Video Commerce Myths Busted: Shattering 10 Misconceptions and Unlocking New Possibilities
Discover 10 commonly held myths about video commerce and learn to separate fact from reality with this helpful guide.
We talk to a lot of people about video commerce, and that means we’ve truly heard it all when it comes to why brands haven’t started (or have just barely started) getting into video.
And that’s just the people we talk to.
We felt it was high time we gathered some of the most common reasons why brands are just beginning their video commerce journey to help people like you overcome any fears, doubts, or objections. Enter our video commerce myths teardown.
If you’re ready to have a conversation with us about video commerce, we’re here to help. We offer a complete suite of video commerce solutions for any industry, including ecommerce. Book a call with us to get a free consultation session on which video commerce solutions are right for your business, audience, and goals.
You can think of video commerce as a blockbuster mashup of video content and online sales - whether that’s through ecommerce, or through some other business-generating activity like booking a demo or downloading a free trial.
Just as peanut butter and jelly belong together, video and commerce unite to create a dynamic, interactive online experience that’s literally changing changing the way we shop and discover.
At the heart of video commerce are three superheroes: interactive video, livestreaming, and live video co-shopping. Let’s quickly break them down, shall we?
It takes your standard videos and supercharges them with clickable elements - think links to product pages or other relevant content. Viewers watch a video and can directly engage with the products or services they’re learning about, transforming passive viewing into active shopping.
It’s like hosting a live TV shopping channel, but online. Brands showcase products in real-time, interact with the audience, and yes, make sales on the spot, often through discounts or incentives. It’s instant, it’s engaging, and it's interactive - truly the life of the video commerce party!
Imagine going shopping with a friend - but online! You browse products together with a live shopping associate, share thoughts, and decide what product is right for you. It brings the social, collaborative element of shopping into the digital space.
But video commerce isn’t just these three superstars. It’s also about product demo videos, unboxing videos, customer testimonials, and more. Essentially, it’s any content that combines video and commerce to make browsing and shopping more engaging, interactive, and dare we say it - enjoyable.
Sounds pretty amazing right? Now that you know the basics of video commerce, let’s dive into some of the myths behind video commerce.
Some clarity here: There are definitely enterprise-grade video shopping solutions out there, ones that have hefty monthly fees and long-term contracts. There’s also professional video, audio, and lighting equipment you could invest in. All of these are real, hard costs that can add up fast and feel like a barrier to entry.
But the reality is, the millions of creators and influencers around the world - the ones that command audiences and earn lucrative brand sponsorships - have pretty simple video production setups, often anchored with their smartphones. Visit any digital marketplaces and you can easily pick up a lighting and audio kit for a couple hundred dollars.
As for the software to offer video shopping, there are options, like Ghost, that make it completely affordable to experiment and get started with video commerce. You can start creating interactive or shoppable videos for free right now, and use our livestream shopping or live video co-shopping services for low and transparent monthly subscription fees.
Okay, on a similar note: Budget and business size tend to go hand-in-hand. But recognize that some of the most successful brands on social media platforms (AKA brands who are skilled at the video creation game) are often small to medium-sized businesses. Having a knack for video and mega revenue are not necessarily the same thing.
There are plenty of examples of how businesses of any size can and have invested in some form of video commerce. At Ghost, we’ve had major brands like Universal Pictures and American Eagle introduce some form of video commerce, alongside indie boutiques and brands looking to create a differentiated online shopping experience through video marketing.
In fact, smaller brands tend to love video commerce because it’s a helpful way to put a face to their brand and build a stronger connection with customers.
Pretty much every business is part of ‘commerce’ - and that goes well beyond retailers and ecommerce. Video marketing can truly enhance any web experience, including for services, software, nonprofits, tourism, B2B companies, and more.
For example, a hotel chain could use interactive video to tour their properties, with a prompt for potential customers to click to book a room. They could use a livestream shopping event to speak to their wedding services and venues and inspire newly engaged couples to book a consultation. And they could provide one-on-one live co-browsing support for a guest trying to determine what property they should book at to be close to a conference, as well as what room type will work best for them.
This same type of logic can apply to almost any business or use case, but it’s important to recognize that not every business needs every type of video service to support their customers. At Ghost, we help clients understand their options and recommend the best ones for what they’re trying to achieve.
One of the big reasons why video commerce is exploding right now is because we use video everywhere else in our lives. Video accounts for over 80% of internet usage, whether it’s to have a video call with a loved one, attend a video conference, or watch videos on social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
In short, your customers don’t just know video, they want it. Especially considering the search, point, and click ecommerce experience we know and don’t exactly love hasn’t really changed since the dawn of the internet.
Some education will be needed when you’re starting a new video commerce channel. For example, if you’re just starting to offer livestreams, you’ll need to promote when they’re happening, where shoppers can view them, and why they should attend. But the act of attending and being able to purchase products during a livestream? That couldn’t be easier for customers to grasp, especially if you’re using a livestream platform built for commerce sales, like Ghost.
Let's get one thing out of the way: Video commerce is not a one and done affair to see success.
If you host one livestream event and it doesn’t net the results you want, does that mean livestreaming should be blackballed forever? Absolutely not.
Like any new selling channel, you need to give things time, and most importantly, be consistent. If you start offering live shopping, don’t assume your audience was paying attention during your rollout. If video shopping is a truly important part of the online customer experience you want to create, your marketing team should ensure it's front and center in all of your messaging, marketing, and CTAs.
