Shoppable Video: Merging Entertainment with Ecommerce

Shoppable video, an interactive film that showcases products that can be selected and purchased, is one of the most interactive and innovative ecommerce experiences we’ve seen this year. It’s bound to be profitable – after all, combining shopping and entertainment is what advertisers have been doing since they created cartoon mascots for sugary cereals.

The real question is how can brands best execute messages in this medium? So far there have been a couple of methods attempted by various companies, each with interesting results. Here are three videos which take different approaches to the shoppable video, as well as advice for those looking to follow suit.

1. Juicy Couture – “California dreaming”

Juicy Couture’s spot on YouTube is a fairly standard fashion commercial that uses an opaque box outline to highlight featured products and plug in relevant textual information. The campaign is cute, fun, and blatantly trying to sell you stuff. But in this case, it’s a good thing. As a marketer, you may as well focus on the products you’re selling and encourage the viewer to purchase.

Where Juicy goes wrong, however, is that link for each product navigates the user away from the video. This is a direct byproduct of the lazy use of YouTube’s built-in annotation system, which wasn’t really designed with constant clicking in mind. It’s a real pain to return and start watching again, and as a result of the disruption to the viewing process, this video’s first product sold out quickly and others had to be reduced in price due to low sales.

2. Target – “Falling for you”

For the full film and shoppable experience click here.

Target created a short romantic comedy in three episodes, using a right-aligned scrolling list that adds products as they pop up on screen.

It’s a cute idea, but it doesn’t really come together. The miniseries itself feels like a mix between style inspiration and chick flick. Even worse, while the user is trying to digest the plot, he or she is constantly distracted by the side scrolling products and how they look on the character. The result is an experience that’s not particularly good at either entertaining or converting customers.

The lesson here? Find a medium that naturally shows off your product, like a hair tutorial or a runway shoot. Your viewers will find the video easier to follow and will be more likely to buy the products you’re promoting.

3. SSENSE – “I think she ready” featuring FKi, Iggy Azealia, and Diplo

For the shoppable experience click here.

SSENSE takes celebrity endorsements to a whole new level. In the first shoppable music video, “I Think She Ready,” rappers are wearing SSENSE’s clothing line as they perform. A brief pop-up window and style guide are easy to browse and allow the audience to continue watching the video.

It is a little awkward that each product’s highlight box constantly hovers and moves with the performers – why make it harder for customers to buy your products? The boxes also get in the way, sometimes covering the actors and the clothes they’re wearing. Convincing viewers they want/need your items is much easier when they’re clearly visible and displayed in the best light possible.

The bottom line

Unobtrusively remind your viewers they can buy now. Be too aggressive and it’s a turn-off; be too meek and you won’t get any shoppers. Also keep in mind that until the kinks are worked out (and interactive videos can be more easily embedded on external sites), there will be a lot of trial and error. You’ll have to find the creative and technological solutions that work best for your brand.

Ripen Services:

Can shoppable video help sell your products? Find and choose the right media tools for your ecommerce company with our creative department’s audio/video media services.


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