Shoppable Video to Improve Automatic Video Storytelling

By Patrik - December 3, 2015 (Last updated: April 5, 2017)

Shoppable video is probably here to stay and we will see a lot of creativity in this area as creators discover what technology can help them with. More automaticity, and far better user experiences are definitely on the table, and a gold mine of data as feedback.

Shoppable Video Mood Photo

I have written about shoppable video a few times, keeping one eye on it to see where it goes. Interactive video has been around longer than the web, but the technology have not been up to it. Now technology is around, and experiments move from the lab into the real world. I would say that the issue now is creating that immersive experience, not disturbing the flow of the video. I have three examples for you right now, tackling the experience in different ways, and then I will talk about what really is interesting here (hint: metadata).

The first example is the giant in the house, Youtube, that a few months back added on functionality for the creators to add shopping directly from a video. It works by clicking on a small icon that will show you the items that are sold through the video, and then you are whisked away to that merchant . It feels more like an infomercial or TV Shop, than an immersive shopping experience. Unfortunately I could not see the ads, either because they are not running anymore, or maybe because I am not in their target group.

The second example is a brand new holiday campaign from Ted Baker, with a film made specifically for shopping. It’s more film like in that it is emotion based, with the actors wearing clothes and using accessories that can be bought directly in the movie, using panels that popup when the user clicks. You are still whisked away to another page when you decide to shop, but it does a nice job of showing off what is shoppable in a non-obtrusive way.

The third example is an app called MikMak I downloaded a couple of days ago. It’s all video and shopping. You watch quirky and funny videos about products that you can shop immediately. In this case the experience is the video, and the shopping is not in the way, it’s just there. I think they are onto something, even though I am not the target (but give me muddy trail running in slow motion, and I’m on).

Well, shopping aside, let’s go back to why I think this is interesting. They all (should) generate data about what the user does, and as the user in the end hopefully become a customer, they will have a revenue (as in value) connected directly to that data. They know what drives (at least) consumption, but it is probably possible to deduce other things as well (hey, behavioral scientists, I am looking at you). That metadata is a gold mine for understanding customer behavior, but also for understanding video if you combine the data with data about the video.

Illustrating feedback loop from video to behaviour

Why is this interesting? Because if you know what gets people to buy (or do other things), you also know what catches their attention, and it should be possible to use that data to improve automatic creation of video. I think we will see A/B testing on shoppable video, with the results fed back into the creation of the video, thus aiding the creative process in all from how the “buy buttons” in the video will look like, to the actual storytelling and filming itself (adapting movement, colors, music, etc to each target).

Automatic revenue-driven video storytelling – how’s that for a future?