Video Stories Step into the world of interactive videos. Our blogs give you an inside look into creating video content for your e-commerce store. Learn how you can drive customer engagement and turn one-on-one conversations into conversions.
eCommerce Guide: Strategies for Driving Conversions and Scaling Your Business Introduction
E-commerce is a rapidly growing industry, and with more and more people turning to online shopping, it's more important than ever for businesses to have a strong online presence. In a recent webinar with Tim Masek (CEO, 1-800-D2C) and Anaita Sarkar (Author, Sell Anything Online), they shared proven key strategies for driving conversions and scaling your eCommerce business.
Exciting New Tools
Fondue: Offers cash back incentives to customers. Discounts are shortsighted, lack longevity, and are a huge loss of revenue. Discounts also capture the wrong type of customers who are motivated by discount incentives and won’t buy your product at full price. A better solution is to offer customers cash back. Those who are discount incentivized are still motivated to purchase. Those who aren’t motivated by discounts won’t redeem the cash back, and the money will go back into your business.
Bounty: Automate the process of gathering UGC and purchasing the rights to use the videos. Bounty empowers the everyday customer to become a creator by incentivizing them with cash based on how many views their videos receive. Businesses can gather more UGC at a lower price.
Tolstoy: Add UGC to your online store. With Tolstoy you can get more mileage out of your social media videos by having them live on your site. With scrollable video feeds on your site, customers will spend more time on your site and have a larger AOV.
Spellbound: Create interactive emails to engage customers and collect data. Stop making your emails sound like a sales pitch, turn them into a 2-way conversion. It’s high touch and you gather feedback.
Most Popular Tech Stack for Launching an eCommerce Business
Best to start with:
Shopify: Commerce platform providing trusted tools to start, grow, market, and manage a retail business of any size.
Klaviyo: Automates personalized email and SMS communications. Connects to your store to create customer segments based on past purchasing behaviors, customer preferences, and even future predictions of spending.
Gorgias: Customer support platform to chat with customers, edit orders, modify subscriptions, and refund payments
Junip: Collect reviews via email and SMS. Leverage photos and videos from customers to share directly on your storefront.
Okendo: Capture and showcase social proof such as product ratings and reviews, customer photos, videos, and Q&A.
Easy add ons to take your store to the next level:
Social Snowball: Automated affiliate acquisition, one click universal payouts, and a simple interface for eCommerce merchants selling on Shopify.
Superfiliate: Personalized storefronts for your best customers, influencers, and affiliates
Smartrr: Subscription app built to increase LTV, Smartrr increases customer engagement and brand affinity with a variety of out-of-the-box subscription models, flexible subscription management options, loyalty rewards, referrals, and member-only benefits. High-growth brands, such as Starface and Bloom, have seen an average of 5X more sales over the lifetime of a subscriber.
Skio: Subscription platform that is multilingual and gives customers an easy way to login to their account (passwordless login via SMS code).
Bounty: Drive growth by generating more UGC videos. At checkout an automated message will be sent to customers to encourage them to take a video review of your product and post it on TikTok.
Tolstoy: Increase conversions and leverage UGC by strategically adding interactive videos throughout your customers shopping journey.
Tools to Significantly Improve Website Conversion
Kno: If you’re advertising on TikTok, you need a post-purchase survey. KNO helps ad buyers better understand who their customers are, and where they’re coming from. Dial in your post-iOS 14 attribution, build more accurate personas, and drive action with pre-built post-purchase survey templates.
Oddit: eCommerce designers take an unbiased look at your website and gives you constructive feedback on changes you can make to your site to boost long-term conversion & strengthen brand loyalty. In Tim's words, Oddit will “roast your website.”
Clarity: Tim's most shocking finding of 2022. Clarity by Microsoft is a free research software that does heat mapping and scroll mapping.
Tolstoy: Having UGC or video content in strategic places throughout your entire eCommerce experience will help you drive hard conversions.
New Trend that Could Help DTC Merchants Get Off the Ground
Managed marketplaces can help DTC merchants get their products in front of a wider audience and increase their visibility. AOV is much larger than it would've been for a single store. An example of a managed marketplace is Ohne, a curated destination for a community looking for the best products in period care, sexual wellness and wellbeing. Brands that have seen an increase in conversions from using marketplace cross-selling are Blendjet and Manduka.
Carro automates marketplaces by connecting Shopify stores together to enable cross-store selling. Using Carro you can sell your products on leading stores, sell their products on yours, or both. Best thing about Carro is you don't have to hold any inventory because the merchant will ship the product.
5 Steps to Scaling Your Business
Tim shares his learnings gathered from interviewing 50+ eCommerce founders - you can view his full interviews from Under The Hood here.
