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Anaylsis: The rise and rise of shoppable video

Drapers explores why and how an increasing number of retailers are embracing shoppable video

double all store

Double all store

A still from Ted Baker’s shoppable film 

With consumers now watching 100 million hours of video on Facebook and 10 billion videos on Snapchat every day, it has never been more important for retailers to crack watchable and engaging video content. A wave of shoppable videos from big names have been released in the past couple of months, including a live video stream of Gigi Hadid’s much-hyped collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger and a shoppable video for Burberry’s “see now, buy now” collection from luxury online retailer MyTheresa.

“The real potential for shoppable videos has been seen with brands that have started integrating this type of content on their own websites,” says Abi Atkinson, senior video producer at social agency MyClever. “The most effective videos are those that tell a story, rather than being obvious advertising, that have engaged viewers but still allow them to click and buy items within the video.”

Ted Baker is another retailer embracing shoppable films. It launched its Mission Impeccable short film, produced by Guy Ritchie, to promote its autumn 16 collection. Centred around a villain named The Needle, who steals fabrics from spy agency T.E.D, customers click on specific points on-screen to add products to their ‘vault’. At the end of the video, customers are shown their saved items and can then make purchases.

“Shoppable video is another chapter in our ongoing digital development as a brand and we felt this particular project gave it a suitably visible home,” explains Craig Smith, global brand communication director at Ted Baker. “We partnered with both Nordstrom and Selfridges to host and fully support it as well on their sites, and we’re delighted with the outcome across the various territories.”

Smith also hints that Ted Baker could use shoppable video again in the future. “There are a number of other things we’re looking into,” he says, ”so watch this space.”

Sportswear retailer Puma and lingerie brand Boux Avenue have also launched shoppable films in the past 12 months in a bid to help customers find products as easily and quickly as possible. James Fernie, ecommerce director at Boux Avenue, told Drapers shoppable video was the next obvious step and added that the metrics for click-through and conversion exceeded regular content.

So far, the majority of retailers have chosen to host shoppable videos on their own platforms, as in Ted Baker’s Mission Impeccable campaign, with selected partners rather than through YouTube. Atkinson stresses that despite the huge number of videos watched every day on the world’s largest streaming site, there are challenges to be overcome before YouTube becomes a natural home for shoppable content.

“Digital marketers have been experimenting with this type of video marketing since it was introduced on YouTube in 2013, but with erratic results,” says Atkinson. “Since YouTube expanded the software to all videos last year, the popularity is picking up but it’s really beyond YouTube that this type of video marketing will make a difference.

There is a huge potential audience for a shoppable video, but people looking to buy a new top or dress are not likely to think of YouTube as the first choice to shop for one. On a platform like that, it is more likely to succeed in promoting compulsive purchases, such as a viewer seeing something in a music video and buying it.”

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