How to Measure E-commerce Video ROI

click here to view the product videoIncorporating video as a component of e-commerce strategy is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a must-have. According to October data from the comScore Video Metrix, the average U.S. Internet user now watches over 21 hours of online video a month. That’s a lot of video!

Clearly, online video marketing can be effective in reaching your target audience, but how do you go about measuring success? No matter what type of video you’re producing, you need to be able to justify to senior management that marketing dollars are being spent wisely.

4 steps to measuring e-commerce video success

  1. Be clear about your marketing objectives
    In order to measure ROI, decide upfront what action you want visitors watching your videos to take. For example, do you want them to share video on their social networks, sign up for email, register for a coupon or buy a product online? Common video metrics include: 

    Active metrics:

    • Shares, comments and ratings
    • Video conversion rate (email sign ups, product purchases etc.)
    • Revenue per video
    • Click-through rate to another URL
    • Customer and other stakeholder feedback
    • Offline engagement = customer interaction through email, phone calls or store visits influenced by video content

    Passive metrics:

    • Number of views
    • Average length of views / drop-off rates
    • Viewing frequency
    • Total time spent viewing
    • View-through rate (VTR) = number of times a video is watched divided by the number of impressions or times the page with the video loads
  2. Set quantifiable success metrics for your video program
    Once you’ve determined the type of consumer engagement you are looking for, figure out its value to your business. For example, based on past transactional data, each email sign up might be worth $20. To recoup production costs of $8,000, you would therefore need a minimum of 400 sign ups. 

    Putting a dollar value against a desired action, along with a target number of actions, lets you gauge the success of your video program and compare its performance against other channels or tactics.

    For some types of video, calculating returns in dollar terms might be difficult. In these cases, you can still set quantifiable targets around metrics such as views, shares or comments. Audience reach and engagement often translates into orders down the line. Just ask Zappos – they talk in terms of return on community (ROC) rather than return on investment.

  3. Choose a video platform that can track important metrics
    Video analytics have come a long way in the last few years. These days you can get data on almost every type of viewer interaction. Audience demographics and comparisons with site averages can help you to discover the patterns of your best performing videos. Some packages like Liveclicker can even tell you when a prospect has just finished watching a video. At this point, you could trigger live chat, or even live video chat, to continue the conversation with the prospect and edge them closer to a transaction. 

    To measure the performance of your video program, look for a video platform that offers access to the metrics you are most interested in. Then test the platform to ensure that it is working as expected.

  4. Monitor and optimize your video program
    Once your analytics data is coming in, consider running A/B tests to find out the impact of adding video to your site. For example, test one version of a product page with video and another without to see which results in more sales. Similarly, A/B testing can be used to determine which video thumbnails, formats, lengths, placements and calls-to-action are most effective for your audience.  Adding video to your e-commerce site can also improve video SEO performance. Be sure to examine search engine traffic after adding video against prior performance.

Video Success Case studies

Zappos has seen sales increases of 6-30% on products accompanied by video. As a result, the e-commerce giant produced over 60,000 videos in 2010 and more than 100,000 in 2011.

Zappos video has achieved 45% higher conversion rates across products featuring video and 359% increase in year over year video plays. video

Marks & Spencer
Leading U.K. retailer, Marks & Spencer, is another great example of v-commerce in practice, offering compelling proof that online video increases sales. At, in-player calls-to-action let viewers see more information on featured products as well as click through to e-commerce pages. As a result, the retailer has experienced click-through rates as high as 30% with an average uplift in basket size of roughly 23%.

marks and spencer video tv

In a controlled A/B test, eBags demonstrated a 50% – 138% conversion rate increase for shoppers who watched video compared to those who did not. Additionally, eBags showed a 65% year over-year increase in revenue for video email campaigns deployed to eBags’ house list.

eBags video