Google breaks into mobile video shopping

Discussion
Source: Google - "Shoploop: An Entertaining New Way To Shop Online"
Jul 21, 2020
Tom Ryan

Google has launched Shoploop, a video shopping platform “for discovering, evaluating and buying products, all in one place.”

The platform is billed as an “experiment” from Google’s workshop Area 120.

In a blog entry, Lax Poojary, Shoploop’s general manager, said the inspiration for the platform was a goal to combine three steps in the mobile shopping experience:

  • Discovering an item from someone on a social media site, such as Instagram; 
  • Evaluating the item by heading to YouTube to see a tutorial or demo; 
  • Buying the item at an e-commerce site.

Users can save products to check out later, they can like a product, share clips with friends and follow creators for more content.

“The experience on Shoploop is more interactive than just scrolling through images, titles and descriptions on a traditional e-commerce site,” said Mr. Poojary.

All Shoploop videos are capped at 90 seconds “and help you discover new products in an entertaining way,” said Mr. Poojary. “We want to help people experience the look and feel of products they’re shopping for in real life without going to a physical store. Shoploop helps you get product reviews from real people who are knowledgeable about the products in a particular area.”

The application is currently focused on content from creators, publishers and store owners in the beauty industry, mainly in makeup, skincare, hair and nails categories.

In May, Google began allowing merchants to list their products on Google Shopping for free in what was seen as a response to Amazon.com’s dominance in product search. Wrote TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez about Shoploop, “Finding more ways to engage online consumers could be beneficial to the internet giant, and this video-slash-influencer fueled shopping experience appeals to a younger demographic, in particular.”

On July 15, Amazon added live streaming to its existing Amazon Influencer Program, which enables social media influencers to earn money by guiding fans to products on the site through posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, NTWRK, TikTok and a number of startups, such as Popshop Live, also offer ways to drive sales through live and pre-recorded video.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of the opportunity around video shopping and which features are most promising? Do you see video shopping as a natural extension of Google’s reach and resources?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Video shopping will take off as consumers spend more time and money online in 2020, especially if more lockdowns lie ahead."
"My first thought in reading this article was that Google will be the first of the FAANG to be at risk of fading away. This sounds like all the makings of Google +."
"Consumers are ready to embrace this as a natural extension to already growing online shopping habits as they continue to be nervous about visiting stores..."

Join the Discussion!

12 Comments on "Google breaks into mobile video shopping"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Ralph Jacobson
BrainTrust

It will be interesting to see where the dust settles on this immense opportunity. Which company will be on the top of the heap two years from now? That depends on a seamless shopping journey and flawless delivery.

Richard Hernandez
BrainTrust

Video shopping, HSN, etc, has been around for a very long time on a TV platform. This is a natural extension to online shopping and tying it to the peoples’ social media.

Right now, if I see an item in a social media post, I have to look up the item via a search engine, then find a store that sells it, and then go to that site to order it. If this process can be streamlined (and has the ability to see real people offer reviews), that would be attractive to a lot of customers.

Raj B. Shroff
BrainTrust

My first thought in reading this article was that Google will be the first of the FAANG to be at risk of fading away. This sounds like all the makings of Google +. Assuming I understand Shoploop correctly, I think their money would be better spent growing Youtube and their Cloud business. It seems as though all the features they are offering already exist and are/would be better experienced on the other, more relevant, platforms like Amazon, Instagram and FB. Businesses that put the consumer first, not tech first.

I could see video shopping as a natural extension of their reach and resources, but I would have rather seen this branded as YouTube-Shop and have a more clear integration with that platform. While many go there for entertainment, many are there for instruction and reviews.

YouTube has huge upside potential. Google doesn’t need another disconnected “experiment.”

Scott Norris
Guest

Raj makes a great point — sometimes you need more than 90 seconds to introduce, explain, and show advantages of a product. Perhaps with a well-understood item like lipstick it works, but the arbitrary limit locks out thousands of other categories. YouTube is much better suited for the diversity of products which could be sold there, if there were better integrations available.

