Interview: Claudiu Cioba, Videowise
We talk to 34-year-old founder and CEO of Videowise, Claudiu Cioba to find out why video is the new shop window and how the young startup is turning viewers into buyers.
What’s your background?
I started out as a UI designer and once I had some solid experience, joined a startup as the lead product designer where I was part of a successful exit of a company called Friend.ly that was acquired by Facebook. I then spent a decade working as a lead product designer and consultant for upcoming startups and top brands such as Uber, PayJunction, Certa.
Tell us about Videowise
Videowise is a lockdown baby. Keeping an eye on trends and that consumers will some day return also to IRL shopping, I watched as TikTok really took off at the early part of the pandemic and how consumers were engaging with social reels and stories. Looking at the stats and the growth curve, I spotted a gap. Traditional video solutions like Vimeo or Wistia didn’t offer a truly dedicated ecommerce solution and from a product design point of view they felt like outdated. I’d always wanted to build something in ecommerce industry because it has a clear north star, conversion – if you can positively influence conversion you know you have product-market fit.
When we built the prototype, the user and shoppable experience were specifically designed for e-Commerce stores to engage consumers in a way that had not been done before. We had positive feedback and went straight into a pre-seed funding round in April 2021 which was led by the FounderCollective from New York City. We secured some incredible Angel investors, and it was at that point that I turned from a product builder into a company builder.
Videowise is an ecommerce video platform that helps brands and retailers increase shopper engagement on-site and uplift store conversion through an immersive, interactive, shoppable video experience. Videowise has proven business cases with higher revenue per session (RPS), higher average order value, fewer product returns and were able to achieve conversion uplifts of up to +21% for Shopify brands.
Why would a retailer or brand want an eCommerce Video Platform?
Consumers love to watch video content. They are educational, entertaining and they better communicate the product’s value proposition. Good content can go a long way to helping potential buyers learn about a product and this is why brands love video experience.
After launching, our product very quickly turned into a platform, and we have built in some sophisticated features which allow brands to really connect with and understand their audience. Traditional video tools were never built for ecommerce, not page speed protective and never mobile first – they have evolved and grown as the market has moved, but they don’t satisfy core ecommerce needs.
Videowise can tell retailers and brands what content is converting. It can evaluate which influencer or video format is more successful, taking A/B testing to the next level. It can tell how long a consumer interacts with content, how long it took to make a purchase, what part of the creative was most engaging etc. This insight and intelligence allow our customers to be more effective and efficient. The right content, to the right audience, in the right format. This helps brands get more out of their marketing budget, improve the customer shoppable experience, and remove barriers to purchase.
What is unique about Videowise?
Videowise is the only video solution on the market that can automatically distribute video content at scale on tens of thousands of pages, using automations and bulk actions. In the retail space when you are dealing with tens of thousands of SKUs, populating pages with relevant and engaging content takes time. Managing distribution of content on the platform to both on site pages and off site marketing channels is something we have thought about really carefully and designed to save retailers & brands man hours and operational time.
With proven results, constant A/B testing done by ourselves and third parties, Videowise always delivers on positively affecting a merchant’s bottom line. We actually built advanced video analytics and A/B testing directly in Videowise to clearly show merchants their performance and to make them become more efficient in creating new video content. Retailers and brands spend a lot on video marketing & influencers.
With Videowise you can now precisely know what type of video content converts, why, where and also retarget shoppers depending what videos they watch. Besides, we managed to create a seamless and automatic process of adding shoppable and UGC videos to a storefront. Even if your business has less video content, Videowise will help to find most relevant videos across TikTok, Youtube, Instagram and other social media.
We are also currently the only video solution on the Shopify app store to be awarded a badge for having no impact on page speed. So many brands are nervous to add video to their pages because it often slows down their site and lowers their page score. Through our solution, we have near zero impact on page speed, Videowise loads five times faster than traditional video solution – again, because it has been designed from scratch for omnichannel ecommerce needs.
What’s on the horizon for your company?
Since launch we have made good headway with D2C brands & retailers on Shopify, we’ve proved our value and we’ve worked with a large US-based retailer in the beauty space this year and they have already seen a 10% uplift in revenue per session.
Videowise is ready to deliver omnichannel ecommerce solutions at scale to custom carts of major retailers and brands outside of the Shopify market.
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