It's that time of the year again everyone is winding down (or speeding up) towards the end of 2012. It's a time to reflect on the year as well as look towards 2013 and what that may bring. Here are some of my predictions for the state of video commerce in 2013.
YouTube Will Continue To Invest In The Watch And Shop Experience
YouTube rolled out their Merchant Annotations this year along with the associated website annotations so you can have clickable boxes within your content to drive viewers to your site to purchase. This is a great start for brands attempting to use YouTube and shoppable YouTube videos to drive sales. However, as YouTube acknowledged this takes people away from your content which shortens your view time and therefore reduces your videos ranking in YouTube's algorithm.
In 2013, YouTube will improve these annotations to allow for more customizations like product images to be included. They will also begin to experiment with transactions happening on the watch page that are the lowest hanging fruit (non-profit donations and Google Play purchases come to mind).
TV Networks Will Launch More Second Screen Shop & Watch Apps
More people are using tablets than ever before and the market continues to expand. 45% of tablet owners in the US use their device daily while watching TV. There have been a few experiments in a second screen shopping experience that ties into what you are watching, most notably Shazaam and eBay's "watch with eBay" on the iPad.
There is a lot of room here for 3rd party applications to be developed, but it makes even more sense for networks and the owners of content to develop their own. They already have the relationships with advertisers and they own the content. Creating a tablet application that allows the fans to have a deeper experience with the content and the ads seems like a logical step.
It began this year with Fox and American Express teaming up for Fox Now as well as sync apps like the Team Coco app that provides additional content while you watch. Next year these apps will become more tightly integrated and we'll see all the networks get into the game.
Amazon Will Integrate Commerce Into It's Content
Amazon is taking a deep dive into the original content play a la Netflix. The difference between them and all the other players in the space is obviously their vast online retail store. If there was ever an opportunity to integrate commerce with content, this is it.
How they will do it is a completely different question and, if this prediction comes true, it probably wont be until the end of 2013 since they haven't had any original content go to air yet. But wouldn't that be cool to be watching a show on your computer, Kindle Fire or other device and have a one-click purchase with free two day shipping at your fingertips?
E-Commerce Videos Will Expand Beyond The Product Video
In 2012 most retailers have accepted the benefits of product videos to provide customers with more information prior to making their purchase. However, relatively few are getting into other types of video content around the rest of the sales cycle. Examples include customer support videos, product tutorial videos, branded content, product placement and more.
In 2013 I think we will see these areas grow a lot more as e-commerce retailers get more and more comfortable with the video space and see the benefits of other types of content.