Bonus Material: Video Ad Examples
Video Marketing

Add Eye-Catching Autoplay Videos to Shopify Collection Pages

Tamas Szakal
November 17, 2021

If you are like many e-commerce entrepreneurs who constantly look for new and sustainable strategies for conversion optimization, you might have been looking for all kinds of visual improvements in the past.

Category listings - Shopify calls them 'Collections' - are product lists where one image follows the other. In certain categories it can be a series of very similar images. If you ever wanted to break that hegemony by highlighting an item or two in such a list, you didn't have too many options.

Quick Views, Badges

One of the solutions is that you use a 'Quick View' type of plugin that allows you to show secondary images of a product when the user rolls over the actual image thumbnail. This is great and there are a bunch of apps for that on the App Store. Fortunately, most of them seem to work on mobile too.

While running our app development company, we are in a part-time merchant role as well since we have a Shopify store in the family. We were always wondering how we could improve the shopping experience for those visitors who're just browsing through the site, how do we direct their attention towards specific products?

From the seller's point of view, it would be essential to be able highlight certain products on a collection listing page to better direct and control the visitor's attention.

There is this category of apps that allows you to add badges and labels on top of the thumbnails which is perfect when running a special sale campaign or announcing new arrivals.

But why isn't it possible to place videos into those spots? It would be a much better way to give visitors a better overview of a product before they click through to the product page.

We were brainstorming... if there is currently no way to do that on Shopify we could simply come up with it.

From Banners to Videos

A few years ago we've been building and running a service called Product Hero that created front page banners dynamically based on personal recommendations. We often got the question if we could provide these dynamic imagery for other parts of the website too.

Then we started experimenting with other placements and we ended up launching Video Ad Machine for Shopify, the app that generates little product video ads to drive traffic from outside sources such as Facebook or Instagram.

Now, our users are asking if we could provide these videos for their store pages as well.

So we thought, what if we combined both, Video Ad Machine's square format videos with Product Hero's banner approach and build a 3rd product that would bring videos to the website in semi automated manner?

Spotlight Video Machine

So we started building a new plugin a few months ago and now we're happy to launch Spotlight Video Machine. This will not only enrich your collection pages with attractive videos but they can jazz up your search results too. The app is so simple to use that you'll be able to put the spotlight on any product in any collection in just minutes.

A spotlight video tells viewers at a glance what the product is about and why they should check out the product page. It delivers more information about the item than any traditional image thumbnail. It will help grab your audiences’ attention.

But how do you know what makes a good video, how do you create one and how to add it to your site? The good news is that this app will do all of that automatically; you just select the product and the matching design template and you’re good to go in seconds.

The app is extremely simple to use. You select a product and after the video is generated the app will automatically replace the image thumbnail with the animated version:

  • on every collection page where the product is listed
  • in the featured collection section on the home page
  • in search results.

What the page loading speed is concerned, the app is highly optimized, the videos will load quickly and asynchronously. Based on many performance tests there were no noticeable page loading speed changes to measure.

Of course, you can remove the video at any time straight from the app dashboard and this will reset the original product image.

Here's how a video-powered store looks like.

Check out this beautiful store at:

As this is the only app on the Shopify App Store that brings scroll-stopping videos to category pages and to the search result page you might want to give it a try to see how it works with your products and your page. Research shows that customers who watch product videos are much more likely to complete their online purchases.