Internet Retailer: 43.3% of online retailers will update their e-commerce sites with online video in 2009

Earlier this month, Internet Retailer released the results of a survey highlighting some stats relevant to online video in e-commerce.  Taking part in the survey were 45 web-only retailers, 25 chain store retailers, 14 consumer brand manufacturers, and 11 catalog companies, making the total sample size 95.  The video-specific results of the survey appear below – along with some observations.

A full 41.7% of surveyed retailers indicated they were already using video, and 43.3% of respondents planned on deploying video in 2009. I was surprised (shocked, actually) at the percentage of respondents already using video, yet the 41.7% number doesn’t provide any indication of how widespread the video deployment on site really is.  It’s entirely possible some of the respondents only have a few videos on-site.  In my own interactions with many online retailers, I suspect this is likely given the relative dearth of video content on most product pages today.

More exciting was the statistic that 43.3% of those surveyed planned on deploying online video in 2009.  Clearly, more online retailers are beginning to understand the merchandising power of video and view video merchandising on product pages as a strong entry point into online video.

Less exciting (although not entirely surprising) was the finding among 54% of survey respondents that there was no difference in average ticket for those who viewed video vs. standard rich media.  On the other hand, 46 percent indicated there was a lift.  There were no respondents indicating a depression in results, though I suspect it might not have been an option on the survey.

Only 40% of survey respondents claimed they regularly run A/B tests, so I don’t really know how much weight the results should carry, especially when combined with the relative paucity of video content on most e-commerce sites and the possibility that true tests weren’t conducted.

The larger issue for me is the question about basket size in the first place.  I’ve never really been able to draw a strong mental correlation between video and basket size; it’s not the right metric to look at.  The more important metric here is conversion rate for the page, and whether video is increasing it or not.  It’s also important to remember that video should be placed on product pages only after carefully considering the overall impact on the customer experience.  Poorly placed “view video” buttons, turning on auto-play, or burying the call to action in a spot where it’s unlikely to be found are all ways to depress results.

More later this week… Happy Selling!