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Shoppable Video

Bringing Commerce to Video

2019 - 2020


UX lead
Secondary Research

Tools Used




Following the launch of Yahoo Play, a mobile app that tested different types of interactivity on top of a video, the team believed that interactive features drive user engagement, retention, and revenue. Which lead us to question how might we increase user engagement in Lifestyle articles and increase commerce revenue utilizing existing media formats?

Article page before redesign


Research tells us...

Interactivity drives higher conversion.

Demand Metric, 2018 Content Experience Impact and the Buyer’s Journey, February 2018 [Link]
Brightcove, 2018 Video Marketing Survey, September 2018 [Link]

Quick brainstorm

As a first take, we looked into all the video content we have across Yahoo Lifestyle articles.  We did some quick brainstorms. But we soon realized this kind of in-video interactivity will need a lot of engineering effort and image recognition capabilities that can match with a database of products. To minimize the effort for MVP, we decided to limit our scope and wanted to come up with a solution that we can ship fast and test our hypothesis without having to build a complete new system.

 So…What can we do as a MVP within the technical constraints?

Building the MVP

Image Shape

We figured we receive 2 kinds of images from the merchants, square and vertical. For MVP we needed to decide on one form factor that suits both types of image assets the best. After considering all the possible shapes, we decided to go for a vertical image frame that will render the image as “fit to width” for best UX.



USer Testing

“All the items that she talks about here, you don’t have to hunt and search for it, it’s right here. That’s actually pretty cool!”

“I would love if they were to launch something like this on Youtube. It feels like TV, internet, etc are becoming integrated.”


100% of the users said they liked to see more items together.

“For me visually as a consumer, I like seeing a grid of things. I want to look through every single one. It feels like it gives you more variety.”

Final Design

Screen record from a live article

After testing multiple designs and taking the user input into account, we iterated the design and finalized one to ship for both desktop and mobile. View live here.


  • A carousel of products that are featured in the video and the article.
    As the video progressed, the corresponding product is highlighted.
  • Users can hover over any product to learn details and click it to go to the merchant’s page to purchase.
  • Company gets a revenue share if a product is purchased.

Soft Launch

Shoppable video was first launched to test for only one article targeting the Amazon Prime Day and the team saw amazing results as the stats show below.

The result really made the team excited…

Screenshot of the message PM sent

Continued explorations

We continued exploration to add shopping features on our image-based articles too. We also explored the possibility of having a product detail and comparison page to add more value for our users.

Becoming a celebrated Product

The success of the experiments eventually gave birth to a full suite of editorial tools, named Fireplace platform, to empower our editors to add more interactivity into their content that is beyond commerce. The interactive shopping experience got huge attention across the company, got featured multiple times in company events, and till today stays a crucial feature of the company’s commerce initiative.

Exceeded Goals

Numbers are self-explanatory! The team had certain goals to achieve by Q1 2020, and we exceeded goals in every aspect!

Take away

  • Great and successful products can be built even within technical constraints
  • A little interactivity goes a long way!
  • Users love to engage and are not shy to interact when they have the right tools
  • Our initial hypothesis and studies were correct; interactivity does drive engagement, retention, and conversion (when it is well-designed and adds value). Not to mention, the company earns money when the users have a better experience and appreciates the value addition