Williams-Sonoma launches shoppable videos

Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) has partnered with Visa Checkout and YouTube to offer shoppable online videos for consumers.

Inspired by the summer cooking season, Williams-Sonoma and Visa Checkout have created a four-part series called "Time to Savor Summer." The videos will use new technology from YouTube that allows users to buy showcased items by clicking directly on the video.

The chain will be one of the first retailers to use the YouTube technology, which makes videos shoppable. The videos were made with help from Tastemade, a global food and lifestyle network for digital platforms.

E-commerce has become an important revenue channel for Williams-Sonoma. In 2014, online sales accounted for nearly 44 percent of net revenues across all Williams-Sonoma brands. In comparison to other retailers, online purchasing only accounts for 10 percent of the home furnishings market, according to a recent report by Fluid and Wells Fargo.

The first video, "West Coast Cantina" with Megan Mitchell, is now available online. Three additional videos will be hosted this summer, featuring different tastemakers as hosts.

Using Visa Checkout, Williams-Sonoma's online customers can purchase everything they need from the videos with just a few clicks. ComScore found that Visa Checkout shoppers convert to online buyers 70 percent of the time. These same customers were 66 percent more likely to complete a transaction than customers who must enter billing card information in the traditional online checkout path.

"Williams-Sonoma makes summer entertaining inspirational and easy, so getting together can be all about fun, friends and food," said Janet Hayes, Williams-Sonoma president. "The hosted videos show customers how to create memorable experiences in their own kitchen or backyard. Our partnership with Visa Checkout gives time back to our customers, so they can enjoy these moments even more."

For more:
-See this Williams-Sonoma press release

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