Video is insanely popular, yet using video is still one of the most under-utilized ecommerce strategies. We've talked about the importance of product photography in the past, but great product photos are table stakes at this point. If you want to take your ecommerce business to the next level and blow past your competition, you can't afford to ignore the power of incorporating video into your mix.
In this post, we'll show you how you can capitalize on video to help increase conversions and grow your online business.
Why Is Video so Important for Ecommerce?
Videos and in particular, product videos can have an incredible ability to increase conversions by better helping people understand your product and provide customers with as much information as possible about the products you offer. In fact, website visitors are 64-85% more likely to buy a product on an online retail site after watching a video.
While this can be achieved through the use of copywriting, images, and user reviews, videos are potentially the most effective way of demonstrating a product and its benefits to your visitors.
There are other reasons you need to be using video for your online store as well. Let's take a look at some of the most important reasons:
1. Google Loves Video
In search results, Google displays a mix of search results which include video, image, news, maps, and other mediums in addition to regular search results. Having product videos gives you an extra chance of ranking, especially if none of your competition is using video in their stores and for their products. In addition, research also shows that Google favors and prioritizes sites with video which again means having product videos (ideally hosted with YouTube, a Google owned company) will grant you a greater chance of ranking in search engines.
2. Video Is More Sharable & Clickable
Studies show that people are more likely to share videos than text pages. Additionally, people are also more inclined to click on a video thumbnail than on something with no visual or multimedia element.
3. Video Captivates
The amount of time users spend watching video on the internet keeps going up. Watching a video takes little effort compared with reading long product descriptions and posts. Video allows you to engage an audience that may dismiss the information you would otherwise convey through text.
4. If a Picture is Worth 1,000 Words, than...
Video has the ability to convey an incredible amount of information very quickly. Displaying your product via video will give your customer so much more information about it looks like. It is also possible to strike an emotional chord and subconsciously tell customers how they should feel about an item.
How Others Are Successfully Implementing Video
The main reason many store owners don't use video is likely because most people think it's complicated or that they have to create a masterpiece that will go "viral". The fact is though, implementing a great video strategy for your online business doesn't have to difficult and many times, even the simplest strategies can give you a competitive advantage.
Let's take a look at how some companies have implemented video successfully in their businesses, using varying degrees of effort and complexity.
Video Strategy: Storytelling + Product Showcase
Theory11, is one company that goes to the extreme when creating videos for their products. They are high-production and very polished, weaving in their brand throughout. It's the perfect example of a company that understand the power of video to not only show off the product but to also tell a story.
Video Strategy: Entertainment + Product Highlight
VAT19, self-described “purveyors of curiously awesome products”, sell hundreds of interesting products in their store. As a company that curates interesting product, that means that many of the products they sell are available from other online retailers. Despite the competition, VAT19 has stood out from the rest by adding videos to their product pages and bringing an entertaining and educational element to every product.
VAT19's video range from wacky to weird, to funny, and some are just entertaining and fun to watch. A video strategy like VAT19's has paid off well, currently VAT19 has posted over 500 videos and have racked up an impressive 1,300,000 YouTube subscribers to whom they deliver their new product videos as they are released.
Video Strategy: Entertainment + Product Feature Highlight
Using video to entertain and show off their product's capability was the approach BlendTec took with their video campaign titled Will It Blend?.
The Will It Blend? marketing campaign, comprising a series of YouTube videos demonstrating the BlendTec line of blenders, went viral. In the web videos, BlendTec’s founder Tom Dickson attempts to blend various and unusual items in order to show off the power of their blenders.
Today, the success of the online video series has successfully captured 800,000 YouTube subscribers. Dickson has revealed that the campaign has been a great success for BlendTec:
The campaign took off almost instantly. We have definitely felt an impact in sales. Will it Blend has had an amazing impact to our commercial and our retail products.
Video Strategy: Providing Additional Value Through Video
Perhaps a video strategy as resilient as it is effective is providing additional and free value to people. Luxy Hair built a 7-figure business using only YouTube marketing. Their goal right from the beginning was to inspire and educate girls on hair styles by creating weekly YouTube videos. 2.3 million subscribers later and you can say their strategy works.
