The latest development in the social commerce retail model is its fusion with another of the biggest online social media consumption trends – video content. The autumn catwalk season has seen forward-thinking fashion brands trial e-commerce tech company Smartzer’s clickable video technology. Amazon is also in the processing of launching a video shopping start-up, Amazon Live, and YouTube has been experimenting with shoppable video for a couple of years now. However, it looks like 2017/18 is when shoppable video is really going to start to hit the mainstream.
Initial statistics on ‘shoppable video’ content used in general and social e-commerce indicate that it has a real impact in terms of increasing engagement. Smartzer first launched in 2012 but it is the past couple of years that has seen the company’s e-commerce video tech really start to gain traction. John Lewis, Zalando, Burberry and Bulgari have already seen impressive results using Smartzer on their e-commerce websites and the company have now launched a feature facilitating the sharing of shoppable video content within social media apps such as Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram.
Consumers can access a video that includes clickable hotspots by swiping up when viewing a regular video in Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook. The hotspots will standardly be purchasable products present in the video and clicking on a hotspot gives viewers more information on an item or a link taking them to a shop. The click through rate that Smartzer says video content incorporating their technology leads to is a very impressive 12%.
Despite having already made strides in being used on the e-commerce sites of big brands, it is Smartzer’s latest foray into social commerce that holds the potential to catapult the company into the big time. Valentino and MyTheresa’s Fall/Winter ’17 pre-launch used Smartzer technology in a film displaying part of the range and a ‘behind the scenes’ sneak peak of the catwalk show uploaded as an Instagram Story. Views could ‘swipe up’ from Instagram and shop items that appeared in both videos.
SimplyBe also used the technology in a video story of their London Fashion week show that was uploaded within an hour. As well as brands using Smartzer in their own video content, the logical progression can be expected to be social influencers soon using the technology in posts endorsing brands.
If there is any one indication that a young company is onto something it is one or more of the big boys moving into the same space themselves. And that is exactly what Amazon are currently in the process of doing. The retail giants are in the process of hiring a team to work on a shoppable video content product. The company’s current video content is essentially product demonstrations and they have clearly been looking at the success of Smartzer and come to the conclusion that ‘live’ and ‘natural’ video content generates significantly superior engagement. Amazon Live’s team will be tasked with building a product that will help drive its ‘influencers’ social commerce programme that works with YouTube stars to promote products.