How-To Product Video Examples from 5 E-Commerce Businesses

In our continued coverage of how-to videos, we’ve decided to stuff your virtual stocking with some good examples from an assortment of retailers that can inspire you with creating your own how-to videos.  Also, feel free to check out my previous post on how-to video tips for e-commerce for some background on how to create good how-to videos if you’d like to supplement ideas from this post.


Advance Auto Parts

Advance Auto Parts’ video library features a number of customer-related video categories including: How-to’s, product information, and installations. Here’s one of their how-to videos from their Changing Disk Brakes series.  In the video, Advance breaks down the process into individual steps to make it easier to follow.  Such a step-by-step approach is especially useful for the DIY crowd like myself who are complete beginners.

Here is an example from the installation video series, which breaks down the how-to category further for one of the most obvious needs for people working on their own autos. It’s a nice touch that they mention the model of the auto that they are performing the work on.

Two things I would recommend to improve this example:

  • Keep the room noise to a minimum. Having to hear a lot of noise being picked up from the AC, along with some intermittent beeping from some outside work activity can become a distraction (even an annoyance) that gets worse the longer the video is. This particular video was nearly 20 minutes, and already by the 7th minute I was thinking about when the next beep was going to happen rather than focusing on what was going on.
  • Have short text graphics explaining each key point or object. People who learn visually also will retain information better if shown text of what’s being done rather than just being told.

Lowes’s Home Improvement

The Lowes How-To Project Library features little film-reel icons next to each of its individual how-to page links that feature videos to watch. Below is a popular example from the Flooring category: How to prep a wood subfloor. What’s especially helpful in this example is that during the video, the demonstrator mentions the how-to project library subdomain, and even refers to a related how-to video the viewer may also what to watch for additional assistance. I also like how they showed product photos of each item you will need to do the job, along with the graphic name of it in the photo. – How-To Videos from Your Customers

Below is an interesting example of how pairs with the user-generated video review platform, ExpoTV to feature regular people who are actual product users demonstrate how to use a product. This video features a consumer how-to demonstration and user review of the Clarisonic Skin Care Brush.


This is another great example featuring a how-to installation for a specific part to a product. The host is excellent in explaining exactly what the purpose of the video is about right from the very beginning, and speaks to the customer (who we presume has already purchased the product) for what they need to check for in the product package before beginning the installation. It’s a good example of how you can make a video for each individual part that requires installation, likely in order of the setup. Note that this example only needed to be 30 seconds long, and is very easy to remember.  When possible, try to use shorter videos to capture the attention of the viewer, but do not make videos so short that important details of the installation are left out.

Musician’s Friend labels their how-to videos as “instructional.” In this example of how to restring a guitar, they do a great job with close-ups that shift with each key step, but not too much to seem distracting. They also added background music for a nice touch, but it could have been done at a lower volume so the viewer could hear the demonstrator more clearly.

It is befuddling to see a major retailer like Muscian’s Friend choose to have their videos in a “walled garden” by not making them available for sharing! How-to videos are meant to be shared with others, so always make sure you include sharing tools like Facebook share/like, Twitter’s “tweet,” embed code (for copying), and an email link.

To learn more about the role of how-to videos in a retail social video program, I encourage you to check out the recorded webinar: The New Social Video – How to Build Relationships with Shoppers through Video. It was presented this past Thursday by video commerce solutions provider, Liveclicker, and features social video case studies from both from Advance Auto Parts and Crutchfield Electronics.