Sometimes I think that writing a blog has become a bit old fashioned. I should probably be making videos. But the reality is that I like writing. Getting up in the morning, reading, having a coffee, and writing my thoughts down is a ritual that I really enjoy. Making videos is also a bigger time commitment, and I would rather focus my energy elsewhere.
But there’s no question that user-generated videos have and will continue to change ecommerce and many other aspects of society. This recent blog post by Connie Chan and Avery Segal called, “Ecommerce as video’s killer app,” is a perfect example of that. In it, they talk about a handful of Chinese companies that are pioneering “shoppable videos.”
What these platforms are doing is allowing consumers to buy things natively within their app and through a “video-centric checkout flow.” In other words: watch a story being told (from an individual, as opposed to a company); become interested in a particular product or service; and then immediately purchase it with only a few taps.
Another use case, which I think many of you will find interesting, is the creation of “crowdsourced video city guides.” Instead of checking for hotel reviews on TripAdvisor, simply find someone who has already vlogged a stay and book it that way. The individual who uploaded the video will then earn a commission.
This behavior already exists. Discovery and buying decisions — for many products and services — have moved to social platforms. Just today a friend reached out asking me about a bar that she saw on my Instagram stories a few weeks. She’s planning to go next week. Now where’s my commission?
Shoppable videos are a natural extension. They may also lower the barriers to participation. And so maybe I will end up making videos, after all.