Start with a remarkable product: “Consumers are the fortune tellers,” if it’s a good product, you will grow organically by word-of-mouth. Jeff, founder of Ugmonk, and Mike, founder of Windmill, are great examples of businesses that have started with a strong product and have seen success as a result. Unit economics are critical to growth: Don’t lose sight of your goals and get trapped in the appeal of growing at any cost – like spending too much money on ads and PR. Always keep your eye on a high profit margin. Matt, founder of Spacegoods, set himself up for success by creating a business model that led to a 85% profit margin.Paid advertising: Raize, Keto cookies, increased their monthly revenue from $10k per month to $50k per month by adding paid campaigns. Raize scaled exclusively with Facebook Ads. Other advertising channels like TikTok and Instagram can be explored, but traditional advertising on Facebook is reliable, and it works. Effective communication: Have a cohesive storyline from ad to landing page. Ask yourself, “what is the consumer’s goal?” and “how will they feel when they land on my page?” Landing pages are an incredible way to increase conversions. If a consumer comes across an ad for padded bags, when they click the ad, they should be taken to a landing page that features padded bags, not the generic homepage for all different types of bags offered. Anaita uses Shogun to create dedicated landing pages for targeted ads. Listen to customers: Jones Road Listening to customers (Eli) / making tweaks to Klaviyo flows / adding bundles / refining referral mechanisms. (Amelie at Underdays)
Using 1-800-D2C for Competitive Analysis and Industry Insights
1-800-D2C has a comprehensive list eCommerce companies and what software tools they are using. 1-800-D2C can be used as a tool to do a competitive analysis on similar merchants within your vertical. For example, you can see what software a competing business is using to help guide their consumers in sizing. Another way to use 1-800-D2C is to see what tools are popular in other industries and how you can apply it to your business.
The Future of eCommerce, is DTC Dead?
Despite the challenges of the past year, DTC is far from dead. In fact, more people are selling online than ever before, with estimates showing an increase of over 200% in the last two years.
Having a strong product, effective communication, and utilizing the right technology stack are all key strategies for building and scaling a successful eCommerce business. Additionally, managed marketplaces can be a great option for DTC merchants looking to increase their visibility and reach a wider audience. DTC is growing and the market is ripe with opportunities.
Video marketing 5 Clever Product Explainer Video Examples to Draw Inspiration From in 2023 Product explainer videos, what are they?
These clever videos are an effective way to quickly and clearly communicate the benefits of a product or service to customers. They are designed to grab attention, create interest, and motivate viewers to take action. Product explainer videos can be used in various stages of the marketing funnel—from generating leads at the top of the funnel (TOFU) to converting prospects into customers near the bottom (BOFU).
These videos make it easier for marketers to reach their target audience, build trust with potential customers, and increase conversions.
Structure of Product Explainer Videos
Product explainer videos are typically structured in 4 parts:
Introduction of the problem that the audience might have
The introduction part sets the tone for the video, presenting a relatable context in which the audience might need the product or service. Explanation of the product’s key features and benefits related to the problem
The explanation part helps explain why customers should buy the product, focusing on its features and benefits. Examples of how the product works
Examples help demonstrate how the product can be used in real-life scenarios. A call-to-action
Finally, the call-to-action encourages viewers to take action, such as buying or signing up for a service.
With all that in mind, let’s look at 5 clever product explainer videos that you can use as inspiration in 2023.
» Learn more about how interactive video marketing can improve customer experience
Spotify is a music streaming service that has become increasingly popular over the years. 11 years ago, Spotify introduced the app with this creative ad video for the brand, gaining millions of views and subscriptions. Its product explainer video focuses on how easy it is to use the platform, with an upbeat tone that perfectly captures its target audience.
The one thing we love about it is how it uses simple visuals to explain the concept of the product without the need for voiceover. The creativity and simplicity of the music, brand colors, and concept made it more engaging and appealing.
An indicator of a good explainer video is when it sticks to the point, and that’s exactly what Ahrefs did with theirs. This SEO tool has one of the best explainer videos out there. This is simply due to the fact that the video explains its features in a straightforward manner. It does an excellent job of highlighting how the tool works and why people should be using it.
In this video in particular, Ahrefs played with engaging animation following a friendly voice that clarifies the "problem," or the "pain points," of their audience. It's simple but creative—but it's also detailed and perhaps a bit "longer," showing their target audience exactly what Ahrefs can do for them.
3. Dollar Shave Club
Razor brand advertisements can be successful by using humor to draw in their young-adult male target audience. That's how Dollar Shave Club did it. Its explainer video uses comedy to capture the viewers’ attention, while quickly and effectively showing the product's features and benefits. The video cleverly uses metaphors such as “A dollar a month to shave time and shave money” to explain why Dollar Shave Club is a better choice than other competitors.
If you ask us, never shy away from getting creative when it comes to showcasing your product or service—you have to stand out, and this Dollar Shave Club video definitely succeeds in that.
A great example of a product explainer video is the one available on ZAILA's website. This video clearly and effectively explains how to use the product, shows the proper quantities, and showcases the benefits it can provide for your skin. The demonstrator also uses the product on herself, which shows viewers the results of using this particular skincare brand.
By doing this in their explainer video, they managed to show potential customers why and how their skincare products can help them, while also building trust and creating a strong sense of community.
Buoy is a brand that sells electrolytes to maintain electrolyte balance in the body. Similar to that of ZAILA, their product explainer video also clearly shows how to use the product and how much of it you should use. It also briefly lists the benefits that come with it. Of course, there may be differences based on their respective industries, but the purpose of the video is the same—to provide viewers with an easy-to-understand explanation of their product.
The best part about this explainer video is probably its creative approach, featuring a very creative backdrop and moving illustrations that help deliver the key message of their product. This video is an example of how you can make a great explainer video without having to spend too much money on production and animation.
Why Are Product Explainer Videos Useful?
