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Patrick Farley

By Patrick Farley

Product Manager for Interactivity at Brightcove

Getting the Most Out of Interactive Video for E-Commerce


Interactive Video for E-Commerce

Forget “try before you buy.” Today’s consumers are all about watching before they buy. Research from Brightcove shows that 85% of consumers worldwide use video content in some way to inform their online shopping decisions.

The next generation of e-commerce video marketing is here now, too: interactive video. More than eight in 10 shoppers who spend the most money online agree that interactive videos with features such as click-to-purchase links are helpful as they shop online.

The challenge for brands looking to seize this opportunity is that most video platforms don’t offer interactivity directly in the platform. However, Brightcove is one of the few online video platforms (OVPs) that offers interactivity out of the box (OOTB). For a feature designed to improve the customer experience, the benefits of in-platform interactivity are undeniable.

Benefits of OOTB Interactivity

There is, of course, one key benefit to using third-party interactivity: It’s platform agnostic. Most vendors work with a variety of OVPs. While switching video platforms might seem like a hassle, the many benefits of OOTB interactivity (like Brightcove) make it worthwhile.

  • Seamless integration. Features are designed to work with the rest of the software, reducing the amount of time and effort required to get the system up and running.
  • Consistent user experience. There is a consistent user experience for interactive elements, reducing confusion and improving customer engagement.
  • Lower costs. Unlike third-party features that require additional licenses for fees, the cost is included in the software subscription, making the rates more transparent and cost-effective.
  • Greater security. There are more robust security features in place to protect systems and data. You can take advantage of them without having to implement additional security measures for third-party integrated features.
  • Easier maintenance. Interactive features are maintained and updated by the OVP, reducing the burden on you to maintain and update it. Plus, feature enhancements aren’t time-consuming or costly for you—they come with the package.

Interactive Video Features

While OOTB interactivity is still uncommon among OVPs, several features have become standard across interactivity offerings. Overlays, quizzes, chapters, polls, external links, and in-video branching are available on most solutions, including Brightcove.

However, Brightcove has the widest interactivity feature set, including several advanced features that many other platforms do not. The standard features are a step in the right direction, but the following advanced features further interactivity’s goal of making video behave more like the web.

  • Sentiment. A high-performing product video clearly demonstrates interest. But without knowing the customer sentiment, you won’t know if that interest is related to purchases or returns. Embedding a video with sentiment options like thumbs up/thumbs down, star ratings, or emoticons can help you discern the difference.
  • Video-to-video branching. If streaming services have taught us anything, it’s that consumers like the video experience. With video-to-video branching, online shoppers never have to leave. Instead of returning to a menu, they can continue browsing similar or related products from the comfort of your video player.
  • Time triggers. One of the most important rules of interactive video is giving the viewer time to react. Opportunities for feedback or browsing different product videos can quickly become opportunities for frustration if the video continues before the viewer can take action. Time triggers allow you to pause the video at certain points, or skip to another part of the video if no action is taken.
  • Personalization. If your website offers a store login, you can further refine your customers’ viewing experience based on the first-party data they submitted. Like the restaurant server who remembers your name and order, your video player could do the same.
  • Chat. In stores, getting your questions about a product answered is easy—just ask someone. Overlaying third-party messaging programs onto your video provides a similar, digital experience. Why lose an immediate sale when you answer questions in real time?
  • Custom content. Embedding custom forms means that RSVPing to a launch party doesn’t have to wait for a follow-up email. Whether you use Google Forms, Mailchimp, Typeform, Calendly, or Eventbrite, feel free to collect form data without asking your customers to click off the video.

Interactive Video Playback

The most advanced interactive features are worthless if your customers can’t play or properly view the video. Thankfully, interactive video has come a long way; most platforms offer web playback on all the major browsers as well as mobile web playback.

Especially with almost half (42%) of e-commerce now happening on mobile, it’s critical to ensure the video experience is seamless on every user’s device. Unlike some interactive solutions that only offer lightboxes, Brightcove provides inline experiences. While lightboxes are notoriously unresponsive on mobile devices, inline provides a much more user-friendly experience.

Most platforms also allow interactive playback in standard landscape orientation, and some, including Brightcove, allow portrait.

Interactive Video Analytics

Interactive video not only provides a better video experience for online shoppers, it gives marketers more granular behavioral data about their customers. Most solutions offer this through platform analytics, CSV export, API access, and the ability to integrate with Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics.

The metrics offered will vary, but you can expect most platforms to include metrics related to activity stream, aggregate performance, conversion, and overlay clicks. However, few offer stop watching/exit metrics like Brightcove. Similar to a video’s engagement rate, these metrics are key to knowing how your audience is responding to your interactive elements.

For example, just as too many interactive elements can be distracting, so can the wrong element at the wrong time. Stop watching metrics can help you test and isolate the optimum time in a video to place a Buy Now button or a related product link.

Thanks to native MAP integrations, Brightcove also offers user-level reporting like click-through rate, navigation rate, and response rate. If this sounds like an absurd amount of data, it is. This is actually one of the biggest issues with interactivity providers: great data but poor insights.

Marketers don’t just need more data; they need the tools to quickly interpret and act upon it. This is why Brightcove also offers Audience Insights, the leading customer data platform (CDP) specifically designed for video. With proprietary metrics as well as fully aggregated user-level data, Brightcove offers more actionable interactive video insights than any other platform on the market.

How to Compete with Interactive Video in E-Commerce

E-commerce brands know that video can make or break a product purchase. But with so much video content, it’s hard to stand out. And even when you do, it’s often hard to figure out why. It’s not enough knowing that a video was viewed or a call-to-action was clicked. Brands must focus on why a viewer took the next step or dropped off.

While other platforms can produce engaging, interactive videos, most aren’t innovative enough to meet the data-driven demands of e-commerce strategies. Brightcove Interactivity offers everything enterprises need to compete in today’s highly personalized, audience-centric market.