Ecommerce product videos are here to stay. A few years ago they might have been just another “nice-to-have” accessory on your online store. Today product videos are an important ingredient to conversion optimization strategy.
Video is the most engaging form of content in ecommerce. Done correctly, product videos can contribute to 30-80% lift in ecommerce conversion rate. Here are a few best practices to have in mind when you’re working on a video strategy for your online store.
Getting Started with Ecommerce Video Strategy
1. Define what you want to accomplish with videos. Product videos can help you create awareness for your merchandise. Before laying out plans for hiring a top-notch video production agency, define the goals for your product video strategy. Set the expectations from your video efforts early on to help shape your plan.
2. Determine where and how you want to use videos. Depending on your goals, your video strategy could include ecommerce product videos for your site, your social media channels or email campaigns. No matter how you plan to use videos, outline the channels in which they will appear. This will help you plan your actions and set out what kind of resources you need to actualize your strategy.
3. Measure what’s important. Metrics such as video views and shares are important for tracking customer engagement. But if your goal is to use product videos to stimulate purchases or get higher order value, then you need to track additional things such as conversion rate or average order value. 86% of marketers typically track video engagement metrics. Only 14% track how video attributes to sales. Determine what’s important for your store.
4. Set conversion goals. When using videos in conversion rate optimization, it’s crucial to determine what the conversion is. It could be the clicks on the video to watch the content, clicks on the “buy now” button after watching videos, or purchase completion (arriving to “thank you” page after watching videos). Set your goals early on in the process, so as to track what’s relevant to you.
5. Be cautious with benchmarking. Multiple brands report differnt results with ecommerce product videos. While online retailer Stacks and Stacks reported a stunning 144% increase in consumer likelihood to purchase thanks to videos, others have reported more modest improvements of 6-30%. It’s good to be aware of the results that other brands achieve with videos, but bear in mind that no two stores are exactly the same. Your conversion rate is likely to variate, depending also on the factors such as your store’s setup, pricing, delivery policies etc.
Crafting Your Ecommerce Product Video Strategy
6. Decide which products need videos. Each product listed on your store is there to bring you sales, but not all of them might require videos. For instance, if you’re selling consumer electronics, the latest line of smart TVs could definitely use the help of videos to introduce new features. But the extension cord that you also sell on your store might not need videos. Invest in getting ecommerce product videos for your best-selling, high-priced, signature products, and novelties.
7. Choose the type of videos that will resonate with your goals. If the goal of your product video is to educate consumers about product’s benefits, then a short product demo video will suffice. However, if your goal is to convert shoppers already deep in the purchasing funnel, you need to include product review videos and how-to videos in your strategy. Consider also unboxing, haul, try on or comparison videos if you want to engage shoppers unfamiliar with your brand.
8. Create your own product videos to strengthen your brand. This is a great strategy for stores that sell multiple brands across different product categories. Having your own branded videos helps highlight your expertise in the product category. Video creation is also a good strategy for upscale brands who use video to accentuate luxury aspects on their experience.
9. Curate product videos from social media for a fast content turnover. If you sell fast-moving consumer products by multiple brands, creating your own product videos might not always be feasible. This is especially true for ecommerce stores competing on price, with fast-moving inventory and moderate margins. In this case, curating videos from social media is a viable strategy.
Social media offers the abundance of video content shared by brands, experts, and consumers. Most of these videos are available for embedding on other sites. This ecommerce video strategy eliminates the issues of long video production lead times or high production costs. It also gives the flexibility to update videos at a quick pace as new ones are published on social media.
10. Collect user-generated videos to inspire trust. It’s not a secret that consumers often feel cynical about overly stylized branded content, especially videos. They prefer more down-to-earth authentic content created by other shoppers because they can relate better to their experiences. To inspire trust, incorporate user-generated videos in your video strategy. This strategy is especially applicable to online retailers who are still building their reputation.
11. Encourage customers to share their own product videos. Fostering relationships with customers is important in ecommerce. Allow customers to share their own product review videos on your ecommerce store. This will allow those satisfied with your products to promote them to others. It also communicates to new visitors that the product is worthy of their time and money.
12. Involve influencers in your product niche. Research who are the top influencers in your product category. Reach out to them and ask them to do videos about your products that you can feature on your site. Take cues from the beauty industry, where brands and retailers often collaborate with influencers on product videos to share their reviews and tips.
Getting the Best Ecommerce Product Videos for Your Store
13. Product video should tell a story. Product images shot against a scenic background tell a story. So do crafty product descriptions that tell the story of the adventure or the comfort that product brings. Videos should do the same. No matter whether it’s a product review video, unboxing or how-to tutorial, the videos on your ecommerce store should be well-structured and have a flow. The narrative should be aligned with your goals and each video shot should be meaningful.
14. Choose the right video for each product. Different products might have different video requirements. For example, we buy clothing for comfort and style, so opt for videos that show a model wearing the garment. Allow online shoppers to see how the fabric fits and fold while in motion (e.g. catwalk videos). If you’re selling cosmetics and makeup, use videos to show how to achieve various beauty looks.
