Shoppable Videos: Content, Ads and Platforms

10 mins

Content marketing is changing. As the practice becomes increasingly commonplace consumers are looking for more interactive and engaging content from their favorite brands. Increasingly short attention spans mean getting noticed and building a long-lasting relationship can no longer be done with uninspired advertising and time-consuming content. According to a report by DemandGen 86% of buyers now prefer interactive visual content that can be accessed on demand.

Expectations are moving to flashy and quick presentations of products through rich content such as videos. But consumers don't just want to passively observe a video they want to interact with it. They want a seamless buying process and this is why shoppable videos and other shoppable media are building momentum.

According to a recent IAB report 40% of marketers are now using shoppable video. This is up from 25% in 2018. Their use has grown steadily over the past five years and this trend is set to continue.

What is a shoppable video?

Shoppable videos feature products and use embedded links to enable viewers to click and purchase those products instantly. This often happens without them ever leaving the video. They enable brands to replicate the experience of visiting their website without the consumer having to leave the social platform they're enjoying.

These interactive videos come in a variety of formats but they always offer consumers a streamlined experience from ad to checkout. Shoppable videos use embedded links to enable viewers to buy products without leaving the video.

In the past videos featuring branded products could only use linked text in the description box or popups to direct viewers to where they could purchase the items. At which point the consumer had to click away from the site they were viewing the video on and navigate to a separate site that required them to go through a lengthy purchase process. It wasn't exactly the most user-friendly consumer path to purchase!

Today the key idea behind shoppable videos is to satisfy the immediate purchasing desire that content creates for the viewer something traditional content formats aren't capable of. Shoppable videos fully integrate stories into the shopping process and products into the storytelling process.

Ultimately shoppable videos remove the friction between marketing and purchasing. They create a seamless path to purchase that doesn't interrupt or detract from the consumer's content experience and enjoyment. Best of all this is a medium that enables impulse purchases online.

What are the benefits of a shoppable video?

There are several benefits associated with using shoppable videos to market products. Some of the top advantages include:

1. A simplified buying funnel

With shoppable video content becomes instantly shoppable. All the consumer needs to do is click add the product to their shopping cart and keep watching the video. This simplified conversion funnel makes life easier for your customers and is likely to lead to more sales for your brand.

2. Increased consumer engagement

51.9% of the marketers across the world say that videos have the best ROI and shoppers who view a video in the pre-purchase stages are 1.81 times more likely to make a purchase than non-viewers.

On top of this statistics show that interactive videos receive 10 times more click-throughs than passive videos. Plus greater engagement should also lead to better brand recall loyalty and sales.

Creating engaging shoppable video content is sure to drive conversions. In fact 85% of consumers say they've made a purchase after watching a video.

3. Improved conversion rates

With shoppable videos it takes just one click for viewers to add a product to their basket and this means they are more likely to convert. There's no need to search Google browse your site or look for a link in the video description. This streamlined consumer journey helps prevent viewers from losing interest before they complete a purchase. That's why studies have found that shoppable videos can increase conversion rates by 30%.

4. Valuable performance insights

Traditionally it is difficult to understand how your video content and campaigns are impacting sales in real terms. However most platforms providing shoppable videos also gather vital real-time performance data. One such platform is ChannelSight's Where to Buy solution which minimises the steps in the consumer journey and delivers a frictionless experience for the consumer from brand content to purchase. The solution provides deep analytics which allows brands to figure out what elements of their campaign are performing best in terms of content creatives channels etc. You can also utilize this data to find potential customers and engage them with highly personalized offers and messaging. This means you'll be able to optimize your shoppable videos and ensure they truly impact your brand's bottom line.

5. A better customer experience

The customer experience can make or break your online store. It impacts everything from conversions and reviews through to repeat purchases and word of mouth recommendations. Creating the best experience possible for your customers is key to any eCommerce marketing strategy. And shoppable videos are a great way to create the most enjoyable and convenient brand experiences possible.

Shoppertainment with shoppable videos

The rise of shoppable videos has also led to the creation of other innovative and interactive online shopping tools.

Shoppertainment is a term that has long been associated with in-store shopping. Retail brands like IKEA TopShop and Disney have traditionally used entertaining experiences to entice customers through the doors of their physical retail stores. But now brands are taking this approach online by integrating eCommerce and video entertainment.

Big names like Burberry Puma L'Oreal and ASOS are creating tutorials how-tos product demos interactive Q&As fashion shows influencer videos and all sorts of other video entertainment for consumers to enjoy. Then when someone spots a product they want to buy they can check out without interrupting their viewing experience.

Building products into entertainment takes native advertising to the next level and allows brands to drive conversions in a new way.

