Shoppable Videos – The Next Big Thing?

Online shopping is huge. Actually, everything and anything done online means many opportunities and big business. We have consistently reported how e-commerce, driven by mobile web, is booming in the country. Despite of this dizzying growth, the true potential of online shopping remains to be exploited. Marketers and e-tailers are always on the look-out of better advertising and marketing techniques; techniques that will help them attract more customers and keep them ‘locked’ on their site. Usually, these ads follow the pay-per-click or online display ads format.

Given the competition and the sheer number of brands that are present online, it then becomes imperative for brands to find ways to stand out and to attract customers in a way that is unique and one that can ensure sales. Possibly, Shoppable Video is just the thing that will immensely boost online shopping sales. Shoppable Video is a concept that is in its infancy and is being tried on Google’s YouTube platform.

Using this feature, uses can move their mouse over products that are seen in the video; once a product is clicked on, an embedded hot link will take the user to the product page from which he/she will be able to make an instant purchase.

A few international brands like Gucci, Burberry, Juicy Couture, Neiman Marcus are already making use of this feature to boost sales. And it is working!

According to YouTube, four in ten users visited the brick-and-mortar store and/or online store after seeing a shoppable video. Companies using this online video sales promotion platform experienced a 20%-40% increase in sales. A survey done indicated that 34% of apparel shoppers were more likely to shop online after seeing shoppable videos. When Dailymotion (the European rival of YouTube) introduced shoppable (clickable) videos, the company noticed that a user will click on the on items in the videos one to three times in a minute, thus producing a click-through rate of around 55%.

With shoppable videos, the online shopping experience is definitely going to improve and get more instant. Users will no longer have to hunt for the shirt they saw that model wearing, instead it will be just a click away! Right now, it is social media sites like Pinterest, who are driving e-commerce sales. On these platforms, brands are required to continuously promote their products; while this may result in awareness it may not necessarily lead to sales as there is no way to shop directly (click on image and get redirected) from Pinterest or other social media platforms, a short-coming that shoppable videos instantly solves.

While Indian brands are adopting e-commerce and are focussed on improving their UI to attract customers, I wonder how soon they will adopt shoppable videos. To know who will be the first Indian brand to do so, watch this space.

Click here to see the campaign presented by Gucci as a the perfect example of advertising through shoppable videos.


Image Courtesy |  video-commerce

2 Responses to “Shoppable Videos – The Next Big Thing?”

  1. December 11, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    Hilonee, we’re quite active on You Tube, but somehow missed hearing of this new feature. So thanks a lot for putting it up.

    Two thoughts came to my mind,
    1) OEM/ Retailer videos: For a user this would be a great feature if videos by OEMs (or even retailers) had the link to an onine shopping page. I can definitely see more advertising money moving to online. Great move by YouTube/ Google (you can’t click a newspaper or magazine!)

    2) User review videos: For this category, it gets tricky. Many You Tube channels, like ours, have been built on the back of user generated contents. How would a user perceive video reviews – if it was known that the links from the video were being auctioned to the highest bidder (online store). Am sure there are many layers of potential conflict of interest which will need to be addressed

    ps: I suspect the psychological satisfaction of “clicking” on your favourite star is certainly a topic for a future blog post

  2. Hilonee
    December 11, 2012 at 2:34 pm #


    You are right when you say that there is going to be more advertising money pouring in. I guess a good ROI is what shoppable videos promises.

    Of course this trend is in its infancy and it *primarily* is an advertising tool for brands. The whole angle of user-generated reviews and content is something the brands can (and I am sure) will explore later. For now, the focus remains to drive advertising in this shoppable video direction. :)

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