Of all the many ways to use video for business purposes, one of the more intriguing and exciting is video commerce: integrating video into our shopping habits. And I'm not talking exclusively about e-commerce, either, but also ways that video is being molded into our real world shopping experiences. Liveclicker is doing a lot of pretty cool work in this area, using emerging technology to change the landscape of how we buy.
Tablet devices have unique abilities, and so do smartphones. And I don't think we've scratched the surface of what video can be and do within those platforms. Liveclicker's been working on some interesting things, and video is at the forefront of all of it. I had a chance to talk with their Co-Founder and Vice President of Market Development, Justin Foster, and in addition to being a very cool guy, he told me about some new applications for video they've used that were sort of blowing my mind.
New Ways Mobile Video Is Being Used For Commerce
QR Codes: Let's start right out of the gate with an idea that really shows promise: QR codes. Specifically, using QR codes for video. Foster talked to me about a test they ran with a QR code inside a standard grocery store newspaper insert. Customers could then take a picture of it with their smartphone (many have a QR code application either available or pre-installed), and instantly watch a video about that product.
And I don't know what kind of video they used in this instance, but it could be anything from a standard commercial to customer testimonials to special sales information.
Take it one step further. What if QR codes were put on product labels, linking to related video content. You could be walking down the grocery aisle one day soon, and be able to whip our your phone and make more informed purchasing decisions aided by video.
Of course, it doesn't have to be a food product. It could be any kind of retail product you can imagine. You could pick up a DVD, scan the QR code, and instantly see a trailer... or a behind-the-scenes interview. This kind of video experience could, at least theoretically, replace the everyday floor employee, at least in terms of answering customer questions. Major retailers could bring down employment costs significantly.
If you don't think that kind of engaging contact with the consumer has potential to directly impact shopping decisions, well... then I don't think you've been paying attention to how much more engaging video is across all topics, industries, and platforms.
Mobile Tablet & Touch Applications
Liveclicker's also working with video commerce intended for touch-enabled tablet devices. Their customers receive solutions that rely on HTML5 video support, along with other things like device-detection that help ensure a video is played in the proper resolution for any device.
They're also integrating interactive video with e-commerce sites designed for the iPad and other tablets, as well as tablet shopping apps, so that users get more than a one-way commercial.
Video For Mobile E-Commerce
One of Liveclicker's clients, Kiddiecare, has seen a marked upswing in sales when mobile shoppers view a video. Here's Chris Wood, Kiddiecare's Video Production and Project Manager:
"About one-third of our mobile site visitors are watching our Liveclicker enabled videos. We are seeing in the region of 20% higher conversion on products after a video view. Implementing Liveclicker's integrated video QR codes in our stores have enabled our customers to easily find out more about products via mobile video rather than having to wait for a staff member during busy times, helping us deliver more positive customer experiences.”
And here's Foster:
"Mobile video also bridges a critical experience gap between online and offline, especially for multi-channel retailers that wish to reduce in-store selling costs while creating a more personalized and informed shopping experience for customers."
That's crucial. How many of you do some shopping online for purchases before you go into the store? I do it all the time--particularly with groceries, where I check out the weekly ad for my favorite supermarket. But then I close the laptop and head to the store, often times forgetting some of the thoughts I had while browsing.
Mobile video, and even tablet video (which is really just a form of mobile video), can be the missing link for customers between a retailer's website and their physical store, bringing the two together for a more informative and interactive shopping experience.
As I stated above, I think this is only the beginning. This technology is evolving at a staggeringly rapid rate. Who knows what's around the bend for mobile video. And to a certain extent... who cares? Isn't this kind of stuff we're talking about, that's going on today, cool enough to appreciate?
Think about how the Internet and retail websites have changed your own personal shopping habits. If you're anything like me, it's been drastic. I think mobile video has the power to create the same kind of transformation, especially when you think about the coming wave of bump-technology allowing mobile purchases with the wave of your smartphone. There's upheaval in the world of commerce, with many ways for customers
My thanks to Justin Foster for taking the time to tell me about some of the cool things Liveclicker has been working on.