5 Effective Ways to Use Videos on Your Ecommerce Site

By The Good
10 minute read | Last Updated: July 5, 2016

Product videos are essential in ecommerce today. They bring brand storytelling to life, keep visitors informed, help answer common shopper questions, and most importantly, positively influence customer experience.

Editor’s Note: We’re pleased to introduce this guest post from Miljana Mitic. Miljana is the Content Marketing Manager at Goodvidio, a SaaS solution that helps online stores bring the best product videos from social media to their product pages. Miljana has a PhD in social media marketing and writes about visual commerce, product videos and user-generated content for ecommerce.

Imagine the following. It’s spring. You’ve decided to take on a new sport and give hiking a try. You’re looking to buy new sports gear for your soon-to-be favorite pastime, but you know little about the kind of sport shoes, jacket, or tracking device you’ll need.

You go online and start researching. You look into online stores specializing in this type of gear and discover new brands. You read the product description details and look at the photos, but then decide to visit YouTube to check and see how these products perform in real life and what other hiking aficionados say about the brands, shoes, and gadgets.

But wouldn’t it be easier if the online store you visited at the beginning of your journey provided you with all this information, so you wouldn’t have to roam around the web in search for brand sites, YouTube reviews and user-generated content? It would certainly make the experience more complete and you would be ready to make a purchase much faster.

Creating the perfect on-site customer experience is the ultimate goal of every ecommerce marketer. You want to make browsing on your site smooth and intuitive, reduce frictions and bounce rates, and make visitors enjoy completing the path to conversion. In a way, you want visitors to feel completely immersed in the experience, just like when they visit your physical flagship store, but with all the comfort and convenience that online shopping has to offer.

Creating the perfect on-site customer experience is the ultimate goal of every ecommerce marketer. Click To Tweet

There are many elements that comprise excellent online customer experience, from intuitive navigation, shoppable visuals to easy checkout. In this post we’ll focus on one element that often gets overlooked in ecommerce, but means so much to customers. That element is product videos.

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Benefits of on-site video content for ecommerce

Product videos are essential in ecommerce today. They bring brand storytelling to life, keep visitors informed, help answer common shopper questions, and, most importantly, positively influence customer experience. Videos can also be a powerful ally for answering customer questions and concerns once they land on your pages.

Consider this:

  • Four times as many consumers would rather watch a product video than read a product description.
  • 73% of consumers are more likely to buy products after watching videos that show them in action.
  • Customers who watch product videos are 1.9 times more likely to complete their online purchases.
  • Average visitor session duration increases by 340% on product pages featuring videos, and shoppers browse 127% more pages per shopping session when encountering videos on ecommerce store.
  • 52% of shoppers say that watching product videos makes them more confident about their purchases.

In other words, if you were shopping for hiking gear online, the ecommerce sites featuring product videos that talk about the brand, showcase product features and give how-to practical tips and advice would have much greater chance at winning you as a new customer. You would feel much more informed and confident about your choices, and would stress less about your gear and focus more on the task at hand – the actual climbing up and down the hills and mountains!

Now let’s have a look at some examples of the right uses of videos on ecommerce sites.

How 5 brands are using product videos on their ecommerce sites

1. Use video to tell the story of your brand

When visitors land on your site for the first time they’re looking for clues as to what makes your brand special and different from all the others. It goes without saying that visuals play a powerful role here. No amount of clever and quirky copy can convey your story with the same intensity as visuals can. Video is especially helpful in facilitating storytelling.

Let’s get back to our hiking example. Take a cue from Arc’Teryx, a brand specializing in mountaineering apparel and gear. As soon as you land on their website you are greeted with a stunning full-screen video preview and a teasing play button, which begs to be clicked.

arkteryx-video-home

An example of using video to tell your brand story from the Ark’Teryx home page.

I myself am not a very outdoorsy person per se, but I have to say that having watched this video as soon as I landed on the site I felt like I understood the brand behind it and wanted to become a part of the community. Now that’s a powerful way to captivate visitors and prompt them to explore your products!

2. Use product videos to convert visitors

Once customers land on your ecommerce site, your primary objective is to guide them to make a purchase. From clever site navigation, to sleek and functional product page design, the trick is to keep customers focused on that they came to do. Remember, a mere 0.25% of new visitors to your site will convert on their first visit. Conversion is a game of grabbing the attention and maintaining the focus on desire for a product, so all elements should be tuned towards achieving this, including videos.

