Online shopping is dominating commerce. The way we buy has changed. Amazon is displacing popular retailers like Macy’s, Best Buy and Walmart. Personally, I search Amazon for a specific product I’m interested in instead of going to Google. (Sorry Googs, but your shopping tab paired with eBay just isn’t working for me.)
Whether you’re an ecommerce marketer or not, I think you can draw on your own experiences to recognize the role that product videos and 360 video play in our buying choices. Videos are immensely convincing! It should come as no surprise that consumers are twice as likely to purchase goods after viewing videos integrated into a brand’s buying experience on-site, versus videos on a branded YouTube channel. (Not that we’re against social video sites, but conversion is not their strength.) Retailers are continuing to develop their omnichannel strategies, ensuring their online presence is as good, if not better, than their physical one.
We look to the internet to help us research products and, in lieu of a physical shopping experience, our online interactions are even more important. How often have you left a site because of a crappy user experience? Or even worse, when you’re ready to buy but still have unanswered questions about the quality or abilities of a product? These feelings cause hesitation and ultimately, abandoned carts and bounce rates.
So, what does it take to make a retailer’s online video strategy effective? Here are a few quick pointers on ensuring a successful retail video strategy:
Integrate Video as Part of a User-Focused Interface
Complement your video content with relevant calls to action at each stage, allowing consumers to buy your product, learn more, or find related content. This requires you to think deeply about what each step of the customer journey when you design the experience, to ensure it is seamless and convincing.
Hook Video Platform Analytics into Business Technologies
To make sure your video analytics are truly effective, integrate your video data into your marketing automation and CRM platform. This will allow you to build a clearer picture of who your customer is, where they are in the buying cycle, and what they want, allowing you to target follow-up messaging and maximise return on investment.
Create Video Content that Leads to High Conversion Rates
Consider creating interactive content which engages viewers to ensure a higher chance of conversion- both on your website and in physical retail stores.
Host Video Content Where Your Customers Are
Don’t rely on your website alone to drive sales. With many younger buyers using social media networks as part of their journey, it’s vital to ensure that you are reaching customers where they are. Determine a strategy that allows you to leverage similar types of content, across your website, social media, and other advertising methods, with content optimized for each channel. For engagement and conversion goals you should deploy a social video strategy that drives traffic from third party channels back to your owned properties, where you can provide a fully immersive content experience that combines all marketing collateral — video, text and infographics — to create a full story for the customer.
Further reading: Video Marketing Mentors: The 15 Benefits of Blended Distribution
Track and Analyze Video Content Performance
A good content strategy is never ‘set and forget’. Constantly tracking and analyzing the performance of your content strategy is vital to ensuring that content is effective. And, if it isn’t? Well, at least you know to evolve your strategy to improve and optimize! Though website visits and click-through rates are useful, video-specific analytics can track audience attention and engagement, pinpoint drop-off, and allow marketers to produce video content that converts potential customers into tangible sales.
Further reading: How to: Video Analytics
Ensure Your Videos are Searchable
YouTube isn’t your only option for discovery. Make sure your videos are found and associate yourself with video SEO best practices. When you integrate videos into your e-commerce website optimize the page and metadata as well as a search functionality. With this, users can now easily find that video showing how to assemble, use and maintain your products.
Further reading: How to: Video SEO (for mere mortals)
Interested in learning how you can create an immersive multimedia experience? Read how an online appliance store did it in AO.com Employs Multimedia to Deliver A Truly Engaging Online Retail Experience, or read another story of two stores offering different video experiences and the effect on their customers and sales, below.
See How Two Stores Use Video for Ecommerce