Custom Video Content: Show Consumers Your Goods in Action

When it comes to enhanced product pages, we’ve driven home that content is king and that product photography is worth every penny, but we have yet to touch on the importance of utilizing custom video content for your website. Tsk, tsk. Well folks, that’s about to change. Although you may not be using it, video is quickly becoming a key element to success for online retailers and should not be overlooked.

Let’s clear the air before we get started–when we talk about video for e-commerce, we’re not to be taking notes from “David After Dentist,” or “Charlie Bit My Finger“–although, I suppose you can’t argue with over one million hits. The video we are referring may not make your audience LOL, but it can go a long way towards increasing conversion, raising consumer confidence, and adding a personal touch to a rather impersonal online shopping experience.

Whether you are trying to sell, inform, or engage, there are numerous types of custom videos that can add value to your e-commerce website, including product overviews, how to’s, reviews, and customer service guides.

What’s In It for Me?

Online shopping provides a number of benefits to the consumer–it’s convenient, quick, and price comparison is at their fingertips. However, the one thing it fails to replace is the hands-on experience of holding and interacting with a product. Any guess as to what can help change this? You got it: video. By utilizing custom video content, you are creating an experience for the consumer. In addition to giving them great content to read and outstanding product images to look at, give them a product video so they can see it in action.

You can use different styles of video content to enhance the shopping experience in other ways, like filming reviews of the product or utilizing customer service videos to help with the return process. Regardless of the method, your goal is to give the customer the experience of being with the product, which should help reduce the number of sales lost to the ROPO effect (research online, purchase offline).

Who Is Actually Making Video?

More companies than you might think are taking video very seriously, and they’re seeing tremendous results. Zappos–the crème de la crème of current day e-commerce examples–created 60,000 custom videos for their website in 2010 and broke 100,000 videos in 2011. Sounds expensive, right? Not necessarily; all those videos were filmed in-house. The content ranges from product videos to ones about how to return a product. Since implementing these videos, product page conversion rates and customer satisfaction have increased and returns have decreased.

This is quite an undertaking, but one that shows a little creativity among your staff can go a long way. In fact, Video Retailer found that “71 percent of the top converting videos were created by the site where the product was sold.”

If you’re not feeling quite as ambitious, take a look at what Pegasus Lighting did. Following the success of adding more product photos to their site, they decided to give video a try. Chris Johnson, the company’s vice president, explained, “We wanted to show our light fixtures in action so website visitors could have a closer look at light output, included hardware, color temperature, and more.” Since posting their first video to their YouTube page, they have experienced a 100 percent increase in revenue within that specific category. They are now expanding the use of custom video content to individual product pages on their website.

Did I mention that this was all done in-house, essentially for free?

That’s a Wrap

Creating custom video content for your website is not one-size-fits-all. It will take some initial effort to find the best way of adding value for your customer base. Video will soon be something consumers expect, so it’s better to get started now before the next great leap in e-commerce rich media passes you by.

Closing Credits

More evidence of the power of product videos:

Mediapost reposts that product videos play a key role in consumer purchase decisions, citing a 9x increase in retail video views at the start of the 2011 holiday season. (MediaPost, January 2012)

Retail site visitors who view video stay two minutes longer on average and are 64 percent more likely to purchase than other site visitors. (comScore, August 2010)

Dell credits video with reducing service call volumes by 5 percent. Virgin Mobile expects video to reduce call volumes by 14 percent in 2011. (The Australian, December 2010)

According to Cisco, video will increase from 30 percent of Internet traffic to 90 percent of Internet traffic by 2013. (Cisco, 2010)

E-commerce video success can be clearly measured. Conversion rate, cart abandons, increased traffic and View Rate (VR) are key to demonstrating success. (Practical eCommerce, March 2010)

The Takeaway

Add custom video content to your site. Not only will you engage and assuage consumers, you’ll also give your kids something productive to do with their new digital toys.