3 Reasons to Get Serious about E-commerce Product Video

E-commerce video continues to scale. Last year, a whopping 73% of US retail websites incorporated video clips, according to eMarketer. Still, video remains woefully underused and hard to find on many e-commerce sites.

E-businesses from eBags to Costco are realizing the importance of maximizing the scale and visibility of their video programs. For those who need more convincing, here are a few stats underscoring video’s importance to traffic and conversion:

  1. Online video dominates search. According to Marketing Week, video results appear in about 70% of the top 100 listings, displaying most often in universal or blended search results. Forrester Research agrees, finding that with proper optimization, video is 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of Google search results than a text page.
  2. Consumers’ love for video shows no signs of abating. comScore’s 2010 US Digital Year in Review revealed 60 % of the U.S. population watched online video content each month in 2010, with the average American spending 14 hours plus watching videos in December. YouTube is now second largest search engine, with 4 billion videos streamed on the website daily.
  3. Video reduces shopping cart abandonment. CBS Interactive Business Network reported that company websites displaying video convert 30% more visitors into buying customers on average. As an example, shoppers who view video at Onlineshoes.com convert at a 45% higher rate, with the site seeing a 359% year-over-year increase in video views. Product pages with video also have higher conversion rates than those without video.

Take steps to optimize your product videos

Given the persuasive power of video, it’s a shame that many retailers are failing to take steps to maximize its effectiveness. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your website videos:

  1. Keep product video length short and focused. Anything longer than a few minutes and you run the risk of losing shoppers’ attention. For more expensive purchases, consider a series of short videos, each centred on a different product feature.
  2. When you haven’t seen an item in person, it can be difficult to commit to a purchase. To help shoppers determine if a product is right for them – or overcome any lingering doubts – highlight its key differentiators or show someone demonstrating it.
  3. Getting your videos indexed by Google is an important part of the video SEO process. To appear in search results pages, submit a video sitemap in the correct format, including an optimized video title and unique description.
  4. While making a video for every product may not be an option, particularly if you have an extensive catalog, you can still deploy video across your entire range. In each category, start with top sellers and products generating the highest margins.
  5. Make your videos easy to share to reach the widest possible audience. Include social video sharing buttons like Facebook share/like, Google +1, Twitter, email links and embed codes.
  6. Measure the impact of your videos on sales. Don’t just look at conversion rates on their own, also review video metrics like page traffic, view rate, time on page and bounce rate to determine success.
  7. Smartphone adoption is on the rise. If you’re a multichannel retailer, think about putting video QR codes on hangtags linked to informative product videos as Columbia Sportswear has done. In-store shoppers can scan the codes with their handsets to find out more detail on items of interest.


Above is an entertaining video extolling the benefits of Columbia Sportswear’s Omni-Heat Electric product technology that the company links to QR codes on their hangtags.