Explainer videos have become an important part of marketing. Through visuals and audio, explainer videos effectively demonstrate the features of a product or service in an engaging and easily digestible way. This is also useful for growing businesses that may not have the budget for costly marketing campaigns, as it’s relatively easy and cost-effective to create a unique explainer video.
Explainer videos are also great for establishing trust between the customer and the company, as they provide an opportunity to demonstrate what the product or service can do in an authentic way. By creating a compelling explainer video, you can quickly and effectively establish your company as a legitimate source of information, providing customers with the assurance that your product or service is worth investing in.
In conclusion, explainer videos are an incredibly effective way to get your message across and build trust between your business and its potential customers.
» Want to stand out from the crowd? Use interactive videos for your brand Video marketing 3 Tips for Using Videos to Create Better Shoppable Customer Experiences This likely isn’t a surprise to anyone, but online shopping is quite popular today. Consumers are flocking to the digital world for convenience, and it’s up to businesses like yours to make sure they have a positive experience. The challenge today is—how do you do that?
Using videos is an excellent way to add value and create a better shoppable customer experience. They are engaging and interactive, and they help people feel more connected with your brand. But, it’s important for you to know how to use videos the right way.
Additionally, when it comes to online shopping, customers want convenience and immediacy. They want to buy what they need quickly and easily, without any hassle.
So what can you do to make sure your customers have a great shoppable experience using videos? Here are 3 tips that we think can help.
» Do you have an online store? Read about other interactive marketing tools that can help you
1. Choose the Right Type of Video
The type of video you should use depends on the product or service you’re selling.
For example, if we're talking about an interactive product that needs to be used in a certain way, then an instructional video might be the best choice. On the other hand, if you’re selling a luxury item like jewelry, a lifestyle video showcasing the product could be more appropriate.
Moreover, there are different types of videos that your potential customers would like to see, such as:
Product demo videos to describe the products betterFounders' stories to introduce the brandShoppable videos on-site and on social media to make shopping more convenientReview videos showing how the products are used in different contexts
Essentially, you should choose videos that are tailored to your products, brand, and customers. You also want them to convey the product’s value and benefits in the most effective way.
2. Pay Attention to the Structure
Have a look at the structure of your video. Make sure it’s concise and easy to follow, while still conveying all the necessary information. Also, be sure to include a call-to-action at the end of your videos so customers can easily make a decision after they watch it. For example, you could include a link for them to buy the product, sign up for a service, or just browse your product page.
Other things you need to consider when creating a great structure of a shoppable video are:
Essentially, you want to make sure your videos are well-structured, informative, and engaging. Overall, the structure should be clear and logical.
3. Optimize Your Video
If you’re using a shoppable video on social media, like Instagram, for example, make sure it’s optimized for mobile users. If you’re using it on your website, consider adding an in-video purchase option to streamline the process.
Moreover, you can also add videos to your email campaigns or create a customized video landing page to help drive more conversions. In short, placement matters when it comes to shoppable videos. So, make sure you’re choosing the right locations for maximum potential, and make sure the video fits the platform.
» Prefer to advertise on Shopify instead? Read our guide to embedding shoppable videos on Shopify
How to Get Started
Now that you have an idea of how to use videos to create better shoppable experiences, it’s time to start creating!
Remember, the type of video you choose, its structure, and where you place it all matters when it comes to optimizing your shoppable experience. With a bit of planning and strategic thinking, you can create videos that not only engage customers but also drive conversions.
Videos can be one of the most powerful ways to create memorable and lasting shoppable experiences for your customers. Use them strategically and you’ll be well on your way to creating more successful marketing campaigns.
» Learn more about how shoppable videos affect e-commerce
Why Focus on Videos?
There you have it. The key is to keep your customers in mind and deliver an experience that’s tailored to their needs. By following these tips, you can create shoppable videos that will help boost your sales and build loyalty with your customers. And if you're not sure where to start, let Tolstoy handle the complicated details for you.
Ultimately, creating a positive customer experience will help your business stand out from the competition and keep customers coming back for more. So don’t forget to include these tips and leverage the power of video when creating your next shoppable experience. Video marketing 5 Ways to Digitize Assisted Shopping to Link Your Offline & Online Store There's no denying that the world has been quickly shifting towards a digitized era, and with the help of the recent pandemic, the need for contactless shopping has skyrocketed this change. As shopping has taken a shift towards the digital world, it's essential to integrate your own store with the online world in order to stay ahead of the curve.
We've put together 5 tips for helping you do so.
1. Encourage Customers to Follow Up With Your Brand
Making a sale should not be the end of your relationship with your customers. Returning customers costs your business less, and encourages loyalty, brand awareness, and repeat sales.
One way you can encourage customers to return to your store is by placing QR codes or your site's URL on the packaging.
The interactive video above is a great example of how a QR code or URL listed on packaging can bring customers back to your store and directly into a new sales funnel. In this case, through personalized skincare recommendations.
By encouraging customers to return to your online store, you not only gain the opportunity to make another sale but can further engrave your brand's name into the shopper, thus encouraging brand loyalty and a spread of awareness.
2. Implement Buying Online & Picking Up In-Store
BOPIS is a click-and-collect strategy that allows customers to browse through your products in the comfort of their homes, make a purchase, and simply arrive at your physical address for collection.
Customers don’t have to wait for products to be delivered, stand in long queues, or deal with returns of items that don't reach expectations. Products are also generally cheaper as customers save on delivery costs. With the option for customers to browse through an online catalog, it's possible to showcase more items than your physical storefront can display.
