With the goal of turning passive viewers into active consumers, the question which comes to mind is how can this be done more often? Look no further than mobile.

The IAB has reported that mobile accounts for a staggering 40% of the time we spend online, in line with consumer demand for round the clock on-the-go experiences. However, while mobile is favoured for browsing, actual purchases are largely made via desktop.

Easy to interact with, shoppable video, has the potential to tip the shift of conversion rates towards mobile devices.  

Cross-channel experiences are key

Those brands who want to stay at the top of their game need to make sure they’re providing a seamless, cross-channel experience.

Consumers expect entertainment, news, and retail to be channel and device agnostic, with a familiar interface and process, regardless of the device the use. Convenience and consistency are the fundamental driving forces.

Looking ahead, the future is bright for video across all platforms and devices, and it won’t be long until it also provides a shopping experience that’s as interactive as the real world.

There’s no doubt that we’re moving towards a point where much of the video content we see will be connected, intelligent, and shoppable.

A screen playing a video will become a portal to the world of commerce in an unobtrusive way, and one that supplements and augments the viewer’s experience.

Good news for brands and consumers alike.

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