Case Study

AO.com Employs Multimedia to Deliver A Truly Engaging Online Retail Experience

Brightcove is a great partner. We've got the ambition to add functionality and Brightcove provides the platform to do it. As our ambitions grow with interactivity, we can let customers decide how much video content they want to consume in their buying journey.
Dominic StarkeyDirector of Marketing at AO.com

With its focus on providing customers with an exceptional purchasing experience, AO.com is fast becoming one of the leading European online retailers for electrical products. Video and multimedia is helping transform the online retail experience.

“Our video and multimedia content brings the products to life,” explains Dominic Starkey, Director of Marketing at AO. “We work really hard to exceed the in-store experience and demonstrate that we have the best product knowledge delivering an exceptional level of consistency across thousands of products. One of the key tools we use is video and multimedia, which bring product features and benefits to life and also help answer all the questions customers may have about a product.”

Video Informs Every Stage of the Customer Journey

The company’s multimedia team produces a full suite of content ranging from aspirational video to new product inspiration. In fact, AO considers content one of its key differentiators. Five years ago, the company built an in-house studio and placed video at the heart of its product review content strategy. Today, the company uses video to educate and inspire the customer at every stage of the purchasing journey.

Video and multimedia content is designed to answer every potential question bringing consumers to and keeping them on the AO.com site. It introduces new products, new features, and new technology and delivers product reviews and how-to videos. Great content ensures consumers receive consistent and accurate information, which is not always possible when dealing with multiple sales people at retail stores.

“Without video and multimedia, we would have to rely on written descriptions of products and pricing. We owe our customers more insight into products and their potential benefits than that,” states Starkey. “We want to give customers the confidence that they're making the right choice and also support our manufacturer partners in being the best at bringing their products and stories to market.”

The company is continuously evolving the content and expanding its video presence to proactively provide consumers with the information they need to make an informed purchasing decision. “We track the purchase path of our customers and know that our conversion rate is higher when people engage with a video,” states Starkey.

Using Video and Multimedia to Push the Boundaries of eCommerce

“Brightcove has been instrumental in helping us evolve our video strategy,” adds Starkey. “We are really excited by advances in technology that enable us to up our game and offer customers a better experience. The potential with the Brightcove online video platform is huge. We’re looking at how we can use video and multimedia to create an entire video-based home buying experience. We’re also working on integrating interactivity, helping us to expose content in a completely different way, so each video is part of something bigger.”

AO, voted one of the top two online shops by the largest UK consumer organization Which?, has a strong connection with their customers, to the extent that they film customer reviews in their customers’ homes. They are also using 3D to model environments to highlight different brands and target different customer demographics. “Real people, real houses, real locations, 2D and 3D animation give us more flexibility and a truly enriching customer experience.”

“Brightcove is a great partner. We've got the ambition to add functionality and Brightcove provides the platform to do it. As our ambitions grow with interactivity, we can let customers decide how much video content they want to consume in their buying journey.”

Data Points the Way

As an online retailer, AO has unique access to customer data, which they use to identify the content they create and how it is used. “Data is at the heart of everything we do,” notes Starkey.

“We measure everything, including how many people watch each video, at what point they stop watching, where they go next, at what points do they interact with us, did they buy that brand, did they buy a different brand,” continues Starkey. “If we create a piece of content for a specific audience, we do the demographic follow-up to understand if we hit the right audiences.”

Using consumer testing and optimization, AO found that they needed to vary the length of their video and multimedia output, so they began developing different creative and used Brightcove Gallery to create an interactive image gallery. “Now customers can easily browse video content, we can recommend additional videos and build in links to videos,” explains Starkey. “We can create landing pages on our content hub for a specific campaign, for an educational or awareness-building video. Gallery lets us design those pages, without any technical support. Having the ability to turn content around quickly, and then build those pages, is very important.”

“The possibilities Brightcove offers are incredibly exciting,” concludes Starkey. “AO has gained a reputation for being an impartial, trusted online electrical retailer that will ensure you're receiving the product that's right for you. Video and multimedia play a huge part in that.”