Our pals at eMarketer (well not sure we're exactly pals) have done some new research pertaining to how retailers see the value of online video panning out. From all indications, it seems to be quite good.
According to the report, Video E-Commerce: Innovative Models Drive Sales, retailers know what consumers want and that is online video. This helps them stand out among their major competitors and gain valuable clients and ROI.
"Consumers rank other purchase decision-making tools, such as customer reviews, ahead of videos in importance," said Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report." "But that has not discouraged retailers from quickly adding videos to their sites. They find that videos boost sales conversion rates and reduce abandoned shopping cart and product return rates.”
Top 50 retailers that are offering some form of video on their websites skyrocketed 378% last year over 2008 and was up to 68% says a Forrester Research study, "Online Retailers' Adoption of Online Video Content Is Ahead of Consumers' Preferences," published in November 2009.
It's a pretty big boost really if you think about it. That number should pale in comparison to what it will be this year. 42% who are planning to redesign their site this year are also going to add video to the mix. That's second on the list just behind implementing social media tools and strategy.
"Retailers are making the case that videos boost their sales conversion rate, a measure of the increase in the percentage of shoppers who make a purchase after viewing a product video," said Mr. Grau. "Retailers also claim videos reduce shopping cart abandonment rates and lower product return rates.”
Of course this research runs parallel to a lot of what we have been seeing lately. With the economy poised to turn around and start climbing everyone is making ready to reap the benefits. That generally means bolstering online presences and expanding offerings. I think they had all best be working on it already as the economy is already digging its heels in.
It is good to get more affirmation that what we're doing, online video in all its myriad forms and functions, is worth the effort and that other industries are beginning to see the true value of our work.