Imagine your online retail business as a broker on a crowded stock market trading floor. It’s busy, it’s nosy and everybody’s trying to make a sale.
It’s tough out there and it’s easy to lose confidence when there’s a big trader in the room with a voice like a foghorn.
But it’s not always the loudest broker or retailer that attracts the most customers and makes the most money – it’s the savviest.
Since the explosion of ecommerce, online retailers have been coming up with innovative new ways to engage with customers and drive revenue.
Optimising your site for mobile users, creating opportunities for user-generated content, diversifying your social media platforms and adopting live chat customer service are just some of the ways that you can build brand awareness.
Now, e-consultants, bloggers and brands are labelling shoppable videos as the next big thing in ecommerce.
Of course, video content is nothing new; savvy online retailers have been implementing video content for some time now.
In the intimate apparel world, retailers like HerRoom and Figleaves have posted bra fitting tutorials, buying guides and catwalk shows on their sites to add depth to their digital channels.
And it seems the next step was to blur the lines between content and commerce.
ASOS was one of the first online retailers to launch click-to-buy videos in the UK as part of its Christmas 2012 campaign, #BestNightEver.
The British retailer created three video exclusives: two music videos with Azealia Banks and Ellie Goulding featuring unreleased tracks, and an interactive fashion video with US model Charlotte Free. A product carousel and world first ‘Want it, Pin it’ button increased dwell time by 76 hours and let viewers shop the product direct from the videos.
More recently, Kate Spade has made use of Google’s TrueView discovery ads with its #MissAdventure campaign series by letting viewers shop the video, and Topshop collaborated with photographer Nick Knight to stream a shoppable catwalk show during London Fashion Week in February.
Brands have also launched their own video channels, like Selfridges Hot Air and Marks & Spencer TV, featuring style advice, how-to guides and, of course, shoppable videos.
But despite more brands wising up to the fact that today’s consumers are part of a new rich-media-driven world in which making a purchase is often the result of contact with multiple touch-points, shoppable videos have yet to gain widespread adoption in the lingerie industry.
That may be because, typically, a shoppable video is created as an expensive experiment – a one-off, produced and delivered by a creative agency or production studio.
That is, until now.
During the Moda trade show in August, a dedicated video channel for the lingerie and swimwear industry was launched.
The Shimmy Lingerie Video Project aims to build Europe’s largest collection of shoppable catwalk videos to support hundreds of brands in the industry.
“Shimmy is giving lingerie brands the opportunity to develop forward-thinking video marketing campaigns, in-line with what the front-runners in the fashion world offer,” says Gemma Hughes, founder of Shimmy.
At Moda, Shimmy invited lingerie, swimwear and activewear brands to take part in the project, free of charge.
Participants were asked to send their samples to Shimmy’s photography studio in Preston and, in return, they will receive a video featuring user-generated content that they can share with their fans and followers on social media.
Shimmy recruits volunteer models of all shapes and sizes to appear in the videos.
Explaining the importance of shoppable videos, Hughes says: “Shoppable video gives time-pressed, tech-savvy millennial consumers a shortcut to the shops.
“From a brand perspective, when they invest in creating content what they really want is a conversion to sale. Shoppable videos provide that opportunity,” Hughes continued.
“The online lingerie market is becoming crowded, but offering a shoppable video gives brands a distinct point of difference – a way to stand out.”
Lingerie brands including Guy de France and Swegmark of Sweden have already signed up to support the Shimmy Lingerie Video Project.
So where next for lingerie retail? With content seemingly the hot topic for e-commerce stores, how else can brands engage with their customers?
Get in touch with Lingerie Insight editor Sarah Clarke with your opinion. Sarah.firstname.lastname@example.org.