Video Commerce in India

The way we consume video online has evolved so fast, it’s made my head spin.

Online videos featuring products and brands actually help consumers make purchasing decisions online. Modern-day consumers have grown to rely on video in their online shopping.

Video affects 64% of purchases made online.

In 2014, consumers who viewed video were up to 3.3 times more likely to make online purchases. This is especially true for consumers who shopped from online-only retailers.

The demand for video product reviews, tutorials, how-to’s, unboxing, and comparison videos was especially high during the 2014 winter holiday period when most gift purchases occurred.

52% of consumers stated that watching product videos made them more confident in shopping online.

Here are some interesting facts that need attention:

• Mobile video consumption is almost doubling with every passing year

• By 2020 video traffic will represent around 80–90% of the global consumer internet traffic

• 80% of all web traffic will be contributed by videos

What does this indicate?

Video commerce is the next big thing of marketing. But How Videos on Product Pages Can Increase Conversion Rate of E-commerce Website is NOT what I am going to discuss, but how to implement it in the best way in your existing products and the real time problems faced.

Heuristic Evaluations

Android’s dominance in the Indian smartphone industry is echoed in the global market where the operating system held over 80 percent of the smartphone market as of the fourth quarter of 2016. In the U.S. alone there will be an estimated 107.7 million Android users in 2016, compared to 87.7 million in 2014.

Android version market share distribution among smartphone owners as of September 2018

Contextual Research

Yeay is a young marketplace that facilitates buying, selling and discovering new products from around the globe through its video feeds. It brings in a cool concept of creating full-screen vertical videos that are fun and creative. Users can swipe up the video to shop the product showcased in the video.

Yeay — Create honest videos, discover trends, be rewarded.

E-commerce companies like Taobao and have been experimenting with using video to engage and attract buyers to their platforms. Both companies have included live-streaming functions into their apps, allowing merchants to show potential buyers their wares and even offer discounts while interacting with viewers in real-time. Both have also launched short video functions within the e-commerce platforms.

In terms of user interface, Lu Ke bears some resemblance to Tik Tok. Video length parameters, as well as tools for interacting with other users, are also similar to the market leader. One slight difference between the two is that Lu Ke focuses more on providing users with a question-and-answer platform and e-commerce shopping guide. Questions can be added to videos with the options to invite others to provide responses. Users can also choose questions that they would like to answer.

Viewers can purchase items without ever leaving the live stream

Global brands are jumping on the trend. A study by consumer research group L2 showed that two-thirds of beauty brands in China have held live streaming events on Tmall. While the fashion and beauty industries are leading the charge, live streaming is an opportunity for any industry. From luxury cars to French infant milk powder, brands are experiencing significant results and it has become a regular part of their marketing mix.

Personally, I see e-commerce live streaming as one of the biggest potential growth areas for the live streaming industry in China. A number of entertainment live streaming apps, including Momo, Yizhibo, and Kuaishou, have incorporated e-commerce functionalities.

Womanstalk, “Korea’s first video commerce platform” also comes aboard as the CSP (Commerce Service Provider). On Womanstalk, Suppliers are provided with video contents produced by influencers — and in turn, suppliers list their products at the lowest price.

Live streaming is intermixed with video content (see top left)

In 2017 Kuaishou was China’s most popular short video streaming app with over 20 percent market share, according to a December report by Chinese data provider Jiguang. According to a report released in January 2018, Kuaishou had 700 million registered users and over 100 million DAU.

In Douyin live streaming is found through the “following” tab

Douyin has been one of the hottest short-video apps in China this year. It a trendy short video platform owned by Bytedance. The international version of Douyin is called Tik Tok.

While Douyin does have live streaming features, it hasn’t expanded them as much as they originally said they might, so while some call it a live streaming platform, I would definitely categorize it as a short video platform.


Millennials are comfortable using videos in online shopping

  • 4 in 5 millennial shoppers find online product videos helpful when researching future purchases. — Animoto
  • 67% of millennials are certain they can find a video on YouTube about anything, including product video reviews. — Think With Google
  • Millennials are 146% more likely to watch video on retailer’s website while online shopping than older generations of consumers. — Animoto
  • Gen Y shoppers are 264% more likely to share product videos while doing online shopping. — Animoto
  • 3 quarters of millennials rely on online video when comparison shopping. — Animoto
  • 69% of millennial shoppers turn to online video content to research complementary products to add to their purchases. — Animoto

Shoppers watch product videos on the go

  • 50% of global YoutTube viewership comes from mobile devices. — Think With Google
  • By 2019, 72% of mobile traffic will be online video content. — Cisco
  • Mobile video viewers are 1.2 times more likely to think more highly of companies that offer product videos on their pages. — Think With Google
  • Millennials who use mobile devices to watch online video are 2.3 times likely to go to YouTube first for the content. — Adwords Agency
  • 34% of all video plays in the last quarter of 2014 were on tablets and smartphones.- Ooyala
  • Tablet users are more likely to watch online videos longer than 10 minutes. On the other hand, 54% of mobile users watch video content that is less than 10 minutes long. — Ooyala

Originally published on Goodvidio Blog.

