Google has always been one of the most innovative and creative technology companies and it has been rewarded with a place at the top of the industry. Now, it has developed a video shopping platform called Shoploop. Rather than listings and photos, customers are shown products through videos. Let’s learn more about this new venture from Google.
Essentially, this is a new interactive shopping experience that could provide tremendous value to consumers. Traditionally, we would choose online products based on pictures, descriptions, and potentially an advertising video. Now, Google wants to take this one step further with video demonstrations and reviews. On Shoploop, consumers will see demonstrations from creators as well as reviews on the product page.
For many consumers, the problem with online shopping has always been the lack of interaction. Most of the time, buying a product online is a risk because the product could look completely different when it arrives. It could function incorrectly, might not look the same color in person, and other problems can occur. Shoploop looks to help consumers by showing videos of the product in action. Google wants to bridge the gap between online shopping and buying in a physical store - something that is even more important given the events of 2020.
According to Shoploop’s General Manager, Lax Poojary, the idea behind the platform is to provide consumers with closer contact with products than through pictures and product descriptions alone. With a video of no more than 90 seconds, consumers can feel more confident spending their money online. Of course, this isn’t exactly a new idea since product recommendations were tested on YouTube in 2019 and other services exist.
At the moment, Shoploop is only available on mobile devices, although Google has said that a desktop version is in the works. To start, the feature will be available for nail, makeup, hair, skincare, and other beauty products. This could be an opportunity for sellers to show off their products. In the beauty market, we’ve already seen creators post videos applying their own products to help generate sales.
Shoppers will have an opportunity to save any products they want to return to later. Also, they can follow certain creators and share content. For the most inventive creators, there’s potential to have their content shared between consumers, thus providing a new digital community and yet another selling opportunity.
Like many innovations throughout the years, Shoploop was developed in Area 120, Google’s own research and development lab. Of course, the videos will provide value for creators and viewers alike. However, we also want to focus on product reviews. Customers can watch videos and check reviews from customers who have already bought the product. As we all know, the idea of social proof says that internet users tend to follow one another. If a business or marketer can build positive reviews on Shoploop, other consumers will be encouraged to spend their own money. From here, the video should help to seal the deal as they see the product up close.
According to Poojary, the inspiration behind Shoploop was the fact that e-commerce sites and social media are used in conjunction with one another as consumers shop online. For example, we see a product we might like in an online shop. Rather than immediately buying, we go to Facebook or perhaps even YouTube to watch a tutorial of somebody using the product. There are a couple of problems with this:
Therefore, the benefits of bringing Shoploop to market, in Google’s eyes, are clear for both consumers and businesses. Instead of jumping between websites, the consumer has everything they need on one page from creator videos to reviews. Meanwhile, the business can focus more of their energy on Shoploop rather than spreading attention between websites.
Google is certainly a leading innovator, but it isn’t the first to market with this sort of idea. For instance, we look at Amazon and see the Live section of the website. In the same way, creators have a chance to make their own videos, test products, and leave their reviews.
Elsewhere, Facebook has launched its live shopping features and even invested in a business that focuses on this area. Instagram allows consumers to shop directly from images and has a Shop destination, and earlier in 2020 YouTube released its shoppable ad format. With this, ads and products are placed under popular videos.
Not so long ago, even Snapchat released its shoppable series designed to help brands. As time goes on, creators and businesses are getting more access to social media and can create an all-round experience for consumers.
Even away from the biggest names, the ‘Posh Stories’ feature for Poshmark allows users of the platform to create shoppable videos. Also, the same can be said for Verishop and NBCUniversal. With all of these features, Google has competition in the market, but it’s fair to say that a significant portion of e-commerce services rely on Google to either generate leads or sales. With Google now accommodating sellers in this way, it could make a huge difference in the time spend on this platform above others.
For both consumers and businesses, Shoploop opens the door to many possibilities. We’re all online consumers, we’ve all bought items online, and it’s hard choosing between a handful of products when all we can see is images. We try to read the product descriptions, but this isn’t enough information. Instead, what we really need is to see the product in 3D, real-time.
As we’ve seen, the beauty industry will be the first to access this feature, and it’s a great place to start. From the consumers’ perspective, who doesn’t want to see creators showing off hair extensions, makeup, nail stickers, and products of that nature? Pictures are great but seeing the products in action on real people is much better.
At the moment, creators work with brands and are paid to use certain products; this seems to be the way the market is going right now. Go onto YouTube or any other social media platform and you’ll see influencers paid for their opinions. Since videos are limited to 90 seconds, you don’t have to sit down for a 15-minute video just to learn about a particular product. Also, the videos are supposed to be demos as opposed to vlogs.
With this new feature, e-commerce services that value quality should be the happiest. On the other hand, copycat services might struggle to compete with higher-quality products. If your priority has always been quality with products, the release of Shoploop is exciting news because it should reward companies just like you. Consumers see your product in a video, and you can show off all the features.
For consumers, the benefit of Shoploop is that they can see products more dynamically than before. They can follow their favorite creators and even share videos with online friends. Also, they can save products to come back later or, alternatively, buy the product immediately. The shopping experience is more detailed, enjoyable, and efficient with Shoploop.
For businesses, those with high-quality products should be excited to show them off in videos. It’s a great way to show the world your products and encourage people to spend their money with you. You can catch consumers on one platform and provide everything they need without relying on them to click through.
As long as consumers are sharing videos and engaging on Shoploop, it doesn’t even matter if they don’t visit the website. Shoploop might just become a home away from home. With positive reviews, there’s an added element of social proof for your products too.
Hopefully the video shopping app is a success and it will open up to more industries soon!
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