A new white paper has been released by Adobe Scene7, the rich-media enterprise solution, detailing how eTailers are using Video to better ROi. I got my hands on it and have the juicy details below (albeit in brief of course) along with my thoughts.
The paper opens stating that less than one-third of retailers are offering video while 23% of unique shoppers are watching retail video and that 75% of all Internet users are watching video (according to comScore for July 2008). They also say it's not a US-only phenomenon and that other countries, like Germany have high percentages of Internet users watching video.
- August 2008 26 Million Germans watch 219 Million hours (118 videos per person)
- 27 Million Brits watched more than 3 Billion that same month.
- 25 Million French (Oui! Francais!) watched over 2 Billion videos the next month (Marcel Marceau? Jacques Cousteau? Jean Reno?)
They cite Flash's dominance with about 82% of the market in the US and 73% worldwide (it IS an Adobe paper remember). They also state that Flash is the way to go as it's installed on 98% of all connected desktops. I'm curious to find out how they figured that out personally. If they're going on the number of Flash player plugin downloads then they are over-estimating since I've downloaded it at least two dozen times trying to get it to work properly on just three laptops in the last two years.
Now the juicy bits. Feedback they collected from retailers (their clients) that are using video states that products which feature prominently in retail videos far outperform other products and that cost-effective ways to produce effective video abound. Important Point #1:
Products featured in videos outperform products that are not.
They also state that "..it is less important to strive for 'perfection' in video production and more important to produce as many videos as possible..." Whoa, CUT! Make as many videos as possible and don't worry about perfection? So they're saying that high-quality and great video aren't as important as just making a slew of videos? Well if that were the case everyone would be doing it and succeeding don't you agree? I still believe that video needs to be both well produced and professional as well as compelling, interesting and informative...that doesn't necessarily mean 'perfection' but it is certainly an element that needs to be kept in the forefront while producing said video. Making a lot of videos is a good thing? Well that's sort of a no-brainer isn't it?
Speaking of content, they also stated that some retailers are taking their retail videos and turning them into entertainment...or rather mixing the two together. But of course that's a no-brainer as well right? Straight up product videos, like you often see at trade conferences and the like, are dry and boring. Who, given the choice and the ability to not watch them, would choose to do so when more interesting videos abound. But there's another important point to be found here. Important Point #2:
If you are going to use video to promote your products, make it interesting and entertaining.
Cloudveil, a Scene7 client has stated that average order value of people who view a product video is 19% more than those who do not. QVC, another client, states that the categories benefiting the most from video include consumer electronics and beauty products. These videos allow the consumer to get tips on how to use the products and can be viewed again at a later date if necessary.
The white paper states that shoppers want better information on products and that video is giving them that information without the need to visit the physical shop. Video reviews are rapidly becoming popular as well. This should be no surprise as product review shows on television have long been insightful and useful, so moving them to the Internet should only make them more so as they can be tied right into links to the shop for the instant-gratification crowd.
Here's one of my favorite bits of info from the white paper:
We are clearly on the cusp of a major video trend and progressive marketers are starting to use video in ways beyond the obvious product video demonstration. Video can be leveraged to engage shoppers and provide an added value—value that may mean the difference between a shopper choosing your site as the final destination, or continuing on in pursuit of more information.
Ummm, dare we (all of us at ReelSEO and many of you out there included) say: No shit!
Alright, you people, enough being snide and all that. Let's get back to the paper.
In regards to penetration and trends in ROI the paper had some interesting stats (I'm not going to give them all, go get the white paper):
- While only 36% of Web retailers have already deployed product and education videos on their
Websites, 53.3% expect to do so within a year.
- Online video spending will reach $4.6 billion in 2013, up from $587 million in 2008 (a sevenfold
- 66.8% of U.S. marketers plan to focus their online marketing budget on video in 2009. (Halleluiah!)
- Video is only trailing display ads and search with respect to trended spending until 2013.
In the end, the white paper is a thinly veiled (see through even0 promotional paper for Adobe Scene7 and almost 50% of it is case studies and how Scene7 can help you. But there are some value statistics and resources in the white paper and I suggest you take a little time and read the first half of it.
You can download the white paper via eMarketer's site.
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