The most effective ways of using video in eCommerce

The most effective ways of using video in eCommerce


Over the last two decades, two separate trends have emerged in the online world and have begun to come together in recent years. First, eCommerce, or the buying and selling of products, has become possibly the premier way in which goods are dealt with. Second, the age of the internet has brought video to a place where it is easily accessible, creatable, and made with niche ideas in mind. Now, videos are being used to market products in a variety of ways across numerous platforms and websites. There are strong reasons that support this change. Most consumers prefer to watch video content than read about a product. Along with this, these same consumers have a higher purchase rate post seeing a video. Finally, a video element alongside a product adds a level of assurance about what the product is. Seeing as video provides such an advantage, it seems to be a necessity. James Wedmore, an entrepreneur and educator, spoke to this, “Video is an effective form of communication that needs to be integrated into each and every aspect of your existing marketing efforts.”

The question remains, what are the most effective ways of using video in eCommerce? We spoke with a variety of business experts to discover their methods for getting the most out of their video content. 

Understand your audience

Dylan Trussell is the co-founder of Culprit Underwear, a clothing brand specializing in underwear for every lifestyle. He believes that brands should create videos around what their audience appreciates.

“Some genres of video pair extremely well with an existing customer base and others will fall flat on their face. For example, a mechanical engineering company should aim for videos which illustrate the capabilities of their product instead of a skit with the intent of producing laughter. Do some research about the demographics of your customer base. How old are they? How do they identify? Where are they spending their money? Answers to these questions and pairing them with your industry will lead to some of the most impactful video content.”

Employ storytelling

MadeMan is a beauty brand dedicated to men’s skincare products. Their CEO, Jeremy Garner, suggests disguising necessary information in the form of a story as a way of intriguing the consumer and educating them. 

“Storytelling with video can be used to accomplish two key things. First, the visual and audio elements set the tone for what a brand is. Images of space and technology invoke a futuristic feeling while an outdoor scenery conveys adventure. Consumers see this and quickly recognize what a brand is about. Second, if the story of the brand, product or associated product is told well, it can stir up emotions in the viewer causing a reaction of sharing or purchasing. Recently, consumers have begun to select brands that have meaning or impact and this pushes your company in that direction.”

Demonstrations

A notable downside to the eCommerce shopping experience is the inability to have a hands-on experience with a product. Videos which show how the product works or what a product is in detail is a wonderful way to counter this. Finn is a dog food company focused on highly-nutritional products. Their co-founder, James Shalhoub, considers demonstrations imperative. 

“A quick Youtube search of any product name will yield hundreds of videos of companies and consumers unboxing a product and showing it in action. For good reason, consumers want to have a deep understanding of what they’re purchasing before they pull the trigger on an item. When creating these videos, be sure to focus on the strengths of what a product is capable of and a walkthrough of how best to use it.”

Customer testimonials

OLIPOP is a beverage company with a fresh take on soda featuring health benefits such as digestive support. Melanie Bedwell, their E-commerce Manager, advises media creators to build video content around consumers speaking on their experiences with a product.

“Advertising videos are often visually compelling because of specific shots or edits. However, it’s been proven that consumers are highly influenced by videos either made or featuring everyday people offering their opinions on a product. Like with anything, people are more inclined to believe those who are similar to them rather than a corporation. These days, marketing is about building a relationship with consumers and a personal connection is a rapid way to achieve this”

Think of mobile viewing

Daniel Osman is the head of sales for Balance Homes, a home equity company offering options to co-invest in property in order to achieve lower payments. He believes that companies should ensure their videos on their site are easily acceptable for mobile visitors. 

“Mobile based shopping has taken off in recent years and companies should do their best to support these consumers as they make up a large portion of sales. The smaller physical size of mobile devices does not properly support the video formats posted on websites. If potential customers are unable to view the videos meant to engage them in a brand or product it can be a quick turnoff resulting in a lost sale. When uploading videos, the ability to view them on mobile devices should be considered because of this possibility.”

Company personnel

Customers are more inclined to be trusting of a brand when there is an associated face communicating with them. Nameless actors do not hold the same connecting power as someone who is in charge of or employed by the company. Audien Hearing is a hearing aid brand providing effective and affordable devices. Their co-founder, Dylan Arthur Garber, suggests creating video content with informative messages from people within a company. 

“Many people simply want more than a product, they want to understand it, even if they don’t consciously realize this. In order to offer confidence in a product, many companies display videos with information directly from CEO’s, engineers and other internal members of importance. If site visitors can understand who runs a company and what they believe in, they have a higher likelihood of becoming a customer.”

Interactive videos

TapRm is a alcohol delivery service which has partnered with numerous brands as a way of providing visibility for the brands and high-quality products for their customers. Their founder, Jason Sherman, considers videos that people can engage with to be highly effective.

“Technology has brought us to a point where videos are no longer a visual medium and can now be made in such a way that allows users to change, explore, or view them differently. One of the more popular examples of this is the 360 degree view. When a user clicks on the video and drags in any direction, the image will shift allowing a different perspective to be gained. Videos like this, when used with products, will provide additional depth for viewers”

First-class equipment

Daniel Patrick runs his own fashion brand, DANIEL PATRICK, which takes inspiration from themes such as athleticism, hip-hop, and minimalism. He advises companies to meet industry standards of video quality through the use of the best devices and software available. 

“Years ago, video quality was not as much of a concern as it is now because technology was not the staple it is today and it wasn’t as advanced. For many, videos are part of everyday life in some capacity. Without any training or specific knowledge, people can easily spot the difference between a video that was filmed in a lower resolution or was poorly edited. This is due to the amount of exposure people have had to video. Essentially, it’s intuitive knowledge. If you want people to take your content seriously, you must use first-class production.”

Partner with an influencer

A familiar face goes a long way for bringing outsiders into the fold of a company. Established social media influencers are easily recognizable by many and can bring popularity to a business. Eterneva is a company which takes the ashes or hair of a loved one and transforms these items into diamonds. Their CEO and co-founder, Adelle Archer, believes that a partnership with an influencer can be beneficial.

“The beauty of having an influencer represent your company is that they have an established audience that will show interest in whatever it is that the influencer is involved with. If you’re a makeup company, pairing up with an influencer who creates video tutorials about makeup can be exceptional for you because not only will their audience become aware of your product, they’ll also see it in action.”

Incorporate humor

Banquist is a company which has paired cooking lessons with food box delivery. Their co-founder, Seb Evans, suggests adding amusing elements to brand videos so as to shift a customer’s focus and win them over.

“No matter the circumstances, a humorous moment nurtures positivity and causes those who experience it to be more inclined to like whatever caused that moment. Some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials involve entertaining or funny moments. This same approach applies to eCommerce videos. Don’t be afraid of a light-hearted approach to your video creation.”

As evidenced by the opinions of these business experts, video and eCommerce seem to be a match made in heaven for promoting growth and influencing purchases. Images, regardless of content or context, hold much more power than that of written word. When concrete ideas or products are featured, humans are much more likely to latch on. Lisa Lubin, an Emmy Award winning producer, summed this up, “Video informs and entertains people and, good or bad, today most people prefer to watch a video rather than read a page of text.”