Can product videos increase sales?

Ben Dale – Managing Director of Modern Rugs – shares the impact online product videos have had on his business.

Using visual content to comprehensively display a product has rocketed ecommerce in recent years. A report by video platform provider, Sunday Sky, discovered that in 2013, 48 of the top 50 online retailers were using product videos on their sites to increase revenue, compared to only 16 in 2011. Why? Because the stats suggest that shoppers are shifting online.

According to the IMRG-Capgemini eRetail Sales Index, UK shoppers spent £91 billion online in 2013, and it’s a figure that’ll increase to an estimated £107 billion this year. A rise of £16 billion, that’s a trend too big to ignore. Despite this, the consumer try-before-you-buy attitude continues to create hurdles for many companies – especially those selling textile products.

Overcoming the hurdles at Modern Rugs

For us at Modern Rugs, the challenge has been ensuring that the colours in our product videos match that of the photography and a rug’s actual appearance. Over time though, this process has been speeding up gradually as we’ve become more accustomed to the processes involved.

Lacking physical interaction, businesses have had to find creative ways to gain consumer confidence. Within the fashion sector, catwalks and interactive ‘shoppable’ videos have transcended the problem, providing the customer with a life-like reference. Other sectors such as hardware providers have experimented with 360 degree images or user guide videos.

At Modern Rugs our solution has been to produce product videos showing the thickness, texture and detail of a rug. The videos are on average between 20 and 30 seconds long showing the different details of the rug from different angles. Though this takes time and money, we’ve seen a 20% increase on conversion rate when a product has a corresponding video, making the return worth the effort.

Could product videos help your business?

The potential of product videos goes well beyond just the textile industry. Research by Gerrard Dennis of Simply Group found that online jeweller Ice.com saw its conversion rate rise by 400% and product returns decrease by 3% with the introduction of product videos. Storage furniture firm StacksandStacks.com also reported that visitors were 144% more likely to purchase after seeing a product video.

Despite the obvious benefits, there are - as in all marketing avenues - pitfalls to avoid. The most important requisite, is that businesses embed videos to product pages. This not only makes website navigation easy for users, it also avoids traffic being diverted externally. Secondly, calls to action must be clear. Customers should see both the video as well as buying options simultaneously, allowing them to simply add an item and proceed with payment after viewing a video.

Conclusion

With so many companies successfully taking on this marketing tactic, there is no arguing that, used effectively, it is a strategy which can have a real impact on profit. If pictures are worth a thousand words, then in business, videos are the equivalent of the Oxford dictionary.