If I asked you to remember the last video you watched online, chances are you could recall watching a video today, let alone within the past week. You’re also not the only one — for example, Facebook users notch 4 billion video views every day according to Re/code (though this could be as high as 8 billion per day now, according to TechCrunch).
While television and thus video advertisements have always been powerful marketing tools, videos haven’t always ruled online advertisements or marketing due to bandwidth limitations for streaming. As more users have access to better internet connections, video content continues to grow and become a massive part of the online experience.
As a result of video’s expanding popularity, brands frequently leverage product videos for advertisements, but the return on investment for product videos can be murky. While in-content product links are easy to track, the effects of video on purchasing when it’s used to advertise are more indirect.
However, the rise of shoppable video is helping eCommerce stores connect their video marketing and advertising efforts directly to product sales.
Imagine watching a video advertisement for a product and being able to view details about the product or add it to a cart without leaving the video. Love that outfit that you see Taylor Swift wearing in a YouTube video of her concert? Click it in the video and you can buy it. Like the sweatshirt your favorite athlete is wearing? Click it to see if it comes in your size. This is what shoppable video can bring to your store and customers.
The concept behind shoppable video is to integrate your information and marketing material (product or promotional videos) with your store to allow customers to purchase what they’re seeing in the video. It allows customers to click within the video to view product information or add a product to the cart, then leads the customer directly into purchasing.
Shoppable video has great potential as products and services are linked elegantly to those featured in a video as part of an overall marketing campaign.
– Source: Econsultancy
Shoppable video has long been a goal of YouTube, and they’re currently trying to make shoppable video available to any YouTube video via Google shopping. Web Pro News also has a great overview of how YouTube shoppable videos are being used by merchants.
However, you don’t have to use YouTube or Google shopping to create shoppable videos, and you can sell via video right on your own site. WooCommerce stores can create WooCommerce shoppable video with the free In Video Shopping plugin from Video Force to create their own shoppable videos.
These interactive videos can be embedded within WooCommerce sites, used in external advertisements, or embedded on other sites such as blog reviews, letting you both market and sell products to customers at the same time.
Shoppable video isn’t a new concept to the largest eCommerce brands, and many have been dabbling with shoppable videos since 2013.
Thirty-nine of Department Stores released a shoppable video in the last year [2013-2014], among them Kohl’s, Sears, and Mr Porter.
– Source: L2
Of the major brands that have tested shoppable videos, many have seen success and high engagement rates. For example:
GAP, which used the Cinematique platform for its “Back to School 2014” campaign, saw 5.9 percent of video viewers click through to a product detail page…
– Source: Digiday
One of the best examples I’ve seen is a recent Puma video, featured on Fashion & Mash, which spends time on each cut to give the viewer a chance to click on interesting items.
Shoppable videos yield high engagement along with the ability to associate promotional or educational videos directly to your sales, making video a more worthwhile (and trackable) investment.
So how can you create your own shoppable videos? All you’ll need is a free WooCommerce extension, which lets WooCommerce stores add products to existing videos. This will allow your customers add products to the cart and get a purchasing link directly from within the video.
WooCommerce stores can get shoppable videos set up with the In Video Shopping for WooCommerce plugin from Video Force. Within a few minutes, you can have credentials and start generating shoppable videos.
Video Force will take your existing video and let you add your product links to videos and the in-video shopping cart. The plugin can be used completely free for up to 50 clicks a month, and offers paid plans for additional clicks.
A “click” is any interaction during a view. For example, if you have 3 products in your video, a customer can click these products multiple times, click the cart, click a product again, etc. This is, as a whole, counted as one “click”.
Essentially, a click is tracked if the customer interacts with the video during the viewing process; if there’s no interaction, then this doesn’t count as a click. You’ll have a maximum possible of 1 click per view. Rather than paying for views, you’d only need to upgrade to a paid plan if your customers interact with your videos.
The first thing you’ll need to do is install the Video Force plugin into your WooCommerce store. This will easily walk you through the process of getting API keys and connecting your store to your videos.
Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin, you can view the plugin settings under WooCommerce > Settings > Integrations. You’ll need to click the “Get API Keys” button to automatically connect your shop.
Once you’ve clicked this button, you’ll be prompted to use your store to sign up.
Then you’ll fill in your details:
You’ll also be prompted by WooCommerce’s OAuth flow to allow Video Force to connect to your store. This automatically generates WooCommerce API keys for Video Force so it can communicate with your store (to add products into videos and set up purchasing):
Once you’ve connected your store, you’ll be given your Video Force API keys, which will complete the information needed for communication between your shop and Video Force.
You’ll enter these in the plugin settings and save them. You’re then ready to go! This connects your shop to Video Force’s servers so they can fetch your products and integrate them into your videos.
As a final set up step, if you want to change the text / wording around actions (such as “Add to Cart”), you can do so under Video Force > Translations.
This gives you the perfect opportunity to adjust messaging as desired to reflect your brand and company voice. The plugin is completely translation-ready, so you can translate it into any language as needed as well.
Now that you have a connected store, you’re ready to get started with your videos 🙂
If you want to customize the colors used on the video player, you can go to Video Force > Player Theme and make a customized video player theme.
You’re then ready to add your first video. Go to Video Force > Videos and click “Add New”. You’ll start by entering the URL for your video, and you can also add a “splash image”, which is shown by default on the video before it’s played.
You can also add one or more products for which icons can be displayed throughout the video, and set when these product links can be shown.
Once you’ve added your products links to the video and determined when in the video they should be shown, you can save your video, and you’ll be able to copy the embed code for your video, which looks something like this:
<iframe src='//player.video-force.com/v1.0/?id=O1oOZoYOZy' allowtransparency='true' frameborder='0' scrolling='no' allowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen width='560' height='315'> </iframe>
You can now use this code on your own site, or on any other site. Customers can add products to the cart within the video, regardless of whether it’s viewed on your site or not.
Purchasing can now be initiated from your WooCommerce shoppable video 🎉
Wherever your video is embedded, users will see it with your splash image.
While watching, your product icons will appear in the location you’ve set in the video settings. Your viewers can click this icon to view the product details, which pauses the video so viewers can look without missing other products in the video.
The product details box will show your image, short description, and a selector for variations if you have a variable product. The viewer can add the product to the cart while watching the video.
When the customer is ready to purchase, s/he can click the cart icon (placed wherever you’ve configured it) to view the products in the cart, and can click “Go to checkout” to complete the purchase at any time.
Clicking this button will redirect the customer to your site’s checkout page, automatically filling the cart with the products the customer added in the video. The order can then be completed on your site once the customer enters his or her information and payment details.
Want to get a feel for how it works? You can check out this demo video:
Creating your shoppable videos with WooCommerce is extremely simple, and you can leverage videos you’ve already created for your store to start selling your products. Since the plugin is very new, there are also some other great features coming soon:
- social sharing will be available soon to add sharing buttons to videos
- a Facebook timeline integration is also in progress and coming soon
- once the Facebook integration is done (to leverage those 4 billion views a day!), integrations with Twitter and Pinterest are planned
- integrations with AffiliateWP and Easy Digital Downloads are also coming
- following integrations, video analytics will be incorporated so you can get more detailed metrics on how your videos perform
- there are also other integrations on the roadmap, such as Wistia and Yoast Video SEO integrations
There are tons of possibilities for improving and tracking shoppable videos, and I’m excited to see some of these added for WooCommerce stores.
You may want to make sure your video is “shoppable-friendly”, especially if you’ll be producing new videos, to get the most out of shoppable video. Combining your product videos and sales can take effort to feel natural to your customers, so here are some things you should keep in mind as you get started with shoppable video:
- Edit the video with shopping in mind: provide cuts long enough for customers to see a product and make a decision to click on it to see more details.
- As Video Force adds icons to the edges of the video’s viewing box rather than letting you place of a click target, you’ll need to coordinate your shots so that icon location complements, rather than interferes with, the showcasing of your products. Keep products centered in the shot, or off to one side.
- You’ll should also time your product integration in the video so that viewers are presented with product purchasing options at the right moment instead of just leaving a product link up the entire time.
There are both pros and cons to using anything, and using shoppable videos to sell your eCommerce products is no different.
Victor Solomon, who created an early shoppable video platform, said on Tech Crunch:
“By and large the biggest challenge of shoppable video is reach.”
Your video distribution will still be up to you. While video is an increasingly popular medium, you need to get it in front of your customers for it to be effective (as is the case with any advertisement).
Depending on your products, video could be a bad fit for you, especially if videos won’t be “evergreen” content sources. For example, if you sell electronics, the time and cost in producing videos may not be justified, as these products will age quickly and the video will become irrelevant to customers. Make sure video is the right fit for your niche.
With that said, there are lots of upsides to providing shoppable videos with WooCommerce. Video is proven to be one of the most popular content mediums online, so shoppable videos let you turn a content consumption vehicle into a sales medium. As shoppable videos can be used to sell directly, they cost of producing videos is less of a black hole for marketing and advertising, and can instead drive sales directly.
Shoppable video lets you integrate your marketing and customer education with the shopping experience. You no longer have to hope that videos have an impact on your customers, and can instead sell and track sales directly from within your video content.
As you probably already have product videos, you can give WooCommerce shoppable videos a try completely free, as you already have your content created, and the In Video Shopping plugin from Video Force lets you use up to 50 clicks per month free.
The In Video Shopping for WooCommerce plugin was released a couple of weeks ago, so it’s still very new and growing. The plugin lets you take existing videos from YouTube, Vimeo, other sources, or videos uploaded to your site and turn them into interactive shopping experiences. I was able to create my own shoppable videos within about 10 minutes using an existing video, so it’s very easy to set up and use.
You can try Video Force completely free with existing product videos to make them shoppable. A free account allows up to 50 clicks (video interactions) per month. WooCommerce shoppable videos give you the opportunity to turn your marketing and educational videos into a direct sales channel.
Ready to get started? You can view more details here: