Would you like to listen to a bunch of experts talk about a topic and then be given the opportunity to purchase the items they’re describing? Google and Best Buy hope so! Shoppable Hangouts are starting to roll out and we are incredibly interested in whether or not this marketing concept is going to catch on.
What is a Google Hangout?
At Trifunk, we are in the business of making people feel more connected to the web, not more isolated from it, so here is a quick intro to Google Hangouts.
Google Hangouts make it possible for multiple people to have an online video conversation at once. If you’re familiar with Skype, Google Hangouts work similarly to that, but they are built for conference calls.
(As a side note, Skype does offers conference-style calls with their Premium subscription.)
You would set up a Google Hangout like you would a traditional conference call. Instead of sending everyone attending the meeting a phone number to use in order to join the call, you send an email with a link. Clicking on the email link will take you to that video chat.
Ok, back to the Shoppable Hangout. In one of these Shoppable Hangouts, experts decide that they are going to get together (virtually, of course) to talk about a subject and will let the general public listen in on their conversation. While it sounds exciting to listen in on conversations, I think it will be more like a sponsored podcast. That being said, we’re still intrigued by the shopping portion.
As many web stats have shown, consumers like to read reviews and recommendations before they make a purchase. The rise of Pinterest is even more evidence that we all like to hear what actual people have to say about a product before we will buy it.
For a little more information about the Best Buy Shoppable Hangout, we turn to Mashable’s Todd Wasserman:
“Best Buy is experimenting with Google’s new Google Plus-enabled ads with a shoppable Hangout for those seeking last-minute holiday gifts.
The Hangout, which is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET Tuesday, will be hosted by Carolyn McCarthy and feature Austin Evans, Marques Brownlee, Soldier Knows Best and Machinima, tech pundits with relatively large YouTube followings. During the course of the Hangout, a menu will appear on the right-hand side of the page. If the four discuss certain laptop models, for instance, a link will appear where viewers can click to buy the item.
A Best Buy rep says she doesn’t know if consumers will be watching the Hangout on their laptops or on their phone or tablet: ‘Whichever way works best.’
To direct fans to the Hangout, the retailer is running Google’s Google Plus-enabled ads that let users share or +1 the banner.
Google has only offered a few shoppable Hangouts until now. The company’s first was with Diane Von Furstenburg this fall and Verizon Wireless also did one for Cyber Monday. The feature is still in beta and is only available to a limited number of clients, the rep says.”
What do you think? Would you be interested in watching a Shoppable Hangout? Would you like to be a part of one?