Live Commerce, Shoppable Videos Turn Viewers Into Buyers

Jack M. Germain, E-Commerce Times

News Header - KERV and Commerce Times

Marketers are paying more attention to presenting potential buyers with a blend of product videos as a model that adopts live commerce goals based on consumer-led and consumer-centric product discovery.

The developing new marketing method shares several names. The most prominent usage centers on live commerce and livestream shopping. Whatever you call it, the marketing strategy allows sellers to display products to a live, online audience that can participate in the experience.

This approach to showcasing wares is common on social media and is now gradually finding new website outlets. The format is very similar in that it enables shoppers to communicate directly with promoters via online video and chat.

Industry analysts project interactive live commerce will generate $25 billion in revenue by 2023. They further predict live commerce sales could produce 20% of all e-commerce by 2026.

The trend began in 2016 with China’s Alibaba online shopping network and has proven very effective in Asia-Pacific markets. The innovative approach established the success potential of blending online livestream broadcasts with an e-commerce store to allow viewers to watch and shop simultaneously.

On the other hand, shoppable videos have a similar customer engagement role but are more limiting than live shopping. Shoppable videos feature retail products available for consumption with embedded links within the video. Clicking on those links redirects viewers to a purchasing window without leaving the video page.

Live shopping probably will not grow as extensively with U.S. customers as it has in the Asia-Pacific market, as we reported recently. Still, merchants should not mark down the potential live shopping offers for growing e-commerce sales.

Overlapping Customer Engagement Approaches

One of the key characteristics of shoppable videos is the “add to cart” feature, offered Jennifer Silverberg, CEO of SmartCommerce, a consumer packaged goods digital marketing firm. Her company’s ad content for clients is designed with dynamic features that take into account user context to enhance the experience.

“It helps marketers create interactive advertising experiences that place consumers in the driver’s seat when it comes to engaging with content,” Silverberg told the E-Commerce Times.

Traditional video ad strategies rely on third-party cookies for targeting, while interactivity allows brands to not only measure authentic actions but to use those metrics to optimize campaigns and drive actual purchases. Shoppable ads can unlock views into details that are relevant to specific groups of consumers without them having to leave the video.

Kerv Interactive is a platform provider of technology aimed at reducing the added costs and production time to create shoppable ads.

“Whether shopping by QR code on a CTV [connected TV] ad or a product tile in a digital or social video ad, brands have the ability to drive consumers to a destination relevant to the time of day or location and/or serve creatives that may take location, time of day or weather into account,” Kerv COO Marika Roque told the E-Commerce Times.

The terms and their strategies are not interchangeable, however. Shoppable and live commerce videos have the same purpose but have their own approaches to consumers.

An essential role of a shoppable video is to bring more customer engagement through the ability to buy instantly. The videos are looped and recorded before posting, so shoppers can view them whenever they like.

On the other hand, live commerce videos are real-time events with hosts that emcee the shows. This approach brings entertainment, education, and product promotion at the same time.

Benefits of Live Commerce

One advantage to livestream shopping is that online customers see products in which they are interested. Silverberg suggested the content is no longer displayed by a third party who decides what shoppers see.

“I’m now being invited in through my filters. What I see includes information that is highly relevant to me because I have invited it,” she said in patterning how viewers react.

The viewing attraction is getting shoppers to engage with a topic and a presenter to whom viewers can relate. The engagement matches the context of a lifestyle or gives viewers a way to emulate what that presenter represents.

“Now I am being offered a product that I feel is going to get me closer to that interest. That is totally different,” noted Silverberg, speaking as a potential buyer.

Another powerful driver of live commerce is the higher conversion rates the livestream approach garners compared to other online marketing methods. She added that, in part, results from the viewer already opting to watch the live video.

“Conversion always comes down to matching the tactic to the expectation of the consumer and the expectation of the product category. When you get all of those things right and when the message is relevant, that is when you get 70% conversion rates,” explained Silverberg.

“It’s always matching where the consumer is to his/her propensity to take an action,” she added.

Deciding Factors

Shoppable ads are a largely untapped measurement tool that allows brands and content platforms to solve cross-platform measurement. They also provide new forms of data at a time when consumers are increasingly wary of sharing their information, noted Kerv’s Roque.

According to Silverberg, the difference is what is happening below the surface. She thinks consumers have become much more sensitive to spam, and shoppable ads and live commerce address that point.

With the potential for higher conversion rates, the cost of producing a live commerce presentation could be an advantage over a shoppable video, according to Silverberg. Shoppable videos also gain more conversions.

Merchants are increasingly using live commerce strategies. So are social media influencers, and anyone can use the marking tool anywhere. The cost of making a live commerce show depends on the product category.

