12 Do’s and Don’t’s for Product Videos in Ecommerce

Video is one of the most engaging forms of content for consumers shopping online. It helps showcase products, explain their uses and benefits and makes online shopping less ambiguous. Here are some practical tips what to do and not to do when it comes to product videos in e-commerce.

Do: Use videos on individual product pages

If you’re looking to use video to better showcase your products then you can’t go wrong with placing them on the product pages. The logic is simple — you want videos strategically placed on the areas on your site where they can make the most impact. The closer you place video to the conversion points, the more helpful it will be at convincing shoppers to buy.

Bellroy greets shoppers with a compelling product video as soon as they land on a product page

Consumers are anywhere from 64–85% more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it. To maximize the chances of that happening, a video has to be conveniently close to the call-to-action button.

Do: Invest in high-quality videos

This might sound a tad too obvious, but you can’t add just any video to your site, it has to be a good one too. Whether you’re making product videos on your own, outsourcing to an agency or sourcing videos from social media, make sure you uphold high standards for the visual content that appears on your pages. This article by Richard Lazazzera has a few good tips on what qualities to look for in a product video, but in a nutshell, you want videos that are:

  • not overly complicated and straight-to-the-point,
  • easy to follow,
  • attractive to watch
  • satisfy shoppers’ curiosity,
  • speak to shoppers in a language they understand.
Sephora features high-quality product videos which demonstrate how to apply products

This might seem like a lot of boxes to check, but you won’t compromise the experience on your site with product videos that don’t add any value to viewers or have technical shortcomings (i.e. shot with a low-quality camera, poor lighting, bad audio etc). Treat each video with equal attention to detail and it shall deliver.

Do: Use videos to stand out from the competition

If you want to win in ecommerce, you need to stand out. Even if your competition is selling essentially the same products, that doesn’t mean you can sit back and let the fate decide who will win the customer. If your competitors are not using videos yet, then you have an upper hand by offering shoppers something extra to help them engage with products better online.

If your competition already has a video strategy on board, there’s still room for differentiation and creativity — you can make your own videos with your brand’s unique spin on the product or you can add video galleries with carefully curated selections of videos from social media made by brands, experts, and consumers that offer something truly unique.

NYX Cosmetics rose to fame thanks to thousands of YouTube product videos made by consumers. Now the brand features this content on its product pages

Do: Add user-generated product videos as testimonials

Speaking of being different, you can’t do better in terms of uniqueness than user-generated videos! Every consumer-made video brings something different to the table, whether it’s new interesting points made about the product or creator’s unique personality and the way they talk about their experiences.

“Honest testimonial videos are best kind of customer reviews because shoppers get to see a person, not the store, tell them how well a product works or how good their shopping experience was.” — Armando Roggio, Practical Ecommerce
Tassimo.co.uk uses user-generated videos from social media to showcase how customers can use its products

If you’re looking to infuse your product pages with fresh, original and authentic content, then you have a great shot with user-generated product videos. Just like a stream of Instagram photos adds an extra dimension to the page, user-generated videos have the power to engage visitors and create a more intimate connection with a product.

Do: Add different types of videos into the mix

Do you have only one photo for each product page on your site? Most likely not. The same should apply to your product videos. Add a mix of videos that cover different points, from product review videos that talk about the benefits, to how-to and tutorial videos which cover common questions about product assembly and maintenance. Go one step further and tease shoppers with unboxing videos, which will surely make the visit to your site more memorable. Break down the monotony and make the most out of each customer’s visit to your product pages.

Estee Lauder uses a mix of demonstration, how-to and beauty hack videos featuring influencers to show a wide spectrum of product uses

Do: Measure how customers behave with video on the site

It’s hard to know what impact video has on your store if you’re not actively tracking its performance. What are some of the things you should be measuring? For starters, track the behavior of visitors on the product pages with video versus the pages without video. For example, Zappos found that product pages with videos had 6–30% increase in sales. Use A/B testing and track the differences in behavior on pages when a video is available. How do the average session duration and conversion rates change? Does the presence of video affect average order value, like in this example?

Stack And Stacks observed that shoppers were 144% more likely to buy after watching product video versus shoppers who didn’t. Measure how conversion rates differ between shoppers who view the content versus those who don’t engage with it. What is the percentage of the video they watch? Do you watch multiple videos when available? Finally, which types of video perform better on your pages — unboxing, review, how-to’s?

Answering these questions will give you an idea of the value that video brings to you online store. To speed things up, try specialized tools to help you measure the lift in conversions and engagement and to identify opportunities for improvement.

Do: Optimize video for SEO

It comes as a no-brainer that if you are investing time and effort in product videos, you should make sure to follow the SEO best practices. There are many articles that discuss video optimization for SEO, so we won’t go in-depth with this today. I recommend this article for a more detailed breakdown.

One thing worthy of highlighting, however, is that you should embed videos into your product pages rather than simply share a link to a video. This way, you make sure visitors can watch the video directly on your site and won’t have disruptions in the experience by being taken to a separate video page or a hosting platform outside of your store.

Magento store Munchkin embeds product videos from YouTube directly on its product pages

Don’t bury your videos deep into product pages

When it’s time to add product videos to your site, don’t make the mistake of burying them deep at the bottom of your product pages. You’re not doing your visitors any service if they have to dig deep into your content to find videos. Pick a designated area on your product page for video content, ideally above the page fold, right next to your product image gallery. That way you ensure that visitors will notice your videos and will be tempted to play them.

Bumble and bumble has a designated area for product videos above the page fold

Don’t add just any UGC video

So you decided to enrich your visuals with some authentic user-generated product videos. Great! But don’t just settle for any video you find on YouTube. While there’s a ton of less than stellar content out there, social media also offers real gems that go on par with professionally-produced, big-budget videos. Spend some time searching for the right user-generated videos for your store. Set a few filtering criteria that you can use for sifting through the content quickly and picking out videos that resonate with your brand and target audience. User-generated videos can be a great ally if you make the effort to discover the right ones.

Tassimo.co.uk features carefully curated user-generated product videos that add value to the customer experience

Don’t just say it — show it

There are many components that comprise a perfect product video: good storyline, high-quality resolution, flattering lighting, clear audio etc. But most importantly, a good product video does an excellent job in showcasing the product and making the viewer feel like they are holding it in their own hands. Don’t just have a single shot of the product and narrate its features and benefits. Also, don’t just add a video collage of product photos that are already available on the product page. Put some effort into this. Get shots from multiple angles, zoom in on the interesting details, show how the product works and what consumers can do with it, test it against competing brands — really get in there! If you want a product video that creates a truly exceptional experience apply your expertise and creativity — it’s your time to shine!

Olympus has numerous videos on its product pages, showcasing every detail of the camera

Don’t dwell on it, keep it short

By now you’ve already heard that our attention span is getting shorter and that we’re losing the battle to goldfish. While the science behind this is somewhat debatable, do bear in mind that shoppers are very unlikely to invest time into watching a 20-minute video about a product. After all, online shopping is about speed and convenience.

Try to keep your product videos short and straightforward and somewhere between 60 seconds up to 5 minutes long. While it’s good to throw in a good story about a product, don’t get too chatty without communicating anything of value to the shoppers. Keep it brief.

Bigcommerce store Native Union keeps its product videos up to one minute long

Don’t autoplay

You’ve probably seen this on Facebook, where videos are automatically played as you scroll through your newsfeed. This might work for social networking sites, but is considered as a no-no in e-commerce. The reason is that autoplay can be perceived as intrusive. When visitors land on your product pages they need a few seconds to scan the content before they decide whether to engage with it. They don’t want to be taken off-guard, so resist the urge to shove the video in their face. Add a prominent play button instead, so that they can watch the video at their own pace.

Don’t forget to be entertaining

Finally, don’t be afraid to add some liveliness to your videos. Sure, you’re in ecommerce to do business, but online shopping at your store should be an enjoyment, not a chore. Keep your videos interesting and entertaining with original shots, clever remarks, enthusiastic voiceover and a dose of realness. Remember the “Will it blend?” series by BlendTec? While you don’t have to be a jokester to sell, your visitors will certainly appreciate a bit of wittiness and remember you for it.

Final thoughts

Apply some of these best practices for product videos on your site and you’ll be on a good path to master the art of visual commerce. Remember, a good video can help you win new customers, convert shoppers, improve confidence in purchases and reduce the likelihood of product returns.

If you would like to learn more about how to automate some of the processes of getting social videos to your site, make sure to check this out.

Originally published on Goodvidio.

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