How to create, find and use product videos in e-commerce

Insights Team

Using product videos in e-commerce is tempting since there are many benefits most retailers dream of daily. Product videos help you, among other things, to:

✨ Showcase the product’s features and benefits in a clear way and increase sales.
✨ Provide a more engaging and informative shopping experience for customers. This can also help you reduce the number of returns.
✨ Increase trust and credibility in the brands you are selling.

However, understanding why product videos matter is one thing – how to make the most of them is another story: If you have put any thought into this before, you might recognize some of these questions and struggles:

1. What does a good product video look like?
2. Where can you get product videos for your retail store?

3. How can you streamline the process of adding product videos to your store?

If you want tips on how to overcome these challenges, keep reading.

1. Elements of a good product video

If you’ve ever wondered what sets apart a good product video, here is a comprehensive list of the key elements that make it truly effective:

It’s high-quality. All visuals and audio (like voice-overs, sound effects, and background music) look and sound professional.

It’s informative. Video helps make the right buying decision. It shares the key features and benefits clearly so that customers easily understand what the product is all about.

It sparks interest and has an emotional appeal. It gets the attention of the audience already during the first few seconds. The best product videos evoke emotions and help viewers connect with the product. 

It’s not too long. Usually, a video of around 30 seconds to 2 minutes is long enough. The optimal length of course depends on the complexity of the product: a very easily understandable product doesn’t necessarily need lengthy explanations, whereas a complex product usually does. 

It speaks to a specific pain point a customer has. Customers need to understand the problem a product solves and how it differs from other products. A customer might have a hard time comparing similar products and they want to understand which would suit their needs the best. Or they might want to see how challenging it is to use or start using the product.

It answers important questions. Questions like which problem the product is solving, what type of value and benefits it’s providing, and how it changes the way the customer is currently doing things


It has a clear call to action. Customers know what the next step should be.

It’s good to remember that the best elements depend on who has created the content: user-generated videos don’t usually have to abide by these rules as strictly as those that have been created by the seller or manufacturer. Customers view these videos with very different mindsets and expectations.

2. Where to find product videos?

In general, you can choose from three options to get product videos for your online store.

1. Use brand-generated videos
2. Create product videos yourself
3. Use user-generated videos

Get product videos from the manufacturers aka brands

The most obvious and easiest option is to get videos directly from the manufacturer: they have the budget and the resources to make compelling, visually appealing videos. 

✅ Use brand-generated product videos when: 

You need inspirational, educational content. Brands do a lot of market research and know their target audience: They understand their product, and most importantly, their customers’ needs better than anyone else.

Professional quality is important. Second-rate videos are not going to hold anyone's interest for long, and that is why in all product videos, quality matters. Especially with more expensive products, this is something you should pay attention to: The quality of the video sends a strong message of the product’s quality as well. So whenever you need something top-notch, brand-created videos are a good place to start the search.

You need product videos fast. Especially with bigger brands, product videos are a fundamental part of the product launch process. For retailers this means that in many cases, professional-quality videos already exist and you can simply embed them onto your product pages. This also benefits the brand, so you won’t hear any complaints from them.

You are selling more complex products that require demonstrating. Usually with more complicated features, it’s smart to offer visual assistance to ensure customers see how they can use the product on their own. In these cases brands often produce ‘how to’ videos to support their audience. These types of videos help customers to make more informed buying decisions and thus are great for product pages. 

🚫 Don’t use brand-generated product videos if:

There isn’t really any reason not to take advantage of brand-generated videos: If there are brand videos available, you should embed them to your product pages. However, it’s important to use them mindfully and remember that:

You can’t control the materials brands create. If you use only brand-generated videos and don’t consider any other options product videos could provide to you, you might miss out on some great opportunities.

Customers these days are smart and understand that brand-generated videos are essentially sales-pitches. Customers often search for peer reviews and authentic experiences to help them make smart buying decisions. If you don’t want the customers to leave your store to look for these (and maybe find that from competitors' sites/channels), it’s smart to offer the material directly on your product page whenever possible.

Create product videos yourself

If you are not satisfied with the content brands provide, or you are selling white-label, or products of your own, one option is to create product videos yourself. These can be demos, how-to videos, or product comparisons, to name a few examples.

