Social commerce is a rapidly growing segment of ecommerce, and most social platforms continue to introduce in-app tools that support the marketing efforts of ecommerce brands and retailers.
Not only does the growth of social commerce bring in extra revenue for the social media platforms, but it also fuels growth for small and medium-sized brands and retail businesses.
Convenience in Social Shopping
Shoppable content is growing in popularity as consumers expect convenience from the brands they’re loyal to. 9 out of 10 customers say they would choose a retailer that helps them save time and effort over another option.. This is why many brands choose to incorporate social commerce on their existing ecommerce websites, showcasing user-generated content (UGC) from real customers that site visitors can shop directly from. If you’re interested in extending social selling to your site, Pixlee allows you to collect, publish, and tag UGC in shoppable website widgets.
Cosmetics brand Morphe lets site visitors “shop the ‘gram,” tagging products in community Instagram posts and displaying them on-site.
With low attention spans and busy lifestyles, providing ease and speed in a shopping experience is essential. This is where shoppable video content comes in; 68% of consumers said the pandemic has made them watch more videos online, and 74% of marketers are planning to increase their video content budgets as 2022 progresses.
A combination of convenience and the popularity of video content leads us to shoppable video content. Although wildly popular among brands on social media at the moment, it’s still a relatively new concept and comes with several benefits ecommerce marketers should be aware of.
What is Shoppable Content?
If you have used Instagram before, you’ve probably noticed images with clickable links directly on the post; that’s shoppable content.
Let’s say you like a specific product in that image. Because it’s made shoppable on the app, clicking the link on the post directs you to the product page, and you can purchase that product. Today, apps like Instagram have made it so shoppers don’t even have to leave the Instagram app to peruse products and check out.
Here is an excellent example of how athletic apparel brand Alo Yoga shares shoppable content on Instagram:
Because any content can be made shoppable with product tagging, leading brands in community-driven marketing (like Alo) often share shoppable UGC from the brand’s own customers.
Beyond Social: The Deeper Value of Shoppable Video Content
Shoppable videos are valuable content to help customers contextualize products by viewing them in-action while letting them purchase with ease. While shoppable video content is primarily used as an asset by brands on social media, it’s far beyond a social phenomenon. Innovative brands utilize shoppable videos in other areas of their marketing, such as on-site galleries or product pages.
For the brand’s first TikTok Fashion Show, Puma partnered with several well-known creators, challenging them to incorporate specific Puma graphics into their own unique designs. Puma then used Pixlee to create a gallery of the brand’s TikTok videos showcasing brand products and influencer content. This is a great example of shoppable videos created for social being used at another marketing touchpoint.
So how do you create a shoppable video, either paid or unpaid, on your favorite social channels? The most popular social media platforms offering this feature are TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. Let’s go through the best types to use and how to set them up for your business.
Shoppable TikTok With Shopify
TikTok has quickly grown to become one of the most popular social media platforms for marketing, specifically through UGC and an algorithm that makes it easy for content to go viral regardless of a user’s follower count. With over 2.6 billion downloads and 1 billion active users, it is a go-to platform for ecommerce marketers looking to break into social media.
TikTok has already taken steps towards shoppable features with Hashtag Challenge Plus, which was launched specifically for e-commerce businesses. Customers can click directly on the campaign’s link and be directed to a brand-specific landing page, with one tab for videos (content) and one for discovery (for in-app shopping).
But in 2020, the community video-sharing social media platform took a step further by partnering with the popular hosted ecommerce platform Shopify, allowing businesses to directly integrate with TikTok to easily tag products displayed on these videos.
This new feature was announced in August 2021 and lets all Shopify merchants sync their products with their TikTok Business accounts. TikTok Business users can add a shopping tab to their TikTok profile pages and sync all products available in their store to be shown there.
Shopify merchants can link products shown in the videos directly to their shop by tagging them in their video content. Check out our full guide to running a TikTok ad campaign for paid content, or our tips for higher TikTok engagement on organic content to get started with your shoppable video strategy.
How to integrate TikTok and Shopify accounts?
Shopify users in the US and UK can currently try out this new feature for free. Here’s how:
- Set up a TikTok Business account.
- Easily connect your Shopify and TikTok accounts.
- Add all hashtags to follow.
- All videos with these hashtags will appear and you can tag your products, or approve or reject video content and products you want to appear on your store. There are no limits to how many videos you can sync and how many products you can tag.
- TikTok creates a dedicated page for you with tagged items. You can also embed these videos directly into your home page.
Shoppable Video Content on Instagram
Instagram has been leading the way for shoppable features on social media platforms. With over 1.3 billion active users, Instagram is the fourth most popular social media site, just after Facebook, YouTube, and Whatsapp.
What’s more, a rough estimation of advertising revenue from Instagram in the US was nearly $10 billion in 2019, according to research by Statista. Loaded with features to support social selling, Instagram is another great option for your shoppable video strategy.
Instagram introduced its array of shoppable commerce features in 2020 with Shops, enabling brands to have their storefronts and link their content directly to their product pages and allowing customers to check out now on the app.
Since then, Instagram has built on shoppable content features with immersive videos. Brands can make their Instagram videos shoppable by adding product tags or shopping stickers in the content — on Reels, Stories, or create standalone shoppable videos.
You can tag products on Instagram Reels by adding a “view products” link that directs customers to your product page, where customers can purchase it directly or continue shopping for other items.
For example, pillow and sleep accessory brand Kally Sleep shares shoppable Reels linking to the brand’s in-app shopping experience.
Setting up Shoppable Videos on Instagram
Instagram has put together a great 7-step guide to product tagging. One thing to note is that this feature might not be available in all regions, so first, check your eligibility. Here are the steps Instagram outlines to set up shoppable video content:
- Confirm that shoppable video is available in your region.
- Set up an Instagram Business Account.
- Connect your brand’s Facebook account.
- Upload your ecommerce product catalog.
- Submit your catalog and account for review.
- Turn on shoppable features in your business account’s settings.
- Tag products in Reels, Stories, or paid video advertisements.
For a more in-depth look into each of these steps, head to Instagram’s full guide.
Shoppable Video Content on YouTube
By the number of active users, YouTube is a leading social media platform with over 2.2 billion users, coming second just after Facebook, shows Statista.
YouTube does, however, hold the number one place as the most popular video hosting platform, which is why the channel has also embraced shoppable ecommerce content.
In 2020, YouTube launched its first shoppable video “shop now” button. It is currently testing its new e-commerce feature – shopping for products directly from live stream videos.
Viewers can tap on the products in the video if you add a “view products” button and list the items featured in this video, where they can also purchase them.
How to set up shoppable videos on YouTube?
As YouTube is part of Google, businesses who wish to utilize YouTube shoppable video content for their products and brand management have to sync their account with Google Merchant Center.
Syncing the video content to your Merchant Center will allow you to quickly expand click-to-action (CTA) buttons to all featured products. Before publishing the video content, brands have to make sure all items are in stock.
Shoppable Social Videos to Increase Sales and Visibility
If you are still unsure about how to promote your online store, and whether shoppable content will do the job, check out some of our resources on social commerce to get more familiar with the scene before diving in.
Shoppable video content can positively affect brand visibility and increase revenue through faster and more effective customer journeys.
As convenience continues to become an essential part of the shopping experience, and as online competition grows, businesses will have to look for additional ways to engage consumers, especially on social media. Shoppable video content is a great and easy place to start.
Kadi is a Content Writer for the HelpCenter app. She has got extensive knowledge and background in the e-commerce industry gained from working for fashion & retail e-commerce companies. She loves finding ways to help customers grow and enjoys contributing with helpful content and thought leadership articles.