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Most e-commerce websites use an abundance of still images, such as product shots. However, according to Marcus Seeger, a Melbourne-based video production professional and author of Video Marketing for Profit, businesses need to use more video in order to increase e-commerce sales.
In fact, video can improve the overall performance and efficiency of your e-commerce site – from building trust in your brand and demonstrating key benefits that lead to a sale, to addressing common questions that take up the customer service team’s time.
“The power of online video really lies in the ability to build a relationship and trust with a potential customer,” says Seeger. “In the e-commerce space, that is one of the most critical barriers to overcome – to build up enough trust with a customer for them to place an order.”
Seeger says video can build trust in your business through a good introduction to the business and what it does, video testimonials in the form of interviews, and with product overviews and reviews for both sales and service functions.
Seeger points to US clothing, shoe and accessories retailer Zappos as “one of the most successful stories in e-commerce”. Zappos embraced video about five years ago. It has thousands of product videos, including staff members trying on shoes, and it credits using video as key to the company’s success. “Something like shoes are basic, but even the most mundane product benefits when you can see someone wearing it,” says Seeger.
Locally, whitegoods retailer appliancesonline.com.au uses video to allow experts to explain the key features of front-loading versus top-loading washing machines, for example. This helps customers find their ideal appliance, without the need to head into a bricks-and-mortar store for the same advice.
For simple product videos, especially if it’s a high-value purchase or a complex product, a whole lot of PDF information doesn’t convey the value."
Marcus Seeger, author of Video Marketing for Profit
There are three main types of video that e-commerce retailers can use: product videos, selection advice and instructional videos. Seeger says the benefits are proven across all types.
“For simple product videos, especially if it’s a high-value purchase or a complex product, a whole lot of PDF information doesn’t convey the value,” he says. Seeing a product in action – whether it’s a mower test drive, an explanation of a backpack’s features or seeing the flow of a skirt as a model walks down a catwalk – gives the viewer a fuller understanding and appreciation of an item, which can help increase sales conversions.
“For selection advice, you can use video for seasonal commentary for fashion, or a fashionista could produce a video and give sizing advice,” says Seeger. “In the tech space, there can be hundreds of options, and breaking down the different types of devices or specs would be useful to a consumer. Having an expert talking about the ins and outs of technology helps people click on the buy button.”
Instructional videos bring a new dimension to knowledge sharing. “For example, with flat pack office equipment,” says Seeger, “you can say ‘we provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to put it together’.” This gives customers access to an easy-to-follow online resource 24/7, and may also help reduce the number of related customer service calls your business receives.
Why does video help convert e-commerce sales? Seeger says that video is very effective in overcoming resistance and barriers to purchase in the buying process.
He points to the ability of e-commerce systems to review statistics and identify at what point in the buying process a customer chooses not to go ahead with a purchase. “You can target that stage and use video to overcome it,” he says. “It could be people are confused about shipping, insurance, credit cards or a refund policy … all these factors where people get to the shopping cart and there is a drop-off.
“Video explains things in detail and gives confidence and understanding to the customer, so they can go ahead with the sale.”
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of adopting video now is that it still has the power to give you a competitive edge. “Most e-commerce sites and retailers are not using video and, even then, most aren’t using it effectively,” says Seeger. “Video is innovative. It is low-hanging fruit for marketing and for building trust.”
SecurePay has a selection of short videos explaining the benefits of its all-in-one solution, SecurePay Online Payments.