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5 minutes with… Jonathan Booth, Managing Director, The Internet Video Company

As part of our ongoing retail industry executive interview series, we sat down with Jonathan Booth, Managing Director at The Internet Video Company to talk about its latest retail projects, solutions, industry challenges and opportunities…

Tell us about your company, products and services…

At The Internet Video Company we bring products to life online by showing them, talking about them and demonstrating them in short engaging videos that convert better than anything else. Whether it’s a Food Mixer, a Lawnmower or a Toy for ALDI, or a Bed for Bensons, or a Printer for Konica or a Sofa for Harveys, video works better because you can see it being used and described by a presenter, and imagine owning it yourself.  Customers don’t want to read about it, they want you to show them.  And because we work smart, we can scale video at truly low cost – both for product videos that sell, and aftersales HowTo videos that retain loyalty.

What have been the biggest challenges the Retail/eCommerce industry has faced over the past 12 months?

Confidence has been rocked, with all the political uncertainty, and this has affected physical retail, but in any case there’s so much noise out there, and buyer fatigue, it’s hard to cut through with something sensible and easy to take in. As shopping continues to move online, how do retailers show off their products and replace or replicate the in-store visual experience?  How do you make the customer lean in and engage, how do you talk to them in a familiar way and help them shorten their purchasing journey?

And what have been the biggest opportunities?

For us the relentless move online is an opportunity we’ve seen for a long time, for many of the reasons above.  People want to watch video – it’s easier than reading, more info, excitement and inspiration can be packed into the 30 seconds they allow you than any other medium, and they are so familiar with consuming video in every other aspect of their lives. Also, with the explosion of mobile shopping, text is receding even further in usefulness.

What is the biggest priority for the Retail/eCommerce industry in 2019?

Improve the experience. Deloitte says ‘experiment with experience’, and they mean both online and in store.  Put digital in store, selling online from the floor, and of course bring the in-store experience online as well.  And what ties these two together? Video!

In 2021 we’ll all be talking about…?

Not sure it will quite happen by 2021, but the technology is there – AI shopping.  Walk virtually (while sitting with a glass of wine!) down aisles, watch products move and use your gloved hand to ‘play’ with them and then fill your basket.  At any point click to ask a Sales Assistant to live chat with you and tell you about the product.  It’s not far away!

Which person in, or associated with, the Retail/eCommerce industry would you most like to meet?

Any Director who truly has a cross-business approach! Too many large businesses have siloed verticals – Ecommerce/Marketing/IT/POS that don’t talk to each other enough.  If one vertical is investing in video, the same films will work for all, so they could quarter the cost!

Oh, and the Marketing Director of IKEA!

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the Retail/eCommerce sector?

See above answer!

You go to the bar at the eTailing Summit – what’s your tipple of choice?

IPA if I’m still networking, G&T if I can relax.

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

Discovering new businesses and bringing their offerings to life – and seeing their reaction!

And what’s the most challenging?

Getting them to tell IT to put visible video icons on the product pages, with RED play buttons just like YouTube, because they get clicked and converted 10 x more often.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

The world doesn’t owe you a living, but smile and you can make one.

Peaky Blinders or The Crown?

The Crown – as long as Olivia is as good as Claire.