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What is an Interactive Video? A Guide for eCommerce Brands

Before we dive into what an interactive video is, it’s best we know what it’s not. 

  • Interactive videos are not your regular Instagram videos.

  • Interactive videos are not your regular YouTube videos.

  • Interactive videos are not your regular TikTok videos.

Except for YouTube, which allows for some interactivity (with substantial limitations), videos on other platforms only let you press play, pause, forward, and rewind. That’s it. 

What is an interactive video? How is it different from a regular linear video? To familiarize you with the concept of interactive videos, we've put together this ultimate guide. 

Without further ado, let's dive in.

What is an interactive video?

An interactive or nonlinear video is video content that allows users to engage with the video. These videos bring the experience you’d normally see on websites or social media platforms into the video itself. 

Interactive videos let you have interactive elements, create polls, include a call to action in your video, create quizzes for users, and do a lot more.

The difference between interactive and linear videos

Interactive videos differ from traditional or linear videos on many fronts. When you create an interactive video, your viewers can go through the video and create their own personalized video experience. This can include clicking a link in your video, taking part in a survey, selecting what they want to learn, or adding a product to their cart.

On the flip side, linear videos only let users press play, forward, rewind, and watch videos completely or stop at a point. Here’s a table that explains the core difference between creating interactive videos and linear videos:


Interactive video

Linear video

Play, pause forward, rewind

Gauge user sentiment

Immersive experience

Engagement rate


Data collection




Elements of interactive videos

Now that you know what an interactive video is, let's explore the elements you can use to create quality interactive videos.

1. Hotspots

Hotspots are clickable points in an interactive video. And there are two types: static and sticky hotspots.

Static hotspots remain in a fixed area of the video, while sticky hotspots stay attached to an object and move with the object in the video. Below is an example of a sticky hotspot. 

With hotspots, video viewers can do things like click links to related content, view a product page, add product to cart, send you an email, call you, and fill out a form.

2. Overlays

A video overlay is the layering of a visual or text on another video. Using overlays lets you add context to videos, and it makes videos more engaging. Elements like text, images, call-to-action (CTA), audio, and even another video can serve as an overlay. 

A video that displays after viewers click on a hotspot is also an overlay. Here’s an example of how overlays look:

Example of interactive video overlay

3. Time triggers

A time trigger is an interactive video element for showing content at a specific time. Here, the video viewer doesn't need to click or hover over the content. Once a video reaches the time you set, the content you’ve entered will display. Also, people commonly use interactive time triggers to open overlays.

4. Branching

Branching is the ability of viewers to click an interactive hotspot and personalize their video experience. 

For instance, if you run an eCommerce business that sells shoes for men and women, you could have two hotspots in a video. The first could say, ‘I am a man,’ and the second, ‘I am a woman.’ When a viewer clicks on either hotspot, you can personalize their experience by showing shoes that align with their gender.

See an example of branching below.

Example of interactive video with branching

Create an image that depicts the above and relate it to shoes.

Types of interactive videos

eCommerce brands can create various interactive videos to entertain, engage, and drive sales. Here are five types of interactive videos your eCommerce brand may find useful. 

1. Video quizzes

Interactive video quizzes can help you educate, engage, entertain, reward, or sell a product to your audience. Once you have your questions and options, you’d be on your way to creating an interactive video that compels your viewers to take action.

Below is an example of a fun interactive video quiz:

HubSpot Video

2. Lead-capture forms

Getting your prospects' contact information is vital. Without it, you can’t send nurture emails and convert your audience who aren’t ready to buy. That’s where interactive video software like Videowise shines. 

Videowise helps eCommerce brands to get new leads by offering in-video lead capture. It also integrates with popular email marketing software like Omnisend and Klaviyo — meaning your leads go straight to your preferred marketing platform. See an example of a lead-capture form used in an interactive video.

HubSpot Video

3. Polls and surveys

Creating a poll in your interactive video helps you gauge customer buying preference. With this information, you can create an optimized video experience that can lead to sales.

4. Shoppable videos

Shoppable videos let your customers see your product in action instead of a static image. According to McKinsey, companies that use shoppable videos report conversion rates approaching 30%. That’s ten times higher than the conventional 3% conversion rate in the eCommerce industry.

Shoppable videos convert about ten times more because they are entertaining, immersive, hold viewers' attention longer, and show brand appeal and differentiation. 

Need examples of shoppable videos

Here’s one from Artsabers, an eCommerce brand generating over a million dollars with up to a 25% conversion rate.

5. Educational videos

Educational interactive videos are like shoppable videos. They let you teach viewers how to use a product. Plus, they prove useful if you need your audience to learn more about your products.

The role of interactive videos in your eCommerce marketing strategy

Interactive videos result in high eCommerce conversion rates because they drive customers to buy. Customers buy when your video shows them what they want and when you entertain and educate them on their needs. But there’s more. 

Below, we explore the role of interactive videos in your eCommerce marketing strategy.

  1. 1. Improved user engagement

Today’s leads and customers are uninterested in clunky experiences that create friction when they want to buy products. They desire intuitive experiences across all channels, including your eCommerce store. 

According to 54% of respondents in the Shopify Future of eCommerce report, a core driver for making online purchases is the convenience of the shopping experience. eCommerce industry experts are pushing for this to happen. In the State of eCommerce report by Catalyst Digital, 40% of industry professionals say the biggest opportunity in eCommerce marketing is the improvement of user experience. One way to do this is by using videos.

HubSpot reports that educational videos and videos about products earned businesses the most engagement and return on investment in 2022. 

