Whether you sell high-tech running shoes or utilitarian plastic crates online, you want to increase the conversion rate and become your customer’s first choice. You also want conversions and sales to be sustainable long-term. The product video can deliver that, especially during a global pandemic where online activities have reached unprecedented levels. If you want to know why and how, read on!
It has been a long time since many of us could visit a shopping centre, walk into a store of our choice, and examine and handle the item on offer. We like to be able to look, touch, ask questions and – if possible – test a product. This enables us to compare brands and, as a result, make an informed decision and a confident purchase. But our ability to shop that way changed utterly in 2020 with shop closures and lockdowns.
The pandemic was bad news for in-store retail, but it brought those businesses who have an online presence a massive surge in visits and sales. Not all businesses did equally well, however. One possible – and likely – reason for the discrepancy is that some companies are better at presenting their products and services effectively.
Another marked shift in consumer behaviour triggered by the pandemic and the associated restrictions is how much video content is viewed online.
68% of people canvassed stated their viewing patterns have changed with a staggering 96% of respondents indicating their viewing has increased.
The golden opportunity for savvy businesses now is to make use of the increased online consumer presence and activity and combine it with the use of professional product videos.
Product videos have several connected benefits. They result in higher conversion and customer satisfaction rates. It should go without saying that visits to a site must be converted or sales will not increase even if visits do. You want hits on your site to generate sales and a positive consumer experience. This in turn leads to brand and product loyalty and, often, to new word-of-mouth business.
A product video shows or explains a product or service in an informative but also a highly engaging way. The video shows the details of the product or service, highlights the benefits, and presents the real-world use or application. All of this contributes to an understanding of what is on offer and the desire to purchase.
There are four types of product video. However, it is possible – and sometimes desirable – to combine formats. They are:
The ISO video style clearly shows how this support tool works.
Training Mask presents its product in a range of settings. The use of athletes makes the product look more desirable.
The product video from Tiffany & Co uses both detail shots and product in action formats.
Storytelling in a video about solar parks.
If you are interested in technology, you are probably a regular viewer of popular YouTube channel, Unbox Therapy.
It has been established that, no matter what type of video – or combination of formats – you choose, the product video will boost your conversion rate and therefore your sales.
The conversion rate represents the percentage of visitors to your e-shop who perform a certain and, from your point of view, desired action: usually he or she makes a purchase. The conversion rate can be measured, and this metric gives you clear numerical information about the success of your business. If you offer a video to a visitor instead of long descriptions and boring images, this metric will sky-rocket. There are several reasons why this is the case:
For many consumers the process of returning goods that are not suitable is a deterrent, and somehow it feels like more of an obstacle when shopping online. If we are honest, how many of us want to fill in forms, arrange a courier, wait for the courier, or stand in a queue at a post office? Even free return postage doesn’t always make up for the inconvenience.
If consumers can watch a video and become more familiar with the product and what is on offer, their level of certainty and confidence about the purchase increases. This increases the likelihood of a sale.
Video unquestionably makes products and services more accessible to a larger number of people. This is particularly true of those who have restrictions with regards to accessing written content or information that has complex technical specifications. Video images speak in a language that reaches across barriers to create understanding.
As many as 69% of consumers prefer video to any other format when they want to find out more about a product or service.
It is common knowledge that producing a good video takes more than a few days and involves expense and the investment of time and energy. When customers see that a company has made this investment, they read it as the business having belief and confidence in their own products and business. This in turn leads customers to feel that the business is solid and established and not a flash-in-the-pan.
Customers reward businesses that provide information and helpful details – even tips and hacks – that make using their service or product easier. Providing this type of useful input saves consumers time and trouble. Importantly, if he finds what he needs on your site he won’t look for the information or the item or service elsewhere. This increases the likelihood the customer will return and not go to your competitors.
A company that provides a customer with all the information he needs… and a bit more… will make him feel that it is meeting his needs and providing an excellent customer experience. This will reward and satisfy him and build loyalty to you.