Take a look at the product pages at Essie.com. The nail polish brand knows that in the retail nail polish industry, the nail design is often a more powerful purchase trigger than the nail polish color on its own. In other words, it’s the application possibilities, not the color alone that drives conversions. This is why the brand incorporates videos that speak to customers on that level when they land on Essie’s site. When customer clicks on the specific product color, a product detail pop-up page appears, featuring videos and photos that demonstrate the designs that can be created using that specific color.

product-video-example

An example of Nothing Else Metals using a product video to increase conversions.

The videos are placed right underneath the main product photo and are difficult to miss. Once visitors press the play button, the video takes over the screen and acts as the main persuasion point prompting visitors to click on “shop this look”, and the item is automatically added to the basket. In a way, video leads to conversions.

product-video-call-to-action

An example of using a video and a call-to-action together to convert visitors.

This is a clever tactic for using video in convincing visitors to buy online small, low-price products that are also commonly available via other channels, such as physical retail stores. Research says that after watching videos, consumers are anywhere from 64-85% more likely to buy a product, and this can create a big difference in conversion rates for retail ecommerce businesses.

3. Use product videos as a virtual salesperson

Those consumers who do not feel quite at ease with online shopping often say that what puts them off from buying certain products online is the uncertainty of online shopping and the lack of human interaction that could help mediate it. This is where product videos can be of great help. And we’re not talking about the futuristic interface that you can use to video-communicate with a remote salesperson online. It can be much simpler than that.

Take Riddell for example, a company specializing in American football gear. Knowing that it won’t be easy to convince customers to purchase items such as professional helmets or shoulder pads online, the brand uses multiple product videos in its product page “details” section to help explain, educate and demonstrate everything there is to know about its products. The video gallery includes product presentation videos, how-to fitting videos and demo videos showcasing how the products are set and released for the safety of the players.

riddell-product-video-salesperson

An example Riddell of using product videos as a virtual salesperson

This is extremely important for online buyers, who have all the information available in a format that is easy to follow and digest. With videos on-site, they won’t have to spend the time and effort to visit a physical store or search YouTube for advice.

Going back to the Arc’Teryx example, visitors can find helpful videos on product detail pages that talk about things such as what makes their fabrics so outstanding in terms of quality, as well as how to take care of them during washing and drying. These are the things that shoppers would normally ask the salesperson in a physical store, so having videos that anticipate these kind of questions and answer them makes online shopping less ambiguous and helps customers take the brand’s online sales channels seriously.

product-detail-page-videos

An example of a video focusing on answering a common in-person question.

4. Add user-generated videos for an authentic and trustworthy experience

Sometimes professionally-made branded product videos are just not enough to convert visitors. Consumers are increasingly growing cynical towards overly polished and stylized product content and are seeking authenticity and sincerity from brands in their product presentations.

This is where user-generated product videos come in handy. 51% of shoppers in the US say they trust UGC more than any other content on a company website. UGC is a powerful influencing force for 80% of the millennial and 70% of Baby Boomer shoppers.

Savvy brands are already on top with the trend and are adding user-generated product videos to their ecommerce pages with the aim to stand out from the competition, engage visitors and boost sales.

Take Tassimo UK, for instance. Their ecommerce site features a curated selection of consumer-made videos from social media on the product pages of coffee machines and drinks. User-generated videos offer unbiased views from the customers who really liked the products and help create a more intimate and deeper interaction with the brand online.

tassimo-uk-user-generated-product-video

An example of user generated product video from Tassimo UK

After watching these videos, customers have a better understanding of how the products work in real life and feel more confident in the product they’re about to order.

5. Optimize videos for a smooth mobile shopping experience

Chances are, you have already bought an item or two straight from your mobile phone or at least browsed ecommerce sites from a mobile device while researching your next purchase.

Mobile shopping accounted for 29.7% of all ecommerce sales in the US in 2015 and will continue growing. Optimizing shopping experience for mobile visitors is crucial for staying relevant. This includes taking care of the proper mobile display of product videos as well.

A good example illustrating this is Adidas. The mobile-friendly version of the brand’s ecommerce site incorporates responsive design that allows smooth browsing and an uncompromised experience. Product video is not awkwardly cropped to fit the mobile screen but is properly displayed and ready for viewing. What’s even more appealing is the sticky “add-to-bag” button that follows the user as they browse through the visual content and gives them a cue that the site is shopping-ready and anticipates their action. This gives product videos that much more power to drive conversions in the mobile setting.

product-video-on-mobile

An example from Adidas on how to optimize for video on mobile.

Final thoughts

Ecommerce conversion optimization is not easy, and requires great attention to detail for all the elements comprising an online shopping journey. Through the examples above you can learn much about what makes product videos invaluable for customer engagement and conversions, and how to do it right to ensure uncompromised online shopping experience. Try to incorporate some of these tips on your ecommerce site, run A/B tests, and see what works and what doesn’t in your case.