So, you're thinking about adding product videos to your ecommerce site. Once you've made your decision you'll quickly realize there are a fair deal of things you need to consider in terms of the implementation of your video solution. In order to help you figure out what you should be looking for, I've compiled the following list of points you should address in order to ensure that your video solution works for you.
1.) Video Production Method
The type of video production you want to use is probably the biggest decision you'll have to make. Generally speaking, your options are as follows:
- Create your own videos in-house
- Use your manufacturers' videos (assuming these exist)
- Community videos & consumer generated content
- Outsource to a professional video production company
- Automated product videos
As a business owner your responsibility is to guarantee the highest possible ROI from your video investment. From this perspective, combining your existing videos with automated ones may be your best option:
- You get the biggest bang for your buck – more videos for less $$
- Enables you to update your videos easily and frequently to reflect changes to your products and offerings.
- Some platforms include an analytics panel allowing you to monitor your videos' performance
Automated videos are offered by several companies. I recommend that you check out Treepodia as they offer a unique, risk-free pricing model. Additionally, I recommend that you check out Stupeflix, Sundaysky, Activate Media Group and Animoto.
2.) Content Delivery Network - CDN
Whereas users watching video for entertainment may at times tolerate slow streaming & poor delivery, this is far from being the case for ecommerce videos. Users have zero patience for poorly delivered content when you're trying to sell them something. Your providers' content delivery network must be reliable - period. Be sure to check whether your provider offers high bandwidth and guarantees smooth streaming around the world.
3.) Pricing Model
Video platform price models abound. In order to ensure you have a clear understanding of your billing and can control your expenses select vendors that offer you a fixed price or one that's tied to usage or performance. Treepodia, is one vendor that offers a risk-free pricing model where you only pay for videos that were actually viewed by your audience. This type of pricing model is often referred to as Pay Per View and is based on the same principal as Pay Per Click .
4.) Integration & Deployment
Before finalizing with a vendor ensure you understand the integration process required to add the videos to your e-commerce website. If you're only adding one or two videos this needn't be a major consideration, but if you're going to be adding hundreds of product videos to your site, you really want to make sure you don't have to add code to each product page individually.
The easiest integrations for large scale video integrations are based on addition of code to your product page templates. A parameter for the SKU can be used to automatically match the right video to the right product. This type of implementation also means that adding new videos will not require internal resources.
5.) Analytics & Measurements
By now good analytics are already widely accepted as being vital to any etailers success. More than just having a feeling for the site's overall performance it's important to have a good understanding of how every component on the site is contributing to its overall success. This is true for your new video component as well.
The basic requirement is that you have some form of reporting tool offering you information on video views which you can then correlate to your sales data. Some vendors provide advanced analytics that already tie these details into the platform, including measurements for your video's conversion rates, comparisons of CVR for visitors who watched video and those who didn't, and support for A/B testing of multiple video versions per product.
6.) Offsite Video Syndication
Video content destinations are among the most popular sites online today. So much so that Youtube is now ranked as the world's 2nd most popular search engine and the 3rd most visited site on the web. To fully realize the ROI potential of your video investment you may want to syndicate your video content to outside video destinations. This can not only provide you further exposure and increased traffic, but can also have a great impact on the visibility of your video content across search engines. Some ecommerce video platforms include automated syndication to the major video sharing sites as an optional feature.
7.) Search Engine Visibility
Closely related to the former point is the issue of your video's SEO. Ideally, you will want to be sure that your own video content is picked up by search engines for your own website domain. It's easy to test the success of this effort, so make sure to choose a vendor that can show you proof with examples from existing clients.
8.) Share/Like Option
You may want to harness the social web to your benefit by adding options to share and Facebook "Like" your videos. This is a great way to further disseminate your content and create interactivity.
Remember to run A/B testing to see whether a clean video, with no "distractions" provides better ROI.
9.) Mobile Compatibility
The mobile web is exploding literally while you're busy reading this.
With Google's Android phones alone being sold at a rate of over 65,000 units per day more and more shoppers surf the net from their cell phones every minute. Your videos must be available to mobile devices: iPhones/ iPads, Blackberrys, Androids are a must in my opinion.
10.) Advanced Utilization of Video
It's always smart to re-appropriate your existing content in as many ways as possible. Check if your vendor supports embedding videos in email campaigns, video banners, and video galleries, in order to maximize your existing video content and expand your reach.
This list is in no way exhaustive but it should serve as a starting point for prioritizing how you select your ecommerce video vendor and identify the solutions that best match your needs.