Producing high-quality product videos can seem like an expensive investment for many SME retailers, but the ROI is often huge. It’s remarkable then, given the huge appetite amongst online consumers, just how many retailers and suppliers aren’t investing in it at all.
In this article, I want to look at the power of video in e-commerce, as both a sales tool as well as a digital marketing tool, and explore the advantages e-commerce videos have over static product images and text.
The influence of video over consumers has been well established for some time now. One study found that 73% of us were more likely to purchase a product after watching an online video and 96% found videos helpful in making purchasing decisions online. A separate study found that 71% of respondents surveyed felt video helped to bring a product’s features to life.
This last statistic is very telling because it hints at video’s power to convince as well as entertain. In other words, product videos are helping e-commerce sites seal the deal with consumers who are still uncertain whether to purchase or not. It’s this unique ability for video to show something working that sets it apart from plain imagery.
There can be no doubt then that video helps to drive conversions, but it also has the potential to do something else very powerful. Unlike static media, video allows you to demonstrate the practical and lifestyle benefits of your product, as well as showing people how it works. This enables product videos to work as a marketing tool higher up the sales funnel, driving consumer awareness and building brand image, as well as towards the bottom of the funnel when the consumer is close to purchasing.
A Comscore survey in 2014 found that 50% of consumers surveyed didn’t make a purchase online because they wanted to examine the product in store first. In other words, they resorted to ‘showrooming’.
Showrooms will always have a certain appeal, regardless of how much video content e-commerce retailers put online, simply because they allow customers to get up close and personal with products. With certain products like furniture and footwear, this will always have an intrinsic appeal.
Of course, this 50% figure means a lot of people will have to leave the comfort of their home computers to drive to a showroom or store before making a purchase decision. This clearly represents a failure of e-commerce sites to convince consumers online and a lack of video could well be a significant factor in this.
According to a 2015 study from Searchmetrics, a video appears 14% of the time in search results and 82% of those results are from YouTube. Writing in Search Engine Land, Pauline Jakober believes that search ads could one day also include video. Video can undoubtedly play a massive part in any SEO campaign and by putting videos onto your product pages as well as your YouTube channel your web presence will increase significantly.
We’ve covered video SEO in a previous blog post and gone into the details of how to optimise your videos for the search engines (including YouTube, so for the lowdown on getting your product videos as Google friendly as possible click the link).
As discussed earlier, product videos can work at various stages of the sales funnel and can take a strong role in your digital marketing strategy, across a whole range of platforms and marketing channels.
One of the ways product videos can do this is by driving so called ‘curated commerce’. This is the curation of images and video on social media by ‘pinning’ it to a virtual wall or pinboard so other users can browse it. Pinterest is the prime example of this, but there are many other platforms that allow consumers to browse products images and videos.
Pinterest isn’t unique in letting users pin stuff to virtual walls, but it does come into its own when you consider that it allows users to buy goods from retailers and manufacturers directly within the site through ‘buyable pins’. With such a visually orientated customer base, using video alongside images on Pinterest can set you apart from the competition. By making your videos entertaining as well as informative, the social media marketing potential is huge.
A video is a hugely powerful way to increase conversions on your product pages and so it can be somewhat surprising to us video marketers why more e-commerce retailers have yet to invest in it. As well as increased conversions and a solid and trackable ROI, product videos also make great marketing material for use on platforms like YouTube, Pinterest and even in your email marketing.
What’s not to love?
For more information on how we can help you produce product videos for your e-commerce website, give The Marketing Café a call today on 01563 509005.
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