The future of shopping: part two

In the second part of what's to come in buying, strategy looks at the future of shoppable videos.

Last time, in this two-part series on what’s to come in buying, strategy looked at how ordinary surfaces like walls (inside and outside of retail) and magazines are evolving and shaping the way consumers shop. Today, we look at where the concept of shoppable videos is today and where it’ll likely be tomorrow.  

Shoppable videos merge brand building and product play

What’s really piquing the interest of marketers these days is t-commerce, or the shoppable screen. H&M recently debuted the first shoppable ad on TV during the Super Bowl, with technology from Delivery Agent in the U.S. allowing viewers with a Samsung television to purchase David Beckham’s underwear during the commercial.

“This new way of shopping – through the television – addresses changes in consumer behaviour brought, in part, by connectivity in the living room,” says Kim Marder, chief media officer at Delivery Agent. “T-commerce [enables] consumers to act on impulse and purchase directly from an ad… suddenly television advertising has become actionable and accountable.”

How-to videos on YouTube are becoming a popular way to use click-to-shop technology, with Tresemme‘s channel providing links to products used in spots that show viewers how to wear an up-do, for example, and more recently, launching its own shoppable videos destination with clickable how-to gardening segments.

Shoppable videos have made it easier for marketers to combine a branding message with a product, says Frederick Lecoq, VP of marketing for Sport Chek. Recently, the retailer partnered with Google to create an interactive YouTube video with digital tags embedded, allowing viewers to purchase featured items worn by athletes in a spot during the Sochi Olympics.

“[Marketers] have been trying to figure out how to turn the flyer into a brand play. You can make it brand-friendly, but it’ll never be a brand builder,” he says. “Shoppable videos are giving us the tools and opportunity to…deliver on a brand promise, but at the same time, link it to the business.”

Movies: the next shopping channel 

Though Lecoq says today’s shoppable video tends to be disruptive (the items float on the right side of the video and redirect the viewer to purchase on the Sport Chek site when clicked), he’s happy with the engagement results so far. The video has generated a seven-times-higher-click-through rate than traditional display ads typically receive, he says, without disclosing sales of the items as a result of the execution.

“There are some technical limitations, but there are companies working on solutions right now,” he says of what’s to come. “In the near future, you could be watching a movie, and when you pause to look at the items the actors are wearing, [you can] then purchase [them]. Right now you need to go to a separate website to purchase it, but soon there will be shoppable movies. Product placement will make even more sense than what we’re doing now.”