Photography & Video

3 Ways to Make Ecommerce Product Videos More Effective

Collecting product videos on a single page and adding product video testimonials to product detail pages and social media sites could lead to more sales for online retailers.

Some in the ecommerce industry believe that product videos can and do increase conversion rates and sales, perhaps, because in some cases and for some products or categories, video does a better job of explaining product use, benefits, and value than text and images.

As an example, last year Econsultancy offered up six specific cases of online retailers — including Ariat and Zappos — that had enjoyed better sales for items promoted on-site with product video.

Zappos, according to Econsultancy, enjoyed between a 6-percent and 30-percent increase in sales for items with product demonstration videos, and other retailers reported even greater conversion boosts.

Separately, Carla Marshall writing for ReelSEO, reported that nearly three quarters of consumers believed that video had influenced an online purchase and that some 96 percent of respondents to a survey said that videos were helpful for making online buying decisions.

Optimizing Product Videos for Sales Conversions

While the mere presence of a video on a product detail page seems to have a positive impact on ecommerce sales, there are certainly some product videos that perform better than others. Zappos, according to Econsultancy, saw differing increases in conversions with videos, and Ariat, which sells equestrian footwear, apparently saw a 160 percent increase conversions for some products, as reported by Econsultancy.

In an email conversation with Practical Ecommerce, Jon Spenceley, community marketing manager at video hosting and marketing platform maker Vidyard, had three suggestions for helping online retailers get the most out of their product videos.

Create a Video Section on Your Site

“Collecting all of your product videos in one central location means prospective customers don’t have to go digging for your content. You can still show them on individual ecommerce pages, but make sure there’s one distinct area that your videos can live,” Spenceley wrote.

Collections of product videos could appear in at least a couple places. As Spenceley suggests, online merchants could have a dedicated video section on site. Brick-and-click retailer Toys”R”Us has a video gallery that consolidates product videos.

Toys"R"Us has a video gallery to display product videos all in one place.

Toys”R”Us has a video gallery to display product videos all in one place.

Video collections might also be consolidated on sites like YouTube. At the time of writing, Williams-Sonoma had more than 20,000 subscribers to its YouTube Channel. This channel features that same product videos that are available on product detail pages on the Williams-Sonoma site. For example, the Margaritaville Bali Frozen Concoction Maker video shown below from YouTube is also available on the product’s detail page.

Include a Call-to-action in Videos

“Use calls-to-action during and after your video to prompt buyers to make a purchase,” Spenceley wrote. “If someone has just finished watching your product video, keep the momentum going and let them buy while you’re top of mind.”

Often when merchants produce product videos, there is an assumption that the video will be displayed in the product detail page context and, thus, the call-to-action is implied, but if an online retailer is consolidating videos in galleries, on YouTube, or in some similar way, the product videos will need to have a standalone call-to-action that encourages shoppers to make a purchase.

Calls-to-action could be included in a few ways. The video content might directly ask the customer to purchase, or an overlay might make the pitch. Below is an example video for a product called Poo-pourri toilet spray. At second 53, the video displays a “Buy it Now” message.

Another Poo-pourri video that explains in detail how the product works, includes an overlay with a link where shoppers can purchase the toilet spray.

Video might include a call-to-action directly in the video content or as an overlay.

Video might include a call-to-action directly in the video content or as an overlay.

Use Product and Service Testimonials

“Testimonial videos can go a long way to showing potential clients what your product can do for them. Try and get happy customers on camera to share their experience,” Spenceley wrote.

Honest testimonial videos are best kind of customer reviews because shoppers get to see a person, not the store, tell them how well a product works or how good their shopping experience was. As an example, look at the video on the Amazon product detail page for the HP Envy 17-j160nr 17.3-Inch TouchSmart Laptop. It includes several customer testimonials collected from the Expo video opinion community.

Video testimonials can encourage shoppers to buy.

Video testimonials can encourage shoppers to buy.

Retailers can try to collect testimonial videos from loyal customers, via requests on social media, or even from product manufacturers that may have testimonial videos they are willing to share.

Armando Roggio
Armando Roggio
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