Chinese eCommerce giants like Alibaba are leading the way in this area. But the west isn't too far behind. For example members of the Amazon Brand Registry gain access to Amazon Live which allows them to create live streams within their marketplace store. NBCUniversal has even brought shoppertainment offline by adding mobile-friendly QR codes to some of its ads. More and more brands are likely to introduce new innovations to this area too.

Platforms for shoppable videos

Regular videos are usually compatible with all sorts of online platforms. However when it comes to shoppable videos brands need to create them for release on specific sites. You can release shoppable content on social media platforms live streaming platforms on-demand video platforms and your own eCommerce store. Here's a list of the available options right now.

Amazon Live

As mentioned above brands can use Amazon Live to create interactive live promotions for their marketplace store. These videos will then appear on product pages and the Amazon Live landing page. Brands can also pay to get their live streams in front of more shoppers.


Brands have been able to tag products in their Instagram content since 2018. Today it still remains one of the best shoppable video platforms for brands of every shape and size. Once your business is approved for Instagram Shopping you can tag five products in each video and viewers can conveniently make a purchase without leaving the app.


As the world's fastest growing social network TikTok was quick to adopt shoppable videos. Consumers simply click on a video's product pin to add an item to their cart. Fenty Beauty founder Rihanna frequently uses them as part of her eCommerce social media strategy.

It's also worth noting that both Instagram and TikTok have partnered with Shopify to make it easier for eCommerce merchants to create shoppable content on these platforms.


YouTube has introduced a few different features which enable shoppable videos. These include TrueView cards which add shopping links within videos and CTA buttons which promote specific products. You can also link your Google Merchant Center inventory with your campaigns to make the process quick and simple.

YouTube recently revealed that 89% of its viewers truly trust the product recommendations of its video creators so the platform is now working on creating organic live shopping experiences too.

Other AVOD services

Subscriptions for on-demand video streaming services are on the rise. In fact consumers in the US spend 8.3 billion hours watching them every month. So these are the perfect platforms to broadcast your shoppable videos on.

While Netflix is the most popular streaming platform ad-based services like YouTube Roku Tubi TV and Pluto TV are growing twice as fast. With high engagement rates better targeting and cost-effective ad options OTT advertising is a great placement option for brands that are creating shoppable videos.


If your brand uses influencer marketing this platform will take your campaigns to the next level. Buywith allows influencers to share their screen with followers in real-time as they shop online. Its analytics feature also allows you to understand the impact it has on your store's conversions. Similarly Livescale provides content creators with the tools needed to share custom live shopping experiences. It is used by well-known brands like Vans Kiehls Lancome and Paco Rabanne.

Other platforms

Other shoppable video platforms worth knowing about include NTWRK Spin Yeay Bambuser Clicktivated ShopShops Whatnot Talkshoplive Verishop Supergreat and Popshop Live. And with many of these startup platforms receiving millions of dollars in seed funding and investment they're sure to grow more prominent in the near future.

Other options

With so many different platforms and tools to choose from the thoughts of creating shoppable videos for them all can seem overwhelming. So it's also worth noting that brands can use ChannelSight's Where to Buy tool to add clickable Buy Now buttons to their videos for use across multiple platforms.

ChannelSight is compatible with a wide range of social media and advertising platforms including Google Ads Facebook advertising the Trade Desk and any other platform that accepts third-party links. This is a simple solution for even the most ambitious shoppable video campaigns.

Shoppable Video Examples

You can approach shoppable videos in many different ways. Their content will depend on your goals your budget and your brand's persona. Options will vary from industry to industry too.

Here are some of the best shoppable video examples to inspire you whatever products you're selling!

Ted Baker

Screenshot of film with shoppable gifts from Ted Baker

Back in 2016 Ted Baker enlisted the help of Guy Ritchie to produce two story-driven shoppable videos. The first was a three minute spy thriller entitled Mission Impeccable. Each character wore a clickable item of clothing.

Since its early adoption of shoppable videos the brand has continued to create more. In its stylish film of shoppable Christmas gifts you can click your screen to see a product's title description and price. From there you can choose 'Shop now' to complete your purchase or close the pop-up to continue watching the video. In its first week online this video directly generated �70000 worth of sales for the brand.

What can we learn from this video?

  • Don't link every item. The models are dressed from head to toe in Ted Baker but not every item is labelled. The viewer's attention is directed to handbags gloves and other gift items.
  • Take it slow. You need to provide viewers with plenty of time to click on your products so make sure to lengthen any shots with a featured product.
  • Add text. This can guide users through the experience and add extra context to your videos.
  • Use complementary products. Take the opportunity to showcase items that work well together to encourage multiple purchases. Or if you run a one-product store consider partnering with another brand.


Screenshot from Google Think [Source]

It's not only fashion brands that are taking advantage of shoppable video ads. Wayfair which sells furniture and home goods has been using YouTube's TrueView cards to add shopping links to its campaigns.

It created how-to content offering advice on DIY and decorating to engage its target audience. Though these ads were presented to people who were waiting to watch another video 74% of them watched at least half the ad.

