Direct Marketing News has a great write up about Paintball-Online.com. Paintball-Online.com is, as you might suspect, an e-commerce website selling paintball and paintball-related products. And in case you've never run across a paintballer or played yourself, allow me to tell you that these are some of the most passionate hobbyists around. And they love buying new gear.
You may not believe this is possible, but Paintball-Online.com carries over 5,000 different paintball products. Paintball is big business. Here's a shot of their home page:
The company began looking for new ways to describe and pitch their products to customers, beyond the standard (and stale) text-and-images combo. The logical choice was video, so they partnered with Treepodia. (Disclosure: Treepodia is one of the fabulous sponsors of ReelSEO.com).
Says Paintball-Online.com's marketing director, Brian Mitchell:
"People don't want to read five paragraphs to learn about a product. Listening to a video for 30 seconds tends to be an easier [and more enjoyable] way of doing it."
Treepodia has carved out an interesting niche in the online video world, serving e-commerce companies with lightning fast production times. They do this by using pre-created video templates that allow them to plug in product-specific images or narration on the fly. This is a lot simpler than hiring a production house and actors and filming entire demo videos from scratch... and a lot cheaper too. Paintball-Online.com says they looked at one possible partner that would have cost them over $10,000 per month.
Now, in the spot where most e-commerce sites have a product image, Paintball-Online.com has a video:
These videos are doing their job of increasing conversions, and speak to both groups of buyers the company serves (paintball enthusiasts, who know exactly what they want, and people who buy gifts for paintball enthusiasts, who don't know what they want at all). The videos have information that is useful both to paintball pros and newbies.
Conversions are up: 3.26% of buyers who watched the videos made a purchase, while only 2.58% of customers who didn't see the video bought something.
I can hear your inner skeptic trying to point out that this is only an increase of 1%, and I hope your inner skeptic knows how much that translates to in terms of products and dollars over the course of a month or a year. A 1% increase in sales for an established e-commerce business is reason to celebrate. This is a success story.
There are also some other measurements that show the videos are working. For instance, pages that have the product videos on them are viewed for 2 minutes, with pages containing no video only being viewed an average of 35 seconds. That's four times the amount of time that user's attention is captured. And here's a real gem of a stat, particularly if you care at all about search engine traffic: each video Paintball-Online.com placed on their site generates roughly 190-250 visits per day from organic searches.
Ultimately, Paintball-Online.com was going to come out on top either way, because Treepodia made them a guarantee:
"Treepodia guaranteed us the program would pay for itself each month. They said if revenue generated from the videos wasn't four times what we're paying, then the month is free."
If you run an e-commerce site and you're not using video... it's time to get moving. There are customers to impress and sales to be made, and the sites with video are in the driver's seat. Treepodia's model may not work for everyone, but it definitely works, and provides an affordable way for sites to achieve real, bottom-line impact on their business through the use of video. Whomever you decide to partner with, for the love of all things holy, start using video on your site.