When customers come to collect, stored times can be brought from the back store, thus creating a wider variety of products and more sales opportunities. With cheaper products, less effort, and a faster reward, it's clear why allowing customers to buy online and pick up in-store is an effective strategy.
3. Allow Customers to Save the Product for Later Online
Allowing customers to browse through your products online, select what they like, and save it to be purchased later (like a shopping cart seen on eCommerce stores) will encourage shoppers to return to your online store to complete the purchase or make a new one. Not only this, but tracking what customers save can give you a better understanding of a product's popularity, how to correctly stock the item, and where potential buyers fall off the sales funnel.
Customers should be allowed to return to the online store and continue with the buying process, or, alternatively, pay and collect for the item at a physical address.
4. Allow Ordering in the Store & Shipping to Customers’ Homes
Not everyone likes to shop online; however, in-store shoppers can be limited in what they purchase due to transport space or time. One way to counteract this constriction on sales flow is by offering customers the ability to browse and purchase products in-store and have them delivered to their homes. This allows customers to purchase a much larger quantity of goods, both perishable and non-perishable.
Not only will customers be able to buy a larger quantity, but the physical size of the items is limitless. Lastly, not being able to see all the items they have purchased encourages shoppers to buy more, as they have not registered the quantity.
5. Interact With Your Community
Interacting with your community online is more important than ever. Not only will keeping an engaged community encourages customers to return to your store, but it will present a place where you can freely advertise new products, deals, and future items.
Interacting with your community gives your brand or company a personalized touch, and a "human-like" aspect, which further encourages customer loyalty. When customers are contacted and interacted with, they feel special and as though their needs and efforts are not only seen but cared for. An experience like this will keep customers coming back time and time again.
A great way to interact with your community is to use content offered up willingly by them on your site, such as video reviews, or by offering interactive quizzes. You can even combine the two to have ambassadors for your brand advocate for your product in an interactive way, such as the video quiz below.
The world has become digital, and thus created the need for brick-and-mortar stores to integrate the digital world into their physical stores. By doing this, you will be able to engage with a younger audience, encourage faster, cheaper sales with a higher ROI, and increase customer experience and satisfaction. Video marketing Using Videos to Book More Meetings (No Forms Required) You're probably wondering, is it really possible to book more meetings with video content? The answer is a resounding yes. Video content has the power to engage not only potential buyers but also high-quality leads and opportunities, making it one of the best interactive marketing strategies available.
Video content can help prospects visualize your product or service before they have even had an opportunity to learn about it in detail. This can help create a more personalized connection and make them more likely to schedule an appointment—that's the main goal, after all.
Today, take a look at how you can utilize video content to increase the quantity and quality of meetings you book.
The Power of Video Content
Video content has the power to draw potential buyers in and engage them on a deeper level than any other medium. It creates an emotional connection that helps you build trust while also providing valuable information about your product or service. With video, you can create an unforgettable experience for viewers that will get them excited about meeting with you in person.
It's good to take note that today's digital marketing space is also dominated by video. In fact, 86% of marketing professionals used video as a marketing tool. Whether you're opting for long-form, short-form, or bite-size video, it's undeniable that video can be an incredibly powerful way to reach and engage prospects.
» Learn more: 7 Brilliant Ways Videos Can Increase Your Conversion Rates
Increase time spent on your site
Video keeps viewers engaged and encourages them to spend more time consuming your content. This helps to build trust and demonstrate your authority in the industry.Customer engagement
Video helps prospects better understand what you’re offering and builds excitement around scheduling a meeting. Improved targeting
You can use video to target specific audiences more likely to convert, making it easier to tailor content that resonates with them.
Use the Right Type of Video Content
There are many different kinds of video content that you can use on your website, but not all of them are going to help you book more meetings. Having a detailed video about how you make your product sitting on your homepage might interest a few people, but it's not likely to get people interested in talking to you. However, having the right interactive video that allows users to choose their responses in a conversation with you is far more likely to create that personal bond you're looking for.
If you'd like a great example of a compelling interactive conversation that can get your customers interacting with your presence, simply take a look at the video below:
» Need help with interactive videos? Read our guide to help you understand
Create Video Content That Secures Meetings
Now that we’ve discussed the power of video content, let’s take a look at how you can create effective video content that will help you secure more meetings.
1. Plan Your Structure & Write a Script
The most successful videos are ones that are well-structured and have a clearly defined purpose. Take the time to plan your video structure and create a script that conveys the message you want to get across.
Additionally, you may want to consider adding an introduction, a few key points, and a call to action at the end of your video. Make sure these sections are well thought out and engaging so that viewers stay interested until the end.
And lastly, get creative and enjoy the process. Don’t be afraid to have fun with it and add your personality to your video.
2. Ensure You're Using the Right Tools
Having the right equipment and background will help you create a professional video that looks great on any device. But if you'd ask us, you don't need to be a professional videographer with expensive equipment to create thumb-stopping content. Just make sure that the video is well-lit, you have a good contrasting background, and you have a clear view of yourself and/or your product.
Additionally, with the power of Tolstoy's technology, you don't need to waste money on expensive video editing software.
