Practical Ecommerce

For Ecommerce Branding, Use Videos

In today’s social climate, it is more important than ever to create a recognizable brand for your store. Vital to that effort is building a relationship between your store and your customers that exceeds the usual search-click-buy interaction.

Most storeowners think about two things: traffic (how to get more targeted visitors to their websites), and conversion (how to turn those visitors into buyers). Few realize that there is a critical third piece to the puzzle: community engagement. This means connecting with your customers by adding value to your marketplace beyond just listing products for sale. By interacting with your customer outside of the sales process, you create more opportunities to build familiarity and trust for your brand.

People prefer to purchase from companies they know and trust. When you establish yourself as more than just another company peddling a product, you give consumers more reason to purchase from you, rather than your faceless competitors. This is the basic principle behind ecommerce branding.

So what is branding, exactly? Is it a color scheme, a logo, a sound? It is more than the sum of its parts. It is the feeling your customers associate with your store. This feeling is shaped by all the interactions they have with any facet of your business.

Videos on Informational Pages

Some of the most commonly overlooked opportunities for branding on an ecommerce store are on the pages that provide additional company information, such as your privacy policy, shipping information, contact, and about us pages. Believe it or not, people read these. By doing so, they give you the chance to build and shape your relationship with them. It is a perfect opportunity for some face time via a video explaining the details on each of those pages. This has the added benefit of increasing your store’s conversion rate. These videos — particularly the shipping information and FAQ videos —can also be placed on your individual product pages, which will increase your conversion rate all the more. This works best on a template that allows tabbed product details.

Zappos understands this and does a very good job implementing it on its “Shipping and Returns” page.

Educational, How-to Videos

One of the best ways to build brand recognition within a market is to offer something beyond products to your customers. This could be solving a problem your customer has, via an educational guide about a product line, a how-to video, a product bundle, or a list of resources.

I recently experienced this strategy as a consumer. I was shopping for a new video microphone. I did my research and picked the one I wanted. As I compared prices online, I found the product for roughly the same price on several different sites. One site grabbed my attention, however, and it had nothing to do with the price. The site, The Podcaster’s Studio, is not a store. It’s an informational hub about audio and electronics. It contains an educational video on how to use the mic and how to pair it with complementary products — which it listed.

I ended up purchasing the products through the site’s affiliate links because it added the most value to my shopping experience. When I need another piece of electronic equipment, I’ll check that site first and likely buy from its recommended products — i.e., affiliate links — because I trust its expertise. By offering more than just a “search-click-buy” experience, the site branded itself to me as a helpful source for making purchasing decisions about audio and video equipment.

This educational video strategy should be applied to all of your best selling products in our ecommerce store. Video on product pages typically increases conversion rates. Simple how-to videos are easy to create. A similar option is a how-to-choose video, as seen in the example below. This is a good choice if you have multiple products in a category. It allows you to explain the differences and features of each item in more detail than you could in a written description.

Summary

Taking advantage of all available opportunities to connect with your customers via video allows you to become more than just another faceless company. This leads to more satisfied customers and more repeat business. It builds your brand.

Practical Ecommerce
Practical Ecommerce
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Comments ( 6 )

  1. Mike Darnell March 8, 2013 Reply

    Ezra, that’s a great article. Sure, many business owners understand branding and community engagement on paper but few actually know how to implement it. The examples you gave are all great, easy-to-use ways of reaching out to your existing and potential buyers.

  2. Ezra Firestone March 8, 2013 Reply

    Thanks, Mike!

  3. Nehal Kazim March 9, 2013 Reply

    Video can be really powerful, but what stops many people including myself has been the illusion of getting things setup to create a high quality video. I am taking the steps to start recording video (even screencasts), just to get the momentum going.

    Trust is a critical part of the sales process and video is a great way to do just that! Thanks Ezra.

  4. David Fairbairn March 11, 2013 Reply

    Great article Ezra. It’s amazing how much bonding can take place with a simple video. I believe it’s due to the fact that most people aren’t doing it, thus you stand out.

    Nehal – I can assure you, while I understand the illusion of wanting a high quality video, it isn’t absolutely necessary. Up until now, my videos have been really low budget. It’s more about the content of the video.

  5. Elizabeth Ball March 11, 2013 Reply

    Thanks Ezra, I saw a Get Elastic blog featuring an infographic on video and particularly noted that shoppers who view video are 174% more likely to purchase than shoppers who did not. http://www.slideshare.net/Invodo/video-statistics-infographic

  6. Ezra Firestone March 15, 2013 Reply

    Awesome Elizabeth! Thanks for sharing.

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