ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Industry Dive acquired Mobile Commerce Daily in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out our topic page for the latest mobile commerce news.

Shoppable YouTube videos blend mobile inspiration, mcommerce for Williams-Sonoma

Williams-Sonoma, in partnership with Visa Checkout, is blending mobile video with shopping, making it easy for on-the-go consumers to purchase showcased products by clicking directly from a video.

The program includes a four-part video series called “Time to Savor Summer” and is one of the first in-market examples of leveraging YouTube’s new TrueView technology that makes video ads shoppable. The strategy points to how marketers are increasingly focusing on visual elements to provide inspiration on mobile while streamlining use cases such as shopping.

“We want to make it easy for customers to turn inspirational entertaining ideas into a reality so they can focus on enjoying friends and food,” said Chrissy Ginieczki, vice president of ecommerce operations at Williams-Sonoma. “The combination of the shoppable videos and Visa Checkout enables that in just a few clicks.

“Currently, the shoppable videos are enabled on mobile and desktop,” she said.

“ Customers prefer browsing images and video over text – especially on mobile devices.  Enabling our customers to shop visually is a priority for the brand.

“Commerce enabled visual experiences allow us to share new ideas and inspiration while making it easy to find the products you need to make those ideas a reality either at home or on the go.”

West Coast Cantina
Each video is hosted by a different influencer and includes tips and techniques for hosting a themed summer party. The videos are hosted on Visa’s YouTube channel.

Viewers see prompt in the upper right hand corner of the videos that, when tapped, reveals cards for showcased products. Clicking on a card brings users to the product page for that item on the Williams-Sonoma site.

Messaging throughout the videos encourage viewers to try Visa Checkout on Williams-Sonoma.

The first video, called West Coast Cantina, is hosted by Megan Mitchell and is now live online.

The three additional videos that will go live later this summer, are Southern BBQ, East Coast Clambake and Backyard Bonfires.

The videos were created in partnership with Tastemade, a global food lifestyle network for digital platforms.

Mobile video
As mobile video consumption continues to grow, YouTube introduced TrueView last month, enabling marketers to showcase product details and images within a video ad as well as the ability to click to purchase from a brand or retail site. With 50 percent of views on YouTube coming from mobile devices, the capability was designed to work seamlessly across mobile phones, desktop and tablets.

The strategy reflects how consumers are increasingly watching video on their smartphones throughout the day to help them get things done, such as watching product review or a recipe how-to. Google wants to help connect the dot between the moment a person watches a video and they moment they decide to make a purchase.

Early tests are positive, with Wayfair seeing a 3X revenue increase per impression served when compared to previous campaigns while Sephora drove a more-than 80 percent lift in consideration and a more-than 54 percent lift in ad recall.

Mobile checkout
Williams-Sonoma online customers can purchase everything they need within the videos to recreate the featured party at home with just a few clicks and using Visa Checkout.

Visa Checkout, an online checkout service launched by Visa less than a year ago and boasting more than 4 million users, is now live on the Williams-Sonoma Web site. With Visa Checkout, consumers can enter their username and password, and click a button to complete a purchase.

To promote the availability of Visa Checkout, Williams-Sonoma is offering customers $10 off their next purchase of $100 or more when they pay with Visa Checkout now through July 31, 2015.

“We know that more than 60 percent of time that people spend shopping online is on mobile devices,” said Sam Shrauger, senior vice president of digital solutions for Visa. “But retailers aren’t seeing those shoppers convert to buyers at a high rate because the small screen size creates a clunky experience.

“When we combine innovations like Visa Checkout and shoppable videos together, retailers can really start to see an increase in conversion on mobile devices,” he said.

“Mobile is increasingly becoming a channel of engagement for new, immersive experiences.  Consumers have already been video chatting, watching movies, and playing games on their mobile devices for some time.  But, this same degree of engagement has just now come to the shopping experience on mobile via shoppable videos.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York