» Need more interactive marketing tools? See our list of the best interactive marketing tools available
3. Cut Back on Quantity, Focus on Quality
It’s important to think about quality over quantity when it comes to video content. If you’re trying to create as much content as possible, your videos may not be up to your standards and won't result in successful meetings.
So instead of trying to rush out video after video, focus on creating fewer but higher-quality videos that will really engage potential customers. By taking the time to create quality video content, you’ll be able to set yourself apart from your competition and get prospects excited about meeting with you in person.
4. Don't Neglect Post-Production
Post-production is an important step in the video creation process. This is where you can make tweaks to your videos and add extra elements such as music, textual overlays, animation, etc.
Editing also allows you to keep viewers engaged by cutting out any unnecessary parts of the video and keeping it short and concise. It's also a great way to ensure that your video looks professional and polished.
But moreover, it gives life to your video, making it more digestible for your audience.
5. Add a Compelling CTA
What do you want your audience to do after seeing your video?
Of course, you want to see their messages straight to your mailing list. That's why it’s essential to include a clear and compelling call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your video. This can be anything from signing up for a webinar or workshop, joining your mailing list, or booking a meeting with you.
By making sure your CTA is visible and easy to understand, you can increase the chances of viewers taking action. Going back to tip # 4, adding an engaging text overlay and animation can also help drive viewers to take action.
An example of a video with a compelling CTA includes shoppable videos like the one listed below. Instead of having a "shop now" button, you could replace it with a "let's talk" option that allows customers to book a meeting with you, like a Calendly link.
The Bottom Line
Creating video content that secures meetings takes time and practice, but it’s well worth the effort when you see an increase in leads and appointments. To get started, make sure to plan your structure and script, use the right equipment and background, focus on quality over quantity, and don’t forget to add a compelling CTA.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to create powerful video content that will help you land more meetings and get your business to the next level.
» Ready to get started? Discover how Tolstoy can help you Video marketing Marketing Strategies in 2023: Authentic Storytelling Is Key By Dov Kaufman, co-founder of Tolstoy
The pandemic has had a monumental impact on the e-commerce industry, instigating a rapid-fire change in consumer behaviour. Bricks-and-mortar shopping experiences have been replaced with a digital shopping landscape, with more than two billion online shoppers scouring the internet globally for their next purchase. Consumers are enthusiastically buying into the convenience of online shopping, but on the flip side, they are facing the challenge of a limited understanding of their purchase through a lack of product visibility online.
Today there are an estimated 24 million e-commerce sites across the globe, and it is forecasted that by 2040 nearly 95% of all purchases globally will be made online or through a digital
platform. Business owners find themselves in a situation where competition is increasing faster than the market is expanding, and drop-shipping is gaining huge traction. It is now more and more difficult to stand out in an overly saturated market.
This change in buying behaviour along with the rising demand for short-form video has revealed that marketing tactics need to be redefined to be about immersive, customer-centric content, not just disruptive messages. TikTok’s monumental success can be attributed to its ability to allow brands to inspire their fans in authentic and entertaining ways, and that’s what consumers want—genuine connections with authentic brands.
“The writing is on the wall and it’s telling us that to stay front-of-mind in audiences of the future, brands need to up their game in terms of creative storytelling and the representation of their ethos. The globally minded audiences of tomorrow demand more complexity, more authenticity, and more transparency,” said co-founder and CEO of market-leading video-based platform, Tolstoy, Dov Kaufmann.
“Marketing tactics like interactive and shoppable videos can channel the desire for authenticity and help businesses build the valuable connections they need to succeed and stand out from their competitors,” said Dov. “Marketing in 2023 is poised to be about making the shopping experience more fun, convenient, and meaningful.”
So, what marketing tactics can we expect to see in 2023?
In 2023 the shoppable video experience will take over much of the way we shop online. Shoppable video is rapidly transforming the e-commerce storefront by capturing an audience's attention with an experience as immersive as TikTok, with eye-catching product videos to show how their products look in real life, on real people.
Videos alone have proven to be a powerful sales tool with more than 50% of shoppers saying that online videos help them decide which brand or product to buy. With shoppable videos, customers can research all they need to know and read more about the products all within the same shopping session. Videos can be embedded in e-commerce sites, sent via SMS and email, or displayed as stories, a Carousel or Widget, enabling users to scroll through videos to view products and buy directly from the videos with "add to cart" or "shop now" buttons.
These days over 82% of all consumer online traffic is spent viewing video content, and businesses are realising the tremendous potential of this incredibly effective tool.
Savvy customers now gravitate towards brands that can provide them with unique, tech-forward shopping experiences. In fact, 75% of consumers expect brands to leverage new technologies to build better online experiences. Interactive videos allow brands to send users on a unique journey where there's more of a person-to-person conversation or personal experience, as opposed to the linear monologue that traditional videos create.
Interactive videos have the capability to turn passive viewers into active participants by creating a memorable, thoroughly engaging experience. This results in reduced user drop-off and higher engagement. Research also shows that the click-through rate of interactive videos is 10 times higher than passive videos. By allowing viewers to ask the questions they want, or to see and interact with the products they're interested in, brands will save in costs and time and provide their customer base with more targeted, genuine leads.
Interactive product demonstrations allow potential customers to experience a product and all its features through a self-guided, clickable process. Product demonstrations are seeing rapid growth in the digital world as brands are now turning their attention to virtual experiences—offering consumers a direct window into an e-commerce store from the comfort of their home. A product demonstration can be as complex as allowing a customer to explore the intricacies of an engine, or as simple as displaying different clothing items on different models with different body types.
