Practical Ecommerce

3 Video Trends to Watch in 2013

Online retailers will be using video in 2013 to increase sales, find new potential customers, and build brand relationships if key streaming-video trends continue.

Internet video consumption edged out television watching in 2012 for some groups, according to Nielsen’s Global Survey of Multi-Screen Media Usage, which asked 28,000 Internet respondents worldwide about their video viewing habits. The survey was conducted online, so it obviously excluded that small number of individuals who have television service but no Internet access. Nonetheless, its findings do indicate that online video is not only accepted, but popular.

Streaming video’s popularity in turn is fueling three trends that could impact how web retailers do business in 2013. These trends include continued growth in the use of product videos, the use of video advertising on YouTube, Hulu, or similar platforms, and the use of content video to augment blogging and social media engagement strategies.

More Leading Retailers Will Use Product Videos

Using data collected from a number of sources, SundaySky, a video-platform provider, recently reported that 48 of the top 50 online retailers were using product video on their sites to help sell products and increase revenues. By comparison, only 16 of those retailers, according to SundaySky, were using product videos in 2011.

Similarly, not only are a greater number of merchants using product video, those merchants seem to be using it for a greater percentage of products. SundaySky also reported that nearly half of the top 50 Internet retailers had more than 1,000 videos.

Video adaption seems to also be driving sales. Some published reports claim that adding descriptive product videos can boost conversion rates anywhere from 10-to-40 percent. Since most merchants don’t publish conversion rates, these estimates could be speculative, but one indication of how effective product videos are may come from another video-platform provider, Treepodia. Treepodia has begun offering a four-times return on investment guarantee, meaning that any merchant employing the company’s product video platform will see an increase in sales of at least four times the monthly cost of the service. This sort of offer may indicate the typical improvements in sales that services like Treepodia generally see from current customers. Put simply, description product videos may help online retailers improve sales in 2013.

Online furniture and housewares retailer West Elm using automatically generated product videos that play in a lightbox to boost online sales.

Online furniture and housewares retailer West Elm using automatically generated product videos that play in a lightbox to boost online sales.

Video Advertising May Be More Important

Ecommerce marketers need to take a serious look on pre-roll video advertising in 2013. According to data from trend-tracking firm comScore, consumers (potential customers) watched more than 11 billion video advertisements in October 2012, tying an all-time record for the most online video advertisements watched in a month. That all-time record was first set in June 2012, just a few months earlier. And some expect 2013 video ad consumption to reach 12 billion per month for more for some peak months.

Simply put, people are now watching more Internet video than ever — video streaming represents 56 percent of all bandwidth usage according to Cisco, a maker of web-related hardware — and those people are very willing to watch a short video commercial first. Ad blockers cannot stop pre-roll video, and pre-roll video can include links directly to the advertiser. For all of these reasons, online video advertising could be a great way to find new customers in 2013.

Merchants Will Produce More Content Video

In 2013, more merchants may produce content videos that entertain shoppers or inform them. These videos are relatively easy to share on social media sites and can go a long way to building brand relationships with shoppers.

For example, Coastal Farm Stores, a retailer in the Pacific Northwest, recently started a video series showing what it might be like if Batman came to work at its store.

Macy’s has been producing entertain videos and commercials that play on social media and video sharing sites.

Expect to see more retailers using video to engage shoppers in 2013.

Armando Roggio

Armando Roggio

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  1. Ben Yasmine Bernstein December 11, 2012 Reply

    Video is obviously becoming huge but the question is how marketers will be able to 1) Differentiate themselves from the masses of video out there and 2) Leverage their video viewers and turn them into leads and sales. At , they allow you to insert clickable apps and calls to action directly into the video, allowing people who see the video to immediately take action such as sign up for your mailing list, call you on skype or purchase your product

  2. Bill Thomas December 13, 2012 Reply

    Hey Treepodia – the 90s called, they want their crappy looking video templates back.

  3. miglenan December 17, 2012 Reply

    Agreed that the tendency in video advertising will continue in 2013 and 2014… Product videos are useful, but in my opinion more attractive are not simple descriptions but short funny scripts or cartoons. Using this as an advantage for our site $earch we are going to differentiate from our competitors. A consistent set of ads may build the company branding in a successful way.

  4. phurley December 18, 2012 Reply

    I agree that online advertising is definitely going to hit it’s stride in 2013, with a lot of it consumed on mobile devices. That tracks with some of the findings in our "6 Online Video Trends to Watch in 2013"

    The increase in longer form video will also change the dynamics of where and how ads are inserted. Pre-roll won’t be the only option as online video starts to take on more of the characteristics of traditional TV and garners a larger share of the media spend.

  5. Mike Darnell December 19, 2012 Reply

    Hi Armando,

    Thank you very much for your kind mention of our efforts in this great article. You’re perfectly right in assuming our four-times ROI guarantee is based on a confidence we have in the value our video platform provides ecommerce operators. We have a decent body of published case studies listing the exact ROI vendors in various industries saw using our service (see: It will be our great pleasure to share these with you, as well as further unpublished insights, should you want to delve into this topic further (contact our CEO directly at

    Over the past year we’ve seen some of the biggest names in ecommerce adopting automated video as their solution of choice. Examples include: Dell, Walmarts, Lenovo,, etc. (links follow)

    Dell – com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c= au&l=en&cs=audhs1&sku=570-11408&baynote_bnrank=1& baynote_irrank=0&~ck=baynoteSearch

    Lenovo – redir=y&GroupID=460&Code= 0A34066&category-id= E808F36CDAF64836BAE635B9140F08 49#.UM72Zm_qnh4

    Walmart - –

    I look forward to reading more of your analysis of our field in future.

    Thanks again, and Happy Holidays!


  6. Carlos Rivera December 29, 2012 Reply

    Interesting article…

    However, if I create a product description video and upload it to YouTube, and embed it in my product page, would that have any SEO benefit?

    Or will Google simply gloss over the content because it is hosted by a third-party provider?

    Don’t get me wrong, I see the benefit for customer conversions. However, it seems as though video content is more difficult to ‘spider.’

  7. Claus Ninger March 24, 2014 Reply

    Today i found a another video solution for automated product videos, here more info: