Shoppable Video and Live Shopping: Getting started on Shopify

Shoppable videos and live shopping are fast becoming one of the most trendy topics in e-commerce. It has been estimated by McKinsey that live shopping in the western markets can catch up to China and reach up to 20% of all e-commerce sales by 2025. Similarly, we are seeing more and more videos with shoppable elements that make product discovery and shopping easier than ever before. With over 4.25 million e-commerce stores launched on Shopify, we have put together some insights below for why brands should consider the new shoppable video and live shopping formats as a core pillar in their marketing strategy and how these can be easily implemented on any Shopify or Shopify Plus store. 

Shoppable video: What is it?

Shoppable videos by definition are videos that enable shopping. Whilst watching a video the viewer will be able to see additional details about the featured items, click on these and take an action such as shopping. The first versions of this idea were already seen in the early 2010s, with various versions of shoppable videos starting to gain skyrocketing popularity in the past few years. 

On social media channels such as Instagram the shoppable videos would typically take a form of a video with a product carousel underneath. This carousel would contain some directly featured products as well as other recommended ones. On Youtube, brands would be able to add a few cards alongside the video which would link to products on their e-commerce. On more bespoke platforms, fully interactive shoppable videos with hotspots can be easily created. 

These bespoke shoppable videos are typically used on brand’s e-commerce websites and fully integrated with their product catalog and checkout process. The bespoke shoppable video platforms, of which Smartzer is an example, enable multiple shoppable touchpoints from the shoppable videos. These include shoppable hotspots on the video itself which can trigger a popup with product information. This popup can be product specific or a Shop the Look type popup which enables brands to showcase multiple items easily. Smartzer’s shoppable video player also enables a shoppable carousel as an overlay alongside the video, which also contains all the shoppable products and looks. As the final shoppable element, the video player also includes the shoppable products on the replay screen where viewers can explore the items they saw in the video. 

How brands can launch shoppable videos on their Shopify store

Shoppable videos can be easily launched on Shopify E-commerce Stores using bespoke shoppable video Apps like Smartzer. The app is simply installed from the Shopify App Store which automatically connects the shoppable video building tool with the brand’s Shopify product catalog. The brands can then upload the videos into the shoppable video building tool, import products from their catalog and simply drag and drop these products onto the video to create the shoppable hotspots. The shoppable video player can then be embedded across their store. 

The placement of the shoppable videos can range anything from the homepage to category pages also individual product pages and a blog. Typically shoppable video campaigns would be launched on the homepage or a key category page and then kept for further engagement on less prominent pages. 

Live shopping: What is it? 

Live shopping, the 2.0 of home shopping TV, is one of the latest formats brands are embracing to drive customer engagement, build trust and increase conversion on their e-commerce. This format was first introduced in China in 2016, followed by sharp growth in 2020. In 2022, Live shopping accounted for over 16% of all e-commerce sales in China. Since this, the format is now being adopted by countries globally. Brands are reporting up to 30% conversion rates in parallel with return rates being reduced by 40%. 

Live shopping is a format where a viewer can join a live stream event, ask questions and send comments and reactions in real-time. Viewers can also  explore and shop products directly from the live stream. Live shopping is a great way for brands to showcase products, host exclusive launch events, and offer customers the ability to ask questions about products in real-time, with the end goal of selling more products. 

How can brands launch live shopping on their Shopify store?

Live shopping is available to brands across a multitude of channels from social media such as TikTok shop, all the way through to their own e-commerce. For brands on Shopify, Live shopping can be easily launched using bespoke shoppable video Apps like Smartzer. 

The app is simply installed from the Shopify App Store which automatically connects the live shopping event-building tool with the brand’s Shopify product catalog. The brands can then prepare their live stream event with the live shopping event building tool, import products from their catalog and connect a phone or a camera ready to go live. The live shopping event can then be embedded in their Shopify Store. 

The best placement for the live shopping events is a dedicated “Live Shopping” section of the website. This makes it easy for customers to find the live shopping events and enables brands to highlight the current live show or an upcoming event, as well as to showcase recordings of the previous live shopping events.

Shoppable video and live shopping Integration for Shopify stores

Shoppable video and live shopping integration into Shopify stores are generally super simple. Different pricing plans are available which offer various degrees of integration. For all plans, an automatic integration is set up into the brand’s Shopify product catalog which enables a real-time sync between the shoppable video platform and the product catalog. 

Different integration options are also available for the player embedding and connection to the brand’s Shopify Store checkout. In the most simple embedding, the shoppable products in the video open a popup that contains a summary of the product details with a link to the product page. The link to the product page can either open in a new tab or open the product page with the video minimizing in a “Picture in Picture” format. 

It is possible to also create a seamless integration between the shoppable videos and live shopping events and the Shopify store checkout. By using this integration, products can be added directly to the shopping cart of the store without leaving the video. The players themselves can also be embedded through multiple different solutions, ranging from sharing them as a bespoke section to embedding them through a page or code. 

Shoppable video and live shopping Integration for Shopify Plus stores

The integration for Shopify Plus stores are very similar to Shopify stores. The additional integration available for Shopify Plus stores is the ability to set up market localization for languages and currencies for stores that operate across multiple markets. 

How to measure video shopping performance on Shopify

In addition to offering a great customer experience through seamless shopping, shoppable videos and live shopping events enable brands to gather detailed data on user interests, interactions, and video performance. Platforms like Smartzer provide access to a bespoke analytic dashboard with detailed performance data for shoppable videos and live shopping events. Integrations are also available to measure sales generated from video shopping for full end-to-end performance tracking. 

Easy-to-use shoppable video and live shopping platforms like Smartzer offer brands a great way to get started on their video shopping strategy. If you would like to learn more about this, do get in touch with Smartzer’s team here