Invodo recently dropped a whitepaper titled Delivering Superior Shopping Experiences Via Video: Consumer Insights and Retail Execution which looks at video on ecommerce sites, but from the perspective of the consumer. It's a pretty lengthy 27 pages so I won't go into all of the details, I just wanted to focus on a single part and summarize (there's a link for the whitepaper as well so you can read all about it).
Here's their one line methodology explanation:
In November, 2011 an online survey was fielded to 1,039 consumers (50% female/50% male). Respondents were qualified as having watched product videos on retail or brand manufacturer websites.
There's a good demographic breakdown in the paper as well and it shows the consumers involved were disproportionately in the over $50,000 a year category with just 35% under that number. That could be as high as 44% though as 9% did not state income range. There's a major caveat to this research. They often say things like one in three consumers blah blah blah. But what they really mean are "one in three consumers (who qualified for the survey by having watched product videos on retail or brand manufacturer websites)." So don't forget that last part when you read it.
Major Insights from the Consumer Side
The whitepaper outlines five key takeaways from the customer perspective and is supported with some research. I'm just going to look at two of them in this article which talk about the consumer viewing habits in terms of frequency and video content. The other three speak more about the content itself from a publisher standpoint so I'll break that out to its own piece.
Insight #1: Consumers Set the Pace: They Want, Expect and Watch Video Across Retail Browse and Buy Experiences
One of the main things they looked at was whether or not consumer watched videos when they ran across them on retail or brand sites.
Only 16% said most of the time and 11% said all of the time. Still, that's a quarter of consumers that have a pretty good chance of watching these videos.More than a quarter, 33% to be exact, also said they watch them some of the time which we might equate to something like a 50/50 split because the other categories were once in a while 25%, and rarelywith 15%. That looks like just 40% aren't normally watching the videos when they get to them on a site, so the majority of consumers in the study are watching the videos more than 50% of the time theoretically. I have to put it that way because there was nohard data as in what percentage of the time did X number of respondents actually watch a video they encountered.
The number of videos watched per consumer is far more favorable with 36% having watched five or more in the last thirty days and 45% saying they've watched 2-4. So just 19% said they only watched one. Now remember, all of these percentages are based on the respondents, who were put into the survey because they watched a video. So this doesn't speak at all to the number of consumers who actually watch video when they come across it, this is just consumers who are already watching videos online at these types of sites.
Insight #2: Video Plays a Multi-Faceted Role and is Ideal for Building Consumer Confidence Given Its Effectiveness in Aiding Decision-Making
Of the consumers who qualified for the study, 37% spend more than 3 minutes watching a video that educates them on a product they have purchasing intent toward. That drops to 30% for product demos, 21% for videos that are pushing a brand's value proposition (do most consumers even know what that is?) and just 12% that have the product, but not a demo.
So clearly in the context of the study, these consumers, who have previously watched a product video at a retail or brand site, are interested in learning more about the products they are considering for purchase. That, to me, shows that they are doing research, or else, the company has done a poor job of explaining the products to consumers in general. Let's take a connected TV for example. A TV ad might show you watching a movie from Netflix on the TV, but it doesn't really explain if you're doing that through another device. Some consumers might not understand that connected TV means Internet-connected and might actually be asking "connected to what? a Blu-Ray player? A computer? game console?" So these videos are working to enlighten the consumers and help them decide which product to buy.
Since there is commonly an enormous amount of options to choose from when buying just about any product these days, this tells me that the videos need to focus on what makes your product different from the rest. It's a common question I use when interviewing: what delineates your product from the rest of the marketplace? It works wonders for services like OVPs, games like MMOs (massive multiplayer online games of which there are literally hundreds) and other products where there's stiff competition. It not only helps me, as a journalist, see the differences and write a more informed article, it also helps the readers (gamers, consumers, you peeps) better compartmentalize and store the data for the product. So then when you go to make a purchasing decision you might be able to say "well product X has THIS but product Y only has a diluted version of it or is missing it altogether" without again going to do more research. Boom, job done, I've helped you make a better informed purchasing decision.