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Patrick Farley

By Patrick Farley

Product Manager for Interactivity at Brightcove

How to Create Interactive Videos for E-Commerce


E-Commerce Video

Interactive video is one of the biggest opportunities to turn video viewers into e-commerce customers.

Why? Buyers are already interacting with video content before they make a purchasing decision, and most of the journey is done before they say they’re ready to purchase. So it’s critical to leverage this content in a way that tells you not only who these people are and what they care about, but allows you to draw them in and get them to convert.

But buyers today are tough critics, and abandoned carts can come from the smallest details like page load times or too many clicks to purchase. Buyers demand a frictionless online shopping experience, and they’ll expect no less from shoppable video. Taking advantage of interactive video means incorporating video into your e-commerce strategy just like you would any other web-based tactic.

How Video Plays Into an E-Commerce Strategy

Ideally, every video in an e-commerce strategy has a purpose. As with any digital strategy where that next click is king, it’s the same with video. Interactivity is just a fancy term for getting to that next click to keep those people engaged.

Further, there is a natural convergence between e-commerce video strategy and content marketing: A brand is trying to sell products, and there is an accompanying flow of nurturing content. The establishment of deferred intent is critical in order to build up to that purchase moment. Paired together, interactive video and content marketing ultimately lead to more transactions.

So how do you get customers to convert and buy? This depends on using the right type of video to achieve your goal.

Types of Interactive Videos for E-Commerce

E-commerce videos specifically have unique features that ladder up to different results, so it’s important to decide on which type of result you’re looking for.

  • Clickable videos. Promote products or services with a clear call-to-action throughout (like a “Buy Now” button). These videos usually have an ending title card with a link that takes the viewer to the product page where they can make a purchase immediately.
  • Deep content videos. Inform prospects about products and build purchasing intent (think product videos or how-to videos). These videos might include a chapter menu, questions and polls, and resource links for viewers to start their own buying journey.
  • Immersive videos. Build a branded, memorable experience for the viewer. These offer a personalized journey into the brand’s values, usually as branching or 360 video experiences. Though the intent isn’t always e-commerce, they can drive people to a brand’s brick-and-mortar store.
  • Custom experiences. Personalization is powerful—it gets results. Address the customer by their first name in the video or provide viewer-specific content based on information gleaned from polls or quizzes.

Types of Content for E-Commerce Interactive Videos

Content matters as much as the experience. Knowing the consumer trends around video is imperative to creating a successful video e-commerce strategy.

  • How-to/product review. The most popular types of videos on the web after entertainment and music videos are how-to and product reviews. Along with an appetite to understand products, prospects use Google to purchase products or solve problems, so the SEO benefits are significant.
  • Brand overview. Brand overviews—another popular video type—communicate with customers, clarify the brand’s competitive differentiators, and create the expectation of follow-up content. They should be beautiful as well as branded, communicating with sight and sound, not just words.
  • Behind-the-scenes. Behind-the-scenes content builds transparency and loyalty while putting the product front and center. It’s a rich vein of content that you can tap into over and over again, allowing your e-commerce strategy to feed your content marketing plan.
  • Lifestyle. Lifestyle content showcases your brand and products, demonstrating their value in the real world with real people. Testimonials are some of the most powerful pieces of marketing for any brand, and lifestyle content captures this.

Steps to Deploying E-Commerce Interactive Videos

Once you know the role and importance of interactivity in your e-commerce strategy, it’s time to get started with interactive video.

  1. Expand your definition of shoppable video. Start with what you have. Whether you have a few videos or thousands, you can make them shoppable today with simple, clickable CTAs. Pro tip: CTAs on a video perform 3–4 times better than CTAs on a page.
  2. Select your best video(s). Choosing your best video is easy if you only have a few, but choosing among several thousands can be hard. In this case, it’s best to start with a good group of related videos. As you go, assess your current video performance and create a wishlist of what you’d like to improve upon or test in the future.
  3. Optimize throughout the customer journey. Embrace the whole buyer’s journey, and don’t just test interactivity on product pages—every video and page can be improved. Think about where the video is positioned on the page, and get creative with where you can subtly insert content.
  4. Scale your operation. Automation is key. For example, manually inserting product page links on a video or two works for a while, but your video strategy will need more to scale. With video platforms like Brightcove, dynamic CTAs can be automatically created and applied to a video based on its metadata, allowing you to nudge even more viewers further along the check-out process.
  5. Employ the right set of video marketing tools. There are many different measurement methods to employ to track e-commerce performance, from a cart system to web analytics. Regardless of which system you end up using, think about the calls-to-action on a product page, and then translate those web-based CTAs to video. Remember, interactive video operates like the rest of the web, so track e-commerce video as you would any other e-commerce web page.

With the right types of videos aligned to your goals, you’ll find that interactivity fits seamlessly into your e-commerce strategy. And with interactive video, you’ll find the opportunities are just as flexible as anything else on the web.

Learn more in our PLAY episode, “Interactive is the Future of E-Commerce Video”.

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