Videos give your viewers the chance to experience what to expect from your products. This builds trust. It can also increase brand awareness because viewers can share your videos across social media platforms.

  1. 2. Increased conversion rate

Many eCommerce marketing stats show shoppable videos result in an increased conversion rate. Here are some of them:

These stats prove interactive videos work. We’ve also seen it for ourselves because some Videowise users have reported staggering profits after implementing interactive videos.

Book a demo Videowise

3. Better tracking of metrics

Tracking video views is table stakes for your eCommerce business. Go beyond views by checking metrics that reveal the impact of videos on sales. When you create interactive videos, you can track:

  • Average video order value

  • Video sales by device

  • Watch time per video

  • Off-site video sales

  • On-site video sales

  • Video conversion

  • Total sales

This list isn’t exhaustive but shows the advanced video analytics data you can get with interactive videos. 

Videowise advanced analytics dashboard

Armed with your video performance data, you’d be able to:

  • unlock the full potential of your video content

  • go all-in on what’s working

  • identify videos to improve

  • figure out lapses in your videos that may make you lose sales.

  1. 4. Multiple use cases

Interactive videos are not only useful for your websites. Whether you want to market your products via email, SMS, or social media, you can do it with the Videowise interactive video platform

Put another way; you can increase the conversion of your interactive videos by sharing them on different marketing channels. You can also share these videos as links if you’re chatting with customers on WhatsApp. There’s more!

Upselling customers is now easier because you can place QR codes linked to shoppable videos on your packaging. Once a customer scans the code, they’d access your shoppable video and can make more purchases. This gives you a competitive edge, builds brand loyalty, and boosts your customer experience. 

Videowise QR code

Examples of eCommerce brands using interactive videos (+ the outcomes)

We put together some examples of eCommerce brands that make bank with eCommerce videos. Here are three of them:

Ava Estell: Interactive video ROI of £743,000

Ava Estell interactive video testimonial for Videowise

Ava Estell is a young global brand that uses interactive videos to attract, engage, educate, entertain, and convert customers. Founded in 2020 by Yaw Okyere, the all-natural skincare company creates and sells products that work on skin conditions like hyperpigmentation, stretch marks, blemishes, dark spots, and eczema.

Even though their products worked, Ava Estell found it challenging to engage shoppers and show the results of products on their website. To fix this, they tried a video platform called Vimeo. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out well because their page speed took a hit, and they had to make do with Vimeo’s limited analytics data. This changed after they found Videowise.

With Videowise, Ava Estell could embed existing product videos on their Shopify store without impacting their page speed.

HubSpot Video

They also engage customers today because their videos contain detailed information like who should use a skin care product, the product’s benefits, before and after pictures, and more. This has led to superb results like these.

  • Engagement rate up to 23%

  • Conversion rate up to 21%

  • Revenue up by £743,000

Learn more about Ava Estell’s story → How Ava Estell generated £743K at up to 21% conversion rate with a shoppable experience for eCommerce

RIFRUF: Interactive video ROI of $50,000

RIFRUF interactive video testimonial for Videowise

Imagine your dog stepping on salted ice, burning asphalt, and broken glass. These would cause serious injuries. And it was the case for Peter, the CEO of RIFRUF. After several paw injuries from walking over elements that hurt, Peter found a solution for his beloved pet, Caesar.

He contacted Jeremy, a human footwear designer, to design and build a better dog shoe. The outcome? Fantastic. 

From that time to about two years, the duo experimented with several prototype shoe models with Caesar. After getting it right, they launched RIFRUF in 2021 so that dog owners can provide pleasant walking experiences for their dogs. This is a laudable goal. However, there was a challenge.

The RIFRUF team struggled to communicate the value proposition for their niche products. The reason? Some people think dog shoes aren't a necessity because dogs have paws.

Combatting this challenge meant the team had to:

  • Educate their audience about the problem

  • Engage their audience by sharing how customers use their product

  • Show customers sharing their challenges and how RIFRUF products fix it

In a nutshell, the team had to go all-in on creating wonderful video shopping experiences.

HubSpot Video

Their result?

  • Conversion rate is up to 7%

  • Engagement rate up to 13%

  • Over $50,000 in revenue within 6 months

Learn more about RIFRUF’s story → +$50k in added revenue at a 16% conversion rate with Videowise online shopping

Apolla: Interactive video ROI of $193,800

Apollo interactive video testimonial for Videowise

Apolla is an incredible eCommerce business that sells compression socks used by thousands and trusted by top celebrity artists and athletes.

Though Kaycee Jones and Brianne Zborowski founded the company in 2016, their big break came after they appeared on Shark Tank in April 2022. The result? What they had expected to sell in a week, they sold in 15 minutes. This was impressive and helped Apolla generate lots of excellent user feedback. 

HubSpot Video

The challenge? The Apolla team struggled to use the user-generated content from their most avid supporters to attract more customers. To fix this, they engaged Videowise, used its ‘Find Video UGC feature’ to scrape YouTube for the best videos that mention Apolla’s products, and automatically sorted them with the products listed on their Shopify store.

See the outcome:

  • Conversion rate up to 9.9%

  • Engagement rate up to 10.78%

  • Revenue over $193,800

Learn more about Apolla’s story → From Shark Tank to “out of stock” with shoppable videos

Drive revenue from interactive videos with Videowise

Now that you know all about interactive videos, your next step is to create them and start getting maximum ROI. Not making great interactive videos means you’d be settling for a conversion rate of about 3% when other brands are getting up to 10 times that.

We’d love to help if you’re keen on using interactive videos in your eCommerce marketing strategy. Schedule a demo to get started.