✅ Create your own product videos when: 

You want to maintain full control and creative vision of the product videos on your site. When you want to decide the messaging, visuals, and overall look and feel of the videos, the only option is to produce your own videos.

You have enough resources. You can guarantee the quality of the videos, meaning you have 1) a dedicated team either in-house or in an agency and 2) enough budget. It’s good to understand that the cost of one product video can be anything from a few hundred dollars to five-figure numbers, depending on the content, quality, and length.

🚫 Don’t create your own product videos if:

You don’t have enough time or money to produce quality videos. In order to make quality stuff, you’ll need a studio, professionals who know what they are doing, and good equipment from the lighting to the cameras, sound work, and editing. If you are lacking some of these, the end result most likely is not something customers want to consume.

You have thousands of products in your e-commerce and/or the products have quick turnover. Even with a dedicated team and equipment, it will take a long time to gain coverage for hundreds, let alone thousands of products. You would need to have multiple full-time employees creating and adding videos to your product pages.

Get product videos from the users

User-generated content (UGC) or user-generated videos (UGV) is exactly what it sounds like – it’s non-branded, user-made content. This can be a review, an unboxing video, a how-to video, or a social media post. Basically, it is any content made by a user of a product, not the seller. 

✅ Use user-generated videos when: 

You need authenticity and social proof to support your product’s selling points. Customers are becoming more and more educated and picky with their purchases. They don’t trust just sales or marketing pitches anymore, but seek out unbranded content and peer reviews before making a buying decision: according to PowerReviews, over 99 % of customers check reviews when they shop online.

You want to build better trust with your customers. Sharing honest reviews on your product pages creates trust not just to the product, but to your store as well. Customers know they get what they are buying and they don’t have to rely purely on technical information and their own knowledge. 

You don’t have the resources to create videos yourself. Using user-generated videos is usually fairly cheap compared to having your own video production function. However, it’s good to remember that it’s not completely free either unless your store sells products from well-known brands that already have a lot of existing UGVs.

🚫 Don’t use user-generated product videos if:

You don’t have a process in place for content curation. For user-generated content you haven’t ordered directly from a user or influencer yourself, you can’t affect the quality. This means someone needs to have the time to watch the videos before you bring them to your store to ensure quality.

You don’t have a viable process in place to make sure videos are up to date. Users can and will delete videos from time to time: no one wants to see 404 messages when they are trying to watch an embedded video. So if your store has a wide selection of products, make sure there is a solid process that ensures old videos are removed.

Tip: You can either do the content curation and update videos yourself manually or use a product like Videoly to automate the whole process.

How do you find and utilize user-generated videos?

The good news is that implementing user-generated videos is rather easy. It’s all about content curation rather than content creation. The bad news is that unless you are selling well-known brands that users are already creating content about, there might not be much video content available at first. More often than not, you need to put in some work to make sure users start creating content of their own as well as being mindful of copyright laws and restrictions.

There are two choices: you can either encourage or pay for regular users to create videos or then collaborate with influencers.

With regular users, you can encourage them for example with different campaigns to inspire customers to share their reviews, offering discount codes for anyone who shares a video, or adding CTAs in-store and/or after the purchase to encourage customers to leave reviews.

With influencers, you can either do paid partnerships or send products as gifts or in return for a review. Do note that with influencers, it’s important to pick the right ones who are genuinely interested in your product and will get the best value from it.

3. Tips on how to make the product video process less time-consuming

No one wants to see this view on a product page; It is just not a good look for your business. 

However if you have hundreds or thousands of products in your store, curating and adding new videos – and deleting the old ones – is very time-consuming. It will take hours and hours of work each month, and most likely you are still not able to be 100 % sure that all your product videos are up to date and the coverage is high enough.

Many retailers actually opt out of using product videos because of this: it just seems like too much work. Sadly it also means they are missing out on great opportunities  From enhancing customer engagement to boosting conversion and average order value, product videos have the potential to transform your online store and impact your bottom line.

That is why you can and you should use automation to your advantage. With Videoly, you’ll just add a snippet of code to your store and wait for relevant manufacturer and user-generated videos to start flowing in. The human curation process guarantees that the videos are both high-quality and relevant to your store and that outdated videos get deleted automatically. This ensures you get the benefits of product videos extremely cost-efficiently.

Find out more about Videoly here.