2013: The Year of Shoppable Video?

What do Gucci, Juicy Couture, Neiman Marcus, Barney’sSSenseTargetASOS, HomeBase, and The Sanctuary Spa have in common?  They are all early adopters of shoppable videos, now an integrated part of YouTube functionality.  Click on an item of furniture, apparel or cosmetics in a YouTube video and an embedded hot link takes you to a product page, or puts the item in a browsing basket to look at later.

These shoppable videos are a tantalising glimpse of the future of social commerce.  Beyond social commerce, we believe shoppable video represents the future of advertising and product placement and we think we’ll see a whole lot more of shoppable video in 2013. At WPP digital agency group Syzygy, we’ve worked up the shoppable video into a concept app, codenamed GOAB (see video below).

Imagine this.  You’re watching the latest Bond movie, Skyfall; you touch (or old skool  – click) Daniel Craig’s Tom Ford suit and the suit is placed into your personal smart locker for you to view, customise and buy later. Or better still, when you see something you like in a movie, you tap your (dimmed) smartphone screen (or use gesture-control connectivity with the smartphone app) – and second screen simultaneous streaming technology captures a screenshot, with hotspots over products linking to product pages. Same goes for ads; tap or gesture to add the product to your shopping list – simple, non-invasive and useful. Checkout how movie theatres are rolling out in-theatre digital services for the hard of hearing or visually impaired.  A tweak of this technology could enable a shopping stream along with movies.

So you heard it here first: 2013 will be the year of the shoppable video in social commerce and beyond.  It won’t be perfect; mere Platonic shadows of what is to come.  We’ll have to crack the nut of intentionality for starters – people watch video for entertainment, not to shop – but we’ve been dealing with this intentionality disconnect for years with social commerce – and we have some solutions. But expect big advertising groups to be all over shoppable video like a rash.  The digital convergence of advertising begins with the shoppable video.  Watch this space.


Interested in making GOAB concept app reality? Contact Susan at Syzygy.

Written by
Paul Marsden

Chartered psychologist specialising in consumer behaviour, wellbeing and technology. Certified CX professional experienced in Design Thinking. A researcher, writer and speaker, Paul is head of Digital Insight at SYZYGY.

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Written by Paul Marsden