One of the co-founders, Alex Ikonn commented on their video strategy by saying:
Our approach is to try our best to give people value and a personal connection when we create our videos.
Right Channel Radios
Video Strategy: Product Review/Selection Advice
Being a dropship business in the CB radios for trucks niche, Right Channel Radios knew that they had to stand out without costly marketing campaigns. Utilizing product overview/review videos for each product, they have been effectively able to build a great business and outcompete the competition by providing more value to customers and building trust through their superior product knowledge.
Video Strategy: Showcasing Product Features
Bellroy does a lot of things right. In fact their product pages are some of the best of any ecommerce business. However, the centrepiece of the product pages is their featured product video. Each wallet's accompanying video demonstrates the features of the wallet and how much it can carry. These video help customers to really understand what they are purchasing as well as it's capabilities.
Labella Mafia Clothing
Video Strategy: Product Showcase
Purchasing clothing online is difficult and considered a high return item. Labelle Mafia Clothing knew this and used simple but effective product videos that featured a model wearing their products so visitors could better understand exactly how the cloths fit before making a decision.
Note: Image quality has been reduced to display on this blog post. Please follow link for originals.
Vintage Frames Company
Video Strategy: Product Showcase
A much simpler video strategy that most ecommerce businesses can implement is showing your products spinning, usually on a white background. This gives your customers a look at the whole product from all angles and is fairly simple to implement using services like Arqspin or Spin Studio.
Spinning products is the strategy eyeglass frame company Vintage Frames Company used to help their customer better understand and choose a eyeglass frame online.
Video Strategy: Product Showcase
Perhaps the simplest video strategy yet is to use your smartphone and popular video-centric social networks like Vine or Instagram to showcase each of your products and embed the videos in your product pages.
That's exactly what Hard Graft did when they decided they wanted to use more than just photos to showcase each of their products.
How You Can Implement Video for Your Products and Store
Above we looked at how several companies have implemented video into their ecommerce business to help, entertain, educate and showcase products and features to customers. Below, we will break down the different ways you can use video in your online business.
1. Showcase Product Capabilities
Demonstrating a product’s capabilities works especially well if your products capabilities are superior to other similar products. Although it may be easy to write out a products technical specifications, these details can easily be lost on a customer with no reference point.
Instructional and tutorial videos are another way to help translate technical or more difficult to understand information into an easy to digest format. With this method, you use video to teach or instruct customers. This method works well if you have more technical products or products that require installation.
3. Selection Advice
Using video to help visitors with product selection is another way to increase conversion rate. Using video in this manner not only helps your customers make difficult decisions but also tend to help lower your return rate as well.
4. Added Value
Another method of increasing your conversion rate is to use videos to provide your visitors and customers with additional value. Added value is relatively inexpensive and an easy way to compete.
5. Simple Product/Features Video
Maybe the best starting place is a simple video of your product. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. Video will allow people to better understand the product, its size, shape, texture and features.
Don't Overthink It. Grab a Camera.
There are many ways to actually create video content once you have decided on a strategy and the type of content you want to produce. Video content can be complicated and expensive to implement, or it can be simple and cost-free.
For example, VAT19, as discussed previously produces videos for every product. Some are fairly elaborate and include actors, a storyline, and even video animation. These videos are semi-professionally filmed and can take a significant amount of time and money to create.
On the other hand, BlendTec’s approach was a little simpler. Only one actor is involved and the video can be made with one DSLR camera that can be purchased for around $500.
Even simpler yet is the approach Hard Graft took. At the bottom of each of their product pages they embedded a eight second video from their account on the social network Vine. Shot on a smartphone, this approach takes the least amount of time and money and really shows you how simple and inexpensive your video strategy can be.
Video, despite being so prevalent on the internet, is still a very under-utilized component of most ecommerce businesses. Given how affordable high-definition video cameras are at this point, and the fact that almost everyone has a very capable smartphone with HD camera, means that there is really no excuse for not considering how video can be used for your business.
As you can see from the various examples in this post, your video strategy can differ widely, in terms of both cost and complexity. In the end, you need to determine how video can add value to your customers’ experience and decide on your approach.
About The Author
Richard Lazazzera is an ecommerce entrepreneur and Content Strategist in charge of customer success at Shopify. Get more from Richard on his ecommerce blog.