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eCommerce Goes Cinematic

Posted by | November 30, 2009 Ecommerce Features | 5 Comments

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words—but with the rising popularity of multimedia on the web, a high-impact video can be worth a whole lot more than that. According to a study by ComScore, more than 168 million American web shoppers watched online videos during September of 2009, representing an invaluable opportunity to create profitable customer relationships.

You can have the best product or service in the world, but if you don’t present it in a tangible and meaningful way, it’s darn near impossible to fully convey the value-adding benefits to customers. Good, solid copy and high-quality photography are important marketing tools, but they simply can’t make your offering sizzle as much as the power of video.

Here’s an example: Frontgate.com has recently introduced their Douglas Fir Flip Tree, an artificial Christmas tree that’s billed as “the fastest, easiest tree in the world to set up”. According to the copy block, one person can have it fully assembled, hassle-free, in minutes. An easy claim to make—but how to prove it to a cynical buyer? By including a link to an online product demo video, Frontgate successfully debunks any skepticism.

What can video do for your business?

There’s no denying that online video is an effective tool for eCommerce. A report by eMarketer heralded its many benefits, including:

  • More qualified traffic. More often than not, video is filling the top slots in search engine rankings, as Yahoo and Google begin to recognize multimedia as high-quality content. An estimated 40% of search engine users click through to view video results, and since they’re already primed for the product or service they were looking for, the chances of conversion are significantly increased.
  • Stronger—and more profitable—relationships. By enticing customers to view your video, you’re engaging them and creating a sense of intimacy that will make them think of you when they’re ready to buy. You can also build their trust by including a personal message, customer testimonials, or a virtual tour of your office, factory, or warehouse.
  • Lower cart abandonment rates. By educating your audience and increasing their confidence in your product or service, an online video can be just the push an on-the-fence customer needs to make the leap into checkout. In fact, Coremetrics published a study that showed product demo videos boosting conversion rates by up to 35%.
  • Decreased return rates: Because video presents a realistic depiction of your product, your customers will have more accurate expectations, reducing buyer’s remorse and minimizing lost revenue.
  • Education: Tres Amigos uses video on major category landing pages to help reinforce the value proposition and educate consumers on the quality and construction of their mexican rustic furniture.

Quality counts

It may be tempting to grab a camcorder and shoot a low-budget quickie, but posting a video that screams “amateur” may actually do more harm to your business than good. If you really want to see results, you’ll be well-served to invest in a professional video shot by a production company. They’ll have the cutting-edge film technology and expertise to create a high-resolution, artistic piece that portrays your product—and your brand—in the best possible light.

Giving your video face time

So you’ve got a kick-butt video—now what? The opportunities for getting your masterpiece in front of viewers are virtually limitless. Below are just a few ideas:

  • Product pages: If you’ve got a product demo video like the Frontgate Christmas tree example above, you’ll definitely want to post it prominently on the product page. You might also consider adding a banner on the Home page or category page.
  • Video sharing networks: With YouTube attracting more than 120 million viewers each year, video sharing networks represent a remarkable branding and selling opportunity. In a matter of seconds, you can post your video to a global audience—without shelling out a dime.
  • Social media sites: No longer seen as an unorthodox marketing strategy, social networking has become the rule rather than the exception for eCommerce sites. Creating a profile on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, or specialty networking sites is free and easy. In addition to adding a company bio, you can upload videos of product demos and customer testimonials.
  • Blogs: In addition to your own company blog, you can post your video content to public blogging sites, which provide the benefit of back links to your site and an established SEO presence.

If you’re considering launching an online video campaign this year, you’re not alone. According to an Internet Retailer study, nearly half of the included merchants planned to leverage video in 2009. It’s easy to see why—with a whopping 84% of web users watching online videos (according to ComScore’s September 2009 study results), failing to serve up content to such a hungry audience is just bad business.

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5 Comments

  • Carla says:

    This is really interesting because I’ve never thought about incorporating video in my web store before. Its probably because I myself are not drawn to video on blogs or on eCommerce sites. I rather read. This does give me a lot to think about though…

  • I think the most useful incorporation of video on an E-Commerce site I’ve come across recently is actually on clothes sites. To see a model walking in a dress, for example, gives such a different view to just a flat photo. How does it hang? How does it move with you? These things are conveyed perfectly by video. It gives buying dresses via a transactional site much of the benefit of buying in a bricks and mortor store, together with the convenience of online. Unbeatable.

  • Steve says:

    Thanks for the article. I agree with you that video will be making itself more prevalent in ecommerce, especially now that broadband is pretty widespread. The biggest barrier I see is the cost involved of taking professional videos. At least for about 80% of the online store owners. However, even for those midsize ecommerce sites, they should at least try to focus on a few of their top selling items, or even better, activities or emotional-type videos, where your not selling a specific product but rather a solution, a good time, or promoting a how-to, or hobby related video. This way, the video message can carry across multiple products or lines and won’t come across too commercial. Great post.

  • Jackie says:

    Thank you for the great article. This is something that we have been thinking about doing for awhile and plan on implementing it this quarter. I think video does sell, because people can actually see the product in action!

  • Riya says:

    Very nice post.Incorporating videos in ecommerce sites helps in drawing more traffic to your site and also gives an attractive appearance to your website.

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