Videos Sell Products – Even If Users Don’t Actually Watch Them

Videos Sell Products – Even If Users Don’t Actually Watch Them

While adding video to your online store isn't exactly new, it is still a medium in its infancy.  Only within the last year or so have retailers begun to wake up to the power of video as a marketing tool that builds customer confidence and increases conversion rates. The amazing thing about video is that it works to this effect whether it's watched or not.  In other words, just by adding product videos to your site, whether they're watched or not, will help move products.

Why add video to product pages?

Why add video to your site's product pages?  Because simply put, product videos sell products.  While shoppers who actually view a product video are buying at a higher rate than those who choose not to watch the video, what has proven even more interesting is the fact that people who do NOT watch the video are converting at a significantly higher rate than shoppers viewing the same product page without the option for video viewing.

Take the following case studies which show conversion rates (CVR) for January 2010.

E-Commerce Retailer A:

  • Control group (= pure CVR in site, without video at all): 1.04%
  • CVR of people who could watch video but did not: 1.47%
  • CVR of people who watched video: 4.06%
  • Increase when comparing the users who could watch video (whether watched or not) to control group: +46.22%

E-Commerce Retailer B:

  • Control: 3.27%
  • CVR of people who could watch video but did not: 4.06%
  • CVR of people who watched video: 4.82%
  • increase (as defined above): +27.05%

The above case study data was provided by Treepodia and based on multivariate testing results for their client's e-commerce websites.

So, it turns out that just offering the option to watch a product video is already a selling point. How could that be?

I believe that it has to do with consumer behavior and the trust factor.  People feel more secure if they know you are able to show video on your site. 1) Because it means you trust your product enough to show it in full multi-dimensional format, and 2) Because it means you are an etailer that invests in your site, bringing your customers the best user experience possible. It makes your site seem more reliable which in turn increases consumer confidence.

If I look at it from another perspective altogether, I'd perhaps equate it to the fact that while I may not be an opera fan, I like the idea of living in a city that has an opera.  It's about options.  In other words, while I may not use a particular service, I like to know that it's there. I can recognize its benefit without the need to use it, and it says something positive about the place, or site, I'm visiting.

What's the best way to display video on landing pages?

Although overall product videos are a strong sales tool, not all video displays are created equally.  The three main ways most e-commerce sites choose to display video to site visitors are via a link, as a "watch video" icon, or embedded in the actual product page.

While all methods are effective, embedding the video player in the product page will generally generate a higher view rate. For example, according to Treepodia, a leading vendor in the realm of ecommerce videos, if you add a simple link to video from any given product page, you can expect something between a 5%-15% video view rate, while a video player embedded on the same page will deliver a view rate ranging from 10%-35% .

Both are obviously good options, and number are not the only thing that matters.  Beyond the number of views generated you need to think about appearances. The display format you choose depends on the type of page real estate you want to allocate to video. But remember, your shoppers respond positively to videos so a good spot above the page fold is best.

What else should I know?

In most cases and across all verticals, video is a proven and effective tool for increasing conversion rates. However poorly executed or shoddy video may have a detrimental effect on your site. This should come as no surprise as we're all well aware of the damage that inadequate copy-writing or unimpressive photos can cause conversions. In short, video obeys the same fundamental rules governing the performance of all mediums – quality matters!

That's why, whatever video strategy you choose, it is imperative to continue to measure performance according to the parameters for success that you have established.  Once you learn what works best for converting products on your site, you can focus on doing more of the same and getting the most out of your product videos.

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About the Author -
Mark Robertson is the Founder and Publisher of ReelSEO, an online information resource dedicated to the fusion of video, technology, social media, search, and internet marketing. He is a YouTube Certified, video marketing consultant and video marketing expert, popular speaker, and considered to be a passionate leader within the online video and search marketing industries. View All Posts By -

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