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.
add to cart button on a video of online products preview image

Video marketer filming herself making a makeup product demo video on her cellphone
Video marketingVideo and Social Commerce—the Future of RetailWritten 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
web browser of eCommerce store with a video widget of a woman welcoming customer to her store. mobile shopping from a video of a lady selling cosmetics.
Video marketingMarketing Strategies in 2023: Authentic Storytelling Is Key By Dov Kaufmann, 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? Shoppable Videos 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. Interactive Videos 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. Product Demonstrations 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 carousel on a website. Each video displays a video by an influencer giving a product review
Video marketingTop 5 Ways to Use UGC in Your Online StoreWhat 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. Testimonials 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. Unboxing Videos 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. Entertainment 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. Builds Trust 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. reported, “82% of Gen Z consumers use social media as a way of finding new brands.” Saves Money 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: YouTubeTikTokInstagramFacebookTwitterRedditLinkedIn 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. Hashtags 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. Challenges 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. Influencers 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. References 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. (2022, May). How to Engage Gen Z on Social Media.
Woman making sales video with strawberries and video camera for her online store
Video marketing5 Ways to Digitize Assisted Shopping to Link Your Offline & Online StoreThere'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. Final Thoughts 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.
A woman, wearing spectacles and placing wireless earphones in her ear,  seated at small table in a coffee shop, with her laptop and a takeaway coffee cup visible in front of her.
Video marketingUsing 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 Benefits 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