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Shoppable Video: Where eCommerce and Brand Advertising Collide

It’s no big secret that video outperforms static image advertising. Conversion rates soar when you stick some frames together, throw a little noise on top and put them out to the public. With interactive videos, like shoppable video, there’s even more room to improve video advertising results. Users don’t have to passively observe a video, they can now interact with it.

A Nielsen Catalina Solutions ROAS report showed that the average digital video campaign has an ROAS of $1.53. However, when looking at digital video campaigns that were personalized and targeted, the average ROAS jumped to $3.92.

Shoppable video removes numerous steps to purchase allowing users to interact with a video to add items to their cart on a brand’s eCommerce site. Now brands can avoid frustrating potential customers, unable to find particular items. The customer can either add items to their cart directly in the video or go to a product page.

Setting up video ads with shopping capabilities combines both eCommerce and brand marketing into one effort for advertisers. A brand story can be told in the video while the embedded links perform the function of getting people to the product purchase page. One element does not have to be sacrificed for the other and they can mingle in interesting ways. For example, a children’s book publisher could feature their books in an interactive animation that is also a children’s narrative itself. Not a bad idea (don’t steal it, I’m watching you!).

We want to push the brand and get people excited about the things we’re doing. Craig Smith, Brand Communication Director at Ted Baker

Sounds pretty exciting, right? Unfortunately a lot of marketers and brands don’t move beyond that initial excitement and only incorporate shoppable video into a single campaign. Treating the new video format as a one-off novelty campaign. However, with a thoughtful approaches shoppable video can generate fantastic results as companies like Ted Baker have demonstrated.

As the initial novelty wears off, many brands are seeing the opportunity with shoppable video to do double duty, tell a brand’s story and experiment with previous learnings from the plethora of data made available from the format.


Here are some example shoppable videos, starting with two from Ted Baker.


Ted Baker created a 3 minute short film in the style of a James Bond movie that featured the brand’s then latest collection. Clickable icons appear on the clothing items that send the item to a ‘vault’ when clicked. The vault can be added to a shopping bag for purchase at the end of the short film. Ted Baker would go on to remove the ‘vault’ step to make purchasing items from Ted Baker quicker and easier (see below).

Even without the shoppable features, the YouTube version of the video has over four million hits. The video is believed to have increased online purchases and brand engagement by 30%. Let’s hope that covered the costs of employing Guy Ritchie’s assistance in making the film.


The latest shoppable video by U.K. fashion brand, Ted Baker, allows you to explore the 70s retro world of the Bakers in 360 degrees. The video makes it clear what items you can shop by placing a shopping cart symbol over Mr. and Mrs. Baker’s head; the characters with purchasable clothing. Over the course the of the video, you get to see what the Bakers would wear in their front yard, living room, kitchen and more. The items selected are immediately added to a shopping cart you can check out on the site. The complete shoppable video only exists on the Ted Baker website but you can utilize the 360 degree view on YouTube.

  • They have removed the vault reducing the purchase process to to two steps

  • The new video is shorter and includes fewer product shots

  • Ted Baker are tracking which parts of the video are most engaging and how users interact with their site before and after they play the video (making sure you don’t measure your initiatives in a vacuum is an important step for all marketers)

  • The video uses a “choose-your-own adventure” or interactive narrative instead of linear


A touchable video that takes you through the experience of trying to pick an outfit. Viewers can click on any clothing item featured in the video and it will be placed in a circle at the bottom corner of the screen. Users can select the item from the circle which will take them to a description and a ‘buy now’ option. Just a warning, the protagonist is very indecisive but does manage to make that pretty entertaining.


This Fairmont San Francisco video helps customers envision their experience at the hotel while offering products and services that are visible during the video and clickable at the end. The video is intended to help potential customers plan their visit at the hotel and uses the shoppable video format to make those plans easier to put into action. The hotel benefits by increasing awareness of both the hotel itself and specific products they offer in the hotel.


We’ve been doing high-energy, high-fashion digital videos for a while now. Under the old model, you could watch the video and if you saw something you liked, you would have to exit and go to the [ecommerce site] to find it. Now, it’s all one experience—you can shop while you’re watching.Franco Rocchi, Executive Vice-President at Le Château.

The Montreal-based fashion brand teamed up with Spotful to create playful shoppable videos of their summer collection. What Le Château did differently from the other examples is that they expanded the reach of their shoppable video through interactive display.

Le Château partnered with Contobox to make the Spotful shoppable technology compatible in an IAB standard display campaign. Users could expand the display ad units and enjoy the shoppable video without leaving their current webpage. The strategy made every ad unit a pop-up shop seen around the web.


Utilizing Contobox’s proprietary shoppable video technology Ernest created shoppable video display units for mobile and desktop. They spliced high-resolution still photography between lifestyle footage to allow viewers a moment to reflect on the items.

Their expandable display units also allowed them to include more features such as a store locator and lookbook that further enhanced the experience.



An active user is far more likely to make a purchase than a passive one and so encouraging activity through shoppable videos is a must for advertisers.Joe Younes,VP, Innovation & Audience Engagement at Contobox

What these videos all have in common is that they both attract and engage. With strong production and narrative they hold audience attention to drive shoppable interactions. Of course massive budgets aren’t as important as good strategy and strong concepts when taking advantage of shoppable video. But they’ve definitely helped entrants to the format. Now it’s a matter of learning from current shoppable video campaigns and finding the opportunity to scale.

We have seen that video content really boosts conversion at a higher rate across all channels, so we’ve been investing heavily in it.Lorelei Orfeo, Senior Manager of Social and Content at Birchbox


One of the exciting developments in the past few months are the results and insights that shoppable video vanguards are producing. Dr. Brandt Skincare has been beta-testing 3rd party social shoppable video since the beginning of April and has seen a 500 percent lift in direct sales conversions.

These brands aren’t just lifting sales in new and exciting ways, through their shoppable video. They are gathering vital data allowing them to figure out what elements are performing best providing rich actionable insights for brands about their products, creative, and platform.

While shoppable video’s current iterations may not be ideal for brands not engaged in direct sales, it’s only a matter of time before brands with strong distribution partners develop integrations that allow them to take advantage of the first party data available to them through shoppable video.


Shoppers have fewer hoops to jump through before they reach the buy button…based on their feedback, the Ted Baker team decided to simplify the process to two steps.Grace Caffyn, UK Brands Reporter at Digiday

With an influx of first party interaction and conversion data from shoppable video, brands will be poised to tinker and shorten their digital paths to purchase with ease. But most importantly, they’ll be able to utilize this data to find more potential customers and engage them with more personalized offers. Whether it’s through socially shareable shoppable video, or one of their favourite publisher’s sites.

Shoppable video can be used as the starting point of any campaign – with real-time data letting marketers know what products are resonating best. These insights can be scaled quickly to other mediums in a campaign to obtain the best results. It’s market research done digitall with your core audience.

These insights can also be used to deliver better retargeting pools and create stronger lookalike audiences to target across the web. Shoppable video insights can truly be used to strengthen all your marketing channels.

Shoppable videos are a long term investment that require creative production and time. By using the metrics gained from user interaction, shoppable videos can be much more than a one-time experiment. They can increase conversion rates and engagement, making them an indispensable component of your marketing strategy.

If you’re interested in getting started with Shoppable Video check out our product Contobox Video which lets advertisers deliver shoppable video through in-stream and out-stream video advertising.


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