It's that time of year when predictions are made about the year ahead. As we predicted at the start of last year, 2010 saw online retailers from Golfsmith and Verizon Wireless to Moosejaw and JC Penney deploy product video and realize rapid ROI. In 2011, the industry will turn a crucial corner.
Retailers that have tested and proven video and will begin larger deployments, while retailers who have been slower to adopt will face the problem of catching up quickly. Consumers rely on the rich experience of video will start to demand it as part of the shopping experience. These factors set 2011 to be the year in which eCommerce video becomes a standard on retail sites.
4 Top Ecommerce Video Trends For 2011
1) Video Will Support Retail Prices
Retailers learned over the holiday season that consumers will use their phones to get the best deals possible. But price is only part of the equation. Video excels at demonstrating the features – fine detailing, extra features and functions – that differentiate higher-priced products. eCommerce video also provides retailers with flexibility to enhance the online shopping experience, raising the chances of engaging comparison shoppers. Tools like video galleries not only keep visitors on sites an average of two minutes longer than pages without video, they support inbound traffic efforts with powerful SEO juice. All these factors add up to more sales at a higher average price, helping reverse downward pressure on margins.
2) Video Will Adapt to Mobile Users
Internet retailers are already aware that they must deliver content to consumers on the go. In 2011, iPad sales are projected to grow by 127% and consumers are likely to reach for their phones instead of their wallets when making payments. As mobile devices become more popular for shopping, retailers will circumvent the Flash vs. HTML5 debate by choosing players that are platform agnostic. Buyers want to see video and purchase products unhindered by the arguments of software giants. It falls on retailers to bridge the gap in the coming year.
But appropriate responses to mobile won't be limited to changes in technology. Retailers will match their content strategies to a consumer's local platform. The buyer in the aisle with phone in hand has different needs than the shopper lounging on the sofa. Each wants product information but has a different timeframe in which to digest it. Leading-edge retailers will begin optimizing by delivering targeted versions of video content to these customer segments, making both analytics and customization increasingly important.
3) Video Will Augment Social Commerce
From daily deals to flash-sales, retailers are capitalizing on the trails blazed by Groupon and Woot. In fact, the top flash-sales sites are expected to generate $900 million in revenue by the end of 2010. Hundreds of competitors have moved into the space. Even large retailers, like Borders, have begun to use daily offers in order to stay responsive to consumers. The mass movement towards this type of eCommerce will require companies to hunt for new differentiators. In so doing, video will naturally become a key component of social commerce.
4) Video Will Support Multiple Business Objectives
Video's conversion benefits make it a clear fit on product pages, which led to many deployments in 2010. In 2011, we'll see retailers take advantage of video's flexibility by using it for additional purposes. Product videos fit not only on the product page, but on the category page, in dedicated video galleries, and in email campaigns. Businesses will also begin using video more actively for other purposes. In customer service, video can deliver a high-quality customer experience while deflecting calls from call centers.
Pricing, Mobile, Social, and Multiple Uses
In 2010, video fulfilled its promise as a conversion catalyst. As the volume of video increases and viewing platforms shift in 2011, Internet retailers will be forced to become more relevant to individual viewer demands. But just serving up product videos won't be enough. 2010 was the year that online product videos became mainstream. In 2011, they will become pervasive, further widening the gap between retailers with and without a plan to compete in the video arena.
About our Guest Expert - Craig Wax
Craig Wax, is the CEO of Invodo, an e-commerce video solutions provider that provides online retailers with product videos at scale along with a video publishing platform and an e-commerce video marketing solution (including SEO and social media marketing). Craig leads Invodo's overall market strategy, product vision and investor relationships. Prior to Invodo, Craig was the Senior Vice President and General Manager at Match.com in charge of all aspects of business for Match.com's North American operations.