How to Attract Millennials and Increase eCommerce Sales in 2017

Product videos are now a crucial part of the eCommerce shopping experience and customer journey. If you’re trying to grow your eCommerce business, you’re bound to come up short without the right focus and mix of video integration.

It’s normal for companies to sink precious time and money into redesigning a website, only to leave functionality to be desired. While integrating new technologies and services into existing eCommerce websites can be frustrating, innovative platforms like Shopify Plus provide an all-in-one solution. Shopify Plus makes it easy to integrate multiple features like video, fulfillment services, and the latest technology for selling to consumers without the headache of re-platforming.

This post will explore why product videos are relevant to the customer journey, and how innovative companies select video content to enhance the eCommerce shopping experience, turning window shoppers into customers.

What’s so Important About Video for eCommerce?

Videos Communicate More Effectively Than Text

Put simply, videos get the point across fast. It’s hard to believe that the average customer’s attention span is now down to just 8 seconds. A well-crafted product video engages the customer while leaving a lasting impression of the product’s benefits and value in mind. Consider that with video, vital information that might have otherwise been overlooked or written off will now be understood.

With a better understanding of product and service in mind, it makes sense that customers are four times more likely to prefer watching a video about a product to reading about it. Also, shoppers who watch videos are 1.81 times more likely to purchase a product than those who don’t. Just take a look below at the content retailers like Best Buy are pushing customers towards on this Dyson landing page.

Note the highlighted areas calling our attention to watch as many as 7 product videos.

Clearly, videos have the power to communicate better than any well-crafted product description.

Millennials Love Video

As a medium, videos are rapidly becoming the preferred online content, particularly for millennials. In fact, millennials (ages 18–34 in 2015) have now become America’s largest generation, tallying in at 75.4 million, surpassing baby boomers (ages 51–69) at 74.9 million. This is notably driving a shift in the market.

As Nobel Prize laureate, Bob Dylan, once wrote: “times they are a-changing,” Millennials are changing how we sell to consumers. And to say that technology is an important detail in how this generation communicates is an understatement.

“The issue is that millennial consumers are digital natives; they don’t view the world in terms of channels, they see smartphones, tablets, social media, stores and so forth as part of one big ecosystem. Retailers, by contrast, have typically thought in terms of channels, so they are having to integrate their thinking and systems and ways of doing business.”-Neil Saunders, CEO of retail analysis firm Conlumino

Millennials make 54% of their purchases online and are expected to spend more than $200 billion annually starting in 2017, and $10 trillion in their lifetimes. Moreover, 7 out of 10 are likely to watch a company video while shopping online. Additionally, they find video helpful during initial product research and comparison shopping. Moreover, when buying additional products, they continue to come back to watch videos post-purchase. Which makes me think about what sort of impact are videos having on the customer loyalty loop?

High-volume and fast-growing businesses will need to embrace this market shift, catering to a new generation by leveraging video throughout the customer journey and digital ecosystem.

Types of Videos that Support the Customer Journey

Video is relevant during every stage of the customer’s journey. Let’s take a look at the different ways eCommerce businesses can use video to support the customer journey. Here are some examples from companies that are creating great video content.

Ideally, the goal is to add value to the entire customer journey.

Interest → Research → Validation → Decision → Retention

Interest

Squatty Potty: This Unicorn Changed the Way I Poop || Viral Product Video

At the beginning of their journey, your customers are unaware of two things, that your company exists and that they have a need. So give plenty of attention to their pain points and less to the product or brand.

Funny videos like this one are higher risk, higher reward. If we put aside the ridiculous yet hilarious nature of the video for a minute, you’ll realize its genius. Marketing product around subject matter as sensitive and awkward as this had to be a challenge. Rather than choosing a more conservative route, it’s going completely over the top that makes this video work so well. And since it was published to YouTube on October 6, 2015, it has 28,223,658 views and counting.

Interesting Stats

Research

Nixon — Mission Smartwatch || Hero Product Video

As consumers start to warm up to your company, they’ll begin assessing how well the brands fits their lifestyle. Educational and testimonials content is helpful at this stage too.

Any good product video should demonstrate how the product fits into the customer’s life. Almost instantly we begin to see how the product functions, performs and fits within the lifestyle, which is essential in the purchase process. Ideally, customers will find themselves experiencing the product first hand without actually being there at all. Educational and testimonial content is helpful during this stage too.

Interesting Stats

Validation

Everlane — The Cotton Poplin V-Neck Flare Dress || Product Demo Video

Building confidence in your customer is crucial for eCommerce. With an endless combination of products and merchants for consumers to choose from, companies that are trusted stand apart. Integrating product videos into your website is one way to build trust instantly.

Looks can be deceiving and especially while relying on product imagery alone. Here’s a perfect example from Everlane.com. You probably wouldn’t have guessed it by reading the product description or looking at these product images, but this dress has pockets. When given the opportunity to watch the video of the dress being modeled, we notice pockets only after the model casually places her thumbs into them before turning to walk off camera.

Interesting Stats

Decision

Google — Google Chrome: Now Everywhere || Product Comparison Video

At this stage, they’ll be close the end of comparing and examining details like fit, cost, features and product value. Offering direct comparisons to the competition or status quo is a strategy used to help make a customer’s choice clear.

Google cleverly highlights the features of its Chrome browser as compared to the limitations of it’s competitors.

Interesting Stats

Retention

Patagonia: Ascensionist 45L Pack || Product Demo Video

Depending on the type of products your company sells educational videos like this are sure to make your customers revisit its content post-purchase.

Patagonia continues to add value and build consumer trust by having product designers and outdoor experts demonstrate the products. Here, Alpinist Steve House, explains the features of the Ascensionist 45L Pack while loading gear for a typical day of climbing.

Interesting Stats

Support the Customer Journey: Build Trust & Add Value

In the end it’s not as simple as Video + eCommerce = Conversions. eCommerce companies need relevant content that helps support each stage in the customer journey. Companies that pair eCommerce and a customer experience that integrates video have the potential to make visitors stay longer, engage more and become repeat customers.

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Originally published at www.ehousestudio.com on December 17, 2016.