The ecommerce industry hasn’t been around for all that long in the grand scheme of things, yet it has changed enormously in that time. Who could have envisioned the level of fast retail accessibility we now have with 24/7 internet-enabled devices?
As technology has matured, UX practises have gone from cluttered desktop interfaces to fledgling mobile designs, and then ahead to clean, minimalist mobile-first responsive designs. Buyers now take options and convenience for granted — and ecommerce video has assumed dominance.
But why is this, exactly? If we get a little more granular, how has video left its mark on the ecommerce industry, and what can we expect in the future? Let’s go through it.
#1 Video Drives Up Presentation Standards
What do you think of when you imagine a product array from a retail site? A decent image for each one, perhaps some additional images from different angles to provide some more information for the user. Video blows that kind of detail out of the water, and thanks to the march of technology, the barriers to entry have all but disappeared.
Until just a handful of years ago, high-quality video wasn’t viable online: the hosting infrastructures weren’t there, recording equipment was expensive and unwieldy, and internet connections couldn’t handle large files.
But today, YouTube and comparable sites will store as much as you want, just about everyone has a smartphone capable of shooting decent footage, and mobile data connections are perfectly adequate for streaming in HD.
Because of this, the ideal product listing has changed significantly, with users expecting so much more and more often than not being disappointed when there isn’t some kind of introductory video displaying a product. I know I find it invaluable, especially when I’m looking at electronic products.
#2 Video Provides Creative Options
You can accomplish a lot with page text and imagery, but you can do so much more with video, and retailers have steadily come to understand this. As an ecommerce video maker, you can provide commentary on an item, talk directly to camera, narrate product construction or a guide on how to use it. To add to this, you can also shoot footage in different places and in different styles, then bring in post-production elements to make it even more stylized.
With video, you’re not limited to some basic photos of a product and a couple of paragraphs about why someone should buy it. You can get really creative and develop a tone and aesthetic that really makes people want to buy while feeding into your overall brand identity.
#3 Video Saves Screen Space on your Ecommerce website
Suppose you want to offer a full installation and setup guide for a new speaker system. You can painstakingly list all the steps in text, but it will take a long time and various illustrations to make it clear enough to be worthwhile, and that will cause the page to drag out. You could lean even more heavily on high-quality images, but that would take up even more space. Going down that route, you end up confining the guide to a downloadable document, which then means that relatively few people will ever actually see it.
If you make a video guide, however, you can fit the entire thing into a small embedded window near the top of the page. If the user isn’t interested in it, they can ignore it completely, and if they want to soak up all of the information, they can watch entire thing without having to leave the website or even scroll.
By focusing on video guides and reviews, you can fit a vast amount of relevant information into a very small space on a product page.
#4 Videos Make Stories More Viable
We’ve looked at how video offers so many more creative options, and this really makes a difference when it comes to storytelling, something that has traditionally been used for dedicated advertising campaigns but little else.
If there’s a fun little story about how you came to sell a particular product or product line, you can put it in the copy, but it won’t catch the eye nearly as well. Turn it into a punchy short video with animation, transition effects and narration, and you’ll see engagement levels skyrocket.
And think of the effect this has on blogging options. Corporate stories are more important than ever before because customers increasingly expect sellers to be transparent and openly ethical, and what better way to explain what drives your ecommerce business than by filming a video about your entire team?
#5 Video Dominates Social Selling
Social media feeds fly by at a rapid pace, and most of the posts get lost in the blur of activity. It’s the elements that really stand out and command attention that get users to stop the scrolling and focus their interest, and video is the undisputed leader for this, especially with the prevalence of high-speed data connections and autoplaying options.
Retail companies that want to get the most out of social selling need to take inspiration from how companies like Coca-Cola mix regular videos with animated GIFs to create eye-catching, digestible, and highly shareable content.
#6 Video Guarantees Conversions
This one should seem obvious, but let’s confirm it: video drives conversions in a massive way. By next year (2019), a massive 80% of web traffic will consist of video, and coincidentally it’s been found that the inclusion of video on a page increases its conversion rate by 80% on average (there’s something about 80%, clearly!).
And if you think it’s too complex or expensive to use in your case, you’re wrong. You can easily build videos from image and text resources you already have, and then it’s just a matter of embedding them on your product pages.
Big players in the Ecommerce industry use Rocketium to make product videos and then embed them onto their website. You can embed the videos manually, if you have a custom site, or if you have a DIY webstore build, you can find add-ons, plugins or extensions such as EasyVideo or Product Video Gallery.
Video is already positioned at the top of ecommerce selling methods, and it’s only going to become more important as technology develops and always-on data connections get cheaper and faster.
By finding a place for video in your ecommerce strategy, you can start taking advantage of its incredible conversion-driving power, make your website work more efficiently, and enhance the image of your brand. Sounds good, doesn’t it?