“If you are intelligent and create something that is both entertaining and relevant and can be shown to a broad audience, then the cost makes perfect sense,” Silverberg replied without offering more specific pricing.

In-House or Outsource

Keep in mind that live commerce strategies can grow sales more quickly. The results come from the ability to gain a larger instant audience than other marketing plans create.

Also, the added personal engagement associated with live commerce justifies the related production costs. According to market research, video content has higher engagement than other forms of content.

That leads to impulse buying along with building brand awareness more effectively. Some industry reports show that viewers are much more likely to share the presentations they record with their friends than they typically would do with static ads.

A final consideration is whether to opt for in-house production or to contract with a professional marketing service. If you opt for doing it in-house, expect to acquire a live video shopping tool, live chat platform, and shopping cart integration.

See the original E-Commerce times article here.

Recent Posts

October 18, 2023
Devin Monds
Head of EMEA Sales

Devin is a dedicated and experienced media sales professional with over 15 years in the digital media space in both North America and EMEA. He most recently headed up the International Team at Adludio, the premier advertising platform for delivering strong creative on mobile devices. Prior to his role at Adludio, Devin worked on the Global Brand Partnerships team at CAA Sports in London, and was International Sales Director at LoopMe where he built out the US West Coast Sales Team from Los Angeles. With a proven track record of new business development and revenue generation, Devin has a multitude of solid relationships with brands and agencies, globally.

He relishes the opportunity to engage with new clients on a daily basis, in order to identify tailored solutions that can drive their desired outcomes. Furthermore, he takes pride in his culinary skills, often experimenting with new recipes and delivering delectable results.






    Brad Quinn
    VP of Publisher Development

    Brad Quinn is the VP of Publisher Partnerships based out of our NYC office. He has over 15 years of experience across Agencies, Publishers and Tech. At KERV, Brad leads the Partnerships team focused on content providers and distributors. He integrates KERV’s tech capabilities across ads and content to create a real‑time interactive/shoppable experience.

    David Knight
    VP of Engineering

    Before joining KERV in 2018, David Knight spent over 31 years building software products for large corporations like IBM and Schlumberger, 3-person “garage” startups and everything in between. He’s spent the last 15 years discovering and refining the tools, development process, and necessary culture that create great Engineering teams capable of meeting the special demands of technology driven startups.

    Dan Bloomfield
    VP of Technical Ad Operations

    After spending time living in New York and working for NBC Universal’s first digital operations team Daniel moved to Austin in 2009 to further pursue ad tech. During the next decade, he built a career working on interactive video first for Sizmek and then Nexstar. He immediately jumped at the idea to work for KERV and was one of the first to join the company in 2017.

    Creed Pettit
    SVP, Head of Partnerships

    Creed Pettit is an entrepreneurial sales executive offering experience in all aspects of solutions selling, team management, negotiation, organizational leadership, go-to-market strategies and momentum driven models. Prior to joining KERV, Creed served as Media & Entertainment Vertical Sales Leader, Global Business Solutions at TikTok.

    Karen Germ
    VP of Marketing

    Karen Germ is a seasoned marketing and communications professional with a nearly 15‑year history serving in leadership roles across the advertising and technology landscape. Most recently, Karen served as OAAA’s VP of Marketing where she implemented industry leading initiatives to elevate and promote the power of OOH for advertisers, agencies, partners and consumers. 

    Ryan Schoenfeld
    VP of Digital Strategy

    Ryan Schoenfeld’s career started as an intern at a smaller digital media agency while attending the University of Texas. Since then, he has spent over 15 years working in the programmatic advertising/video space.

    Bill Roberson
    VP of Media

    Bill Roberson has worked in the digital space for over 17 years, spanning Media Buying, Ad Operations, Analytics and Optimization, Account Management and now Creative.

    Grant Gorton
    VP of Creative

    Grant has been with KERV as VP of Creative for over 5 years, and has worked as a designer and creative director at agencies and media companies for the last 17 years.

    Michael Fleischman
    CFO

    Michael Fleischman serves as the CFO at KERV Interactive in addition to being an Executive Residence at Progress Partners, a Merchant Investment Bank and Venture Fund. Prior to KERV Interactive, Michael was the CFO and current Board Member at Digital Remedy, a privately-held media execution company supporting agencies, publishers, and brands in navigating the complex adtech landscape of digital success.

    Previous to Digital Remedy, Michael spent 20 years at Cablevision and Rainbow Media Holdings during which he was instrumental in the launch and management of multiple regional sports networks and a number of national cable networks including American Movie Classics, Bravo, The Independent Film Channel as well as the structuring of partnerships with companies including Liberty Media, NBC, Fox/NewsCorp, and MGM. 

