Make Holiday Video Ads a Shoppable Experience

By Ashley Eckel, Senior Director of Marketing at Innovid

Every year it's the same story: The looming holiday season brings equal parts magic and tension. Between finding the perfect gift, juggling travel plans and preparing mentally for the inevitable family drama, consumers don't need another reason to be stressed.

As a marketer, the mission should be to use brand assets to create awareness of holiday offers and make audiences' lives easier by providing an engaging, seamless and relevant shopping experience.

The goal is to use what has already been designed and developed to give customers the opportunity to take action in the moment, instead of being just another passive viewer. One way to do this is to transform video content into a "one-stop shop"¬ù for all things holiday related this season - gifts, recipes, travel reservations and anything else that streamlines the planning process.

This can be accomplished by adding interaction, personalization and additional content to brands' existing video ads. Approaches including personalized gift recommendations, access to additional video content or even allowing customers to "try out"¬ù the product before purchase - by viewing different colors or styles - result in another layer of connection with audiences. They are essentially converting user "interest" into a tangible outcome such as a sales, loyalty and an increased cart size.

Here are a few ways brands can turn their basic video ads into shoppable holiday experiences:

Provide Personalized Gift Recommendations

During the holidays, advertisements serve two primary purposes: (1) they reinforce what users already know they want to do (such as buy gifts or make travel plans), and (2) they give people ideas for the things they want to buy or do, but are undecided about. Both of these can be supported through personalized gift recommendations.

In order to get personal, use the information that customers have already provided to make recommendations for other products they might like or to simply remind them of things they're already interested in. For instance, if users have been searching for specific gifts for their families, but didn't commit to purchase, a shoppable video ad could serve up the same products from their search history with a special discount code that could prompt audiences to buy then and there. This approach saves time and helps audiences build their holiday shopping momentum.

Marketers might also consider an alternative creative approach to personalizing video ads, such as including a gift-finder survey that helps customers narrow down ideas by just answering a few questions. Consumers could list the relative they're shopping for, how much they're looking to spend and other qualifying information, which the ad would use to generate gift suggestions without ever leaving the video. This kind of personalized journey would take product recommendations to the next level.

Take Shoppers from Awareness to Purchase

Consumers have so much on their minds during the holidays that giving them too much time between learning about brands' offers and taking action might result in them not following through. By adding "buy now"¬ù features to interactive videos, however, retailers enable audiences to make the purchase immediately. Customers have less free time during the holiday season, so making that connection to instantly purchase takes out the lag time and encourages users to complete the transaction immediately and move on.

This approach also works for food and beverage brands that can help alleviate the stress that comes with planning big family holiday meals by providing timesaving recipes and "buy now"¬ù features for purchasing all of the ingredients to make a successful meal. Including a special discount code for audiences to use at checkout can also drive the final sale and keep consumers coming back for continued savings.

Whatever the contents of audiences' holiday shopping lists this year, brands can lend a hand in making the season stress-free and special for shoppers by streamlining their purchase processes and saving them precious time. These positive brand interactions can feed those warm and fuzzy feelings that people experience during the holidays and make audiences more likely to return for their next purchases in the New Year.


+ 65% of video viewers watch more than 3/4 of a video
+ 52% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI