Interactive content is any piece of content that allows your audience to interact actively with it instead of passively reading, watching, or listening. For example, an infographic with clickable buttons or drop-down menus, or shoppable videos with links embedded right into the content.
Why should this matter to you?
According to the Lead Generation Benchmark Report by Demand Metric, interactive content generates conversions ‘very well’ or ‘moderately well’ almost twice as often as static or passive content.
This is especially useful for your ecommerce website.
Think about it. Using an interactive ecommerce content strategy to market your products will keep visitors deeply engaged. This means they’ll spend much more time on your website, ultimately increasing conversions.
Another significant benefit of using interactive content on your ecommerce website is the invaluable data it can generate. You can easily monitor user input, such as clicks and responses, to better understand what your customers are really looking for.
When you can grasp precisely what makes your customers click, you’ll be in a better position to boost your sales and build a loyal customer base.
Annie Hinners, Director of Brand Marketing at COTU, explains, “It (interactive content) allows brands to take a good look at which viewers are engaging with what content, so they can invest more into the products that people are liking.”
How Can You Incorporate Interactive Content into Your Ecommerce Strategy?
Now that you know the importance of using interactive content in your ecommerce strategy let’s talk about some specific ways you can do this.
In a CMI survey, content marketers rated the effectiveness of interactive quizzes in their marketing programs at 58%.
Who doesn’t love a good quiz? Whether it’s helping you find the right hair product, picking the perfect dress, or leading you to a most delicious, sugar-free matcha blend, there’s no denying the excitement of discovering a new quiz.
Interactive quizzes can be highly engaging and provide an incredible opportunity for ecommerce stores to connect with their visitors.
Asking customers specific questions about their shopping goals, desires, challenges, and more, can allow you to offer personalized and helpful product recommendations. This can increase customer satisfaction, boosting conversions and customer loyalty (read: repeat purchases).
Matchabar does a fantastic job engaging visitors with a cheery, fun quiz, helping them to choose their perfect matcha. The questions in this quiz are both laid back and valuable. At the end of the quiz, visitors have the option to join MatchaBar’s mailing list for a discount or simply check out.
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and an ecommerce lookbook is no exception. A typical lookbook is a collection of product images displayed in a digital magazine, much like a physical magazine.
Studies show that people are likely to remember only 10% of the information they heard three days later. However, if that same information is paired with a related image, people will retain up to 65% of the information after three days.
An interactive ecommerce lookbook can make those individual images clickable so that viewers can access product details on the spot. The CMI survey ranked the effectiveness of lookbooks in achieving marketing goals at 54%.
An interactive ecommerce lookbook can replicate the in-store shopping experience for customers and can be done in a variety of ways.
For example, it could be an actual magazine, allowing users to flip through the pages and click on images for details. It could also take the form of a slideshow or even a landing page with clickable images.
In their interactive lookbook, GENTLEMEN allows viewers to flip through pages, search for specific items within the lookbook, zoom for better viewing, and use thumbnails for faster navigation.
A shoppable video is an interactive video that allows viewers to click on products directly in the video to get more details or add the products to their shopping cart.
According to an SEO specialist, Tomislav Horvat, interactive videos can generate 10X higher click-through rates than passive videos. They also boast 66% more engagement and 44% longer viewing times.
When you think about it, these figures make perfect sense. We already know that video content can generate far more interest and engagement than other content forms. A well-developed video can showcase your products in much greater detail than a simple image.
As Hinners points out, “Video is just so relevant today. Video is everywhere. I mean, you don’t really go a day without watching a video. Whether that’s on your phone, whether that’s on the computer, whether that’s on TV. Video is just becoming more and more relevant.”
Adding the interactive element can simply remove obstacles in the customer’s journey, taking them seamlessly from making a buying decision to adding a product to their shopping cart.
The infographic has been a staple in the content marketing space for years, and with good reason. They are visually appealing and highly shareable. They summarize complex information into bite-sized, digestible snippets that are fun to read.
According to a HubSpot study, people who follow instructions with illustrations do 323% better than those who follow instructions without illustrations.
An interactive infographic has all the benefits of a regular infographic and then some.
For one, the interactive infographic can increase visitors’ engagement with your content. They are no longer just viewing beautifully presented data. The clickable elements on the interactive infographic can allow viewers to actively explore its contents at their own pace, based on their own preferences.
