3 Smart Ways to Use Video in E-Commerce

Everywhere we turn, videos are in our feed. Video is often how stories get told in the 21st century, so it’s a good idea for e-commerce business owners to consider ways they can use this trend to their advantage.

“Today we are constantly bombarded by content, and video is one of the best ways to cut through that noise,” said Chris Lueck, CEO of FastSpring, a global digital commerce platform based in Santa Barbara, California.

“It pays to take the extra time and effort to incorporate video into your strategy,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

Because video is so immersive, it can make your site fun and personable, drawing people toward both your brand and your products.

Video “can lend an experiential layer to e-commerce,” noted Oren Boiman, CEO of Magisto, a video-editing software provider based in Menlo Park, California.

“It offers businesses the chance to create a personality for themselves and start an ongoing relationship with customers that builds trust, loyalty, and value for the customer and the e-commerce site,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

The push toward video is in part generational. Increasing numbers of consumers expect videos to be a component of their interaction with businesses.

“Everyone talks about the millennials changing the landscape of commerce,” remarked Liz Pekarek, marketing team lead for ecomdash, a multichannel e-commerce management software provider based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“Really, there is a new generation to think about — Generation Z,” she told the E-Commerce Times. “These kids have grown up with tablets and phones in their hands. They’ve grown up watching YouTube sensations and various other video-oriented content. They are savvier than the millennials and have higher technological expectations for businesses.”

Where to start with incorporating video into your overall strategy? Following are some ideas from the experts.

1. Use Video to Build Your Brand

Because video is a natural storytelling medium, “creating branding videos for your website is a great start,” said Jon Reyes, CEO of EcomVids, a custom video ad creation company based in Santa Ana, California.

That can mean “shooting a simple About Us video on your home page, creating 20-second product demonstration videos on your product pages, adding real customer testimonial videos, [making] videos promoting exclusive offers, or filming a post purchase video on your thank you page,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

One reason video works for branding is that it’s an intimate medium that draws in viewers.

“These establish trust and credibility with your customers,” said Reyes. “People want to know that they’re buying from a real company with real people behind it, and not just some faceless store.”

The magic of using video for branding, in part, is that it can give a glimpse of a company’s internal workings.

“Businesses can use video to better showcase their brand and connect with their customers on a more personal level,” noted FastSpring’s Lueck.

“Every company has their own culture and quirks that cannot be articulated through words or still images,” he pointed out. “With video, you can provide customers a ‘behind-the-scenes’ sneak peek of how their favorite brand operates, benefiting customer engagement, sales and employee recruitment.”

2. Build Video Into Your Advertising and Marketing

Video is a natural medium for advertising and marketing.

“If you’re not advertising on Facebook or Instagram, it’s time to start,” said Reyes. “The ad inventory on these platforms is getting more and more saturated every year, but it shouldn’t prevent you from taking advantage of these massive platforms that reach billions of people. It’s all about creating content that’s unique and speaks directly to your target audience.”

In addition to using advertising videos, it’s a good idea to incorporate video into your overall marketing plan.

“You can do indirect video marketing such as Facebook Live, or post educational or entertaining video content on your social media pages to help grow and maintain your following,” said Reyes. “Video promotions are also a great way to engage your audience, such as introducing limited time sales or holiday promos.”

3. Post Product Videos

Showing products being used and highlighting the features of those products is another key way video can help boost your business.

Based on client feedback, it appears that many customers have become more aware of product features after viewing a video on an e-commerce company website or in its advertising, noted Joshua Hall, the owner of Micromercial, a product video production company based in Virginia.

“Customers are more likely to watch a video that shows the features in use than they are to read about them,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

Product videos are one way e-commerce businesses can stand out from the competition, said Hall. “If your competitor has pictures of their product, and you have fluid video showing your product, what it looks like in use, and highlighting the key features, the product is definitely more likely to convert.”

Video grabs and holds the attention of buyers or potential buyers, and they end up spending more time on your site and with your products than they would just by scrolling through static images.

“It takes only a few seconds to skim through a catalog of products, a minute to read a review or blog,” explained Lueck. “With video, you have the potential to keep a customer on your site for much longer.”

However you decide to use video, it’s important to do it regularly, so that customers will come to expect it.

“The key here is being consistent,” said EcomVids’ Reyes. “You need to be putting out new video content regularly to keep your audience engaged. This is easier said than done, but it’s about prioritizing video content in your business and sticking to a routine.”

With all the potential uses of video, experts recommend picking a few channels that really work and focusing on those.

“There are limitless ways for an e-commerce business to use videos,” Reyes said, “but focus on one video and channel at [a] time, and don’t try to do everything all at once.”

Vivian Wagner

Vivian Wagner has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. Her main areas of focus are technology, business, CRM, e-commerce, privacy, security, arts, culture and diversity. She has extensive experience reporting on business and technology for a varietyof outlets, including The Atlantic, The Establishment and O, The Oprah Magazine. She holds a PhD in English with a specialty in modern American literature and culture. She received a first-place feature reporting award from the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists.Email Vivian.

1 Comment

  • One other option for e-commerce businesses is to employ a software that utilizes existing video content, saving companies a lot of time and hassle. For example a software called Videoly can add thousands of product videos from YouTube (both branded and user generated videos) straight to your product page through their widget. This is already being used by a lot of e-tailers in Europe.

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