Imagine you’re working in retail. You’re a salesperson at a sporting goods store. On an average day you see hundreds of different shoppers: those who came with a specific sneaker model or brand in mind ready to buy, those who hunt for special prices and offers, those who came to browse and kill time… Then there’s also shoppers who know they’d like to buy a specific product, let’s say, a running shoe, but are uncertain of the brand, model or the kind of features that would work for them. You know how to spot this kind of reluctant shopper.
They look at the shelves, pick up a few sneakers, examine them from all angles, trying to make sense of what’s the difference between dozens of options available at your store. They greet you with a sigh of relief when you approach them and offer help. Better yet, they often walk out of the store with a shopping bag in hand, because you shared with them a few tips from your own experience and helped them make the right choice The customer is happy, you feel good about the sale, and the overall experience is great.
How do you replicate this online?
While you can’t bring your best salesperson to your online store, you can offer rich content to help online shoppers visualize your products better and help them fill out any information holes that stand on the way to conversion. Product videos are some of the best ways to deliver information in an attractive and concise format that is also engaging and contributes to a great experience. 73% of consumers admit they are likely to buy a product after watching videos that explain how it works and 44% say they would buy multiple products from an ecommerce website that features product videos.
So, what types of e-commerce videos work best to drive sales? Here’s a breakdown of the five types of videos that help increase conversions.
Product review videos
Probably one of the most sought-after types of e-commerce videos, product review videos are the closest you’ll have to having a virtual salesperson in your online store. According to results from visual commerce platform Goodvidio, e-commerce sites featuring product reviews videos like the example below see an increase in “add-to-cart” conversion rate of 74%, and shoppers stay on the site 340% longer and engage with 127% more pages.
Product review videos come in many forms, from those created by brands, experts and influencers to videos created by retailers or regular consumers, in which they talk about their experiences using a product. A good product review video talks not only about product features but helps viewers visualize how the product works, looks, and feels in real life.
The ultimate criterion of a successful product review videos is that it helps answer all the common questions a typical shopper would have about a product (remember that reluctant shopper from the beginning of the story) and would leave them ready and confident to place an order.
Another powerful way to get shoppers to click the “buy now” button is with unboxing videos. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, these videos are all about unwrapping the new purchases and showing what the product looks like when it arrives to a shopper’s doorstep.
The curiosity for this type of e-commerce videos is so huge among shoppers, that Google reported over 20 million searches for unboxing videos on YouTube in 2014 alone. Why do they work? Because they allow the shoppers to see all those details typically unknown when buying online (i.e. How protected is the product in the packaging? Does it come with any extra items for care and maintenance? Is the manual shipped as well? etc). The more information shoppers can see, the closer you bring them to conversion.
The key to a good unboxing video is to make it look authentic (don’t be afraid of showing the packaging, the wrapping paper and busting out a pair of scissors for unpacking, like in the example above!), so that viewers can relate to it and easily imagine themselves doing the same thing with a new purchase at home. Good news is, just like review videos, unboxing videos are very popular on social media like YouTube, so you won’t have trouble finding the content for your products.
Perhaps less known, but highly effective at getting shoppers to convert are product comparison videos. As the name suggests, these videos provide side-by-side comparison of two or more products in the same category, usually with similar features and specs, so as to allow shoppers to see the small differences and details that make each product unique and suitable for different uses and needs. Sometimes, a short video like this is all shoppers need in order to convert and be convinced they’re making the right choice.
These types of videos are often made by consumers and experts (like the example above), although you can find a fare share of professional comparison videos made by retailers in order to help shoppers navigate various options available on their sites. Comparison videos are especially popular for beauty, accessories, consumer electronics, gadgets and sporting goods products, where online shoppers are spoilt by choice but uncertain of what exactly is the right model or brand for them personally.
User-generated content plays an important part in visual commerce. 82% of shoppers say that user-generated content is extremely valuable when deciding on purchases. Videos created and shared by regular shoppers in which they demonstrate products, show how to use them and talk about their experiences are extremely effective in converting shoppers. The reason why shoppers love them is because these types of videos offer a social proof that others like them have bought the product and enjoyed it, which is a powerful stimulus to purchase.
Some of the most commonly types of user-generated videos in ecommerce are product review and unboxing videos, although haul videos, “first impressions”, “empties” and “tag” videos are also very popular among consumers on social media. According to Comscore study, brand engagement rises 28% when consumers are exposed to both brand and user-generated video content, so consider adding some of these videos into the mix on your product pages, like the example above.
Last, but not least, e-commerce store owners have the option of sourcing product videos directly from brands. Here, it’s important to keep in mind that classic video advertisement type of content probably will be of little value to online shoppers, because they have probably already seen it elsewhere before landing on your product pages. What would really help with conversions is brand-made detailed product demo, how-to and review videos that talk about the product with an in-depth expertise and highlight lesser-known features and facts.
For example, Samusung Mobile’s YouTube channel offers dozens of product videos, from how-to content to short-form high-quality product presentation videos that draw thousands of views from curious shoppers researching their purchases. This content can help draw sales when added to ecommerce sites as well.
There are multiple types of e-commerce videos you can use on your store to help shoppers decide on purchases and increase conversions. The important thing to keep in mind that product videos should add value to the shopping experience and play along well with the brand of your online store. Whether you decide to create your own product videos or outsource this to visual commerce platforms that curate product videos from social media, always think of that customer roaming the virtual aisles of your online store, who expects human approach to online shopping and rich content in exchange for their share of wallet.
E-commerce videos can definitely act as conversion boosters for your shop.