By providing each customer with the opportunity of a personalised demonstration, they're able to view the product in a way that interests them, thus avoiding unnecessary information and potentially boring the customer. This method has the advantage of providing customers with tangible proof of how a product works which then aids them in their purchase decision. In addition, they can boost the appeal of a brand’s products to a wider audience and build a sense of familiarity with the brand.
Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality
Virtual reality (VR) marketing incorporates the full immersion of a customer into a virtual world. This can connect a customer with a brand or product by engaging a variety of the customer’s senses, encouraging more interaction. VR allows brands to create and imbed memorable experiences, as well as bring an entertainment factor to advertising. This is more immersive than a customer scrolling down a static catalogue and encourages visitors to spend more time viewing the products, interacting with the brand, and ultimately increasing the chance of sales.
Augmented reality adds to an existing environment by introducing computer-generated images and effects. Using AR, prospective customers can try on clothing items without needing to directly interact with them. According to Shopify, implementing AR technology into the online shopping experience can increase product interactions by 94%. And while in-store purchases are returned at a rate of 5-10%, online purchases returns currently sit at around 40%. To overcome this challenge, AR/VR can help customers to make more informed decisions, reducing the need for returns.
Competitions & Games
Competitions and games are prize-driven strategies that encourage people to participate and engage with a brand in the hopes of a reward. A competition or game is a great way for a new audience to follow a brand’s social media accounts as it incentivises their actions in exchange for a chance to win.
This marketing tactic can help a business obtain multiple goals such as increasing brand awareness, encouraging customer loyalty, increasing sales, and obtaining customer information with little effort. Not only are people more than willing to share their details when it comes to entering competitions and playing games, but they will also share achievements around social platforms which can further boost awareness.
With more and more people spending time at home and working remotely, the demand and consumption of authentic storytelling and genuine connections with brands has—and will continue—to accelerate. Brands are optimally positioned to embrace technology like shoppable videos to meet their customers' need for an immersive, personalised online experience. Video marketing Top 5 Ways to Use UGC in Your Online Store What Is UGC?
UGC is User-Generated Content which is created by individuals. The content can be in a variety of forms such as text, photos, videos or podcasts. Here are the most common types of UGC:
Reviews and Ratings
Reviews are the most common form of UGC. Reviews can be given as star ratings, comments, pictures and videos.
While reviews are a quick overview, testimonials are a longer, more in depth story about a customer’s experience. These are usually inspirational stories that go into detail of before and after the use of a product.
Subscription companies offer customers more than just a product, but the experience of opening a gift and the element of surprise. Audience members enjoy watching unboxing videos as a way to discover new products. Another reason for the popularity of unboxing videos is for potential buyers to verify the quality of a product before purchasing it themselves.
Most of the time UGC isn’t centered around a product but is just created for pure fun – like this Mission Impawsible TikTok.
How Is UGC Different From Influencer Marketing?
Influencer-Generated Content is motivated by material compensation such as money or services. When an Influencer is being paid to advertise a product, their opinion becomes biased and less trust-worthy. According to a Stackla report, “UGC was shown to be 8.7x more impactful than influencer content and 6.6x more influential than branded content in consumers’ eyes – with 79% of people saying user-generating content highly impacts their purchasing decisions.”
Benefits of UGC for eCommerce
With shopping moving online and there being more options to choose from, consumers look at brand trust to help them make decisions. A potential buyer wants reassurance they are getting a quality product and superior service. User-generated content such as reviews and unboxings help buyers make decisions, as well as helps online stores increase sales. Below are a few examples of the benefits of UGC.
User-Generated Content is the most trustworthy form of marketing available. In Nielsen’s 2021 Annual Marketing Report, 89% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know and 71% trust opinions from influencers. Comparatively, branded content such as online banner ads and ads on search engine results were less likely to be trusted.
Creates Lasting Loyalty
Humans have a need to feel seen and heard. When customers feel recognized and validated on an individual level by a company, they form a loyalty to the brand. “43% of consumers say they would be more likely to continue engaging with and purchasing from a brand if it shared their photos or videos” (2021, Stackla).
Boosts Conversion Rates
When a customer views authentic reviews, they become more confident in their decision, leading to higher sales and less returns.
Increases Traffic and Brand Discovery
Search engines look for specific keywords associated with websites. As users leave reviews and write about the brand, those keywords naturally increase the SEO score of an online store. Additionally, when users post about their experience with a product on social media, it leads to greater brand discovery. Smartly.io reported, “82% of Gen Z consumers use social media as a way of finding new brands.”
As user-generated content is voluntarily created, it is free marketing for a company.
Most Effective Platforms for UGC
The top social media sites of 2022 are:
Reviews are also found on Amazon, Yelp and Google.
How to Get UGC
The first way to know if you have UGC is to search online. As UGC is created without incentives, there might already be content on your brand out there. However, there are ways to encourage consumers to create content without putting pressure on them.
Emails and SMS
Follow up on a sale with a personalized message to your customer. Get creative in asking them to leave reviews and unboxing videos.
Creating a hashtag unique to your brand will encourage social sharing. Fashion label ASOS created #AsSeenOnMe for customers to post photos of themselves in ASOS’s clothing.
