SimplyBe's shoppable Instagram Story, thanks to Smartzer
SimplyBe’s shoppable Instagram Story, thanks to Smartzer

British e-tailers SimplyBe and MyTheresa have partnered with interactive video startup Smartzer to release shoppable videos via social media.

Smartzer’s technology, which has so far been used by the likes of John Lewis and Zalando on their websites, allows customers to click through and buy items while watching interactive videos. The latest update will enable brands to share shoppable video content on social apps such as Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

When watching a video, consumers can swipe up from an Instagram or Snapchat story, or via Facebook Canvas, to trigger the interactive experience that features clickable hotspots.

The MyTheresa partnership saw Italian label Valentino benefit from the new feature on its AW17 pre-launch. MyTheresa produced a film showcasing items from its range, as well as a behind the scenes Instagram story, using the Smartzer shoppable technology. Meanwhile SimplyBe used the technology to make its The Curve Catwalk event at London Fashion Week entirely shoppable via Instagram within an hour of the show.

“Our aim is to enable all brands from the highstreet or high end to offer these kinds of interactive, customer-centric experiences – while providing detailed analysis of customer interaction. In an ever-evolving landscape where technology is constantly revolutionising the way that consumers shop, it’s imperative that brands listen to what their customers really want,” says Smartzer founder AND CEO Karoline Gross, who launched the company in 2012.

Gross emphasises the importance of customer-centric strategies in the current retail scenario: “Take Amazon for instance – partnering with Nicola Formichetti to offer catwalk to doorstep delivery in just one hour. We see shoppable video as a core part of that process – enabling customers to find the piece they want instantly. In a few years, we could be seeing shoppable live streams which allow customers to click through to the item they want, purchase it, and have it delivered the next day, or even within an hour.”

Retailers have been dipping their toes into social commerce for years, often creating and using tools that work around platform limitations, such as RewardStyle’s Liketoknow.it app. In 2016, media company Popsugar also introduced Emoticode, an e-commerce companion app to Snapchat where users could post screengrabs of snaps that featured items they wanted to purchase. Meanwhile Tommy Hilfiger is leveraging the ‘instant gratification’ demand this season by enabling fans to buy looks straight off the runway with click-to-buy functionality on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest.