How to use product videos in visual commerce

Getting consumers to visit your online store can be difficult. You need to have a good visual marketing strategy in place to grab their attention and to make them want to experience more. It takes careful targeting, clever messaging and some really stunning visuals to cut through the clutter in your shopper’s inbox and social media feeds to get noticed.

Getting visitors to convert to buyers is even trickier. The conversion rates on online retail sites fall between 10–17% on average. That’s nearly half of the average conversion rates in physical retail! We live in 2016, you’d think that by now online shoppers would be easier to convert!

This is why visual commerce is so important today. Having the right mix of visual content on online stores is crucial for appealing to consumers nowadays. Nobody cares for technical superiority of your products (well, not at first). Everyone wants photos and videos as a proof!

Let’s talk about videos now. Product videos are a big part of the visual commerce. They help break the flat experience of online shopping (which is deprived of all sensory stimuli but the visual) and make it more engaging and life-like. Videos have the power to make visitors stay longer on the site, engage with more content and feel inspired to click the “add-to-cart” button.

When it comes to product videos, the challenge is to select the right content that is useful for visitors in each moment of their shopping journey. Let’s have a closer look at the strategies you can follow to make the most out of videos in each stage of the journey.

1. Use brand product videos to help consumers discover the product

When the product is a novelty on the market and there is still a great deal of unknown about its performance, brand videos are the obvious choice. They help shoppers get acquainted with the product’s features and its unique offering.

Brand-produced videos can be trusted to showcase the product in its most attractive form and to demonstrate its use as intended. These types of videos are usually of very high production quality and set the standard of what consumers can anticipate from the brand.

Brand videos are a good option for retailers who want to grab visitors’ attention at the peak of the new product hype. Featuring videos of the soon-to-be-a-hit products helps online retailers build on the anticipation and make sure the product is top-of-mind once it hits the market and is available for sale.

One thing to remember when relying on brand videos is that sometimes the overly stylised format might not resonate with all consumers. While for most shoppers brand videos are true and trusted content, some might mistake them for video ads and ignore their presence on product pages in favour of more authentic product videos such as reviews and testimonials.

More on that right away.

2. Use user-generated videos to help shoppers decide to purchase

When consumers are familiar with the product, its main features and the brand behind it, they will need social proof to decide whether to go ahead with the purchase. Whether it’s a fancy new gadget or a classic coffee maker brand, shoppers are searching for authentic product reviews and visual testimonials before committing to purchases.

Consumers want videos to see the good, the bad and the ugly before deciding on a purchase.

YouTube has become the go-to place for shoppers to evaluate products and brands before placing orders. If you have already put the effort to feature beautiful product photos on your product pages to keep visitors hyped, why not bring authentic user-generated product videos to your pages as well?

Think about it. Shoppers actively search for UGC videos on their own. And once visitors wander away from your site to YouTube in search for visual social proof, you already lost them to a downward spiral of watching reviews, tutorials, hacks and (as it often happens in the end) funny cat videos.

So what type of user generated videos should you look for? Put yourself in the customer’s’ shoes, think what they’d like to see about the product. Here are some of the options:

  • Product review videos created by experts, influencers and everyday customers. They’re great at helping viewers visualize how the product looks like in a real-life setting, what are its strengths and weaknesses, and what made other people purchase it.
  • Unboxing videos are another popular segment. Nothing tickles the curiosity quite like watching someone unwrap their new purchase, take it out of the box, peel away the protective plastic… You get the idea. Unboxing videos can help spur the desire to shop for the product right then and there, which helps your conversion rates.
  • Comparison videos showing how different brands or product releases stand the test against each other are also a good type of content to help your customers evaluate their options. Your shoppers want to see how the product compares to other alternatives in the market, so don’t be shy to share this content with them. Remember, the goal is to give your visitors all the visual help they need in order to make them convert.

Your job is to make your product pages as appealing and convincing as possible for the visitors so that they are confident to click the “add-to-cart” button and proceed to checkout. Adding user-generated product videos can help a long way.

3. Use demo videos and how-to’s to help consumers learn how to use the product

When it comes to certain product categories your customers will need to know not only which product and brand to select but also how to use them. This is true for most consumer electronics, appliances, games, beauty products and pretty much anything that comes with a manual. Brand and user-generated product videos are equally helpful for this purpose.

Anticipate the needs of consumers for whom the learning curve of how to use a product is an important factor when considering purchases. This becomes especially critical in the online setting, where shoppers have no physical interaction with the product and no real-life salesperson to demonstrate how it’s used.

Add how-to product videos, tutorials and demos to your product pages that are easy to follow and understand. This kind of visual content can help prevent future returns due to faulty handling of the product or unexpected assembly difficulties.

How-to product videos are helpful not only for shoppers researching what to buy but also for those customers who have already bought the product and are searching for a post-purchase guidance on how to use it. For shoppers who have already converted, returning to your site and product pages for how-to product videos can spur the desire to shop for complementary items and accessories. For those who have purchased the product elsewhere, videos can help consider shopping from your online store in the future, knowing that you have a complete visual commerce experience enhanced with videos.

It makes sense on many levels.

What’s next?

Once you’ve identified what types of questions visitors might have about the products you carry on your online store, you can choose product videos that suit your shoppers the most.

It might take some time and patience to identify videos that are the best fit for your product pages and your brand. It will also take an effort to optimise the process of video discovery, embedding and upkeep. You might want to try this solution for all aspects of sourcing and optimising product videos, designed for the needs of large and medium-sized online retailers in mind. Whatever you do, keep in mind that shoppers are visual creatures, so product videos are not a “maybe” but a “must have” marketing strategy for visual commerce.

Parts of this post were originally published on Goodvidio blog.

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