David Weinand
BrainTrust

Video is how the younger generation discovers products and services. This is a natural reaction to the explosion of platforms like Tik-Tok. The opportunity is big and Google is right to chase it.

Stephen Rector
Guest

Livestream video shopping is already huge in China. Video and social commerce is going to be an important part of brand and product discovery in the USA as well, now and in the future.

Lisa Goller
BrainTrust

During this ambiguous year, one thing is certain: retail and tech are firmly entwined. Recent partnerships (Walmart and Shopify, Facebook and several e-commerce platforms) prove retail now necessitates innovation to compete against retail tech giant Amazon.

Video shopping will take off as consumers spend more time and money online in 2020, especially if more lockdowns lie ahead.

Shoploop’s model encourages consumers to discover, trust and buy products online with greater confidence due to social proof. This transparent video shopping process gives Google an opportunity to apply its search mastery and data insights to grab market share from Amazon and Walmart.

Ananda Chakravarty
BrainTrust

The Google move here is exciting to see, especially if they can package the experience well. Social media right now is an influencer, not a transaction channel and hence, retailers can get away with an image based product search limited to descriptions and reviews.

There are so many extra steps for a consumer to buy something they spot in a movie, in a YouTube video, in a social media stream, or even online in a non-ecommerce channel. The ability to change the packaged experience to include transaction experience can change the value proposition by offering an automated process to buy or reserve whenever consumers want. A solution that tracks and builds not just static image assets, but also includes video will be a powerful tool in harnessing social media as part of the product selling process.

Though I suspect demand is not there yet, we need to track this concept as it evolves. Google will be one of the key players in video search.

Ricardo Belmar
BrainTrust
Ricardo Belmar
Retail Transformation Thought Leader
4 months 8 days ago

Video shopping, online, and in bite-size chunks — unlike TV shopping networks — has a tremendous opportunity ahead. Videos showing how you use a product and why you want it can go a long way to building desirability and loyalty. I expect we will see significant investment in this selling technique in the months and years to come. Social media selling gets an upgrade with a more structured approach to video with influencers and brands. Consumers are ready to embrace this as a natural extension to already growing online shopping habits as they continue to be nervous about visiting stores during a pandemic.

Xavier Lederer
BrainTrust

This experiment looks like a very smart way for Google to re-gain market share from Amazon. For a long time, Google has been the starting point for online shoppers. More recently though, Amazon has beaten Google at their own game: the majority of online shoppers now go straight to Amazon to search for their next online purchase, bypassing Google.

It looks like Google is not trying to replicate the Amazon model, but instead has been observing how consumers behave in the product exploration and buying funnel, and is trying to better meet these needs. The future will tell whether this specific initiative is successful, but the approach is definitely interesting.

Rachelle King
BrainTrust

This is Google moving in the right direction with the speed of what’s relevant right now. Great way to scale and monetize the massive reach they already have with search. As consumers look for creative ways to get in-store experience and personalization while staying home, this hits a sweet spot. So much so, they should be prepared to defend their turf against competitors, namely Amazon.

Harley Feldman
BrainTrust

Video shopping is big. There is nothing like a video to communicate a product, its attributes, and why the shopper should buy it along with testimonials from other shoppers. However, it only works if the video is snappy which Google will need to provide with Snaploop. Video shopping is a natural extension for Google. It is the go to place for most people who execute a search. Video shopping is the next generation of the online shopping environment. Google’s retailer and CPG customers will love having the capability for helping to sell their products.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Video shopping will take off as consumers spend more time and money online in 2020, especially if more lockdowns lie ahead."
"My first thought in reading this article was that Google will be the first of the FAANG to be at risk of fading away. This sounds like all the makings of Google +."
"Consumers are ready to embrace this as a natural extension to already growing online shopping habits as they continue to be nervous about visiting stores..."

Take Our Instant Poll

How would you rate the growth opportunity around video shopping over the next three years?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...