3 Important Reasons Why E-commerce Needs More Videos in 2016

We live in the times when simply uploading a product photo and a price on your online site and calling it e-commerce just won’t cut it anymore. Consumers are looking for unique and engaging experiences on e-commerce sites, and online retailers and brands need to invest in rich content that facilitates product storytelling and captivates shoppers. Product videos have been around for quite some time, but online retailers are yet to use them to the full potential in their visual commerce efforts. Here’s why 2016 will be the year of videos in e-commerce.

1. Product videos improve shopper engagement

Let’s just start by saying that consumers love to watch product videos! Their appetite for video is insatiable. Daily online video consumption is expected to increase by 19.8% in 2016, as the demand for video content continues to grow. YouTube is seeing 60% year-over-year increase in the hours spent by consumers watching videos.

Product videos are loved because they are informative, entertaining and easy-to-digest. They are consumer’s best allies, helping navigate through the “I-want-to-know” and “I-want-to-do” to “I-want-to-buy” moments of the shopping journey.

Videos engage shoppers like no other content. Four times as many consumers would rather watch a product video than read product description. Shoppers who watch videos on product pages stay up to 88% longer on the site, browse more and are less likely to bounce or exit pages. Data from Goodvidio reveals that product videos have the power to increase visitor session duration by 340% and can contribute to 127% increase in pages visited per shopping session.

Product videos are an excellent starting point when looking to improve visitor on-site engagement. 2016 is the time for ecommerce to start capitalizing on this trend and to bring product videos from social media to product pages.

2. Videos enhance customer experience

Shopping journey has changed. About 66% of consumers now rely on digital content to discover new brands and products or to get product information. 72% of consumers prefer to use search engines and websites to research products rather than to visit physical stores. The lines between showrooming and webrooming are blending.

But how do videos fit into this?

The reason is simple — product videos help bridge the gap between the tangible product and the virtual online store. E-commerce has its limitations when it comes to sensory experiences, but we shouldn’t make it more difficult for online shoppers to understand how a product works or looks like in real-life. Product photos, creative copy and customer reviews are helpful, but offer a rather flat experience. It’s the videos that give that extra dimension to the online shopping:

“If you have video, you have audio. If you have video, you have text (via transcription). If you have video, you have photos. But it doesn’t work the other way around. In 2016, video will take its rightful place as the petri dish of great content marketing.”- Jay Bae

Product videos enhance customer experience by making shoppers more confident in their choices. 52% of shoppers say watching product videos makes them more confident about purchases. It also increases the confidence in the retailer.

Having highly relevant, unbiased video content available at a single click on the product pages gives shoppers an assurance that they are at the right place, with a retailer who has the expertise to recommend the right product.

In 2016, this will be one small but important step for enhancing customer experience.

3. Product videos inspire purchases and boost conversions

E-commerce conversion rates for many consumer goods categories are typically in the lower 5–10% range. The goal for 2016 is clear — maximize the effectiveness of content assets and optimize for conversions. Retailers and brands who wish to boost their online conversion rates should consider adding product videos in order to motivate shoppers to complete their purchases online.

73% of consumers are more inclined to purchase products after watching videos that show products in action. Goodvidio reports that product pages enhanced with videos see 37% more add-to-cart clicks than pages without video. Customers who watch product videos while shopping online are 1.9 times more likely to complete their purchases, which translates into conversions.

Having said that, video management and A/B testing tools will be in highly sought after in 2016. Online retailers should plan to start experimenting with content as soon as possible in order to learn fast about which video content works best in converting visitors into customers.

What’s next?

In 2016 we’ll undoubtedly see more examples of e-commerce sites using product videos to engage shoppers, improve customer experience and boost conversion rates. For those already planning their video budget and strategy for 2016, this article might come in handy. And for those looking for a simple and seamless solution for bringing videos to ecommerce, this is the place to start.

Originally published on Goodvidio Blog.