The Marriott Hotel’s interactive infographic takes the form of a simple flowchart guiding viewers to plan a perfect fun day based on their preferences. A set of questions appear after each user input. In the end, you get a selected destination with its brief introduction. Before you know it, you’ve created an itinerary and Marriott hopes you’ll remember them when booking your trip.
Why Shoppable Video Is The Best Interactive Ecommerce Content
As you can see above, there are many ways to incorporate interactive content in an ecommerce strategy. However, shoppable videos are one of the best interactive ecommerce content choices for boosting sales.
Shoppable videos have triple the viewing time of passive video content. This means visitors are spending far more time on your ecommerce website with these interactive videos, which increases the likelihood of them eventually making a purchase.
We can attribute these longer viewing times to the more immersive experience in shoppable videos. Since viewers can easily click on products they like without leaving the video, click-through rates on these interactive ecommerce videos are also exceptionally high–14 times higher than websites without them.
As Hinners explains it, “it really just takes a few clicks to get to that product landing page, to eventually convert that watcher into a buyer.”
Data from Tomislav Horvat showed that marketers who use interactive videos generate 18% more leads, 11% more referrals, and 14% more sales.
One of the great benefits of the shoppable video is its non-disruptive buying process. Customers can buy a product they love without interrupting their streaming experience. This results in higher customer satisfaction and, in turn, customer loyalty.
One COTU customer said they like shoppable video because “it doesn’t interfere with the user experience and enhances the viewing experience.”
How Do Shoppable Videos Boost Sales?
That’s the ultimate goal of any ecommerce marketing strategy, isn’t it? It may sound simple, but the process of introducing your products to potential customers and then guiding them to make the purchase is exactly that—a process.
The process that buyers go through to make a purchase is called the buyer’s journey, and it has three main phases:
- Awareness – The buyer realizes they have a problem and need a solution.
- Consideration – The buyer now understands their problem and is considering different solutions.
- Decision – The buyer knows the best solution and is deciding on the best provider.
A good content marketing strategy will guide visitors seamlessly from the awareness phase to the final decision phase, where a purchase is made. However, several issues can arise at different points in the buyer’s journey that negatively impact sales. Shoppable videos can help you solve them.
Here are a few common ecommerce problems and how interactive ecommerce videos solve them:
Low Website Traffic
Good traffic is vital to generating sales for your ecommerce business. As you get more traffic, your chance of generating qualified leads or sales can also increase.
Common reasons for low website traffic include high competition for selected keywords and poor SEO. To increase high-quality traffic flow to your website, you’ll need to improve your SEO strategy and promote your content effectively.
Shoppable videos are a great way to boost SEO. Video consumption will account for up to 82% of web traffic in 2022. This means that any form of video marketing puts you well ahead of other content types when it comes to boosting traffic.
For many queries, a webpage with video content is more likely to top the Google search engine results page than one without. Therefore including shoppable videos on your website (blogs, landing pages, etc.) could result in higher traffic.
Brands can also direct traffic from social and paid media via eye-catching videos. Hinners hopes that “everyone who is using COTU would be able to utilize it on their homepages and ads, and really direct all their traffic back to their site.”
Low engagement or high bounce rates can directly affect sales. It shows that visitors are not connecting well with your content. Even though you get a good amount of traffic, visitors leave your site after a few seconds.
If they are not connecting with your content, it’s unlikely that you will convert them into customers.
Shoppable videos are fantastic tools for driving customer engagement. The benefits here are two-fold.
A high-quality video (shoppable or passive) can encourage visitors to spend more time on your website. But a shoppable video can take the engagement one step further by allowing customers to participate in the experience actively.
This fun, interactive user experience is bound to increase visitors’ curiosity, pushing them further along the sales funnel. The longer visitors stay on your website, the more likely they are to make a purchase.
According to Hinners, shoppable videos “increase conversion rates significantly, because you’re giving the viewers more opportunity to engage with the product.”
To effectively retarget customers, you must first understand their behavior on your website. Collecting and analyzing user data can help determine which features and products shoppers interact with more. This data can also help you understand the type of audience engaging with your content so you can tailor your marketing strategy to retarget them more effectively.
