Featuring videos on product pages is becoming an important and popular tool to enhance shoppers' experience and increase sales. There's a new breed of "smart" video banners that take this technique to the next level by ensuring that e-commerce retailers showcase the top-performing product videos.
Intelligent video banner delivery presents compelling visual information to entice busy customers to product pages, and incorporates multivariate testing and statistic-gathering technologies so you know which videos attract the most customers. Ultimately, "smart" video banners can help increase sales and ROI.
Intelligent Video Banners - Why Multivariate Testing?
Let's take a look at how these types of video banners would work, beginning with the customer experience. When visitors land on a toy retailer's home page for example, they'll see a video banner that showcases the hottest new action figure. Customers who are interested in the product can click on the video, which takes them to a product page where they can learn more about the action figure and — quite possibly — add it to their shopping cart.
From the retailer's perspective, the most obvious goal of a video banner is to draw customers to key product pages. But "smart" video banners can also help educate the retailer about which videos are performing best - IE, getting the most clicks to key product pages. By creating a video banner that switches from one product video to another upon page refresh and tracks which videos generate the highest click-throughs and conversions, one can eventually set the banner to showcase only the top-performing video(s). In a way, this is multivariate testing for product videos and it goes without saying that ROI will be optimized when video banners feature top-performing videos.
Treepodia's "Smart" Banner Application:
There are companies that provide this functionality outside of the e-commerce arena. For example, Mixpo, a company we've profiled in the past, has a platform that can allow users to manually test various videos using multivariate testing so as to see which videos perform best.
As for the e-commerce space, one video banner solution that's worth considering is Treepodia's "Smart" video banner application which presents rotating product videos in the form of a banner and measures the click-through performance of each one. The application automatically optimizes delivery to promote top-performing videos and automatically adds new videos to the testing mix as they are added to the system. The video banner can be embedded anywhere on a retailer's website, but my guess is that it would be ideal to have on main category pages and the home page as the goal is to drive users to more detailed product shopping pages.
I asked the folks at Treepodia what they were seeing in terms of the performance of various videos within banners and they stated that differences of more than X10 (i.e. 1000%) are often observed between different versions. So, making sure that the best ones are promoted more often can really make a huge impact on ROI for the retailer. Additionally, this makes perfect sense for Treepodia, as they have an intriguing business model whereby retailers only pay per view, and according to Treepodia, they pay "only for effective views - views that generate new revenue". So, it is in Treepodia's best interest to make sure that those views are effective for the retail client.
You can see an example of Treepodia's "smart" video Banner application on the home page of German health and beauty retailer BeautyNet.de (video banner is at the bottom of the home page.) Another retailer using the Treepodia application is U.S.-based eye care retailer EyeBuyDirect.com (see video at top of product page). At the time of this writing, both sites are running banners with a series of videos — when you refresh the page you should see a new video. Over time, when enough stats are collected to make a statistically significant decision, the Treepodia system automatically will show those videos that work best.
Overall, this is a powerful tool for e-commerce retailers to showcase videos that are proven to drive greater site monetization and it is another great example of how powerful multivariate testing of online videos can be. As with any service I review, there are always a few things that I would like to see added. For example, I think it would be great if these video banners additionally leveraged a retailer's user data information and/or behavioral targeting. For example, if I was a previous customer at http://www.beautynet.de/ and purchased perfume, it might be interesting to use that information via cookie or other method to serve me perfume videos as a starting point. I asked the folks at Treepodia and they said that it is within their capabilities. I also think that a call to action on the video itself would make it more more clear to visitors that they can interact with the banner.
If you're still deciding whether to spend your marketing dollars on video, banners that entice customers to key product videos and pages, track click-throughs, and automatically promote top-scoring videos offer yet another solid argument for a smart investment.