The use of video by ecommerce merchants can increase sales. We recently spoke with Ian Hackett, senior director of ecommerce and user experience at TRX Training, a retailer of exercise equipment, about the use of video for product sales. TRX Training has an extensive YouTube channel, and it also features videos on its own ecommerce site.
Practical eCommerce: TRX Training uses video in innovative ways. Before we get into those video strategies, could you tell us a little about TRX? What do you sell? Where are you located?
Ian Hackett: "We produce our own product. Our founder, Randy Hetrick, invented it while he was in the Navy SEALs. We produce best in class training equipment, workout programs and education courses around our two main product lines: TRX Suspension Trainer and TRX Rip Trainer. Suspension Trainer uses your body weight for resistance and Rip Trainer is about core stability and balance. So they are nice complementary products to one another.
"We are located in San Francisco, downtown in the financial district. Randy founded the company in 2004. We went online in 2005."
PEC: Can you tell us approximate gross sales?
Hackett: "The annual gross sales are in the $40 to $50 million range."
PEC: You have an impressive array of videos on YouTube. Do you also have videos on your site, Trxtraining.com?
Hackett: "Yes, Trxtraining.com is our digital flagship. We have all of our content, mostly videos, that we feel complements the blog content that we put up, as well as we utilize it on the product detail pages to sell. It kind of gives life to the product. "
PEC: Let’s move to your YouTube channel. You have an extensive line-up of your product and exercise videos on YouTube. Why put them on YouTube?
Hackett: "We wanted to distribute the content where the users were searching for it. When we first launched our channel, a few years ago, YouTube was the top traffic site at that time. We wanted to make sure our videos were where the users were looking for them, so we started building out our channel then. We’ve evolved it, in partnership with our YouTube team, into giving us more navigation material, and then looking at the suite of Google products that we then pick and choose what we use on that channel."
PEC: Are you concerned that people go to Google, search for products that your company offers, and get to your YouTube channel, instead of your ecommerce site?
Hackett: "Not a concern. We look at it as a complementary content vehicle. We do link back from YouTube to our website."
PEC: How do you know that the YouTube channel is producing sales?
Hackett: "We track all of our channels through Google Analytics, and we see a significant number of users coming from YouTube. About 7 percent of our search-engine-marketing sales came through YouTube during the last holiday season."