June 12, 2014, 12:22 PM

Joyus is poised to bring its video shopping platform to TV

Co-founder and CEO Sukhinder Singh Cassidy told IRCE attendee she’s building a shoppable video interface for smart TVs modeled after Netflix and HBO GO.

Lead Photo

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy speaking at IRCE 2014 in Chicago.

For the past three years, e-retailer Joyus has been enabling women to discover, learn about and shop for beauty, fashion and lifestyle products via online video. The merchant operates a custom-built e-commerce platform based entirely on video, so a shopper can be watching a video about a Heaven Skincare product and purchase the product directly within the video. She never has to go to a product page.

What’s next for Joyus, however, is television. Co-founder Sukhinder Singh Cassidy told attendees this morning at the 2014 Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago that the merchant is working on an interface that will allow customers to watch Joyus videos and shop via smart TV products like Apple TV.

The system is modeled after Netflix and HBO Go, Singh Cassidy said, and will have similar functionality as its current web site. A shopper will be able to watch videos in full-screen view while the products featured in those videos will float on the screen in a carousel-type arrangement. She can Add to Cart or select sizes while the video is rolling via a remote control, mouse or keyboard connected to the television.

In the featured address entitled, “How the video experience is transforming the way people shop,” Singh Cassidy also said Joyus was planning to open up its site to become a marketplace-type destination for other brands to sell their products via the merchant’s video shopping platform. She did not provide details on the timing of either initiative.

Joyus has around 700 shoppable videos in its library, Singh Cassidy said, and the merchant averages around $0.83 of revenue per video view. The merchant takes great care in selecting the hosts of its videos, as it is imperative that they engender trust among consumers. Product selection is also very important, as the merchant only sells a small number of items in a few categories.

Video commerce is about the art of selling special,” she told attendees. “Video is a depth platform, not a breadth platform. It’s a lot more about selling a thousand of one thing, not one of a thousand things.”

The retailer has a unique opportunity to capitalize on the changing way people are consuming media, she said, and pointed to the fact that 78% of consumers watch at least one online video per week. Around 50% of mobile traffic originates from people watching videos on their phones and tablets, she added. “Bite-sized content on the mobile phone is what people do when they’re waiting for the train.”

For online merchants considering putting an emphasis on video, Singh Cassidy suggested that they start to rethink what the medium can do for business. “Video is not just an engagement platform, it’s a conversion platform,” she said. “Focus on what’s special in your product category and think aggressively about how to push out that content.”

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