If you are an ecommerce owner constantly tweaking your site, looking to get the best conversion rates, then you may want to consider using Video on your site.  Excerpts from a Practical Ecommerce Article, “Video Boosts Sales for Online Retailers,” are found below: 

 At brick-and-mortar retailers, shoppers can stroll the isles, handle items, speak to clerks, and receive well placed merchandising messages. It’s not that easy for ecommerce merchants. They must find new and inventive ways to engage and convert customers; using well written and persuasive content, great photographs, related product links, and cross-selling tools. In this ever-advancing cycle of innovation, merchandising with video might be the next bottom-line booster.“There is a clear trend that a lot more

[online] retailers are incorporating video into their user experience…and we know that video works,” said Kevin Ertell, senior vice president of ecommerce at Borders Inc., Ann Arbor, Mich.     

Merchandising Videos for Small or Mid-sized Stores

While Borders.com is perhaps one of the best examples of well-executed video merchandising in the ecommerce space (with one exception which will be mentioned below), it doesn’t take a billion dollar corporation to successfully use video.

Blendtec, a division of K-TEC, Salt Lake City, Utah, uses simple, easy to implement video to demonstrate its relatively high-end blenders which sell for between $399 and $799 online. The videos discuss the blenders’ features; frequently include recipes for milk shakes, smoothies, bread, or salsa; and essentially sell a blender that might be ten times the price of a Cuisinart at the local discount box store. After watching the videos, those Blendtecs seem worth the price.In addition to its many demonstration videos, Blendtec also produces a series of TV-show like episodes called, Will it BlendWill it Blend pits shoes, action figures, garden equipment, and even electronics against the Blendtec blender’s powerful motor and steely blades. The series has a massive cult following, with more than 2.3 million viewers on Blendtec’s YouTube channel.

In February 2007, a JupiterResearch survey of 2,319 online consumers found that 46 percent of those surveyed watched online videos at least once a month, while 43 percent of broadband users viewed online videos at least weekly.

“Online video is seen as a mechanism for encouraging site visitors’ engagement (e.g., increasing the duration of site visits) [and] enriching site visitors’ overall experience,” JupiterResearch said.According to the survey, 18 percent of those online consumers with broadband service and 15 low-bandwidth users wanted to engage with product demonstration videos like the ones on Blendtec’s site. 

Potential Performance PitfallsThere is also a danger in offering visitors a poor video experience. The very same JupiterResearch study that found that almost one-in-five broadband users wanted to see video demonstrations, also found that 60 percent “of regular online video users (i.e., those who watch online video at least once per week) are relatively less likely to return to a site for video content if the viewing experience is poor. Also, 43 percent of regular online video users said they would seek their video content from a competing Web site [sic], and 27 percent said they would be relatively less likely to visit the Web site [sic] again for any reason.” 

Is Video right for your site?  It may be.  We encourage our clients to constantly look at the best ways to improve conversion.  As your partners, we are certainly interested in optimizing your site, but we want to make sure you get the sales when people come!  In this way, we will work side by side with you to make sure your site is performing as well as it can be.