Tiktok challenges can go viral within minutes. Create a specific task based on your product and share it with your audience. An example of a branded TikTok challenge was Colgate’s #MakeMomSmile campaign.
While influencer marketing is not UGC, a sponsored ad by an influencer could inspire their followers to do the same.
Effects of Including UGC on Your Online Store
Consumers actively seek out user-generated content such as reviews, unboxings and product displays to make decisions. When you put UGC directly on your product page, you are helping the buyer make a decision. Stackla reported the following:
“80% of consumers say they’d be more likely to purchase a product from an online store if its website had photos and videos from real customers.”“58% of consumers have left an ecommerce store without purchasing because the site didn’t contain any customer reviews or photos.”“71% of consumers agree they’d be likely to purchase from an online store if the brand made it easy to click-to-purchase an item directly from an inspirational image.”
Top 5 Ways to Use UGC in Your Online Store
Numerous studies show that user-generated content has an influence on purchasing decisions. Add UGC directly to your online store to have an immediate impact on sales.
1. TikTok Gallery
TikTok videos are an engaging way to show how popular your product is. TikTok videos can be compiled and displayed directly on your online store using Tolstoy.
2. Shoppable Videos
Feature customers using your product on your homepage. With shoppable video galleries, customers can click-to-purchase from inside your video.
3. Unboxing Carousel
Display customer unboxings directly on your landing page to showcase your product.
4. Social Media Photos
Gather photos in one place on your website to show testimonials from your customers. Common places to display social media photos are on the landing page, product page and in the footer of the entire website.
5. Testimonials Page
Having a page dedicated to clients sharing their stories can inspire future buyers to join the community.
Nielsen. (2022). Global Annual Marketing Report 2022.
IAB. (2019, May). User-Generated Content for Marketing and Advertising Purposes.
Stackla. (2021, August). Post-Pandemic Shifts in Consumer Shopping Habits: Authenticity, Personalization and the Power of UGC.
Smartly.io. (2022, May). How to Engage Gen Z on Social Media.
https://www.smartly.io/ebooks/how-to-engage-gen-z-on-social-media Video marketing How D2C Brands Can Achieve Breakthrough Growth Outside of Social Media Monopolies By Dov Kauffman, Co-Founder and CEO of Tolstoy
The rising prevalence of video-based ecommerce platforms has equipped retailers with a new tool to enhance their close relationship with consumers, and it’s letting them cut all the middlemen out, for good.
This seismic shift towards video has given rise to a new era of independence amongst direct-to-consumer retailers, a cohort that cut its teeth competing against big business in the arena of online shopping. Having to go toe-to-toe against dominant brands in huge markets, D2C brands inherently understand the value of independence and how it relates to their capacity to react with agility and creativity.
For the first time these brands are being given the opportunity to really own the customer experience and reduce their dependence on social media giants through shoppable and interactive video which allows them to offer a vastly improved customer experience and build on their social capital.
Social Commerce 2.0
The use of social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok to market and sell products and services within the app has had a transformative effect on customer buying habits. Data shows that Gen Z in particular use social media to seek inspiration, research products and connect with their favourite brands. As a one-stop shop, social commerce platforms bring together all elements of online shopping in a single convenient package complete with customer support and easy check out.
Shopping has never been so streamlined, and it’s for this reason that the value of social commerce has skyrocketed. By 2026 it’s estimated that the value of this seamless form of shopping will reach $2.9 trillion in the US. Live shopping is another form of video and social commerce that has already gained massive traction in Asia and Latin America. Worth an estimated $600 billion in China alone, the format is being rolled out across rival platforms including Amazon Live, TikTok Shop/Live, Instagram Live and Twitch.
For the average social media user who spends 15% of their waking life on social platforms, the melding of entertainment and socialising with online shopping represents convenience, fun and a more authentic brand experience.
The emergence of independent shoppable video platforms means that D2C brands that have previously exclusively relied on social media to drive brand awareness, strengthen customer connections, and generate revenue are able to do so outside of social media monopolies by turning their websites into their own self-contained platforms. These retailers are empowered to create their brand narratives, build communities, and access full analytic data without being beholden to unknown algorithms, restrictive guidelines, or sudden loss of access to social media accounts.
Leveraging Independent Shoppable Video Platforms to Fast-Track Growth
As the internet is a great leveller for D2C brands, the development of integrated shoppable video for ecommerce retailers has given them advantages that have until recently only been accessible to social media heavyweights. Brands are able to leverage in-depth data to hone product offerings, personalise the customer shopping experience and build on community engagement.
D2C retailers can also capitalise on their nimbleness to create compelling brand narratives that will add credibility and meaning to their campaigns. As a medium, video is a powerful vehicle for immersive storytelling – more pertinently, video also offers consumers product information that is otherwise unable to be conveyed via text and images alone. From the look of a product to its colour and proportions, shoppable video reveals far richer details than the standard ecommerce format.
Retailers are now able to tap into the power of shoppable video to replicate its benefits on their brand’s own page instead of only selling through social media, and they can do it armed with targeted insights gleaned from the platform. Businesses can see how customers react to certain products, what content they engage with the most, which areas or products underperform, which do well and more.
These insights are critical to personalising the customer experience and assists with product development and retargeting of customers. For D2C businesses accustomed to overseeing all aspects of the business from production to distribution, independent shoppable video platforms add an extra layer of control. No longer do social media middlemen have exclusive access to valuable customer information, brands can solely focus on their own D2C strategy to increase loyalty and sales.