Apart from the importance of consistency, there is concrete evidence that a target audience who engages with video commerce is much more likely to make a purchase. Why? They’re spending more time on your site and with your content, learning more about your products and building brand awareness, and getting questions answered that may have kept them from hitting checkout.
Where video is relatively new in commerce, brands that offer it tend to have better luck driving bigger AOV and boosting customer loyalty. In short, all roads lead to more engagement = better business results.
There’s a lot of terms floating around about video commerce - check out our video commerce glossary to learn a few. And to be honest, a lot of terms are used to mean different things, depending on who you’re talking to. Live commerce, for example, is often synonymous with video shopping or video commerce. But we’re here to correct this and tell you that live shopping is just a format of video commerce.
If hosting a live video shopping call or livestream shopping event stresses you out, don’t panic. There are plenty of ways to create video commerce experiences that don’t require live video at all. Interactive video, for example, involves taking any video asset you have and tagging products with it, for customers to view on demand - not live. These videos could be as elaborate as a professionally produced commercial or marketing spot to a casual video recorded on a phone of someone unboxing your latest products. No matter what, they don’t require going live.
Even livestreaming doesn’t have to be ‘live’, exactly. Many people will pre-record a livestream event and simply broadcast it live during a designated time. It’s recommended you still ‘attend’ the livestream and interact with attendees during the show in the chat, but you don’t need to literally be live and speaking to them on camera to have an effective, immersive show.
Social shopping or social selling are other terms commonly said in the same breath as video commerce, and for good reason. Social media is dominated by video, and many of the ways to sell products on social are through video, whether it’s a sponsored reel, a livestream, or a live selling auction-style event.
But here’s the thing with social. Many social platforms have tried and failed to figure out how to offer a strong social commerce experience that actually leads to conversions for brands. And do you know why? Cause that’s your job. As a brand, you’re experts in understanding what your consumers want and how to deliver an ideal CX to them. Social media is for the masses - not your specific slice of the market.
This points to an obvious risk overall: Do you really want to hand the keys to your kingdom over to the social giants? Social is a great place for discovery, but you’re the one doing the heavy lifting to acquire, engage, and retain those customers - all tasks that are much easier to do on your own website, not through social.
Now the good news is, video commerce and social commerce do overlap and play nicely together in several respects. Social videos you create can become interactive videos on your site. Shoppable livestreams can be cross-broadcast to your social channels and your site, and you can encourage people to watch on your site for the full shoppable experience.
The Covid-19 pandemic created some interesting shopping habits, including a notable surge in ecommerce. But even with the pandemic in our rearview mirror, it’s worth noting that retail hasn’t quite bounced back to 100% of where it was. Many people have just gotten too comfortable with the convenience and benefits of shopping online, and unless your retail experience is above and beyond expectations, most shoppers are pretty content to have goods delivered to their door.
However, there are some things the in-store experience does well that a standard ecommerce experience can’t replicate. A video commerce experience? That’s a different story.
For example, you can offer live video shopping
and transport people right into your retail environment to provide live associate support. That sales associate can provide personal shopping, recommend products, and bring the theater of the store to anyone.
You can also use interactive video to walk customers through a product’s fine details or compare it to another product to help them make up their mind about whether it’s the right item for them. It’s just like working with a sales associate or getting to touch and hold an item in a store.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, at least at first, by the technical side of video commerce. What equipment do I need? How do I create videos? What types of videos does my audience want? How do I get eyeballs on my content? All fair questions.
But the reality is, once you’ve got your equipment picked out, it’s not that difficult to copy, paste, and repeat your success. Especially if you’re using tools right-sized for your needs.
See, some software out there is hyper-complex, requiring massive integrations or having really advanced settings that are truly meant for the big broadcasting giants in the world.
Here at Ghost, we took a different approach. Our zero-integration live commerce platform lets you get started in a single click of a button. Shoppable videos can be created and added to your site in minutes, for free. And even our most complex product, our live co-shopping platform, can be up and running in a matter of weeks.
You don’t need a lot of technical know-how to get started with video commerce. We offer our merchants plenty of ‘how to’ guides and checklists to walk you through every step of the process - and can even lend a helping hand when you need it.
Here’s the facts: We’ve been hearing for years now about the rise of live shopping in Asia, but it’s only starting to break big in North America. But putting the Asian market aside for a second, there are even bigger signals that video is here to stay, not the least of which is one we’ve already talked about: The rise of video in pretty much every other aspect of our lives.
But beyond that, there’s also the transformation we’ve seen other industries go through, like advertising. Historically, ads were rooted in text, before moving into images, and now, being dominated by video, whether through social or on TV.
Ecommerce has been firmly stuck in text and image land, and with the internet and wireless advances, sites (and end users) are more capable of handling video content loads than ever before.
We’ll also point to a few key numbers. McKinsey has predicted live commerce, in particular, could be worth up to 20% of the total ecommerce market by 2026. And Coresight Research is projecting global live commerce sales to scale up to $171B in 2023, up from $60B USD in 2019; a 185% increase in under 5 years.
So, did we bust some myths for you? Make the idea of video marketing at scale a little more palatable? We certainly hope so.
The reality is, video commerce is here to stay. And we’re here to help make it as easy as possible for you to adopt it.
Want to get started? Connect with us to talk all things video and get a custom prescription for how to incorporate video into your online commerce experience.