Why Product Videos Work For Ecommerce Sites

Whatever you sell online, you’d love to sell more of it, right? Ecommerce is a tough and competitive environment, and to give yourself the best chance of success, you need to be smart!

In this article, we’re going to tell you all about how product videos can, and indeed do, make a really positive difference to Ecommerce websites just like yours.

Video helps customers make better decisions

Online shopping has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past decade, for many reasons – the convenience, flexibility and range of choice, among others. The flip side of this is that customers aren’t able to hold items in their hands before spending their money, meaning there’s an element of assumption involved in every purchase.

You’re probably already using high-quality product imagery to mitigate this somewhat. A wide range of images allows customers to build a more nuanced view of the product, and get a clear understanding of what to expect from their purchase.

That’s a great start – but video is even better.

Let’s imagine you’re looking for, say, a new shirt. Buying it online carries a few considerable unknowns – you can’t try it on, so is it going to fit? You can’t feel it, so what’s the fabric going to be like? And, although there’s 3 or 4 images of the shirt, what’s it going to look like on an actual human?

The guys at fashion juggernaut ASOS blow these questions out of the water with – you guessed it – product videos. In fact, pretty much every product they sell has a unique ‘catwalk’ video, which lets you see how the product fits and moves from a variety of different angles.

It’s not just ASOS. Another online fashion site, Zappos, have also enjoyed success, reporting a 6% to 30% increase in sales for products with video. (ReelSEO, December 2009.)

And check out the product videos used by Toys R Us on many of their products, including this awesome Lightning McQueen racecar bed (got to get us one of these!)

Studies have found that, across the board, visitors who view product videos are generally 85% more likely to buy than visitors who do not. (Internet Retailer, April 2010)

They’re good for SEO

As an online business, your visibility on search engines is incredibly important. Did you know that a staggering 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, and 75% of users never scroll past the first page of results?

Of course, video isn’t the only consideration when it comes to SEO – it’s a diverse and ever-changing science. But the numbers show that video can be a big step towards success. For example, it’s been said that, with proper optimization, video increases the chance of a front-page Google result by 53x. (Forrester, January 2010)

Users spend longer on sites with video

We’d all love our potential customers to spend longer with us, but time is short and distractions are everywhere.

The average page visit lasts less than a minute, and users often leave within just 10-20 seconds, which is an incredibly small window in which to sell the benefits of your product.

The good news is that studies have shown visitors who view video on retail sites will stay two minutes longer on average (Comscore, August 2010,) giving you more time to blow them away with your products!

They convey messages more effectively than mountains of copy!

Video is an incredibly effective medium for communicating messages and ideas.

You could spend huge amounts of time and money on creating compelling copy that articulates the benefits of your products, but, odds are, it still won’t be nearly as effective as video. If you’re a numbers person, digest this: 1 teensy little minute of video is worth 1.8 million words of text! (Forrester Research, 2010)

They can help reduce support queries and returns

Product videos give customers a great amount of information at the earliest opportunity, giving you the chance to proactively answer many questions that may otherwise have ended up in your support team’s inbox. Customers don’t like having to ask for help, so the more proactive you can be here, the better.

And, because you’ve furnished your customer with an accurate and nuanced view of the product before they bought it, they’re more likely to get what they expect – and, therefore, less likely to send it back. Many retailers notice a drop in their returns after embracing video, including Ice.com, whose return ratio dropped a whole 3 per cent from 12% to 9%.

They can be an awesome form of post-sale support

If you’re selling a product that requires fitting, installation or assembly, video can be an awesome way of making this easy for your customer. Not only does this help reassure them pre-purchase, it’s also a great resource to help them once they’ve received their order.

For example, anyone who’s ever turned the air blue while assembling IKEA flatpack furniture is in for a treat – did you know that they offer assembly videos online?

We were lucky enough to work with the awesome guys at Crucial.com on developing a series of installation videos for their memory and storage products. Our brief was simple; they wanted to show that the (potentially intimidating) task of installing a product like an SSD, is actually perfectly achievable for even the most inexperienced user.

Ok, I’m convinced: where do I start?

Product videos can take all kinds of forms. You can get in front of the camera yourself to talk about your products, or entrust the job to a professional studio if you feel you’d benefit from some external expertise.