Quick Tips for Making the Most of Shoppable Video
Brands looking to maximise their shoppable video ROI should keep the following in mind:
There’s no need to spend a lot to make a great video, keep it simple and stick to these guidelines and you’ll be well on your way. Don’t forget, audiences favour unfiltered and authentic content over slick productions. Taking a low key approach works in favour of your business. Try embedding a Founder story to greet customers with. This should quickly introduce them to your brand and its products and direct them to where they need to go. Consider your Founder story and how it connects to your overall brand story. Work through it if necessary to identify your business’ values, mission, and goals.Keep it simple and authentic. Utilise influencers and user-generated content. Reviews are especially essential to credibility, so make the process as hassle-free as possible for your customers.For a start, you can use videos you already posted on social without creating new ones and make them shoppable. Make sure that you choose the most engaging videos. You already know what works well on your socials so use the information you already have.Make sure that every piece of content represents this brand narrative. Consistency is key to reinforcing brand messages.
By reclaiming their right to dictate their own direction through use of independent shoppable video platforms, D2C retailers are making it clear to the big names in social media that their era is officially over and the playing field is now even for businesses of all sizes. Video marketing Video and Social Commerce—the Future of Retail Written by Dov Kauffman, Co-Founder and CEO of Tolstoy
Around 3.5 billion people—just over 44% of the world’s population—use social media in some form. Social platforms are the entry point for many people's online activity, from news, entertainment, communication, and now commerce. This only intensified following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Consumer expectations for content have evolved since the inception of social media, and the growth in popularity of video means an increasing number of people consider it the new norm. The exponential growth of TikTok and free access to online video content suggests that toward the end of 2022, over 82% of all consumer online traffic will be spent viewing video content. Recent statistics also reveal that the average person spends nearly two hours a day watching videos, and video posts attract 48% more views than static posts. These subtle shifts to video across multiple platforms is a sign of more significant shifting trends in consumer behaviour—and that the future of ecommerce lies in video content.
Social commerce provides an innovative new way to buy and sell products and is founded on the trust provided by social connections. It's a small step to alter traditional retail into a people-powered retail revolution. Moreover, it's highly successful and simple. Why? It seamlessly blends social experiences and ecommerce transactions through a single platform. And it’s set to sweep the world, growing into a $1.2 trillion wave of change by 2025.
Unlike a conventional web-based ecommerce operation where products and services are showcased via images and text with a separate shopping cart, contact information and customer service page, video ecommerce is an all-encompassing experience centered around the customer. It’s for this reason that the medium is poised to replace traditional web stores to become the ‘new normal’ of buying and selling online. This will impact every brand, retailer, and platform business.
Shoppable Videos: The New Driver Behind Purchasing Decisions
Shoppable video is rapidly transforming the ecommerce storefront as businesses realise the tremendous potential of this incredibly effective tool. From web searches to shoppable feeds (embedded video feed on an ecommerce site as a stories, Carousels or widgets), video is increasingly driving purchasing decisions with conversion rates of up to 30% and an incredibly positive return on investment.
Fascinating statistics show that shoppers who view video content are 1.81 times more likely to purchase than non-viewers. Google is also a big fan of video content, being 53x more likely to rank a website with video embedded. Video is widely accepted as a crucial part of cross-channel promotion and pulls in more than its fair share when it comes to conversion rates.
What does this all mean for brands, retailers, and platforms? One thing's for sure: social commerce is a model they must embrace. For platforms, it opens new revenue streams just as growth in digital advertising is expected to slow. For retailers, there are opportunities to develop new types of shopping experiences by meeting their customers where they hang out online, and by connecting in new ways and engaging influencers/creators. And for brands it means embracing the shift from big to small, empowering small businesses and engaging directly with consumers through social platforms.
Getting started with video doesn't have to be complicated or difficult. With just a few simple tips, you can create videos that are both informative and engaging.
Here’s 3 Tips to Help Get You Started With Video:
1. Focus on the videos that were successful on your socials
No need to stress over developing a well-crafted post when you already have a repository of content available. Revisit successful Instagram Reels or TikToks and edit to include product tags. Be sure not to overwhelm your followers—remember that customers want to build relationships with brands through trust and connection, not feel like they’re being bombarded with advertisements.
2. Consider the production value of your videos
You don't have to be a high-budget Hollywood movie maker to create a high-quality video production, but make sure your video is professional and presentable. Invest in good equipment and software and take the time to familiarise yourself with everything. After all, user-generated content and creators' content gets the most engagement online, and engagement is critically important for a brand's success.
3. Keep it simple
It's time to shine. Show your brand’s unique personality, show them how to use your product, and make them fall in love with your business with eye-catching videos. Keep it as simple and authentic as you can!
It's undeniable that the future of commerce is digital, specifically through interactive and Shoppable videos, and Tolstoy is quickly positioning itself to help businesses gain market share of the lucrative Gen X and Gen A segment. The advantage is that merchants and retailers have the means to harness the power of video-based ecommerce independently of social media platforms. As consumers spend more time online engaging with video content, the opportunity is ripe for brands to convert them into lifelong customers, and Tolstoy stands to deliver.
Ready to add video commerce to your site with 1 click? Visit https://www.gotolstoy.com/