Google Launches Video-Shopping Platform Shoploop

The new platform aims to close the gap between customer testimonials and e-commerce.

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Need to Know

  • Shoploop, designed to introduce users to new products in 90 seconds, comes from Google’s R&D division, Area 120.
  • The platform features entertaining, expert reviews from real people on skincare, haircare, and cosmetics products.
  • Shoppers often use a combination of social media, e-commerce sites when shopping; Shoploop aims to bring those two platforms together.
  • Products can be purchased directly from merchants through Shoploop, or saved for later.

Analysis

As more online shoppers turn to user reviews when deciding to make a purchase, Google has launched Shoploop, which brings testimonials and e-commerce together in one video-shopping platform.

Shoploop, which was launched earlier this week, is the latest project from Google’s research and development wing, Area 120. The idea for Shoploop apparently came to Lax Poojary, who had previously worked with Area 120 on Google’s online trip planner, Touring Bird, after he saw a woman scrolling product reviews on YouTube on the subway in New York City.

“It turns out she’d seen somebody promote a makeup product on social media, and wanted to check it out—so she watched reviews on YouTube to see how it would look in real life and whether other people liked it,” Poojary wrote in a blog post announcing Shoploop. “Then she looked it up on an e-commerce site to buy it. This took three different apps or websites, at minimum, to find what she was looking for.”

Shoploop aims to close the gap between social-media testimonials and e-commerce by offering both in one place: using the platform, users can scroll through video reviews, which do not exceed 90 seconds, for haircare, cosmetics, and skincare products. If a user likes what they see, they can buy directly through Shoploop, or save a product for later.

Virtual shopping is becoming an increasingly popular tool for retailers, as COVID-19 has resulted in in-store shopping restrictions. Most notable is Amazon Live, a series of livestreamed shows during which a host and panelist discuss and demonstrate a product that viewers can then purchase via Amazon. Unlike Shoploop, whose content is evergreen and can be interacted with on a personalized basis, Amazon Live’s initiative takes direct aim at QVC and other home-shopping networks, the format of which users are already deeply familiar.

Consumer brands, too, are entering the digital-shopping arena in innovative ways. Earlier this week, Swarovski announced that it would begin hosting virtual shopping events using Go Instore, during which customers can join a livestream to ask questions or see products close up. Makeup giant L’Oreal recently announced a similar initiative using Livescale, during which livestream viewers can watch makeup tutorials, ask questions, and purchase products.

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