I interviewed Zappos.com's Video Product Manager, Laurie Williams, who shares with me how her company Zappos is harnessing their "quirky" company culture to feature both staff and fans in online videos; and using personal engagement to sell their products, their brand, and their culture – for a groovy holistic video e-commerce experience.

Zappos Product Videos – Have Your Staff Do The Presentations

Last year, we wrote about the initiative at Zappos to deploy e-commerce video after the company ran tests demonstrating that Zappo's videos caused an increase in conversions.  Recently, Zappos started a new Video Description feature on their product pages. Basically, Zappos has been producing videos for all of their products, which are very short, presented by actual staff members demonstrating and talking about the various products they carry.

"The idea behind the videos is that we also want to show off the Zappos quirky personality." Says Laurie. "We want these employees to know the item really well, and be a sincere sell to the customers. We want the customer to first trust them before they purchase the item.”

(I recommend checking out more information and a few video examples about this feature from Zappos fan blogger and fellow Chicagoan, Lindsey Cochan)

Selling Your Business Culture With Web Video – The Zappos Experience zappos staff shoes

Still frames of actual Zappos staff presenting shoe products on web video. (No drag queens available?)

The Zappos Video Experience – UGC

Zappos has been promoting since 2008 on their Website "The Zappos Video Experience," where visitors/customers submit their own video to Zappos' YouTube channel. The channel features their favorite video submissions by users, and they mention that some of the users' videos are also showcased on the Zappos.com website. I recommend watching this most recent video from a Zappos customer, where she share's a light and enjoyable story about her appreciation of Zappos' customer service. (She even receives flowers and all - much better than some boyfriends do. ;)

Selling Your Business Culture With Web Video – The Zappos Experience zappos experience youtube1

Welcome to the Zappos' YouTube Experience with User-Submitted Video!

5 of Zappos' Core Values Applied To Video

Here are five of the 10 Zappos Core Values which I would say Zappos is already being showcased with the video they're featuring online:

  1. Deliver WOW through service
  2. Embrace and drive change
  3. Create Fun and a Little Weirdness "because the shoe demos they're posting now are hosted with warmth and wit by the real people who work for Zappos." Says Lindsey.
  4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
  5. (#6 on the full Zappos list) – Build a positive team and family spirit. "I would definitely say that personal engagement is a big thing at Zappos." Says Laurie. "That's definitely what I feel is helping us sell our items, and also sell our culture.”
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About Laurie Williams

Laurie Williams is the Video Product Manager for Zappos.com, who she's been an employee for since January 2005. What she and I both have in common (besides online video and selling stuff), is we both served in the U.S. Army. Don't let the Chuck Norris-style video done by her Zappos crew scare you – she's really a kind helper to bloggers.

  • s

    Tony Hsieh is a remarkable guy. He seems like an introvert, somebody whose mind is constantly processing multiple ideas and figuring out innovative solutions that would further the Zappos empire. And yet, at the end of it all, this man weighs his achievements on 2 parameters - values and culture. I like the way his leadership style is analysed here - http://www.brandpilgrim.com/2010/08/valuation-of-values.html

  • Website Traffic

    Zappos one of the coolest company in the planet.

  • http://seogurltalk.blogspot.com Jenny Stradling

    I agree that short and honest videos done in a funny or quirky way really do give the buyer a chance to relate to a real person and helps add trust which should translate into conversions. Great idea. Love it.