Google’s latest experiment is a video shopping platform designed to introduce new products to consumers in 90 seconds,media TechCrunch reported. The company announced Thursday the launch of Shoploop, a project by Area 120, Google’s in-house research and development arm, to test new ideas with a public audience.
Lax Poojary, the founder of Shoploop, has previously worked on the development of the online travel planner Touring Bird and is a member of Area 120. Last year, this work became one of the few research and development projects. Poojary says his new idea of interactive shopping was inspired by how today’s consumers combine social media with e-commerce sites when considering purchases. For example, users jump between social media apps such as Instagram, then go to YouTube to watch tutorials or demos, and then — if they like what they see — actually make a purchase.
Of course, video shopping is not a novel idea. Some start-ups, even large companies, have embraced the combination of video and business. Amazon, for example, runs Amazon Live, a live-streaming platform on its retail site. YouTube this year launched a new form of shopping advertising, placing purchases under the video. Facebook has also launched Live Shopping and made an acquisition in 2019. Instagram now has its own Shop destination.
Other mobile shopping start-ups have also launched video shopping features, such as Dote, which raised $12 million last year. Popshop Live raised $3 million in January. NTWRK combines shopping with on-site events. Depop is sold with photos and videos, similar to Instagram. and apps such as Yeay and Spin. Other start-ups focus on providing technology to brands and influencers in this area, such as Bambuser, MikMak and Buywith.
In other words, Shoploop does not see a new, undeveloped trend. It’s just simply added to it. Shoploop’s shopping experience is interactive. Instead of scrolling through pictures and text, users watch videos in which creators show things like nail stickers, hair products or cosmetics. The team says it starts with products in categories such as makeup, skin care, hair and nails, and works with creators, publishers and shopkeepers in the market to serve the app’s content. Currently, creators have developed their own brand deals for what they display. Shoploop products themselves are not monetized.
This experience is similar to watching a YouTube tutorial, but concentrates on the best part. These demos are designed to make consumers feel the affinity of brands and products in real life. When consumers find their favorite product, they can save it, or click directed to the merchant website to complete the purchase. The app also allows users to follow their favorite Shoploop creators and share videos with friends and family.
Such products, if they gain traction, could prove important to Google’s larger mission around Shopping. Google recently redesigned its shopping vertical sitcom and turned it into a free list to counter Amazon’s growing advertising business. Finding more ways to attract online consumers could benefit the internet giant, and the video-based shopping experience is particularly appealing to younger people.
Shoploop was launched on the mobile side on Thursday and is developing a desktop version. Users can access the https://shoploop.app via their smartphone.