How to sell sporting goods online with product videos

Summer is in full swing! Time to break into those sneakers and make the most out of each extra minute of sunlight by getting your move on.

Stores and brands selling sporting goods are gearing up for a season of fierce competition, where no optimization tweaks are too small for getting in the good graces of online shoppers.

So, if your online store happens to sell sporting goods, what are some of the tips you should follow in order to grow your ecommerce sales? Here are some examples of how brands and online retailers make the most out of product videos to motivate consumers to shop.

A little bit about ecommerce sales

Sporting goods are a very popular category in ecommerce. In 2014, the value of online sales of sporting goods in the US was $8.87 billion. This is a relatively small but rapidly growing share of the $63 billion market for sports shoes, sports equipment and sportswear. The market is expected to reach value of $81.8 billion by 2020.

About 14% of sporting goods equipment is sold via ecommerce. In 2015, 55% of consumers in the UK purchased sporting goods and clothing online, outnumbering those who go online to shop for household goods, travel, books and electronics.

Let’s see examples of how online sports shops and brands use videos on their pages to inspire shoppers.

1. Use product videos to introduce new models and lines

Let’s start with one of the biggest players in the game of sports shoes and athletic wear. Nike is aggressively pursuing ecommerce growth. In 2015, only 2% of the brand’s $30.6 billion sales were attributed to ecommerce, but the company is planning to boost the share of its online sales to 14% by 2020.

As always, Nike is investing heavily in the visual experience on its ecommerce channels. A good example is the page on the brand’s US website introducing new Nike Hyperadapt 1.0 sports shoe. Although the page features plenty of copy explaining the technology behind the self-adjusting sports shoe, nothing speaks louder than the product video.

In just 25 seconds sneaker aficionados can grasp the innovation behind the new shoe and marvel at the ingenious design. Although the shoe has received a lot of press for its futuristic features, would you have believed the self-tightening laces if there wasn’t a video to prove it? Probably not. Having this type of product video is the perfect solution for introducing something completely new.

2. Add life to your product pages with product videos

On to another sports shoes giant. Adidas follows very similar approach when it comes to introducing innovation and uses product videos to showcase everything that shoppers need to know about its latest additions. Let’s see some examples.

In this example, the video is added directly on the product page, which makes it easier for shoppers to get familiar with the shoe’s properties and benefits, without having to browse the site for extra product information. The video summarizes all the technical information about the shoe’s design and allows the product page to be sleek and clutter-free.

What’s interesting is that in this case Adidas added the product video just above the section with user-generated product photos from Instagram. In a way, the video is a part of the social proof strategy on the product page and gives an extra nod to boost customer confidence.

But that’s not all. In this other example, product video is added right next to the main product photos, right before the page fold. When it comes to professional sports gear such as high-priced soccer shoes, it makes sense to not let the shoppers hesitate and to share with them helpful content that makes it easier to decide to click on the “add to bag” button.

3. Use product videos to demonstrate features not visible in photos

When it comes to high-performance sports gear, not all the features are immediately apparent at a first glance. While physical sports stores give us the advantage to see the product in person, to feel it in our hands and to play with the zips, laces, fabric and all other features, in ecommerce we have to rely on the visual content to get a full idea about a product.

Having product videos is essential for showing customers features that are hard to see on product photos. Take this example from Vans. It would be hard for shoppers to imagine how the brand’s signature lacing system works (and how amazing it is) if it wasn’t for a product video that showcases the design that keeps the snowboarder’s foot stable and protected, which is the strongest selling point of this product.

Product photos help us see how the product looks like from different angles, but when it comes to sporting gear enhanced with signature features, such as this one, seeing the product in motion makes a huge difference in moving the shopper intent closer to conversion.

4. Product videos help show the proof of product quality

Durability, lightness, flexibility, weather resistance — these are all things that consumers commonly look for in sporting goods to accompany them in on their athletic adventures. It’s easy to demonstrate product quality when the shoppers have the opportunity to try on the product in person, but things are a bit more complicated in the online setting.

This is why visual assets play a big role in ecommerce. They help communicate to customers what makes the product superior to other offers in the market and what makes it worth buying.

