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Brands Sound Off: How Shoppable Video Will Change the Game for the Post-Pandemic Retail World

Social commerce combines the persuasive power of social media and e-commerce to deliver immersive shopping experiences. Recent research predicts that, by 2028, the global market size for social commerce will have grown by 28.4% to US$3,370 billion, with China being the current forerunner.

Interactive shoppable videos, an important component of social commerce, are those that viewers can click to browse product details, make purchases, and perform other tasks. To explore how organizations in the U.K. are leveraging shoppable video, Cloudinary held a virtual event called Shoppable Video Panel and Mixology on September 29 in partnership with The Ecommerce Club, which is dedicated to encouraging and supporting retailers in developing e-commerce expertise.

The panel was hosted by Pradip Lal, senior product marketing manager for Cloudinary. The panelists, who hailed from different verticals but shared common viewpoints on the outstanding role Shoppable Video plays in marketing’s future, were—

  • Muna Khan, CTO, Science in Sport (SIS)
  • Nick King, head of insights and director of market research, Autotrader
  • Camilla Tress, connected commerce lead, Oliver Bonas

Here’s a summary of the discussions at the event:

The growth of video is nothing short of being explosive, as testified by these compelling stats cited by Pradip, the first two from an Explain Ninja post:

  • Viewers retain 95% of messages conveyed by video and only 10% of those by text.
  • Social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined.
  • Video results in an 80% higher conversion for Cloudinary customers, as revealed in Cloudinary’s 2021 State of Visual Media Report.

Even though it’s a cinch to create and post video on social networks, a growing number of companies, especially the larger ones, are rethinking their approach of generating customer experiences. Why? Because those enterprises desire more control over their digital DNA, including video production. However, as noted by Pradip, developing technologies for creating, optimizing, and delivering videos is a major challenge.

Not only did British lifestyle brand Oliver Bonas gain a huge volume of new online customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, its customer demographics also changed drastically. The number of 18-25-year-olds who visited the site grew by 350%, Camilla said.
Younger shoppers are especially keen to engage with Shoppable Video and will be instrumental in ushering in its adoption in most of e-commerce. Muna compared the rise of social commerce to the embracement of other media trends, such as the use of more and more images in communication and digital experiences. Despite resistance from some companies, younger audiences coupled with the evolution of technology-driven devices have propelled the adoption of visual media at scale. To Muna, Shoppable Video is a natural progression.

Nick referenced research from McKinsey that showed that the past year has seen seven years’ worth of technology adoption. No wonder companies feel like being in catch-up mode at all times. In particular, many businesses are looking for simple, flexible, and intuitive solutions for scaling emerging video formats, including Shoppable Video. An example Nick cited was Autotrader, an online marketplace intent on simplifying car purchases and in search of a tool that facilitates the creation of Shoppable Videos by franchise owners.

Now that technology platforms like Cloudinary are making it a breeze to build Shoppable Videos, brands and retailers can focus on developing the strongest content possible. “You must engage the audience with riveting material given all the noise out there,” Camilla said. Muna suggested making videos that are practical, personalized, and lucid. “People are short of time and impatient so it behooves you to streamline content as much as possible and make it relevant to the consumer. “That’s how I see the future going,” she added.

According to Camilla, the future of Shoppable Video is reflected in the state of e-commerce in China and Southeast Asia. In China, live commerce, which enables audiences to make purchases instantaneously and participate in the programming through chat features or reaction buttons, reached an estimated $171 billion in sales in 2020, transforming the retail industry in less than five years, says a McKinsey report. In markets where Shoppable Video has yet to catch on, retailers can gain a significant advantage by jumping on that bandwagon. “Content, community, and commerce all joining together—that appears to be the future,” Camilla said.

Speaking of community, we are grateful to those who joined the panel and cocktail-making session and hope that you had a delightful time. Thanks also to the panelists for their illuminating insights. Cloudinary aims to simplify the technical components of Shoppable Video so that you can focus on building captivating content to foster relationships, educate users, and drive sales. For details on how Cloudinary can advance your Shoppable Video strategy, contact us please.

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