Mobile Video: 4 Uses to Drive Retail Sales

Woman holding mobile phoneSmartphones and tablets have become our favorite shopping companions.

According to comScore’s 2012 Mobile Future in Focus report, more than half of the U.S. smartphone population used their phone to perform retail research while inside a store in 2011.


Consider these popular in-store behaviors:

  • 1 in 5 U.S. smartphone owners took a picture of a product while in store.
  • Nearly the same number (1 in 5) texted or called family or friends about a specific product.
  • Close to 1 in 5 also scanned a product barcode.
  • 12% of all smartphone owners used their phone to compare product prices while in a store.
  • Nearly 10% used their device to find coupons or deals.

Heavy use of mobile devices in-store offers brands and retailers a significant opportunity to reach customers throughout their shopping and purchasing experience. Mobile video specifically can help engage consumers everywhere shop, bridging the gap between on and offline shopping.

4 uses of mobile video to drive retail sales

There are several ways to use video on e-commerce sites, and retailers are experimenting every day to uncover strategies that produce the best results. Here are 4 ways to use mobile video to enhance in-store conversions:

1.  Use HTML5 product videos on your mobile site.

With so many consumers researching products using mobile phones and tablets before they enter the store and even in stores themselves, having a mobile optimized website is a no brainer. Incorporating product videos on your mobile site is a smart way to get information in front of a customer who probably isn’t interested in reading lengthy product descriptions on a small screen. To reach a large part of the fast-growing mobile audience – especially on the iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iTouch) and newer Android devices, make sure all of your videos are HTML5-compatible.

  • For The Vitamin Shoppe, the use of mobile-optimized video, combined with customer reviews, is a key way to unify their retail and online brand experiences.
    mobile optimized video on The Vitamin Shoppe

2.  Use location-based multimedia coupons

By integrating location-based services, you can give users access to interactive multimedia coupons or discounts when they enter a store. Coupons are sent to the consumer’s mobile phone via Multimedia Message Service (MMS), a standard for sending messages with content such as images, audio and video. MMS video tends to increase user interest and boost direct response rates over traditional SMS text messages because of its interactivity and richer content.

Coupon types:

  • A discount with purchase (e.g. ‘spend $50 and get $10 off’).
  • Something for free (e.g. ‘take a break at Starbucks and have a coffee on us’).
  • Special treatment or private access.
  • A digital punch card to reward your best customers.
    Location-based in-store coupon

3.  Use video QR codes

Using QR (quick response) codes on packaging, window displays and print catalogs can help enrich customer interaction in-store, providing a new marketing opportunity to retailers. Associating those QR codes with video allows marketers to bring product features to life, offer testimonials, showcase the latest fashions and build brand personality. Incentivizing the QR code with a special offer can help raise usage.

Example uses:

  • QR codes in Brown Shoe Company’s catalogs take you to video content on how to wear the latest trends

QR codes on Brown Shoe Company catalog

  • British hotel chain, Radisson Edwardian, added QR codes to restaurant menus last year. Upon scanning a code, customers can see the chef preparing the dish. This is a fun way to add to the customer experience and help patrons decide what to eat.

QR codes on Radisson Edwardian hotel restaurant menus

  • Last month, Sainsbury’s supermarket in the UK started using QR code technology across its Fairtrade products to allow customers to instantly find out the difference that buying the brand makes to the lives of farmers and growers in some of the world’s poorest countries.
  • By using QR codes in store windows, you can send users to your mobile site to see product details and even when your store is closed.


4.  Live customer service video chat

With video chat on the rise, more handsets are integrating front-facing cameras into their devices to support this communication activity. When stores are busy or when customers need specialized help, live video chat can help. By pairing support specialists with shoppers conducting product research, retailers can guide customers towards smart buying decisions right on their smartphone or tablet.

For more best practices and case studies on using mobile video in e-commerce, you can check out this upcoming Liveclicker webinar on March 15th: Mobile Video Shopping – How to be Successful in 2012.  The webinar is going to feature a mobile video case study from electronics retailer, Crutchfield.