What can we learn from this video?

  • Make valuable content. Videos that are helpful and informative will receive more engagement. A similar campaign of shoppable videos ads by make-up brand Sephora also received significant engagement because its content featured tutorials and how-tos.
  • Draw attention to your CTA. Wayfair used an on-brand shade of purple to draw the viewer's eye to its 'Click to Shop' button.

United Colors of Benetton

Big brands like Benetton use interactive videos to direct people straight from the catwalk to its product pages.

After showing off its 2020 spring/summer collection at Milan Fashion Week Benetton used footage from the runway and the red carpet to create an extremely entertaining and on-brand shoppable video.

Viewers could click the hotspots that appeared on some models to view individual pieces. Or they could select the 'Shop the video' button in the bottom right corner to browse the entire collection.

What can we learn from this video?

  • You can do more than drive sales. The video featured a second CTA button in the top left corner of the screen which encouraged viewers to subscribe to Benetton's newsletter.
  • Events can inspire videos. You can use real-world events to generate excitement and drive sales online. The impact of seeing famous faces among Benetton's runway show audience couldn't be recreated with a scripted video.

Miracle Eye

Screenshots from Miracle Eye's Instagram

In recent years Instagram has introduced a variety of shoppable media. By clicking on tags in newsfeed posts or product stickers in Instagram stories users can make a purchase directly within Instagram.

But businesses that don't have Instagram Shopping set up can simply use the swipe up feature in its stories. Miracle Eye which is an LA-based store that sells handmade clothes and vintage items uses a 'See more' CTA button on its story videos to encourage people to click or swipe through to its website.

What can we learn from this video?

  • Shoppable videos don't always require big budgets. Miracle Eye shows us that you don't need huge amounts of time or money to make impactful shoppable videos. All you need is a camera some products and a tool to tag your video with.
  • Think outside the box. This video was shot on an LA street with a pair of rollerblades. It's not highly produced but it's fun and on-brand. Would props color-matching captions or emojis appeal to your audience?
  • Create a steady journey. When viewers click through from your video to a product try to create a consistent experience. If your aesthetic completely changes they may turn away.

Michelob Ultra

Beer brand Michelob Ultra created some appealing in-banner video ads with the use of Where to Buy technology. Its eye-catching graphics really stand out especially as they move into view and its selection of clickable 'Buy Now' buttons allow viewers to convert on the website of their choice.

What can we learn from this video?

  • Let viewers choose their path to purchase. Michelob Ultra's selection of purchase options personalises the consumer journey offers convenience and improves the customer experience. And all of this means your audience is more likely to convert.
  • List reputable retailers. By listing well-known suppliers such as Instacart and Total Wine Michelob Ultra brings name recognition and a level of trust to its brand - even for viewers who are unfamiliar with its products.
  • Don't be afraid to provide clear directions. Shoppable videos are only beginning to come into the mainstream so it's a good idea to let viewers know that a video is shoppable. Here Michelob Ultra clearly directs its audience to 'choose an online retailer'.

Creating a shoppable video

Creating successful shoppable videos isn't just about repurposing existing video and making it interactive. Nor is it all about big budgets and creating all-singing all-dancing spectacles. Good strategy and strong concepts are key when taking advantage of shoppable video.

Setting up video ads with shopping capabilities requires collaboration between eCommerce and brand teams. Your brand story must be told in the video and backed up by the embedded links that perform the function of getting people to the product purchase page. One element does not have to be sacrificed for the other.

Here are 6 best practices for making an interactive shoppable video:

  1. Let the audience know they can interact. Include a slate at the beginning of the video stating 'this video is interactive' use voiceover/narration or have a presenter talk directly to your audience.
  2. Have a shoppable link within the first few shots. If the audience knows a video is interactive give them the opportunity to do so in the first few seconds. This will maintain their interest encourage interaction and ensure a smooth experience.
  3. Let shots run a little longer. At the points where you want viewers to interact let the shots run a little longer. Three seconds or more should do it.
  4. Focus on a few items. Don't overcrowd a shot. Focus on 2-3 items to avoid overloading the audience with too many options as this may confuse or overwhelm them and actually reduce conversions.
  5. Get the best interaction rates. The best interaction rates come from objects that are in full-frame not abstracted or too close up.
  6. Be creative. Feel free to try new ways of calling your audience to interact and engage.

Final thoughts

Consumers are looking for more interactive and engaging content from their favourite brands. While brands are looking for ways to reduce the friction between marketing and purchasing. Shoppable videos can achieve both.

They help forge an emotional link between the customer and a brand's products which helps to increase consumer engagement. And most importantly they shorten the path to purchase which helps increase conversions. So when will you make a shoppable video the star of your marketing strategy? Want to learn more about the benefits of shoppable videos? Get in touch with our team today.

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