Practical Tips for Producing Great e-Commerce Video

What is the difference between potential and reality? Uncertainty. Think about it, if you are unclear about how to get something theoretically simple done, you are going to procrastinate.  Producing video is easy to visualize but hard to execute. For most, a library of great videos are potential, but not reality.

This article will demystify, simplify and give you practical tips for producing great e-commerce video.

Practical Tips for Producing Great e-Commerce Video

Equipment – Don’t fear the all in one camera – an  iphone, webcam, digital SLR and Flipcam are all widely available and cost effective options for shooting high quality video. You can produce an HD quality experience with simple tools and simple steps. You won’t even need lighting. Keep reading…

Set-up – You don’t necessarily need external lights, if you pick the right place to shoot.

  • Interior with no windows: Look for a room that has a lot of florescent lights and some color on the walls. White walls will make the person and product look pale. Black walls will be too dark. A conference room with glass in the background can be cool, but watch out for reflections.
  • Interior rooms with external light: Don’t point the camera at the external window. Have the subject face the window and shoot with external window behind the camera.
  • External: Pick an overcast day, or shoot early in the “golden hours” from 6-9am or 2 hours before sunset.

Shooting – This is my best tip! Try doing one long shot; it will save you tons of time editing. To make a single shot work, follow these steps:

  1. Develop the script so the cameraperson and subject are on the same page.
  2. Don’t use the zoom on the camera, move the camera closer to the subject or the subject closer to the camera to show details. I call this the foot zoom.
  3. You are the steady cam. Have you ever watched a football game where the camera follows the player along the sideline on a very smooth horizontal path? That is called a steady cam, and it is very expensive. The concept is simple though, bend your knees, hold your arm out and use your knees and arm to keep the camera on the same plane as you move.
  4. Finally if you are shooting product, always pause for FIVE seconds longer than you think to capture an image of the product.

Content – Before you start, you should do some pre-production planning. Walk over to your customer service department, and ask them what the top 5 questions people ask about the product are. Then go to your website and read the reviews on that same product. Take notes and develop your script from that. Answer people’s questions by establishing value in your product, and people will buy.

Editing – If you follow my long shot tip, editing is easy. Load your video into the timeline and follow theses steps:

  1. Cut the video/audio at places you want to take out.
  2. Delete bad sections and condense timeline.
  3. Use transition effects sparingly with more dip to color than cross fade effects.
  4. Add music but try to get a soundtrack with no vocals, and decrease the volume 50% more than you think you should.

Product placement – The finishing touch is adding product details and links to the video. Most often this is done after the video is in your video commerce platform.  With a video commerce solution like Liveclicker, you can add interactive video elements like “buy now” buttons, product thumbnails, interactive links and hotspots, and integration at the end of the video of related videos, products, and customer reviews.

If you follow these steps, you can produce great video content in less than 1 hour. I suggest you go through this process 2-3 times for one video at a time. Then pick the one you like best, and repeat that process as closely as you can. The consistency in your videos will improve your video production process and create a consistent experience for your customers.