    A native of the New York City area, Michael resides with his wife where he enjoys biking, tennis  and spending time with his wife and three adult children.

    Taylor Pate
    CTO

    Taylor Pate serves as CTO at KERV Interactive. Taylor’s experiences in the advertising and creative industry spans 14. He began his career in 2008, working as a designer, animator and art director specializing in the design and production of interactive art. Early in his career, he created 3D character animations and tools for best-selling video game series The Sims while working at Edge of Reality, who developed video games for Nintendo 64, GameCube, PlayStation and Xbox.

    In 2012, Taylor made the shift to work in-house at an online advertising and media services agency, LIN Digital, where he was promoted multiple times in a four-year span. He worked on a variety of online, interactive projects for clients while also developing and automating internal tools and processes. Taylor then spent the next two years working as the director of engineering at multi-platform digital media company HYFN Local, a division of multi-billion-dollar corporation Nexstar Digital LLC.

    Jay Wolff
    CRO

    Jay Wolff serves as Chief Revenue Officer at KERV Interactive, leading global revenue and partnerships, in addition to being the Executive Vice President of 212 NYC, New York’s leading organization for the digital advertising industry. 

    Jay’s expertise in revenue and partner growth in the advertising industry spans 19 years. Most recently, Jay served as CRO of Varick Media, and Chief Growth Officer at Boostr, the first end-to-end SaaS revenue management system for media companies. Previously, as Regional Vice President of SambaTV, Wolff built the revenue organization and east coast market from the ground up. 

    Prior to joining SambaTV, Wolff served as Vice President of agency and brand partnerships at PulsePoint; instrumental to the merger of ContextWeb and Datran Media.

    Jay holds a BS in Marketing from Syracuse University and a Certificate of Management from the University of Chicago. He resides in Rye Brook, NY with his wife and daughter, Olivia. 

    Dan Bienenfeld
    President

    Before co‑founding KERV in 2017, Dan Bienfeld spent the previous 35 years founding six start‑ups in various verticals such as publishing, licensing, med‑tech and ad‑tech. Within these companies, he enjoyed two meaningful exits, which provided him with the ability to continue his passion as an entrepreneur. 

    Aside from bringing together ‘Rock Star Talent,’ his main focus has been raising over $50M, primarily for the startups identified above, as well as creating strategic partnerships. Currently he lives in Westlake Village, CA with his wife and two kids. In addition to his entrepreneurial journey, he also enjoys working out, traveling and an addiction to sushi.

    Gary Mittman
    CEO

    Gary Mittman brings more than 30 years of experience in technology and direct marketing, as well as substantial experience in building startups to exit with creativity and agile development. Before starting KERV, he held numerous top‑ranking leadership roles, including Founder & President of Nami Media (which was acquired by Lin Media/Nexstar Media Group), CEO & Founder of Marina Communications (also acquired), and Vice President of New Business Development, Direct Response at Western International Media (now Initiative Media).

    Gary also brings a decade of experience in the entertainment industry, including managing all booking for New York City’s premiere performance night club, The Ritz, as its Executive Manager and Booking Agent, Executive Producer of the MTV concert series ‘Live At The Ritz’, a Professional Manager at Chappell Music Publishing, and started out as an Assistant to legendary Clive Davis at Arista Records.

    Andi Fenster
    CPO

    Andi Fenster went into the profession of Human Resources 30 years ago, because she believed from a young age that the way you treat your employees is what you get out of them. Her goal as an HR professional has been to help create the type of work environments that inspire folks to want to come to work. She is also a Management/Leadership/Career Coach and her focus is optimizing humans focusing on the mind‑body connection. 

    “We, each, have tremendous potential and the abilities to level‑up if we choose to understand how to get the support we need to get us there. Helping talent thrive and helping them create success is my reason for doing what I do.”

    Marika Roque
    COO & Chief Innovation Officer

    Marika Roque is a top expert in digital media, data and organizational infrastructures recognized with over 15 years of professional leadership experience. Previous to KERV, Marika worked as the vice president of digital operations for Mass2, a division of multi-billion-dollar corporation Nexstar Digital LLC. Prior to Mass2, Marika served as vice president of digital media activation at LIN Digital.

    Marika has held senior-level positions for leading advertising agencies in the Austin, Texas area including Sizmek and GSD&M. She also spent years in Chicago working for FCB Global and Starcom MediaVest Group. While at Starcom, Marika was recognized for her involvement in the creation of the first agency-side programmatic pipelines and what the industry now refers to as an agency trading desk.

    Marika holds a Bachelor’s in Advertising from The University of Texas at Austin, which she achieved while also participating as a former D1 collegiate athlete.