We are rational beings who have emotions, but also emotional beings who think. The trigger to buy something may be a rational reason but equally it may be prompted by a feeling that someone experiences. Regardless of whether a consumer is a ‘head’ or a ‘heart’ buyer, video will reach him best. That is one of the great strengths of video: it speaks to reason and emotion faster and more strongly than static images.
As many as 84% of people say that after watching a product video, they were persuaded to buy a product or service.
Let's look at some tips to help you create the best video for your product!
The short answer is that all products are suitable. All e-commerce businesses, products and services – regardless of market or industry – will be boosted by video. Whether you are showing the advantages and function of a tech item, the grip of running shoes or the benefits of a business management tool, video engages the audience in a way that other formats can’t. The possibilities are endless.
Gym equipment is a good example. You decide you want to get fit during lockdown by buying an item of exercise equipment that will go into the garage or spare room. Doing an online search yields a range of retailers, all offering multiple images of each piece of equipment from numerous angles. But wouldn’t it be far more helpful if you could see the equipment in use? Then you would have a good idea of how to turn it on, select options such as levels etc, and use the item. A video would do this!
3D animated video presents the Milon Q fitness machine in detail.
When it comes to producing effective videos, it’s important to keep them concise and short. Few people these days have the time, and in some cases the patience or attention span, to watch something lengthy. It’s generally thought that these videos should not exceed 2 minutes in length. An exception to this would be special situations such as complex products or services.
If you are offering a more complex or multi-faceted product or service, and you know you can’t cover the information in two minutes, don’t succumb to the temptation to make a long video. Rather, produce several short videos on specific aspects of what you offer your customers. Not only does this offer the ideal brevity but a customer who only wants or needs to know about one aspect or feature can just watch the relevant video(s).
These multiple videos can be combined into a list and you can offer links from one video to the next. This gives customers choice and / or a guided tour of your products. This can be seen in action in the series of videos by Škoda who used this type of video series to present Marketplace technology.
In the series of Škoda Auto product videos 2D and 3D animation have been combined.
As previously mentioned, one huge advantage of video over images and text is that the viewer can understand the product faster. Videos can show the products from every angle, so the viewer gets a perfect overall or 360o impression. An example where this has been done effectively comes from a company renowned for its creativity and innovation: Apple. The video for the iPhone 12 Pro is an excellent example of this in action.
A product video from Apple that engages the viewers through colour, pleasing narration, clarity and creativity.
Storytelling makes your product more interesting, helps it to stay in the viewer's memory and puts the product in context. Good storytelling also conveys emotions that must be creatively and effectively connected to the product.
The video presenting the Comby app uses storytelling which allows the viewer to easily identify with the characters at the party.
You probably just rolled your eyes when you read that. I understand if you did because many people and organisations today use words such as honesty, sincerity, integrity and authenticity very lightly but fail to back them up. However, if you want to produce strong videos you need to be genuine and open about who your business is or who you are and what your values are in addition to the product or service you offer. People respond well to real people.
This video in which the founder of the Dollar Shave Club brand, Michael Dubin, honestly and humorously presents the brand was a huge success.
The whole reason to make and air product videos is, of course, to create brand awareness and boost sales of a product or service. Therefore, you need to remember to include a clear call to action (CTA) at the end of the video and to direct viewers to the next stage of the shopping journey. After all, if the viewer watches to the end of your two-minute video demonstration of the product, it’s likely that their interest in buying is quite high. If you don’t provide a way to make a purchase easily you lose a sale and squander customer interest and good will.
The video presenting the drink for LevIUp players ends with a clear invitation to purchase the drink.
Optimizing conversion for an e-shop is not an easy task. It requires a great deal of attention to every detail that makes up the online shopping path. We hope you learned more about the significant power of product videos and that the article has provided insight into how to ensure a satisfying and rewarding online shopping experience for your customers and business. If you want to take your business to the next level, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.