How Video Commerce Creates Community Loyalty


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Today’s consumer is ravenous for video content – on average, they watch 17 hours of online video per week, and they’re 52% more likely to share videos with their peers than any other kind of content. Consequently, an increasing number of retailers are pursuing video commerce strategies to ensnare curious customers and drive better sales. 

The shift to mobile-based, video-forward e-commerce is part of a larger consolidation based on convenience. People want to move fluidly between their content and commerce experiences, with minimal steps between discovery and checkout. They’re also desperate for connection. Shopping is a traditionally social experience, and the live chats and comment sections of shoppable videos provide a space for shoppers to connect with others and build a community around their shared love of a brand or product. The brands that can provide these spaces will be the best equipped to succeed in this new era of video-based commerce. 

Adopting the “Internet Friends” Approach

The first step to creating an online community around your brand is to understand how people naturally interact with one another online. Social media provides the digital infrastructure for people with similar interests to easily discover and connect with one another, even if they live in different parts of the world. When creating a video commerce strategy, you can leverage the same structure to create a digital venue for your customers to congregate and chat with each other. However, product alone will not draw an audience to your videos. There needs to be a personal connection. An appeal to the emotions.

In short, your brand has to be the internet friend.

This is what makes choosing the right video commerce hosts so important. People want to spend their time with personalities who are honest and authentic, people they might hang out with in real life. A good host will make audience members feel welcome and appreciated. Fortunately, video commerce is inherently collaborative, and in some cases, hosts can quite literally make audiences a part of the show. Multi-hosting technology can bring users on screen during a live event as if they were part of an in-studio audience, while pre-produced content might feature viewer comments and recorded Q&As. Hosting special experiences for audiences will give them something to talk about together, forging the bonds that will become the connective tissue of your brand community. 

Driving Loyalty in the Post-Ad Age

The lead generation landscape is changing drastically, from the deprecation of third-party cookies to superfluous social algorithms that could be locking your brand away from its ideal customers. As a result, companies are looking to decrease their dependence on traditional digital advertising channels in favor of retention and repeat transactions. 

Creating a loyal customer community that can share their passion for your brand via word-of-mouth is infinitely more powerful than relying on traditional ads. Moreover, consumers will increasingly consider these ads invasive as commerce media becomes more commonplace. Think of the subcultures that have arisen around brands like Peloton – a video-forward company – and Stanley, which rose to viral prominence through TikTok videos. The goal is to create a space for people to come back to, building a positive association with your brand. In the age of video commerce, you are no longer just selling a product. You are selling a lifestyle and a community, and that community is what will drive continued sales success. 

Owning Your Audience with Private Sales Channels

Providing the right digital infrastructure is key to the maintenance of a loyal brand community. Relying primarily on fickle social media algorithms jeopardizes the visibility of your content. Instead, focus on directing users to your brand’s dedicated website and mobile app – and the mobile element is vital. New research projects that mobile commerce will account for approximately half of all online purchases by 2027, and it already makes up 38% of digital spending in the U.S.. People want seamless shopping experiences delivered right to the palms of their hands. They want to watch a video in the school pickup line or on the train to work, then purchase the product they saw before the busyness of the day creeps in and the product slips their mind. 

If you want people to come back again and again, you have to make it easy for them to access your content – you want them to open your app as habitually as they open their favorite social media platforms. Fortunately for brands, these apps aren’t nearly as hard to develop as they used to be, with plug-and-play options available through existing and trusted e-commerce platforms such as Shopify. You can provide a frictionless user experience without having to hire a full developer team.

Having a bespoke mobile app also offers unprecedented ownership of consumer data. A video-forward app can deliver insights into users’ viewing habits and engagement with one another, in addition to more traditional metrics like the popularity of certain products. The accessibility of an app is also likely to increase overall data yield, empowering you to create the most accurate portrait of your consumer base. Armed with this knowledge, you will create better video content as well as better products, positioning your brand for remarkable growth. When customers see that you’re invested in treating them as not just a customer, but a valued member of your brand’s community, they’ll keep coming back for more – and they’ll tell their friends.

Dan Dan Li
Dan Dan Li is the founder of Popshoplive and chief innovation officer at CommentSold. She has worked as an entrepreneur for seven years and launched Popshoplive in 2018. Popshoplive merged with CommentSold in 2023. Li graduated from New York University’s interactive telecommunications program.


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