As the summer comes to an end, most people are thinking about the back-to-school season, but retailers around the world are already focusing on the winter holiday season ahead. They’re assessing inventory and developing marketing strategies, aiming to steer more traffic to their e-commerce sites.
They’re also looking for ways to improve their sites’ stickiness, engagement rates and conversion rates — all with the ultimate goal of increasing sales. This year, many will turn to online videos to do so.
The Ascent of the E-Commerce Video
Online product videos, of course, have become one of the hottest must-haves for e-tailers over the course of the last year or two. With their ability to effectively showcase any given product, they are an extremely effective tool for increasing conversion rates anywhere from 35 percent to 300 percent across all verticals.
Furthermore, in a recent case study of fashion retailers, online shoppers who viewed product videos were found to convert at a rate that was 134 percent higher than those who did not view video.
Make Video Your Holiday Gift to Your Site
With numbers like that, it’s no surprise that online retailers are hurrying to add videos to their product pages in time for the holiday season shopping frenzy, while those retailers that have already enriched their product offerings with video are now reassessing their strategies to ensure that video usage is being optimized on their site.
Whichever category you fall into, if you’re on online retailer, you are sure to find the following seven tips for increasing sales with video useful.
1. Automated vs. Full-Production Videos
While you know you need to add videos to your site, you might not know which video production format best fits your needs. The basic choice is one of automated product videos versus manually created, individual (i.e. full-production) videos. The main criteria in determining which types of videos suit your online store include budget and the number of items in your product catalog.
Full-production videos are significantly more labor-intensive and therefore take longer to complete and are more expensive than automated videos. Despite the extra time, problems of scale and significantly higher costs, some retailers still prefer full-production videos, because they feel they allow more control over the messaging and are therefore more personalized.
Automated videos are based on customizable templates, are mass produced, and can cover an entire product inventory of thousands of items within hours. They’re cost-effective, scalable and — when coupled with an automated A/B testing platform — have been proven to outperform full-production videos.
2. Create Videos of Your Top-Selling Products First
In an ideal world, because videos are effective in increasing conversion rates for products across all verticals, you would cover your entire product catalog. If this is not possible, however, it’s best to go with the Pareto Principle, or what is popularly referred to as the “80-20 Rule,” which maintains that the vast majority (i.e., 80 percent) of your revenue is likely being generated by your top-selling items.
In other words, if you have to choose, choose to make videos for your most popular — that is, highest-earning — products first.
3. Video Player vs. Video Link
Once you’ve added video to your site, you need to determine how best to display your videos — i.e., do you want to use a video player or a video link/button? Part of your decision, of course, is how much of your product-page real estate you would like to dedicate to video, as well as whether or not you’d like your videos to auto play (only possible with a video player).
In general, you’re best served by making your video as prominent as possible, as the chance that visitors will make a purchase increases dramatically once they’ve watched a video.
4. Maximize Your Marketing Messages
Use the marketing messages that are already working for you in your videos as well. They can be embedded in the video’s voice-over and displayed as text slides and captions alongside or within the visuals.
This is not only an effective use of your existing resources, but also a help for marketing message consistency, which is important for building shoppers’ trust and solidifying your brand.
5. Incorporate User Reviews
Online shoppers love user reviews. Product ratings and recommendations have consistently proven to increase shoppers’ trust.
You need to think of ways to incorporate your product’s reviews into your videos.
6. A/B Test Everything
One of the great things about the Internet is how easy it is to change content. Take advantage of this flexibility by A/B testing everything. Slight variations to a video (whether a change of background music, gender of voice-over narrator, or caption texts, etc.) can drastically affect its performance.
Measure all the elements involved to identify your winning formula, and once you do so, measure some more. A/B testing is a continual process that literally pays off.
7. Maximize Exposure
Now that you’ve created the videos, you’ll want to maximize each video by making sure your videos are everywhere people are searching. That means taking your existing product videos and getting them out there on the Web. The easiest way to do this is to upload your videos to the major video portals — YouTube, Metacafe, Viddler, Vimeo, etc.
Bear in mind that YouTube is the world’s most popular video-sharing website, so it really pays to get your videos there.
When uploading the videos, take the time to properly tag and describe them. Many platforms allow you to place an HTML link in the description — that’s a great opportunity for you to link back to your site!
Creating videos for your e-commerce site can be a fun and exciting way to engage your customers and give them the added encouragement they need to make a purchase. These seven tips should give you ideas about how to maximize their impact without draining your budget and resources. Have any other ideas? Feel free to share!
Tal Rubenczyk is CEO of Treepodia.
Reader bmjohnson asked "What are Automated Videos?"
Treepodia’s Automated video platform creates videos based on your existing product images, marketing information and merchandizing rules. We pull this information directly from your site & return the videos generated into their corresponding product pages.
You can select the video template to use, as well as wheter your video will have automated narration or music in the background. We charge no setup fees for your videos, instead payment is based exclusively on a Pay-Per-View structure, this way you pay only for videos your clients actually watched!
For more information check us out at http://Treepodia.com
All the best,
Treepodia Social Media Manager
& South East Asia Rep.
Videos also tremendously cut down on returns b/c it takes alot of guesswork out for online purchasers. My company http://www.HotterThanHollywood.com produces web videos for the fashion industry. We just produced all the content for this new luxury jewelry line – http://www.LordGriffon.com (we built their site too).
What is an ‘automated video’? After reading this I didn’t understand what it was, do you have an example on a website/e-commerce site?