In India, Women online shoppers in the age group of 19 to 26 are one of the most active shoppers, and they comprise 52% of the total population of online women shoppers

India comprises of around 100 million women smartphone users out of which 40% shop on e-commerce sites and platforms. Interestingly, 70% of the online transactions are executed through a smartphone device. On the other hand, 30% shop through a computer or a tab. In this context, it is important to note that Tier-1 cities fair on a reasonable scale of 53% when compared to tier 2 and tier 3 markets which stand at 47%. There are Reasons for the Surge in Women Online Shoppers in India which we will be discussing later.

The average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000, to eight seconds in 2015. New ways of content delivery appear as a result of adapting to the change. Formats like 360-degree videos and Facebook Live were created as a result of such adaptation. In 2018 more users and business will use this format to deliver important and timely information.

Facebook Live video. Image credit: Buzzfeed

According to Luke W, 94% of the time mobile phones used in portrait orientation. This means that all content (including video) should be adapted for this orientation.


The technology ignores everything we know about how great conversation actually works. The idea, in theory, is that it makes it possible to focus on the person speaking. But it also rewards the loudest person in the room.

This reward-the-loudmouth design ignores everything we know about how truly great conversation actually works. Rich conversation thrives on what’s known as “turn taking,” with the group fluidly moving its attention from speaker to speaker. In FaceTime and Hangouts, the people in the group don’t have any control over where they put their focus. That’s determined automatically by software.

The problems with videos are many including people who utilise the time while commuting in a Metro, a train or a bus… there can be many reason where a person cannot hear it properly; or a video experience to accommodate users who are deaf or hard-of-hearing (HOH). Further research revealed that exclusion occurs across both ability and context — deaf users couldn’t access the audio-heavy experience (ability-based exclusion).

User research revealed that situational and ability-based impairments produced overlapping pain points and user needs. This meant that solutions designed for users who are deaf or HOH can also benefit those who are consuming video content in a loud airport or cafe.

Photo by Shane Rounce

To enable users who are deaf or HOH and people at loud airport/cafe to access video content, a full transcript allows for quick skimming and closed captioning provides real-time translation of the audio content — this provides different ways for users to engage with the same content. The subtitles can be made to appear/disappear.

However, let us not forget my grandma, who is amazing with her ears, but not with her eyes. What about her? How about some sound UI?

First of all you, need to give it some thought — what should produce sound in your app and why? The most important thing here is not to overdo it. You do not want your app to sound like a slot-machine club during the busy hour.

Every time you add sounds to an event, it would be a good idea to ask yourself the following question, “Do I really need a sound here?”. It is important to understand what is the function of each individual sound component, and remove whatever you do not need. Only the sounds that provide useful information or improve the user’s experience should stay. This is further discussed in The Role of Sounds in UX

Chatbots As Assistants Integrated with Video commerce.

Most probably we won’t see chatbots as a full replacement for regular GUI experiences, but they will be integrated into messaging platforms (such as Facebook Messages) to serve as assistants. Businesses will have real-time automated conversations with their customers.

Putting it All Together

Many on the Internet hate vertical video. To self-righteous denizens of reddit and YouTube, people who shoot mobile videos in portrait mode — think skinny and tall video, rather than the widescreen format normalized by movies and television — are uncouth amateurs.

Thanks to apps like Meerkat, Twitter-owned Periscope and Snapchat, the media industry is beginning to take vertical video seriously. That’s because vertical video delivers better results than standard video in environments where people tend to hold their devices upright. Snapchat told the Daily Mail, a Snapchat Discover content partner, that vertical video ads have up to nine times more completed views than horizontal video ads, according to Daily Mail North America CEO Jon Steinberg.

However, Digiday predicts that the tide may be turning in favor of vertical video. One reason cited in the article, and that I’ve experienced IRL is that shooting vertically is more ergonomic and simpler to do with one hand. As devices get larger, holding the phone with one hand becomes increasingly unwieldy and more likely to be passed over.

But when you consider that consumers hold their phones vertically 94% of the time, the whole vertical thing starts to sound a little less crazy…

Well, if It’s time to take vertical video seriously and Why Vertical Video is the Future needs a different article to discuss, I will present here both the options.
We’ve been trained by all video products so far to aim for function consistency when we rotate the device. As screen-size has increased this flaw in thinking has been exacerbated.

This small move of a button would allow users to hold the phone comfortably with one hand while pressing record. Take it a step further and give them the ability to indicate which hand they’d like to use

Although I am stuck between the reality of text versus content, and I will always like a balance of both; half screen video, half screen text…
something like this on the right side of the image:

Although I really like how Facebook is balancing the videos and content with its existing UI and generating revenue. The users are curiosity driven and this works for both vertical/horizontal videos.

Or a balance where the user decides when to watch a video and when not?User should easily access information and also see product test that would be hard to try at home plus asking for requests that the provider could try on the spot. This amount of information sharing and gathering could provide a huge boost in converting viewers to customers.

However, India does have some internet issues. 100% video commerce app might not be a feasible option for the present time. With the key playes like Vodafone, Airtel, Jio etc giving almost free internet (or fixed daily quota), majority of the Tier 2 population is still having an average internet speed, and the videos, they do buffer here. India is ranked 67th for fixed broadband and 109th for mobile internet speeds in February, according to internet speed testing analysis firm Ookla. Read more.

Hope you found this interesting. Do share your thoughts. Here’s a little clip from the video-selling platform Kernl.