Opt for the tutorial and how-to videos for makeup, DIY tools, pushchairs or just about any product with a slightly more complex setup. Use 360-degree videos for the items where you want to show attention to details, such as shoes or jewelry. Get creative and add recipe and tips videos if you’re selling snacks, health food, beverages or kitchen appliances.
15. Get more than one video per product. Whenever possible, try to offer multiple ecommerce product videos. Multiple videos broaden shopper’s understanding of the item and engage them to consider it as a purchase. A combination of review, demo, how-to, and unboxing videos will help cover all the main questions shoppers typically have about a product.
16. Make sure video quality is high. Regardless of whether you’re producing your own ecommerce product videos or curating content from social media, you should include only the videos of the highest quality. This means videos shot with a steady camera, quality lighting, clear audio, multiple product shots from different angles and sharp focus on product details.
17. Show product in context. While shooting product images against a blank white background is a norm in ecommerce, product videos benefit from more creativity. After all, you want to help shoppers visualize the item better. 49% of online shoppers say that not being able to physically touch a product is one of the main setbacks in ecommerce. Use product videos to engage their senses. Opt for videos where a product is shot in the setting it would normally be used. If it’s a blender, the video should show it chop and mix fruits in the kitchen. If it’s a surfboard, the video should show it on the beach. The goal is to portray the product realistically so that shoppers can imagine using it. Shoot videos that show product’s size, texture and weight relative to other items in a typical setting.
18. Keep it brief. Shoppers landing on your ecommerce store will hardly be impressed with a 15-min infomercial-style vide. Depending on the type of product, your product presentation videos should last around one minute. You can go for a slightly longer vidoes for the product review or how-to videos which cover the product in-depth. For instance, while a 10-second catwalk video is pretty standard for online retailers selling clothes, 1 or 2-min how-to videos might make more sense for online stores selling baby equipment.
Bear in mind 39.2% of consumers prefer product overview videos to be 30-60 sec long, while 32% prefer how-to videos to be up to 3 minutes long.
19. Be consistent. Stick to a distinct style that suits your store and brand the most. Think about Buzzfeed’s Tasty videos – they are easy to recognize in a pool of content. Harmony is important in ecommerce just as much as it is in traditional retail. Apply equal quality criteria to all videos on your store and curate the experience.
Optimizing Your Product Videos to Bring Results
20. Pick a video placement that brings the most results. When it comes to ecommerce product videos, the rule of a thumb is to place them in the spots where shoppers can easily see them while browsing. The ideal video placement would be above the page fold. But if you already have too much content there, try adding videos close to other important elements such as call-to-action or product images. Opt for ecommerce store theme that leaves enough space for videos. Avoid placing videos behind menu tabs or deep down the page scroll – the more “hidden” the content is, the less likely are visitors to engage with it.
21. Add videos to product pages. If your goal is to use product videos to lift the conversion rate and stimulate purchases, then adding them on product pages in one of the best practices. Research reports that 57% of online retailers see at least 50% increase in the average order value when customers engage with videos on product pages. Conversion rate and AOV rise when multiple product pages are enhanced with videos.
22. Use video thumbnails. You might want to opt to display only a play button on your pages for a cleaner look. However, if you want to get shoppers to engage more, add video thumbnails. They entice shoppers to click on the content and give a preview of what’s to come.
23. Choose the right call-to-action. If you’re creating your own ecommerce product videos, you might want to include a call-to-action to tell viewers how they can purchase the product shown in the video. But that’s not the only place for a CTA. Add “watch video” or “see the product in action” call-to-action next to your product videos in order to encourage shoppers to click on the content.
24. Get the right video player. Make sure the video player you’re using on your ecommerce store is attractive and aligned with your brand. But don’t go too overboard with customization. Opt for a simple and sleek player that won’t look awkward on your pages and won’t distract viewers from the content.
25. Don’t forget the SEO. It’s not news anymore that search engines prefer websites with videos relevant to search queries. Make sure you’re using video metadata (title, tags) to allow search engines to index video content on your pages. Test how adding videos affects the page load time on your site. If you embed videos from YouTube, make periodic checks for any content that is no longer available online and remove the dead links or replace them with alternative videos.
26. Prepare for mobile shoppers. Shoppers on the go are quick to abandon their shopping sessions if the ecommerce experience is not user-friendly. Optimize how product videos display on small screens. Check if videos are properly sized for mobile shoppers and if play buttons are big enough to click without disrupting the browsing session.
27. Run split tests. Not all types of product videos will work equally well on your ecommerce store. Not all of the best practices will apply to your unique brand. Lay out the video strategy that will allow you to test over time different video elements on your store in order to maximize results. This could include testing different video position, video length, types of videos, video player etc. Track how changes in these elements affect customer behavior on your site.
These are just some of the most important best practices you need to know before you start working on the ecommerce product video strategy for your online store.
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