Take this example from Arc’teryx mountain clothing and sporting goods company. The brand uses product videos on its ecommerce site that put emphasis on the superior quality of its signature fabrics. Videos like this one below demonstrate the meticulous tests that all of the brand’s sporting apparel is submitted to in order to ensure its durability and endurance.

Product pages also include how-to videos that show how to take care of the garments (i.e. how to wash the fabric, how to dry it properly etc), which are very important for shoppers who weigh in on all the pros and cons before they commit to a purchase.

It might seem that such detailed videos are going over the top in trying to convince the visitors to buy, but remember, in ecommerce ending a shopping session is just a quick click on the “x” button away. No detail is too small when you work towards getting those conversions.

5. Use product videos to show how to use a product in real life

No two types of sports are the same. Not all sporting gear is easy to use. When it comes to professional sports equipment, there’s often a small learning curve in mastering how to make the most use out of the gear for the best performance results.

This is where product videos come especially handy. How-to videos can help online shoppers feel better equipped with knowledge when selecting the right product. What’s more important, they have a lasting value for shopper, who can return to videos after making a purchase in order to ensure they are using the sports gear properly.

Professional American football sports equipment brand Riddell knows this well. This is why they are featuring multiple product videos on their product pages that demonstrate how to correctly set and remove protective helmets, shoulder pads, and other on-field equipment.

British site Golf Online selling golf equipment (one of Goodvidio customers) is also following similar strategy. It features multiple videos on its product pages to show what customers can expect from various models of golf clubs and how the gear performs on a real-life golf course.

Such content not only adds value for shoppers pre- and post-purchase, but also instills trust in the online store as a one-stop destination for all sporting goods needs. Videos also help reduce return rates by as much as 30%, as 84% of shoppers prefer to watch instructional videos rather than call customer support.

6. Use product videos to set your online store apart from the competition

So far we’ve seen examples of how brand-owned ecommerce sites use product videos for on-site video marketing. Does that mean that videos are only suitable for brand sites? Of course not! In fact, online store selling a wide range of sporting goods that span across multiple product categories and brands can also reap benefits of having product videos.

For starters, product videos make is easier for shoppers on multi-brand sporting goods sites to see the distinction between different brands. They help shoppers establish a preference for the online store and increase the likelihood of conversions 1.9 times.

Look at Koolfly, for example, which sells popular sneaker brands such as Nike, Adidas, New Balance and more that are also available on countless other ecommerce sites and multi-channel retailers. Having product videos on its product pages sets this site apart from all the others where the experience is limited to only product photos and descriptions.

7. Add user-generated videos from social media

Last but not least, user-generated product videos are making a big wave. Take sports shoes, for example. Sneaker review videos have their own micro-ecosystem on YouTube. Thousands of videos are uploaded every day with reviews of the latest sports shoes releases, made by sneaker fans who run channels dedicated to comparing, unboxing, stress testing and simply enjoying sneakers. Typing in “sneaker review 2016” into YouTube search will give you over half a million video results. That’s a lot of content for just a fraction of the sporting goods industry!

We’ve talked about the benefits of user-generated content for visual ecommerce here. Now let’s see how user-generated videos are used in practice by online stores.

The example below is a product page by another online store specializing in sports shoes. The company opted to include multiple consumer-made videos on the product pages that showcase sneakers from the viewpoint of regular consumers. The videos are informative, high-quality and engaging, and they speak to shoppers in a language that is devoid of technical terms and instead highlights the main points that an average shopper is interested in.

User-generated videos are an excellent way to add unique and original content to your online store, especially if you are selling products and brands that are widely available on the market through other shopping channels. They can give you an edge and differentiate the shopping experience on your site.

Final thoughts

What you need to remember is that the key to success with videos in ecommerce is to bring only the best content to your online store to engage and convert shoppers. This, however, takes time and effort.

For instance, in the example above with user-generated videos, there are over 650 video results on YouTube for “Nike Air Max cherry blossom” search term, including videos by different creators and of varying quality. How do you choose the right one?

Luckily, there are online tools that can help you get the recommendations for only the best videos from the vast pool of content on social media. Goodvidio is one of them and does an excellent job at discovering, filtering, recommending and optimizing the best product videos for ecommerce sites.

Online stores selling sporting goods can rely on Goodvidio to enhance their product pages with videos and make the most out of product video benefits discussed in this post. Give it a try!

Originally published on Goodvidio blog.

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