Shoppable videos include clickable elements to help customers interact with the content. The beauty of these clickable elements is that you can track them. With this real-time insight into your customer behavior, you can create a more personalized shopping experience for buyers.
COTU’s research team interviewed potential clients who raved about shoppable videos, “it’s extremely valuable to be able to see which products were clicked on more. I can determine which ones are ‘bestsellers’ or ‘bottlenecks’ and pivot my strategy quickly.”
Low Conversion Rates
Various factors can affect your website conversion rates, including poor-quality content, and a confusing checkout process, among other things.
If a visitor makes it to a product page, but the page has no product details to help them make a decision, they will leave the page. Similarly, a complex checkout process is among the top reasons customers abandon shopping carts.
Moreover, using regular videos to market products forces viewers to leave the video searching for the products they like. It can distract the shoppers or frustrate them to give up the search. Ultimately, they may lose interest and exit the sales funnel without converting.
Hinners explains how shoppable video can remove this friction. “If you’re looking at something and you don’t know what it’s called–each product has a specific name–it’s really difficult to find it. And that’s why we’re bringing COTU to bridge that gap.”
Shoppable videos can simplify the customer journey by allowing shoppers to view product names and features and adding items to their cart seamlessly, without leaving the video. The viewer doesn’t need to fumble around the internet looking for products, which will definitely boost conversion rates.
In the video below, you can see how interactive shoppable videos bring products to life and simplify the checkout process. Viewers can see the products in action and don’t have to leave the video to know more about their favorite products and add them to the cart.
Difficulty Retaining Customers
Many ecommerce businesses struggle with customer retention or building customer loyalty. The truth is, it’s much cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. Repeat customers spend more often with you and on each item.
A study by Bain and Company and Earl Sasser of Harvard Business School showed that increasing customer retention by a mere 5% could result in a profit increase of up to 95%. The Bain and Company research also indicates that repeat customers are likely to refer others to your website.
When a customer shops with you only once before moving on, all the time, money, and effort spent acquiring that customer simply goes to waste.
Shoppable videos give customers a memorable and pleasant user experience. Viewers are more likely to remember interactive video content over simple text. Customers love to connect with the brands they follow. Around 94% of marketers stated that video marketing helped users to better understand their products or services.
As Hinners explains, engaged viewers “are already loyal, and they already love you,” and the shoppable videos make their shopping experience even more enjoyable. Of course, your customers will remember this excellent experience, return to buy from you often, and ask others to do so too.
Based on the data you collect from your shoppable videos, you can reward returning customers, offer them personalized product suggestions, and offer discounts on products they showed interest in previously. The key to retaining customers is to continue nurturing them after their purchase.
Tips to Optimize Shoppable Videos for Increased Sales
Now that you know how effective shoppable videos are for increasing sales, it’s time to create your own. Here are a few tips for setting you up for success:
Let The Audience Know The Video Is Interactive
Since shoppable videos are still new to people, it’s best to make it clear to viewers that your video is shoppable. You can do this by either including a simple message at the start of the video, doing a voiceover, or simply having someone present the video directly to your audience to point out the clickable parts.
Hinners says, “Shoppable video is that innovation that’s up and coming. There’s interactive content everywhere. There are quizzes; there are polls, calculators… I think shoppable video is just that extra piece of the puzzle we’re fulfilling here.”
Let Product Shots Run A Little Longer
For your shoppable video to be successful, you’ll need to give viewers enough time to interact with the clickable hotspots. Let these interactive shots run for at least three seconds for the best results.
Include A Shoppable Link In The First Few Shots
Although your viewers already know your video is shoppable, you still want to pique and maintain their interest from the very start. Including a shoppable link or tags early in the video will encourage interaction and help people stay engaged.
Make Your CTA Prominent
Keep your CTA simple and actionable and display it clearly in the video. If possible, you might want to consider using the same CTA throughout the entire video.
How To Set Up Your First Shoppable Video With COTU
- Upload your video and related products to COTU.
- Select key moments in the video to configure your customer experience.
- Upload your video on the web or embed it anywhere using a unique COTU link.
- Track results and receive actionable video insights immediately.
Are you ready to take your interactive ecommerce content to the next level using shoppable videos? Sign up for a demo with COTU today.